Help your loved one this holiday season.

Communication Can Help

The sounds of the holidays; joyous music, lively conversation and family gatherings are a cherished part of every holiday season. But if a loved one has trouble hearing in crowded, noisy situations, or suffers any degree of hearing loss, the holidays may lose some of their luster.

A person with hearing loss symptoms may have difficulty hearing the higher pitched tones of children’s (and women‘s) speech. Missing out on a grandchild’s recitation of a wish list, or not being able to contribute to a family conversation about holiday memories, can be frustrating for both the person suffering from hearing loss, as well as family members who may not be aware of the hearing problem.

There are ways to help a loved one with hearing problems enjoy the holiday season. It takes observation, awareness and a healthy dose of patience – communication skills that are useful year round- but may be even more important when families and friends gather to celebrate.

  • Be sure the person is paying attention before you speak.
  • Speak face-to-face, never from a different room or from behind.
  • Dimly lit situations make it difficult to see facial expressions. Try to have conversations in areas with good lighting like a kitchen or near a window.
  • While speaking, avoid activities like smoking or chewing that make lip reading difficult.
  • Speak at a natural pace and volume level.
  • Try to reduce background noise. Even people who wear hearing aids may have difficulty hearing in noisy situations.

The holidays often provide the perfect opportunity for a heartfelt family discussion about health concerns. Recognizing the causes and types of hearing loss can help pinpoint the problem, and rule out other medical issues.

With the support of family, a person with hearing problems may be more able to accept the need to get hearing loss treatment, and may be ready to take the first steps to better hearing – a hearing test, and, if necessary, hearing aids.  What a great gift to give a loved one (or yourself) this holiday season!

Avoid unnecessary frustrations this Holiday season. Make your appointment by simply visiting our Contact Us page to request a free hearing test.  We look forward to helping make your season free from struggles with hearing loss and full of joy.

Check out our E brochure here: advancedtechhearingaidcenters.ebrochure

Mitch Trace, HIS

Hearing Instrument Specialist

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Preventing Hearing Loss with Sportsmen

The arrival of fall brings a sense of anticipation to sportsmen and women who enjoy hunting. Chances are, you started thinking about the season some time ago – maybe even made a checklist of everything you’ll need before heading out for the woods or water. New gun case? Check. Goose call? Check. Hearing protection?  Not on the list? If you haven’t used hearing protection for hunting in the past, you may already have some degree of hearing loss.  Early treatment for existing hearing loss is critical, and there are steps you can take to avoid further damage.

There are many types of hearing loss, but the most common type, and the type suffered most frequently by sportsmen and women, is known as sensorineural hearing loss.  Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when inner ear nerves are damaged and do not properly transmit sound signals to the brain. Your inner ear contains tiny hair cells, and prolonged exposure to loud noises like a shotgun or rifle close to the ear can cause these hair cells to wither. Without these hair cells, the ear cannot detect sounds properly.

Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by an injury, illness, medications or the aging process, but exposure to loud noise is one of the most common causes.  As a hunter, you may rely on your hearing many times during a day on the trail or in a blind – to locate game, to connect with your hunting party, or perhaps to listen for road noise to find your way back to your vehicle.  Specialty earmold hearing protection is available that allows for normal hearing when worn but compresses the loud sounds of gunfire to avoid hearing damage.  Also, new digital hearing aids are designed for all types of listening situations – even outdoor activities such as hunting – and can be worn with hearing protection to enhance and protect your hearing.

If you’re an avid hunter, trap shooter or simply enjoy the firing range, and haven’t been careful about hearing protection in the past, now is the time to start.  Have your hearing checked by one of our specialists before heading out this season, and if hearing aids are recommended for your type of hearing difficulty, don’t delay in getting fit.  Simply visit our Contact Us page to request a hearing test, to protect your hearing in the field and continue to enjoy your favorite fall pastime for years to come.

Check out our E brochure here: advancedtechhearingaidcenters.ebrochure

Mitch Trace, HIS
Hearing Instrument Specialist

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Are you tired at the end of the day?

Hearing can be exhausting!

How Hearing Aids Conserve Your Energy

People with perfectly normal hearing are able to easily hear and understand much of the sound around them.

  • They do not have to get help from lip reading.
  • They do not have to concentrate.
  • They do not have to stop what they are doing.

They just hear.

