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The Costs of Better Hearing

hearing-aid-pricesOne of the most common questions we receive from new patients is, “How much do your hearing aids cost?” Many are surprised to learn that the price can range from several thousand dollars to several hundred dollars, depending on how sophisticated the hearing technology is. We respect that an investment in hearing aid technology, for yourself or a loved one, can be a major financial decision. Yet, it is equally important to consider the personal costs of not purchasing a hearing aid when needed and going through life with limited hearing.

Too often the cost of hearing aids prevents an individual from taking the action they need to improve their hearing difficulties. Unfortunately, many patients realize the importance of better hearing after they have struggled to enjoy an important event, like a child’s wedding, a family gathering or a reunion. We want to make sure everyone is aware of the personal costs associated with missing out on these moments.

As for the cost of hearing aid technology, every year the technology significantly improves to better meet the lifestyle demands of a wide variety of users. These advances include management of background noise in conversations, smaller styles for less visibility and even options to wirelessly stream audio of phone calls and TV. The millions of dollars that manufacturers invest every year into developing this technology contribute to the price of hearing aids today.

We understand every patient has a different budget and we offer many affordable hearing aid options as well as patient financing programs with no-interest plans. To get started with a free consultation to evaluate affordable hearing aid technology options, simply submit your information on our Contact Us page or call our office during business hours.

 


Small Buttons on Hearing Aids Causing Frustration?

Audibel_dexterity_tools We sometimes hear from patients with arthritis or other dexterity issues that they have a tough time operating the buttons on their digital hearing aids. We understand that it’s a real frustration and one that some people don’t consider until after purchasing a hearing device. Fortunately, we have a couple of options that will make it easier for you (or a loved one) to personally program and have success with your hearing devices.

While it’s exciting that hearing aids have become smaller and more trendy, the buttons have also become smaller, which can present problems for people with poor dexterity. There are two user-friendly smartphone apps available to help! If you download the free Audibel T2 Remote app, it will enable your smartphone to function as a wireless remote for adjusting your hearing aids. You’ll be able to adjust volume, switch memories and mute your devices if you would like. The other free downloadable app is TruLink™ Hearing Control, which is for our more technology savvy patients. This app pairs specifically with the Made for iPhone® Audibel A3i™ Hearing Aids. In addition to allowing you to easily change volume and memories, this app also remembers your favorite places and automatically switches to your preferred settings when at those locations. It offers a variety of other features worth checking out as well.

AudibelT2

If you don’t have a smartphone, the SurfLink® Remote accessory is another option to consider. Keep it in your pocket or purse and change the settings on your wireless hearing aids just like a television remote.

We want you to have a satisfying experience with your hearing aids and these tools are one way to help you. If you need help deciding which option works best for you – give us a call or email us here. We can help you decide which hearing aids are right for you and your lifestyle.


Bluffing through Untreated Hearing Loss?

Chicagoland Audibel Hearing Aid CentersHave you ever noticed someone turning his or her ear when listening to a conversation?? Or have you seen someone request to sit in a specific seat in a restaurant so his or her ‘good ear’ is away from background noise? Or perhaps you’ve noticed someone listening to your conversation but they don’t really seem to understand or follow the dialogue? They are finding ways to bluff or ‘cope’ through situations that are difficult for people with untreated hearing loss, and often it is a subconscious behavior.

The coping stage, one of four stages in untreated hearing loss, is usually a common last effort at engaging in social situations while still avoiding proper treatment. No matter what the trick to try hearing better, coping mechanisms never provide a lasting solution as well as hearing aid technology. This type of behavior can also extend into workplace environments where individuals with untreated hearing loss may avoid large meetings and phone calls. This could potentially have a significant impact on careers and income. In fact, a study by the Better Hearing Institute found that the financial impact of untreated hearing loss in the workplace could result in nearly $10,000 in lost annual income; that’s up to $100,00 over the average seven to 10 years it takes most individuals to seek treatment!

If you or a loved one exhibit any coping behaviors to accommodate hearing loss, seek proper hearing health care. Often patients wait several years too long to treat their hearing loss and have negatively altered their lifestyle as a result. We want to make sure no one misses a priceless moment of his or her lives moving forward. To get started, simply submit your information on our Contact Us page or call our office to request a complimentary hearing consultation appointment.

 


Operation Change!

