When Is Hearing Loss Irreversible?

When you learn you have loss of hearing, the first thing that most people ask is will I get it back? Whether it will or not depends on several factors.

There are two types of loss of hearing:

Obstructed hearing loss is when there’s something blocking your ear canal, you can show all the signs of hearing loss. This can be caused by a wide range of things, from earwax to tumors but the good news is, your hearing usually returns to normal after the obstruction is clear.

The other kind of hearing loss is the kind that is a result of damage. This is the more common type of hearing loss that makes up nearly 90 percent of hearing loss. Clinically this is known as Sensorineural Hearing Loss, this form of hearing loss is often permanent. To explain: there are little hairs in your ear (cochlea) that vibrate when hit by moving air (sound waves). These vibrations are then changed into an electro-chemical response and sent to your brain, your brain then translates the signals into the sounds that you hear. As time passes, your hearing can be permanently damaged by loud noises.

Sensorineural hearing loss can also be caused by damage to the nerves or to the inner ear. Cochlear implants can help improve hearing in some cases but are only recommended for those who have a specific extreme case of hearing loss.

Whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing can only be determined by getting a hearing examination.

Treatment Of Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss has no cure. But it might be possible to get treatment for your hearing loss. The following are ways that you can get the correct treatment to help you:

Don’t push your hearing health to the side. Successfully dealing with any of the symptoms of hearing loss you might be having is the best preventative measure you can take.
Stay socially engaged! Isolation equals lack of stimulation. Your brain needs more stimulation not less as we get older.
Preserve and protect the hearing you still have.
Your hearing is important to your quality of life.
Prevent mental decline.
There are many ways of coping with a hearing loss. One of the simplest treatments is also one of the most common: hearing aids.

Prevention Is The Best Defense

If you can’t depend on recovering from hearing loss, you should focus on protecting the hearing you’ve got. Of Course, if you have something stuck in your ear canal, more than likely you can have it removed. But loud noises are hazardous even though you may not think they are very loud. That’s why it’s a good idea to take the time to protect your ears. The better you safeguard your hearing today, the more you prevent the possibilities of creating damage that will eventually lead you to be diagnosed with a hearing loss. Recovery is usually not an option but treatment can help you keep prevent further loss and get back into hearing what you have been missing out on.

If you are or have been experiencing difficulty hearing CALL NOW we would love to help you get your hearing back! Absolute Hearing Care Centers are happy to offer a FREE consultation and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

CALL NOW: 843-839-1936

What’s the difference between Getting “Fit” VS. Being “Sold” Hearing Aids?

Local providers get many new patients from big box stores all the time.

The main reason is a hearing aid is a complex and advanced medical device, not a temporary accessory to be picked up alongside your groceries.

Many times, getting your hearing device from a big box store means you’re missing out on valuable services such as hearing aid programming, custom fit devices, regular maintenance, and other aftercare benefits. These are services that are essential to ensuring your hearing aid is properly treating your individual hearing loss and preventing your hearing loss from further deteriorating or worse, possibly damage your hearing even further.

Many individuals are tempted to turn to big box stores in search of a bargain. We can’t blame people for being bargain shoppers but price should not be the single deciding factor when selecting a hearing aid. We’ve all heard the old adage “You get what you pay for.”

Personalized Hearing Health Care

Utilizing the services of a local hearing provider means receiving personally tailored services long after you take your hearing aid home. Not only will a local hearing provider make certain you have selected the correct device for your level of hearing loss but they will also custom fit, program, and teach you how to fully utilize your new device. On top of all that, they can provide cleaning and maintenance services, performance updates, and conduct annual hearing tests to help you record and monitor your hearing loss.

If ever you have a question or concern regarding your hearing aid, you can be certain a local hearing provider will be there to assist you. Try calling the customer support line at a big box store and you will soon learn they are not the qualified hearing professionals you may have thought them to be.

Lack of Post-Purchase Services

Many large retail stores do not offer any services past the point of sale. This means if your hearing aid ever requires unique maintenance, adjustment, or cleaning (and they certainly will) you will be forced to pay for these extra services out of pocket.

Even worse, if a retailer does not have a hearing health care specialist on staff, you will have to ship your hearing aids to the manufacturer for maintenance. This could leave you without your hearing devices for possibly weeks and without a loner device while you wait.

Choose Personalized Patient Care & Hearing Health

Bottom line; when you buy your hearing aids from a big box store, you really don’t know what you’re getting. A quality device? A fair price? Professional care? Probably not. But buying your hearing aids through a local hearing health care provider gives you peace of mind and professional compassionate care. Be certain you are getting all the focused hearing health care, reputable hearing devices, and the services you’ll need to support your hearing for the long term.