If you have a hearing loss, you do not have the luxury of such ease in hearing. You have to pay close attention, use lip reading when you can and concentrate. Hearing and understanding do not happen automatically. Hearing takes attention and energy and you just can’t do it 12 or 14 hours a day.

Your Hearing Aid Can Help

Hearing aids allow you to hear better and that is great. But it may be just as important that hearing aids allow you to hear with less effort and energy; they allow you to be more relaxed as you communicate with the people around you.

Of course, you cannot listen carefully all of the time, and there will be times when you do not hear as well as other times. You may not hear as well if you are tired, under stress, or you are thinking about something else. That is why we suggest that anyone speaking to you gets your attention before speaking. On the other hand, if you are ready and if you are paying attention, you can hear better when you really want to. You just cannot do it full time.

Actually, many people with hearing loss are able to hear and communicate surprisingly well in spite of hearing only 50 or 60 percent of the speech sounds. But, we live in a very demanding hearing world, and sometimes anything less than 80 to 90 percent is just not good enough.

If someone tells you, “Okay, I will see you on the 15th,” and you hear “Okay, I will see you on the 5th,” it was not enough to hear most of the message. So the next time someone says “you can hear me when you really want to,” you can correct them: “No, you mean I can hear you when I really work at it.”

Check out our E brochure here: advancedtechhearingaidcenters.ebrochure

Mitch Trace, HIS
Hearing Instrument Specialist

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Buying a hearing aid is an important decision

checklistBuying a hearing aid is an important decision on many levels as it is an investment in both money and time.  However, the benefits one can gain from improved hearing will outweigh those investments on a daily basis.  Therefore it is important to take the right approach in shopping for a hearing aid to ensure you or a loved one get the optimal solution for improving hearing capabilities.  At Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers we offer this top 10 list of tips for anyone planning to buy new hearing aids, as well as our always complimentary appointments to get started.

1. Research hearing aid types – Learn about hearing aids types and hearing technology to gain a basic understanding of the many choices available.  On our website we provide important information about the advancements in today’s technology for reference. 

2. Undergo a hearing test and complete hearing evaluation – A comprehensive hearing test and evaluation is the first step toward identifying hearing loss and finding the right hearing aid for a specific hearing problem.  At Advanced Tech we will work with you to provide recommendations for appropriate hearing aid solutions, if necessary, based upon your hearing evaluation and lifestyle needs.

3. Honestly identify hearing needs – Some hearing aids are well suited for noisy situations, others are not.  Some hearing aids types are perfect for an active lifestyle, while others are better suited for quiet activities such as watching television or listening to music.  Features, accessories, even color, may be important factors to consider when choosing the right hearing aid for your needs.

4. Understand hearing aid costs – Hearing aids may be a larger purchase and as such, the buyer should receive a written contract which includes the cost of the hearing aids, as well as any services provided by the hearing professional.  These services include fitting, training and follow up appointments. We take it one step further to include free batteries for the life of the aids. Insurance coverage and financing through Care Credit is also available to help make certain hearing aids more affordable.

5. Get a comfortable fit – Open Fit hearing aids are currently the most popular hearing aids available. They are comfortable to wear, offer a wide array of features, and people barely notice you are wearing them. Custom earmolds are also available to ensure a perfect fit.  New hearing aids require a period of adjustment, and any level of discomfort could make the transition difficult. 

6. Follow up – Adjusting to new hearing aids takes time as the brain learns to hear again in a new way. Follow up appointments are imperative to get the most out of new hearing aids.

7. Ask about the return policy – Most hearing professionals will offer a trial period for new hearing aids. Some may charge a fee if the hearing aids are returned; others may offer the opportunity to try a different hearing aid style.

8. Understand the warranty – As with any major purchase, hearing aids come with a warranty to cover repairs or replacement over a certain period of time. We remain committed to making sure you are taken care of throughout the life of your hearing aid and even have extended warranty plans available up to 5 years.

9. Consider using hearing aids with other assistive listening devices – Today’s hearing aids are designed to work seamlessly with phones and audio equipment. Imagine having the sound from your radio or TV come through your hearing aid so others in the room can hear at comfortable levels.  Newwireless hearing aids may be the ultimate in convenience for the hard of hearing.  We can answer questions about the compatibility of hearing aids with assistive listening devices.

 10. Help a friend- with the prevalence of untreated hearing loss it is likely you know or may encounter someone who could benefit from better hearing as well.  At Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers we are committed to helping all in our community that suffer with hearing loss and appreciate any referral you can share with those in need.