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 10.34.13 AMChicagoland Audibel Hearing is excited to announce that the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will air Operation Change, a television documentary series that features the extraordinary work of philanthropic organizations, including Starkey Hearing Foundation. The 10-part series will begin airing on June 23 at 9 p.m. (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. The series follows Bill & Tani Austin and their son Steven Sawalich from the Starkey Hearing Foundation, a global non-profit organization that gives free hearing aids to those in need, as they are joined by celebrities and philanthropists to tackle some of the most challenging issues plaguing our world today.

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. Chicagoland Audibel Hearing  is a strong supporter of Starkey Hearing Foundation and its mission to realize its goal: So the World May Hear. For more information on Operation Change please click here to visit their website. Check out more abou the program on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/OperationChng


Skipping the Stages of Hearing Loss

stages-of-hearing-lossWhen it comes to hearing loss, good things come to those who don’t wait. All too often, individuals will wait 7-10 years before seeking treatment for their hearing loss. In this period the worsening of the condition can be significant and the benefits of hearing aid technology may not be as capable to achieve regular hearing levels. So what happens in these 7-10 years that causes so many people to put off getting a hearing consultation, even when they are free? In this blog we will look at the various stages of hearing loss and help you or a loved one identify where you may be at with hopes it prompts more immediate action.

Upon noticing early signs of hearing loss such as mishearing syllables and soft sounds, most individuals will enter the denial stage. In this stage, the effect of hearing loss is readily dismissed as not a serious issue or threat to their quality of life. While, these assumptions are correct in the short-term, the long-term ramifications are worth consideration early on. Most hearing professionals recommend that individuals, with or without hearing loss, should get a hearing test every year to stay on top of changes in their abilities, just as with vision and other regular checks.

As those in the denial stage continue to deal with their hearing loss difficulties they typically worsen over time. After a year or two, the hearing loss is now having more of an everyday impact on the individual. Due to this, most people will enter the coping stage, in which they pick up various coping mechanisms to accommodate the hearing loss rather than seeking treatment. Examples of the coping mechanisms include turning their head to use a good ear, sitting on certain sides of people and asking people to repeat themselves in conversations. Oftentimes, there is an overlap between denial and coping stages where one may state “Speak up, you’re mumbling!”

After using various coping mechanisms to keep up with listening in various environments the combination of continued worsening of their hearing loss and exhaustion from trying to cope becomes too much to handle. Thus, we all too often witness people slip into the withdrawal stage. At this point the effects of hearing loss have mightily impacted their quality of life as individuals in this stage will stop going to public gatherings and outings where the environment is too stressful for listing. Embarrassment also plays a major role in the withdrawal stage as not understanding conversations or requesting people to repeat themselves can be perceived negatively.

The last stage of hearing loss is acceptance, which usually occurs after many years struggle with the prior stages, as mentioned in the introduction. It is truly unfortunate that anyone should needlessly struggle with hearing loss when treatment options are readily available. If you, or a loved one, find yourself in any of these stages don’t wait a moment longer and simply contact our office for a free consultation today. Simple call us during business hours or submit your information through our Contact Us form.

Coping

Withdrawal

Acceptance


The Joy of Outdoor Summer Activities by the Water

Chicagoland Hearing, Audibel, Hearing Test, Hearing Evaluation, Hearing AidsSummer has arrived! During the hot summer days nothing feels better than heading to your closest lake, pool or ocean. Whether you are catching some sun, fishing, boating, or merely splashing around it gives us all the opportunity to act like kids again. The water, for some, gives a sense of freedom. The endless view of the ocean or the feeling of weightlessness when you float in a pool can give you the ultimate sense of liberation.

In addition to activities by the water, we also enjoy all the wonderful and diverse sounds that water brings. It could be the giggles of your grandchildren playing in the pool, the gentle and rhythmic sound of the ocean rolling into shore or the gentle breeze of the wind coming off the water. Time spent by the water is visually beautiful but the accompanying sounds bring it to life and bring us back to a simpler time. A time when your biggest problem was to make sure your sandcastle didn’t get destroyed by crashing waves and a big ice cream cone could put a smile on your face for a week.

To make sure you’re enjoying all the sounds that summer provides, schedule a hearing evaluation today. Our hearing healthcare professionals will check your hearing, make sure you don’t have sand in your ears (we dislike that as much as you do) and determine a solution for your unique hearing challenges. To get started, give us a call or submit your information on our contact us page. After you do that, turn off the computer and enjoy the summer.

 


Why Real Men Wear Hearing Aids

“Wearing hearing aids is not something men want to do,” is a statement all too often overheard from middle-aged men that don’t feel hearing aids fit with their image and lifestyle. Whether this concern is the result of denial or pride, ironically it is said by men who may benefit the most from hearing aids.