Choosing your hearing aid is not a decision that should be made lightly. You will be relying on it a lot, after all. Start your journey towards better hearing health with the help of highly trained professionals. We promise high-quality hearing aids paired with high-quality service, take charge of your hearing health today by scheduling a comprehensive hearing test with your local hearing health specialist.

CALL NOW: 843-839-1936

Does hearing loss affect me socially?

 

If you or a loved one has untreated hearing loss, your brain is already working harder than someone without hearing loss.

Untreated hearing loss takes more energy:

  • It’s harder for the brain to interpret the signals from the inner ear.
  • Your brain is constructing meaning from missed sounds.
  • Energy spent guessing at what’s been said.
  • Figuring out context for missed words.
  • Reading lips and concentrating on facial gestures and body language.

All that extra effort can leave you feeling drained by the end of the day. And because the energy spent offsetting hearing loss is diverted from other parts of the brain, cognitive functions like problem-solving and memory can also suffer.

Studies show that untreated hearing loss can negatively impact our relationships with family and friends and particularly with those closest to us, such as our romantic partners. Research is pretty clear that untreated hearing loss can be a major source of stress, especially among couples.

Hearing aids can reduce social fatigue.

If hearing aids are recommended, they will ease listening effort in social situations.

Hearing aids isolate the sounds you want to hear and put the sounds you don’t want to hear in the background. While it’s not possible to restore lost hearing completely, hearing aids help fill in the gaps for your brain that hearing loss creates.

Hearing aids assist by:

  • Making it easier to hear sounds and speech in different listening environments.
  • Amplifying sounds you want to hear.
  • Reducing background noise.

If you already have hearing aids

It’s important that you don’t  “get by”  with your current hearing aid settings if they’re not working optimally in this listening environment. Adjustments can be made that will help you hear better.

 A Hearing Professional will:

  • Adjust hearing aid settings for trouble in background noise.
  • Set your hearing aids to your specific prescriptive level.
  • Explain program settings for a temporary volume boost or added clarity.
  • Show you accessories such as remote microphones that pair to your hearing aids and help you hear a single speaker in a noisy environment like a coffee shop.
  • Set up Bluetooth™-enabled hearing aids to stream calls, TV, and music.

If you are or have been experiencing difficulty hearing CALL NOW we would love to help you get your hearing back!  Absolute Hearing Care Centers are happy to offer a FREE consultation and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

CALL NOW: 843-839-1936

 

Can my hearing ever improve on it’s own?

 

When you discover that you have loss of hearing, the first thing that most people think is will I get it back? The reality is, it depends.

Some wounds the human body usually has no problem mending. Like cuts, scrapes, or broken bones. But you’re out of luck when it comes to fixing the tiny nerves in your ears/cochlea. Scientists are working on it, but humans don’t heal the cilia in their ears the same way animals can. For people, if you injure these little hairs or the auditory nerve, you might have permanent loss of hearing.

90 percent of hearing loss is accounted for by what is known as sensorineural hearing loss, this kind of hearing loss is usually permanent. To explain: When hit by sound or sound waves, tiny little nerves in your cochlea vibrate. These vibrations are then changed, by your brain, into impulses that you hear as sound. Now, loud sounds can damage the hairs and, over time, permanently diminish your hearing, but so can a low constant sound as well. Sensorineural hearing loss can also be from injury or a virus to the nerve as well. In certain cases, specifically in instances of extreme loss of hearing, a cochlear implant could help improve hearing.

Sensorineural hearing loss presently has no cure. But it might be possible to get treatment for your loss of hearing.

Whether hearing aids will help improve your hearing can only be determined by having a hearing specialist preform an exam.

Hearing at your best is more critical than ever today— If you think it might be time to get your hearing tested or just have questions and want real answers, please don’t wait. Contact us today to schedule time with one of our licensed specialists. It’s Absolutely Free!

CALL NOW: 843-839-1936

How often do I need to change my hearing aids?


That’s a great question! “Over the years we’ve addressed this question with many of our patients and their loved ones”.

On average a hearing device should typically be replaced about every three to six years or so.

The answer is usually a bit more involved. Several factors may figure into whether it’s time you update your hearing instruments.

