Hearing Health Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aid Batteries

hearing aid repair_hearing aid batteries_hearing aids niles_hearing aids chicago_audiologist wheaton_audiologist bloomingdaleBatteries are one of the most important things when it comes to hearing aids. Hearing aids need a steady source of power from a quality hearing aid battery in order to run effectively and properly. A low battery or defective battery can significantly impair the performance of a hearing aid.

Here are four things you should know about hearing aid batteries:

How Long Batteries Last: Standard hearing aid batteries last anywhere from 3 to 22 days, depending on the type of hearing aid, the battery type and capacity and how often the hearing aid is used.

Changing Batteries: Depending on how often you use your hearing aids, you may need to change batteries once a week or twice a month. You should change your batteries if any of the below occur:

Sound becomes distorted or you have to turn up the volume on your hearing aid more than normal.

The “low-battery” beep or voice sound comes on, indicating that the battery is getting low and should be changed. Switch to a new set of batteries as soon as you can when you hear this sound.

NOTE: Dead batteries should be removed immediately so they don’t swell and become difficult to remove later.

Protective Seals: You might have noticed a small, sticky tab in orange or another color on each battery in a package. These protective seals keep the battery from discharging power, so never remove the seal unless you’re about to use the battery. Additionally, never buy unopened battery packages as the batteries are most likely compromised.

Wait Five Seconds: Last year a Rochester, Minnesota student discovered how to help extend battery life of hearing aid batteries by waiting after removing the protective seal! See how here!

Minimize Battery Drain: Once you remove the protective seal from a battery it begins to discharge power; however, there are three things you can do to help minimize battery drainage.

1) When not wearing your hearing aid, turn it off or open the battery door. Note, you should always open the battery door at night to allow moisture to escape and to help keep the battery from corroding.

2) If you won’t be using the hearing aid for an extended period of time, take the battery out completely. You can store it in the protective case for your hearing aids.

3) Avoid storing batteries and hearing aids in extreme temperatures, hot and cold, as they can quickly drain battery power and shorten a battery’s lifespan.

TIP 1: Batteries can suddenly lose power, so be sure to carry an extra set with you at all times. Keep an extra package in your purse, car, briefcase or desk at work.

TIP 2: Keep backup batteries away from coins, keys and other metal objects so as to avoid accidentally discharging the batteries before use.

TIP 3: Store batteries at normal room temperatures and do NOT refrigerate or expose to extreme hot or cold temperatures.

TIP 4: Wash your hands before changing batteries. Grease and dirt residue on batteries could damage the hearing aid.

Need more hearing aid care and maintenance tips? Contact us today for product information, care tips and more!

Dolls With Disabilities Escape The Toy Hospital

When Dominika Tamley chose “Isebelle,” her American Girl doll, she picked a toy whose hair and eye color matched her own. But the 10-year-old is quick to point out that’s not the only way the doll resembles the real child who plays with her.

“She’s like a mini-me,” Tamley explained with pride. “Because she has a hearing aid and I have a hearing aid.”

American Girl has for years offered a wide variety of accessories reflecting a range of disabilities. Arm crutches, leg braces, a sporty red wheelchair and allergy-free lunch sets. You can order a doll without hair — like a child with cancer — or one outfitted with a diabetes kit that includes insulin pumps, pens, glucose tablets and a blood sugar monitor.

“The designer who worked on that had Type 1 diabetes, and it was a really personal item for him to create,” said Stephanie Spanos, a public relations manager at American Girl. The designers developed the diabetes kit with the input of doctors, nurses and dietitians at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wis., Spanos added. “We introduced that at the very beginning of 2016 and it’s been in and out of stock all year.”

The “Diabetes Care Kit,” designed to fit American Girl dolls, comes with insulin pumps, pens, glucose tablets and a blood sugar monitor.

American Girl

American Girl dolls, which can cost more than $100, often come with a built-in back story, such as Nellie, the Irish immigrant orphan, or Cécile, the Creole girl growing up in 1850s New Orleans. Some activists remain irked that no American Girl comes with a built-in back story related to a disability. (A petition to add one last year, during the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, was unsuccessful.)

chicagoland-hearing-aid-centers_hearing-aid-brands-niles_hearing-aid-brands_hearing-aids-for-sale_hearing-aids-chicago_hearing-aids-wheaton_hearing-aids-blooingdaleStill, more and more mainstream companies are adding characters with disabilities to their roster of toys. Earlier this year, Lego introduced, for the first time, a figure of a little boy in a wheelchair. Significantly, he’s not in the hospital — instead, he’s part of a city park set, representing people with disabilities out in the world. And in 2013, Toys R Us added its Journey Girls line of dolls, with accessories including wheelchairs and crutches.