We hope this list provides a helpful guideline for making the right hearing aid purchase.  We are committed to making sure every patient that needs a hearing aid gets the optimal solution for both their hearing loss and lifestyle needs.  If you have any questions or are looking to start the process with a hearing test simply submit your request on our Contact Us page.  We will be in touch.

Check out our E brochure here: advancedtechhearingaidcenters.ebrochure

Mitch Trace, HIS

 Hearing Instrument Specialist

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Starkey on the Oprah Winfrey Network

Starkey’s “Operation Change” Documentary Series to Air on Oprah Winfrey Network

Starkey Hearing Technologies, Eden Prairie, Minn, has announced that the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will air Operation Change, a television documentary series that features the extraordinary work of philanthropic organizations. The 10-part series will begin airing on June 23, 2014 at 9 pm. (CT).

Operation Change showcases stories of positive impact around the world. It takes viewers around the globe as it examines some of the world’s most challenging issues and some of the organizations that are attempting to help bring positive change. During each episode, Starkey Hearing Technologies’ owner and Starkey Hearing Foundation’s co-founders Bill and Tani Austin, along with Starkey Hearing Technologies’ Steven Sawalich, team up with local organizations to work on sustainable projects that will profoundly affect each community.

The series features philanthropists joining forces, including former President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Elton John,, and many others as they travel to some of the most dangerous and poverty-stricken places in the world. From the West Bank of Palestine to the wilds of Papua, New Guinea, this raw documentary series reveals the untold stories of some of the world’s greatest heroes.

Starkey Hearing Foundation-Pres Bill Clinton-Zambia 2013-1“Hearing loss is a global epidemic, impacting more than 360 million people worldwide, yet it can often be helped,” says President Clinton. “Hearing aids empower people to better connect with their families, communities and the larger world. I have seen first-hand the amazing impact that the Starkey Hearing Foundation and Starkey Hearing Technologies are having on people all around the world. I am lucky to call Bill and Tani Austin, as well as Steven Sawalich, my friends. And I am proud of the Clinton Foundation’s relationship with them and this work. It’s empowering people to live more independent, prosperous, joyful lives.”

Starkey_Hearing_Foundation-Elton_John-Philippines-2012“Working with this family, and supporting their efforts through the Starkey Hearing Foundation has been an incredibly uplifting experience for me,” says Sir Elton John. “When people are cared for and not forgotten, their human spirit comes alive, and that’s why, when [Starkey] approached me, I had to be a part of Operation Change. I know everyone who watches this series will want to be a part of it as well. My friend Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN, is the perfect vehicle for this groundbreaking series.”

“There has never been another documentary series like Operation Change,” says Steven Sawalich, executive producer of the series. “In each episode we go to a different part of the world, immerse ourselves into the local community and figure out how we can both help people improve their situation and help [them] empower themselves.”

Source: Starkey Hearing Technologies

We encourage everyone to be alert to any signs of hearing loss in themselves or loved ones, and take the necessary steps to avoid further loss in the future.  To make an appointment for yourself or a loved one to have a free hearing test, please visit our Contact Us page and enter your information.  We will be in touch to schedule an appointment.

Check out our E brochure here: advancedtechhearingaidcenters.ebrochure

Mitch Trace, HIS

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Hearing loss Myths

 Common Myths about Hearing Loss

Today there are over 32 million Americans who suffer from some degree of hearing loss.  Yet, only a small percentage of these individuals have sought a professional to have their hearing checked and receive a hearing aid, if needed.  Having a hearing test is easy and free and can put you on a path to re-connecting with missing sounds through better hearing.  Too often, some common misconceptions about hearing loss prevent people from taking the first step in making an appointment for a hearing test.  To prevent a similar outcome for you and your loved ones we wanted to clear up some of the confusion around identifying and treating a hearing loss.

Myth #1:  I had a hearing loss, my family Doctor would have told me.

Fact:  While your physician is aware and concerned for your hearing health, identifying various degrees of hearing loss can be difficult to do.  Since most people with a hearing loss hear decently in quieter environments, such as a Doctor’s office, recognizing the need for treatment may be hard to do.  A hearing professional can provide a comprehensive examination with specialized testing equipment to identify the nature and extent of your hearing loss.

Myth #2:  Hearing loss affects only those who work in noisy conditions and seniors.