⦁ Level of the hearing instrument technology
⦁ Condition and performance of your existing hearing devices
⦁ Quality of Care and Maintenance throughout use
⦁ Potential changes in your hearing ability or listening lifestyle

Potential signs you need new hearing technology:

Your Level of Hearing Has Changed

Your hearing changes over time because of age, loud sounds, or other health issues. Most often we can make adjustments to your programming, but sometimes your hearing changes so much that you require an advanced level of technology.

Technology is always Evolving

Now Hearing Aids have advanced background noise filtration, no need to replace rechargeable batteries any more, tinnitus software, Bluetooth streaming from most Smartphones and Tablets.  Even detection for falling, built-in voice translation, and many more features depending on the device.

Your Device is Malfunctioning

You’ve been good to your hearing aids. You do all the recommended maintenance, but things still aren’t right: Replaced batteries drain quickly or the charge doesn’t last long; sound is still muffled after a through cleaning. A repair may be needed from time to time, but regular malfunctions mean it’s time to replace your devices.

New Interests or Lifestyle Changes

When your lifestyle changes, your tech might need to also. Became more active or start an exercise program? You’ll probably need moisture resistance. New Job? You’ll likely experience a different noise level now.

Hearing at your best is more critical than ever today— If you think it might be time to update your hearing devices or just have questions and want real answers, please don’t wait. Contact us today to schedule a Free Consultation with one of our licensed specialists.

CALL NOW: 843-839-1936

‘World Report on Hearing’, from the World Health Organization

Did you know that there are currently around 430 million people around the world that require help for hearing loss?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2050, 700 million will require access to ear and hearing care! That’s a big increase. To better understand the current and future of hearing health, WHO published its first ‘World Report on Hearing.’ Reports like these are critical to not only professionals in the hearing industry but for the everyday person as well. Aging, disease, genetics, and injury-related hearing loss are difficult to prevent, nearly 100% of noise-induced hearing loss is preventable.

Let’s see what WHO found:
Almost 60% of hearing loss among children can be prevented through measures such as:
Immunization for prevention of rubella and meningitis
Improved maternal and neonatal care
Screening for, and early management of, otitis media – inflammatory diseases of the middle ear

In adults, hearing loss can be prevented through:
Noise control
Safe listening
Surveillance of ototoxic medicines
Good ear hygiene

Proactive and preventative care is essential to maintaining good hearing health:

Conduct hearing screenings at strategic points in life to identify loss as early as possible
Utilize recent technology advancements to identify hearing loss
Use timely and appropriate treatment
Get properly fitted for personal hearing technology (i.e. hearing aids)
Overall, the report concludes the most essential part in hearing health among individuals is that hearing care is not integrated into national health systems. This can make finding the proper care a little more difficult to find and navigate. At Absolute Hearing Care Centers, we are committed to helping people hear their best and will guide you along your hearing journey!

Please Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.
(843) 839-1936

Read the full WHO report here: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/world-report-on-hearing

Your Hearing Aids Are Cool!

 

New Hearing Aid Technology is Amazing!

Automatically Adjusting: Although hearing aids have had the ability to automatically change programs since the early 2000’s, it started off as being able to jump between a speech in quiet and a speech in noise setting. Over the past few years, hearing aids are now able to analyze the sound environment that you are in, compare information about it between the left and right devices, and then adapt the settings for that specific environment. This has created much more efficient adjustments while providing a smoother listening experience.

BrainHearing Technology: Oticon More  takes hearing healthcare to a new level. It’s the world’s first hearing aid with a Deep Neural Network (DNN) embedded on the chip. The DNN is trained on 12 million real‑life sounds to give your brain more of the information it needs to decipher the intricate details of relevant sounds.

Motion Sensors: One of the latest additions to hearing aids is the addition of motion sensors. This provides the manufacturers with several different options for improving quality of life. Starkey has used this technology in an interesting way, adding step counting as well as fall detection and alerting benefits for their users. Through their app, you can track your steps and activity, much like a Fitbit.

Other manufacturers, such as Signia in their Pure X products, are using this information to better evaluate listening needs. Here is an example of how motion sensors can help an individual hear better. Two hearing aid users are on the side of a busy road. One is sitting on a patio having dinner with their family. The other is walking with their spouse down the street next to the patio. For the first individual, being stationary in a noisy environment, they will likely want the hearing aid to focus on the person across the table from them that they are looking at, and decrease the sounds of the road noise and people walking by. For the person in motion walking, they will want the hearing aid to continue to offer sounds from all directions so they can hear the person beside them and also any other sounds for increased safety.

