Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hearing Aid Care

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.   Our Indianapolis hearing aid and our Lafayette hearing aid locations can help you understand how to best care for your hearing aid purchase.  With the average cost of a hearing aid approaching $2,500, it pays to protect your investment by following these “Must Do” tips:

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 about hearing aid care, please contact our Indianapolis hearing aid or our Lafayette hearing aid location at 888-888-3499.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Migraine - The #1 Cause of Dizziness or Vertigo

What seems to be the most under-recognized, yet most common cause of dizziness or vertigo is not an inner ear condition at all - it is migraineThis condition is known as "vestibular migraine" or "migraine-associated dizziness" or "migrainous vertigo". The main reason it seems to evade diagnosis is that many suffering from this condition are not having headaches at the time they are dizzy. In fact, many patients haven't had a headache in years or even decades. Patients usually (but not always) have a history of what sounds like migraine headaches, but they will often refer to headaches as "sinus" headaches.
Symptoms of "vestibular migraine" are quite variable, being different from one patient to another and different within the same patient over time. Dizziness and/or vertigo may be reported with a duration of seconds to decades. Patients often have difficulty in describing their symptoms. Morning predominance of dizzy symptoms and visual motion sensitivity are typical. Visual motion sensitivity might include activities such as driving and shopping for items on shelves (especially in big box stores), or being bothered by patterns on clothing or carpeting. Light and/or noise sensitivity are only sometimes present.
Diagnosis of vestibular migraine includes ruling out other causes by vestibular function evaluation (Videonystagmography or VNGRotary ChairVestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential or VEMP, and an Audiogram). MRI and CT scans or blood tests are rarely necessary.
In the past, many patients suffering from spells of vertigo without hearing loss had been diagnosed with "Vestibular" Meniere's. However, "Vestibular" Meniere's is no longer considered a valid diagnosis. The vast majority of these patients were (and likely still are because low salt diet, diuretic, and/or inner ear surgery aren't helpful treatments for migraine) suffering from "Vestibular" Migraine.
Treatment of vestibular migraine includes recognizing and avoiding trigger factors, and depending on frequency and/or duration of symptoms, preventative migraine medications. In some cases, in particular when motion sensitivity is prominent, a specialized form of physical therapy (PT) known a Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) can be helpful.
For further information or to schedule an appointment, click here to go to our website,, or call toll free 888-888-DIZZY (3499).