Looking Out for Your Hearing Health

Self-Fitting Hearing Aids: Key Reasons to Consult a Hearing Care Professional Instead

Have you heard of self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs)? Can they help if you have a hearing loss? What exactly are they, and how do they differ from traditional hearing devices fitted by a hearing care expert? What’s the best action to take if you need hearing help?

With hearing loss posing a serious public-health challenge worldwide — it’s a chronic problem affecting millions of women, men, and children — technology continues evolving to improve sound clarity, expand compatibility with other smart devices, and increase accessibility to a wider reach of people.

So where do self-fitting hearing aids fit into the equation of better-hearing options? Let’s take a look.  

What Are Self-Fitting Hearing Aids?

Definitions of SFHAs can vary slightly across experts. In the simplest terms, they’re sound-amplifying devices designed to let the user measure their own hearing loss, appropriately install the devices in their ears, and …

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Hearing Aid Use Might Equal Fewer ER Visits

Putting Off That Hearing Test? Here’s Another Reason to Hear Your Best!

It’s no surprise that getting hearing help can make communicating and connecting with the world around you so much easier, but did you know that using hearing aids might also have a hand in cutting down emergency-room visits and hospital stays?

In a study published earlier this year in the medical journal JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, University of Michigan researchers investigating connections among hearing technology, health care consumption, and spending linked seniors’ self-reported use of hearing aids to changes such as the following:

Reduced ER visits and hospitalizations — each by 2 percentage points Decreases in overnight hospital stays by about 0.46 nights A reduction in Medicare spending — by approximately $71

So … less hospital food? Add that to the ever-growing list of better-hearing benefits. (Just kidding; some hospitals bring their A-game to patient meals!)

An estimated 466 million children and adults around the globe …

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Humidity — Hearing Aid Kryptonite?

Does High Humidity Affect My Hearing Aids?

One of the great things about starting your better-hearing journey is that your world is more enjoyable when you can hear all those sounds you’ve been missing.

That might also mean you’re getting outside more, possibly exposing your hearing devices to humidity. Your hearing aids are tiny computers, and just like with laptops and tablets, moisture can present a challenge.

Humidity

Let’s discuss humidity first. Simply put, humidity is a measurement of the amount of water vapor in the air.

Hot air can hold a lot of water vapor, but cold air cannot. When hot air meets cold air, the drop in temperature means a drop in how much water vapor the air can hold.

Let’s consider a can of soda pop: When humid air makes contact with a cold can of soda pop, the air temperature around the can drops quickly. Any water vapor from the humid air …

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For Better Hearing, Accessorize!

Better Hearing & Speech Month: 7 Accessories to Turn Up Your Tech

Have you heard? We’re celebrating Better Hearing & Speech Month in May!

In honor of the theme, “Communication for All,” here are seven hearing aid accessories to make sure you’re communicating and connecting your best with the people, places, and moments that matter in your life.

Wireless Mic

Conversations rock when everybody around the table can join in, but background noise at restaurants and other spaces can make that a tall order. Whether you’re having a one-on-one chat or hanging with a crowd, an extra microphone can help. A wireless Bluetooth® microphone worn on your companion’s lapel can send speech directly to your hearing aid, or place the mic in a central spot for group conversations.

Phone Clip

Does talking on the telephone seem harder than it used to be? Try using a phone clip. The ReSound Phone Clip+, for example, lets you stream phone calls, music, and other …

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Reverse-Slope Hearing Loss

Reverse-Slope Hearing Loss

Your Refrigerator Is Running — Can You Hear It?

You’re probably familiar with the many telltale, well-known signs of hearing loss — asking people to repeat themselves frequently, turning up the TV to uncomfortable levels for others in the room, or leaning into a conversation on one side to use your “good ear.”

But what if speech is clear to you and you never turn up the TV — but you can’t hear whether the car you’re standing next to is running? This is an actual type of hearing loss, called reverse-slope hearing loss (RSHL), and people with this type often don’t realize they have a hearing impairment.