Music Programs: For a long time, all of the advancements in speech enhancement and sound smoothing that helped the hard of hearing understand speech better made listening to music somewhat of a challenge. In recent years, manufacturers have been working hard to maximize how music sounds as well. One of the things that has helped is that new speakers have more high frequency response, allowing them to amplify more of the sounds in music. The microphone technology is also improving, allowing more of the sound to be captured without distortion. Further to that, manufacturers are creating more programs (inside of the automatically adjusting and outside) to help with the sound quality of music. Widex  automatically offer different frequency responses for classical than for contemporary music. Signia has special manual music programs to select for live, recorded or while performing. Each of these offer different parameters to make it sound better for that intended purpose. Phonak can even classify its streamed signals as speech or music, making a significant improvement of the music quality.

Direct Streaming: The vast majority of new hearing aids (other than the smallest options that sit deep in the ear) now offer a direct connection to many of your different devices, such as smartphones and TVs. By connecting your hearing aids directly to these devices, it allows you to hear the sound at exactly the volume that you want while improving speech clarity.

The latest Phonak Paradise hearing aids can connect directly with almost all Android and iPhone smartphones. With these devices connected, you will be notified when a call is coming in by a ringing through the hearing aid. All you need to do is push a button on the device to answer the call and the other person’s voice will come right through the hearing aids. The microphone on your hearing aid will pick up your voice and send it back to the phone. This means there is no need to take the phone out of your pocket or purse when using it. A truly hands free solution!

GPS Tracking: We have been asked for years for a way to help find lost hearing aids. Making use of direct connection to smartphones and the GPS data within the phone, several of the new models of hearing aids can keep track of when the hearing aid was last within range of your cell phone. This location can then be shown on a map, making it much easier to track down a lost device.

3D Printing of custom shells: For any of the custom components of a hearing aid, the manufacturers are now using 3D printing technology to replicate the ear as accurately as possible. Phonak has even started using a 3D printed premium medical-grade titanium material for their smallest device, the Virto Titanium IIC. These titanium shells are only half as thick as a traditional acrylic shell, allowing us to fit all of the electronics into an even smaller space. They also provide 15 times the strength of a traditional material.

Real Time Language Translation: Through the Starkey Thrive App, the Livio Edge AI hearing aids are actually able to listen to someone speaking another language and then translate what they said using Google’s proprietary Google Translate. The hearing aids then have an automated voice that relays the translation into your ears. This is something straight out of a sci-fi movie not too long ago. At this point in time, unless the other person also has these devices themselves, it still isn’t possible to have a two way conversation with both people speaking their own language, but it should certainly make traveling to a foreign country much easier.

Understanding that not all of these features will be relevant for everyone, but there is no denying that the technology that is being built into them is advancing faster than ever and much of it is incredibly cool. We see people in our clinics daily who are excited about how these new technologies are improving their quality of life!

To Learn More about what new technology has to offer you, please call Absolute Hearing Care Centers. We are happy to offer a FREE consultation.

CALL NOW: 843-839-1936

How to Pair your hearing aids with Apple devices

Follow the instructions below to pair your hearing aids with your Apple devices. If you are having difficulty pairing your device to your hearing aids, Absolute Hearing Care Centers are happy to offer a FREE consultation.

  1. Take your iPhone®or iPad® and go under Settings.
  2. Ensure that Bluetooth®is ON.
  3. Select Accessibility. For older Apple®devices, you may need to select General, then Accessibility.
  4. Scroll down and select Hearing Devices.
  5. Your device will search for your hearing aids automatically.
    • If your hearing aids use batteries:Open and close the battery doors for both of your aids while this is happening.
    • If your hearing aids are rechargeable:Hold the volume down button for 3 seconds to turn them off, then do this again to turn them on. They will be in pairing mode for 3 minutes.
  6. Your hearing aids will appear as an available device once they are found. Select the name of your hearing aids.
  7. Select Pairwhen you are prompted to do so by your device. You may need to do this twice.
  8. Phone calls will now automatically stream from your device to your hearing aids while Bluetooth is on.
  9. For faster access, you may access the accessibility shortcut by quickly pressing the home button 3 times while on the home screen. (If your phone doesn’t have the home button, use the side button.)

*You can adjust the volume of your hearing aids through the Hearing Aids menu on your phone*

*This will not work if your iPhone® is not version 5 or higher*

If you are having difficulty pairing your device to your hearing aids, Absolute Hearing Care Centers are happy to offer a FREE consultation. We are more than happy to help you get your hearing aids set up so you can hear all your Phone calls, TV shows and Music from your compatible devices at  NO CHARGE!

