Friday, May 23, 2014

Hearing Aid Tips

Protect Your Investment in Hearing Aids: Five Essential Tips
If you’ve shopped for hearing aids recently or already own a pair, you know that these devices are not cheap, although well worth their cost for the enhanced quality of life that comes with an improved ability to hear.   With the cost of hearing aids, it pays to protect your investment by following these “Must Do” tips (from our Hearing Aid Indianapolis location):

Tip #1:  Be aware of the temperature.
  • Avoid excessive heat and cold. Do not leave your hearing aids in a hot car in the summer or a cold car in the winter.  
  • Do not dry your hair with a hair dryer while wearing hearing aids.  
  • Humidity and hearing aids do not mix. If you live in a humid environment, purchase a hearing aid dehumidifier. 

Tip #2:  Avoid moisture and water.
While a humid environment can damage hearing aids, moisture from perspiration as well as submersion in water can interfere with the functionality of a hearing aid. 
  • Do not wear hearing aids while swimming, showering, taking a bath, during strenuous exercise that causes you to perspire or while in the sauna (unless you wear an extended-wear, deep canal device).
  • Remove your hearing aids at the hairdresser or barber.
  • Use an umbrella or hooded raincoat when it is raining.
  • Make sure your hair and ears are completely dry before inserting your hearing aids.
  • Remove your hearing aids at night and open the casing door to allow air to ventilate the interior.  

Tip #3:  Avoid shock and vibration.
  • Hold the hearing aid over a cushioned surface when changing the battery.
  • Store your hearing aid in the cushioned case it came in.  
  • To avoid accidents, sit down to insert or remove your hearing aid. 

Tip #4: Regularly clean the outer shell of your hearing aid.
  • To clean an in-the-ear hearing aid externally, wipe it off with a dry cloth.  Then brush across the receiver opening with the wax brush that came with your hearing aid.* Do not push anything sharp into the microphone port.  * If you did not receive a wax brush, consult your Audiologist. To clean wax guards, follow the instructions given to you by your Audiologist.
  • To clean behind-the-ear hearing aids externally, wipe off the hearing aid with a dry cloth.   To clean the ear mold, remove it from the ear hook of the hearing aid and wash it in warm, soapy water.  Rinse thoroughly and shake out the excess moisture.  Allow the ear mold to dry overnight. 
  • At least every 6 months, take your hearing aids to your Audiologist for a thorough “clean and check” and to change out microphone protectors and BTE tubing that is becoming brittle.
 Tip #5: Use Hair, Shaving and Cosmetic Products carefully

Perfume, hair spray, bath powder, shaving cream, cosmetics and hair gel can all clog the microphone of your hearing aid

Should you have any questions, please contact our Hearing Aid Indianapolis location to speak with Audiologist Michelle Koley at (888) 888-DIZZY (3499)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hearing Aid Technology Tips

How to Combat Background Noise, the Screeching of Feedback and that “Talking in a Barrel” Feeling

Background interference got you down?
To improve your ability to hear and understand in background noise, try using some basic communication strategies.  For example, ask to be seated away from the kitchen if you are going to a noisy restaurant, or choose an eatery that has good acoustics. (Carpeting on the floor goes a long way in absorbing some of the sounds.)

Technology Tip: Advances in hearing aid technology have recognized that two microphones work better than one.  Adaptive Dual Microphone technology recognizes the origin of background noise and automatically reduces it while focusing on sounds you want to hear.  Learn about the BalanceMD Hearing Aid Indianapolis location. 

Does your own voice sound odd?
If you are new to wearing hearing aids, your own voice may sound strange…like you are talking in a hollow barrel.  Even your own chewing can sound loud! 

This effect is called occlusion and is caused by the ear mold completely filling the ear canal. Vibrations made by the sound waves of your voice are trapped, making it sound louder.  In most cases, creating a vent through the hearing aid to unblock the ear solves the problem by allowing the vibrations of your voice to escape.  Some hearing aids come with a pressure relief vent to equalize the air pressure in the ear, but these vents are often too small to reduce the occlusion effect. Thus, it may be necessary to have your Audiologist create a larger passage in the hearing aid.
Technology Tip:  Open Fit technology can effectively eliminate occlusion.  This type of hearing aid keeps the ear canal open by using a small tube with a speaker instead of a traditional ear mold.  Learn about the BalanceMD Hearing Aid Lafayette location.
Does your hearing aid squeal?
Everyone has heard it.  That “fingernails-on-a-blackboard screech” coming from your hearing aid when you place it near a phone or take it out of your ear.  It’s called feedback and is the result of amplified sound leaking from the ear canal into the hearing aid microphone. It happens when there is a crack in the hearing aid venting, a loose fit or an accumulation of earwax in your ear canal.
Don’t try to fix your hearing aid yourself by tapping it on a hard surface. You are likely to cause damage with that method!   Instead, schedule an appointment with your Audiologist to see if your hearing aid needs to be repaired, refitted or if earwax needs to be removed.  

Technology Tip: Many of today’s digital hearing aids feature “feedback management” systems that automatically identify feedback before it occurs and cancel it automatically.