My grandfather was one of those men resistant to wearing hearing aids in his 70’s. “Real men don’t wear hearing aids,” is something he told me after I offered to help him find a local hearing care professional. While I knew that statement was more directed to the thoughts of his VFW buddies, I know he overstated himself to put an end to the nagging from many people. What he and all of our caring family members didn’t know is that stage of hearing loss was the most important time for him to seek a hearing aid solution.

Twenty years later, my grandfather eagerly wears his hearing aids to stay a part of the conversations with my grandmother, our family and his friends. It’s sad to say his attempt to hear is rather futile because his hearing seems to be too far-gone. His years of untreated hearing loss have limited his ability to regain hearing. I often see his frustration and disappointment when he misses out on cherished moments and makes others work hard to communicate with him, including his wife. I know, without him needing to say it, that he wishes he could undo his past statement and choose to get hearing aids earlier on.

If you are experiencing hearing loss, don’t put off seeking treatment. The pride you have today can result in regret later on, just like with my grandfather. And if you are getting push back from a loved one with hearing loss, don’t relent. As you can see from my grandfather’s experience, you will be doing them an injustice by enabling them to live with untreated hearing loss that only worsens with time. Call your local Audibel office or submit your information on their Contact Us page to schedule a complimentary hearing consultation.

Guest blog by Todd H.

 


The Made for iPhone Hearing Aid by Audibel – A3i

Made for iPhone Hearing Aid AudibelWant to stream calls, media and music DIRECTLY into your hearing aids? Now you can! Audibel has partnered with iPhone to create the A3i Made for iPhone Hearing Aid. A3i hearing aids connect directly to the iPhone®, iPad®and iPod® touch via our TruLink™ Hearing Control app. Together A3i 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

 

Schedule An Appointment Today For A Free Demonstration Of A3i.

Download the Made for iPhone A3i Brochure.

Download the TRULINK App here.

Visit our A3i webpage to view a video about the A3i and learn more.


Revealing the Causes of Hearing Loss

revealing-the-causes-of-hearing-loss blogIt is estimated that a person with hearing loss waits anywhere from seven to ten years before taking action. Yet unlike loss of vision, which most people readily accept, part of the delay for treating hearing loss is due to a lack of understanding or denial for the underlying causes.

There are several possible causes of hearing loss with the most common being 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. Prolonged exposure to loud noises such as a shotgun or rifle close to your ear can cause them 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.

Some individuals also experience hearing loss due to disorders with the inner and outer ear. This type of hearing loss is called conductive hearing loss and can result from ear infections, impacted earwax, malformation of the ear structures or other related issues. These factors can occur at birth or as a temporary dysfunction.

Both hearing loss causes can also be combined for a mixed hearing loss. Individuals with mixed hearing loss not only have inner or outer ear problems but also reduced hearing due to aging and noise exposure. It is recommended to treat each factor separately to get the best treatment options.

Regardless of what caused your or a loved one’s hearing loss, it is important to seek hearing care to avoid communication and listening difficulties. We recommend having your hearing checked by one of our qualified specialists . If hearing aids are recommended for your type of hearing loss, don’t delay in getting fit. Simply visit our Contact Us page to request a complimentary hearing consultation.


Make May a Better Hearing Month

Hearing Aids, Hearing Test, Better Hearing Month, AudibelEach May we celebrate new beginnings such as graduations, the return of green grass and the sounds of chirping birds. This festive month is important for another reason as well – Better Hearing Month! At this time of year, we reflect on the importance of better hearing and how our many patients have benefitted from hearing care.

Yet for many, May is not a month of better hearing. All too often we hear from the children, friends or spouses of individuals that refuse to accept their hearing loss difficulties. These companions reach out to us in hopes of setting an appointment for a free hearing consultation on behalf of a loved one, but that person still prefers to not participate. What they are experiencing could be the important, yet easy to ignore, early signs of hearing loss.

The signs of hearing loss typically include difficulty comprehending speech in noisy environments, straining to hear conversations on the phone, struggling to listen to music or television at normal volume levels as well as persistently needing others to repeat themselves. For close friends and family members, these indications are quite noticeable. As hearing loss progresses, symptoms occur more frequently and more severe changes begin to happen such as withdrawal from social events.

Make May what it can be for all – a better hearing month! Whether it is you experiencing signs of hearing loss or a loved one, take the first step today. To do so, simply call our office or submit your information on our Contact Us page to schedule your free hearing consultation.