Fact:  Since there are causes of hearing loss beyond extended noise exposure and aging, hearing loss can occur at any time and age.  In fact, according to the Better Hearing Institute, 65% of those with reported hearing loss are under age 65.  Additionally, there are an estimated 6 million people in the U.S. with a hearing loss between the ages of 18-44.  The earlier you treat hearing loss the less it will affect your quality of life.

Myth #3:  Some hearing losses are too severe to be treated.

Fact:  With the rapid advancement in hearing testing and hearing aid technology very few individuals will go without an option for treatment.  More and more people with profound hearing loss are finding that there is an array of available options for assistance and amplification available today that can benefit them.

The best way to treat your hearing loss or help someone suffering from hearing loss is to take the first step and make an appointment for a hearing examination.  At Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers we offer complimentary examinations and consultations.  Simply request an appointment by entering your information on our Contact Us page and we will be in touch to schedule an appointment.

Check out our E brochure here: advancedtechhearingaidcenters.ebrochure

Mitch Trace, HIS
Hearing Instrument Specialist

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May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Protect your hearing now for a better future!

Its my favorite time of the year, the snow is gone, we get ready for summer. Boating, Motorcycles, Fireworks, and summer Concerts, while fun ,they all come with a risk. Prolonged noise can damage your hearing — even short bursts of sound over 90 decibels can have an impact.

Permanent hearing loss can occur in as little as 15 minutes with exposure to certain sounds and almost instantly with unprotected exposure to sounds generated from firearms and certain power tools. If your hearing is susceptible to any sounds above 90 decibels, you need to take immediate action to prevent permanent hearing damage. Because once permanent hearing damage occurs, it can’t be reversed.

Take care of your hearing

Your ears are delicate organs. By taking a few simple steps to protect them, you may be able to prevent hearing loss caused. 

To protect yourself from noise:

  • Pay attention to noise in your workplace. If the sound level exceeds 85 dB SPL, reduce the noise level or wear ear protectors.
  • Lower the volume of your television, stereo and iPod. Take special care if you use headphones or earbuds.
  • Be careful not to turn up your car stereo volume too loudly to compensate for noise from the engine or the wind.
  • Wear custom noise filters or solid earplugs if you go to rock concerts or nightclubs. Take a break so your ears can rest, and don’t stand near loudspeakers.
  • Wear headphones or solid earplugs for outstanding noise protection if you use noisy equipment such as jet skis, lawnmowers, motorcycles, etc.

To avoid damage from foreign objects:

  • Don’t use cotton wool to protect your ears. Doing so may push wax down onto your eardrum and can increase the production of wax and/or damage the eardrum.
  • Don’t put fingers, cotton swabs or towels in your ears. These can also push wax down onto your eardrum and damage your skin.
  • Avoid washing with unclean water to prevent ear infections.

We encourage everyone to be alert to any signs of hearing loss in themselves or loved ones, and take the necessary steps to avoid further loss in the future.  To make an appointment for yourself or a loved one to have a free hearing test, please visit our Contact Us page and enter your information.  We will be in touch to schedule an appointment.

 Check out our E brochure here: advancedtechhearingaidcenters.ebrochure

Mitch Trace, HIS

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Halo is Here!

Halo hearing aids connect directly to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch via our TruLink™ Hearing Control app. Together Halo and TruLink deliver the most personalized hearing experience ever and are designed to: 

  • Stream calls from your iPhone directly to your hearing aids using Bluetooth® 4.0 wireless technology 
  • Deliver pristine sound and exceptional listening clarity 
  • Help you hear comfortably in noise 
  • Eliminate buzzing and whistling 
  • Stream FaceTime®, music and more directly to your hearing aids 

Halo and TruLink are compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPad Air, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation). “Made for iPod,” “Made for iPhone,” and “Made for iPad” mean that an electronic accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPod, iPhone, or iPad, respectively, and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards. Apple is not responsible for the operation of this device or its compliance with safety and regulatory standards. Please note that the use of this accessory with iPod, iPhone, or iPad may affect wireless performance. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and FaceTime are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

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Hearing loss and the Holidays

During the holiday season, far-flung family members come home, sharing time together after months, sometimes years apart.

When that much time passes between visits with siblings and parents, health concerns that may have gone unnoticed in day to day life are suddenly more pronounced and obvious. Hearing loss is one of those “silent” health problems that can come on so gradually, neither the person experiencing the loss or the people who see them every day even notice until the loss is severe.