CALL NOW: 843-839-1936

 

TRAVELING WITH HEARING AIDS

As we are now well into June, summer vacations have started. When you have hearing aids, however, traveling can present more stress than the usual planning does. We have some helpful tips for you to keep in mind while traveling with hearing aids.

Whether you’re traveling by plane,train,car, or bus and whether you’re staying close or far, here are some simple measures you can take to help your vacation go smoothly.

If your traveling by Airplane with Hearing Aids

Audio announcements can be difficult to understand. Be sure to pay attention to monitors by the gates. They will display all of the arrival and departure times. Ask if telecommunication devices for the deaf, or hearing impaired, are available at the airport. If telecommunication devices are not available, consider requesting that a flight attendant communicate any in-flight announcements to you personally.

Don’t take off your hearing aids while on flights, as it increases the chances that you will miss critical information.
If you need more help, especially while traveling alone, ask a safety assistant. They can be a big help, particularly if you need special accommodations.If possible, avoid traveling alone. Bring a friend or family member with you to make communicating even easier, and to give you an extra set of ears.

If traveling by train or bus, pay close attention to stops listed on signs. This will help to prevent you from missing a stop as a result of not hearing an announcement.

Hotel Tips for Hearing Aid Users

Bring printed copies of your reservations to make communicating with front desk staff easier and help prevent miscommunication and confusion. Inform the front desk that you have a hearing loss so that they can contact you in person if it becomes necessary, such as in the case of an emergency.

Bring enough replacement batteries with you for the entire trip, and a little extra just in case. If you are traveling abroad with rechargeable batteries, make sure that the charger plug you bring has the correct adapter for the country that you’re heading to.

Always carry a cleaning kit, just in case. You never know the availability of cleaning supplies where you’re going.

Design your itinerary with hearing aid friendly attractions in mind. If you’re bringing a guide dog with you, make sure the location allows dogs inside as well.

If you are or have been experiencing difficulty hearing CALL NOW we would love to help you get your hearing back!  Absolute Hearing Care Centers are happy to offer a FREE consultation and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

CALL NOW: 843-839-1936

Are Your Hearing Aids Properly Configured?

When visiting your Hearing Specialist for a hearing aid fitting, they’ll generally walk  through how best to care for the new device, possibly educate you on your hearing loss type and program them to best fit your prescriptive hearing levels.  Although the process might seem a bit overwhelming at first, it’s also necessary. The alternative is trying to stumble through educating yourself — generally that is best left to the professionals.
Failure to effectively maintain your hearing aid through proper care and cleaning or trying to reconfigure the device yourself can not only void the warranty but may also result in personal injury.  It’s better to leave it to the professionals. Even so, after some time has elapsed you may start to run into issues ranging from discomfort to feedback.

The process of readjustments and reprogramming are very much a part of hearing aid maintenance as regular cleaning. Your ears do change over time. It’s important that you learn to recognize the signs that your hearing aid needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Feedback

Are you hearing an irritating whistling sound? Buzzing or Static?
These could signify one of several issues.
First, it may be wax build up. If that is not the cast then the hearing aid may not be properly fitted to your ear. In addition to irritating feedback, pressure spots can build up and  can cause chafing in the ear canal. Not only is this uncomfortable in the short-term, but it may also result in permanent damage if left unaddressed.
It might also signify that the hearing aid is in some way failing and needs to be replaced or repaired. Given that there’s really no way to be certain on your own, your best bet is to visit your hear specialist. They can better diagnose what’s gone wrong, and reconfigure your hearing assistance device as necessary.

Unexplained Hearing Loss

If your hearing aid no longer seems to work as well as it used to, or worse, if you’re experiencing unexplained fluctuations in your hearing impairment, contact your hearing professional immediately. This may go beyond a simple configuration issue. Perhaps whatever condition caused your initial hearing impairment grew more severe over time.
You may have also developed a new condition that worsened your hearing impairment. Certain antibiotics and medications are also ototoxic, meaning they can cause temporary or even permanent hearing damage. A healthcare professional can help you determine the root cause, whether it’s degenerative, the result of medication, or the manifestation of a new condition.

Pain or Discomfort

If your hearing aid has grown uncomfortable to use, there’s a high chance that the earmold or piece has deteriorated over time, and needs to be replaced. As mentioned earlier, an improperly configured earmold may cause a wide range of issues. If your hearing aid is loose or causing pain it’s time to call your hearing care provider.

If you are or have been experiencing difficulty hearing CALL NOW we would love to help you get your hearing back!  Absolute Hearing Care Centers are happy to offer a FREE consultation and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

CALL NOW: 843-839-1936