What Is Reverse-Slope Hearing Loss?

Hearing Loss Basics

The most common type of hearing loss — the kind most people think of when they think of hearing loss — is characterized by loss of sounds at higher frequencies and is sometimes …

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Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?

Self-Treating for Hearing Loss: More Harm Than Good

Have you heard about the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, recently passed by Congress and signed by the president over the summer?

The new law, once fleshed out with Food and Drug Administration regulations, will allow the retail sale of hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss — without the critical involvement of an audiologist or medical doctor.

On its face, the legislation may sound like a good idea. An estimated 48 million Americans or one in five people has some form of hearing loss, according to a Johns Hopkins Study, making access to today’s advanced hearing technology an important part of tackling a growing public-health challenge.

Self-treating for hearing loss, however, can do more harm than good. And with so much at stake — untreated hearing impairment is linked to physical, mental, social, and even financial consequences — you can’t afford to …

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Over-the-Counter Hearing Help

Are You Wasting Cash on Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?

Learn why self-treating hearing problems with personal sound amplification products might not be a better value after all.

Big-box stores, warehouse clubs, and online retailers have made it easier than ever to buy over-the-counter hearing devices or personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), but… not so fast! For hearing loss, the help of a trained hearing care professional stands head and shoulders above self-treatment, which can cause more harm than good.

What Are Personal Sound Amplification Products?

PSAPs, defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as “wearable electronic products for use by non-hearing impaired individuals to amplify sounds in certain environments,” typically comprise a microphone, an amplifier, and a receiver.

Though potentially helpful in normal hearing to amplify sounds in situations such as watching TV, listening for animals during outdoor recreation, or hearing a presenter who’s speaking some distance away, PSAPs can’t take the place of …

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Healthy Hearing Can Help You Live Longer

4 Surprising Ways Better Hearing Can Help You Live Longer

In the office the other day, we were talking about segment “Today” did back in January on the benefits of working into retirement.

They cited advantages like living longer, keeping your brain fit, reducing isolation and depression, and reinforcing identity.

The more we talked about it, the more we saw parallels between working into retirement and better hearing. It’s probably no surprise to you, but healthy hearing goes hand in hand with being able to do your best at work, too!

Fun fact:

A 2007 study by the Better Hearing Institute found that workers are most affected by hearing loss during phone calls and conversations with co-workers. Conversely, nearly 7 in 10 participants reported improvements in their ability to communicate effectively when they used hearing aids. For jobs where communication is critical, treating hearing loss can pay dividends.

Living Longer

Researchers at …

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Easy Ways to Help Your Hearing

5 Tips to Improve Your Hearing Now

Did you know? About 360 million children and adults — more than 5 percent of the global population — have disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization.

During Better Hearing Month, celebrated in May, we have the exciting opportunity to raise awareness of not only the prevalence of hearing loss, but what you can do about it. While most hearing loss can be treated with state-of-the-art hearing technology, there are simple steps you and your loved ones can take to help prevent some types of hearing impairment altogether. To celebrate 90 years of Better Hearing Month, here are five tips to help you and your loved ones take charge for better hearing every day.

1. Know the Signs

Frequently asking people to repeat themselves, turning up the TV, having difficulty understanding phone conversations, complaining about noise or earaches — these and other signs point to potential …

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Enjoy music the way the musician intended

How to Listen to Music With Hearing Aids

Traditional hearing aids are designed to help those with hearing loss better hear and understand the acoustic characteristics of speech — but not so much music. In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, celebrated during April, here are some hearing tips, tricks, and accessories for enjoying music the way the musician intended.

 

Speech Versus Song

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Hearing Enhancement of Gallaudet University explains the difference between speech and music: “The acoustic characteristics of music are quite different from speech, and a hearing aid that works well for speech perception may not be appropriate when listening to music. For example, the range between the softest sounds of speech (the voiceless th) and the loudest (the vowel aw) is about 30 to 35 decibels, while even the loudest speech signal rarely exceeds 85 to 90.

“In music, the range between the softest and loudest …

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