In older adults, hearing loss is frequently misinterpreted as having dementia. An older person who seems confused, withdrawn or uninterested in participating in conversation during holiday get togethers may simply be having difficulty hearing and keeping up with the conversation. Just paying attention to how the person is interacting with others in the room or at the table can be very telling. Problems hearing the doorbell ringing as guests arrive, difficulty hearing people calling from another room, or frequently asking people to repeat themselves are often indicative of a hearing problem.

When you get a lot of people in the same room, especially during the holidays, it’s going to get noisy. Take that into consideration, if you really notice a decline in someone’s ability to hear be sure to address it with them. Hearing loss can be a very gradual process, and the person with the problem may not even be aware of the issue. We recommend waiting until the festivities have quieted down before attempting to have a serious conversation and to be prepared for the fact that the person may deny having a hearing problem or may not be ready to talk.

The important thing is to start the discussion. If they truly haven’t noticed their hearing loss, you’ve made them aware that they may have a problem. Try to follow up after a week to see if they’ve thought about making an appointment for a hearing evaluation. Offer to help them find a hearing professional. The earlier someone is diagnosed and treated for hearing loss, the better, for all concerned.

The holidays often provide the perfect opportunity for a heartfelt family discussion about health concerns. Recognizing the causes and types of hearing loss can help pinpoint the problem, and rule out other medical issues.

With the support of family, a person with hearing problems may be more able to accept the need to get hearing loss treatment, and may be ready to take the first steps to better hearing, a hearing test, and if necessary, hearing aids.  What a great gift to give a loved one (or yourself) this holiday season! 

Avoid unnecessary frustrations this Holiday season. Make your appointment by simply visiting our Contact Us page to request a free hearing test.  At Advanced Tech Hearing Aid Centers, we look forward to helping make your season free from struggles with hearing loss and full of joy.

Check out our E brochure here: advancedtechhearingaidcenters.ebrochure

Ed Kocher, ACA, BC-HIS
Founder
Certified Audioprosthologist
Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist

Posted in Hearing Loss | 1 Comment

New technologies offering hope for those with ringing in the ears

If you experience a constant ringing in your ears that’s bothersome at best and debilitating at worst, you are far from alone. Tinnitus affects roughly one in five Americans and about 16 million people have serious tinnitus that requires medical attention. It’s also the most common disability for military veterans, since it can be caused by extended exposure to loud noise.

While tinnitus is a common condition, it’s one that can affect each person differently. While the general description involves a ringing in the ears audible only to the person with tinnitus, sufferers also report hearing a hissing, buzzing, whistling, roaring or chirping sound. It also varies in severity – merely an unwelcome distraction for some but completely debilitating for others.

Those who have tinnitus often report trouble sleeping, an inability to concentrate or complete tasks and changes in cognitive ability. If left untreated, tinnitus can lead to extreme stress for sufferers, and can present challenges both at work and at home.

No cure, but treatment available

Tinnitus is often related to hearing loss, although it can also be associated with earwax, head injuries, medications and other conditions. Much like hearing loss, there’s no known cure for tinnitus, but there are treatments available.

Counseling and sound therapy are often used to provide relief for those with tinnitus, and the hearing aid industry has also recently developed products than can help alleviate the problems caused by tinnitus. For example, Xino Tinnitus from Starkey is an innovative, nearly invisible, behind-the-ear device that provides relief for tinnitus sufferers.

The device has adjustable features designed to allow the wearer to experience a maximum level of relief, including volume and memory controls that can be controlled with the touch of a finger. The device can help offset the irritating sounds and thus many of the problems caused by tinnitus. This device can also be used as a hearing aid for tinnitus sufferers who also have a hearing loss and could benefit from amplification. More information can be found at http://www.adtechctrs.com.

What to do if you think you have tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition that can often be treated by a hearing care professional, although certain conditions might require medical treatment from a physician or ENT. A specialist can help you develop a treatment plan and determine if a tinnitus treatment device can help alleviate your symptoms.

If you’re suffering from tinnitus, the time to get help is now.

If you or someone you know suffers from ringing in the ears, we at Advanced Tech want to help them evaluate these options to possibly lessen the effects of tinnitus.  We offer free hearing evaluation and consultation.  Simply go to our Contact Us page to submit your information.

Check out our E brochure here: advancedtechhearingaidcenters.ebrochure

Ed Kocher, ACA, BC-HIS

Posted in Hearing Loss | 1 Comment