Is this good business? Or just good public relations?

“It’s not about PR for us,” said the chief merchandising officer of Toys R Us, Richard Barry. “Our job as a company is to make sure we have the best assortment for all kids.” Barry pointed out that Toys R Us catalog has also started including children with disabilities in its photos of kids playing with the company’s toys.

Representation of kids with disabilities was harder to find at a big-box store in the suburbs of Washington D.C., where Rebecca Cokley took me shopping. Cokley is executive director of the National Council on Disability, and the first female little person to have worked in the White House. She’s 4 feet 2 inches tall and white, with red hair and freckles. “My family is interracial and interspatial,” she said. “My husband’s average height and African American. And, so, our kids are biracial dwarf kids.”

There were all kinds of toys Cokely liked in the aisles — she’s a Lego nerd and a big fan of Batgirl, a character with her own deep connection to the disability community. But it was nearly impossible to find a single toy that represented disability. In the Barbie aisle, we found chef Barbies, vet Barbies and gymnast Barbies.


A Lego figure in a wheelchair was introduced at the 67th International Toy Fair in January 2016. He comes in the “City” set, a community of figures shown playing and working in an urban park setting.

“Why can’t one of these come with a hearing aid?” Cokely wondered. And Mattel has stopped making Becky, Barbie’s friend who uses a wheelchair (although you can still find Becky dolls to buy on secondary retail sites online.)

“And look — there’s Barbie’s inaccessible dream house!” Cokely said. “It’s got a working garage, but the elevator is too small for a wheelchair.” It would be tough for Becky to come over for a visit.

We had more luck in the Star Wars aisle. Cokely noticed a Luke Skywalker doll that comes with a prosthetic arm. “That counts!” she exclaimed, with a wry aside: “People do tend to claim Vader, but I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”

Aside from Luke, only one other toy (among many hundreds) explicitly represented a disability: Nemo. The friendly orange clownfish from the Pixar movie has one shortened fin, and the store sold a stuffed plush version.

“Both Finding Nemo and Finding Dory have been phenomenal resources for parents with disabilities,” she said. “Not only in terms of showing good examples of kids with disabilities, but also the challenges of being that overprotective helicopter parent.” She pointed out that some toys – such as My Little Pony — have been embraced by some disability activists, but that so much of the toy section represented missed opportunities.

“Why don’t we have any GI Joes that are disabled vets?” Cokely asked. “Think about that, what that would mean to a young boy whose dad’s a vet or whose mom’s a vet. To see their parents’ experience reflected in the toys — that would be massive.”

Research by social psychologist Sian Jones of Goldsmith University of London, as well as that of others, shows that all children benefit from playing with toys representing disability — it heightens empathy.

And activist Rebecca Atkinson, who runs the Toy Like Me website in the United Kingdom, told me she’d love it if every toybox included a wheelchair and a seeing-eye dog for children to play with. (Atkinson’s website points consumers towards toys that represent disability, and also creates playful images meant to inspire manufacturers, such as princesses with eye patches and scars, and superheros with tracheostomies.

This isn’t a niche market, Cokely added. One in four people will experience a disability at some point in their lives. “Everyone has a family member with a disability,” she said. “Everyone knows someone with a disability.”

And playing with toys in an imagined world where, just like in real life, people walk or use wheelchairs or have hearing aids is a world where kids can imagine other kids — disabled and otherwise — as friends.

Gosh, we love this! It’s so important to show our kids that it’s okay to have a disability! Call us today if you feel like your child needs to get their hearing evaluated. Our hearing aids even come in fun colors!!

Father and Daughter Receive Matching Hearing Aids

Hands: dad and daughter

How special!

A devoted parent will do anything for their children. For a Dallas dad it was as simple as deciding to wear a pair of purple hearing aids he simply does not need. But he’s wearing them to make sure his little girl hears loud and clear that she’s not facing her struggles in life alone.

Truly Urso is four years old. She has hearing loss. Her dad, Joe Urso says it was discovered about a year ago. She was losing the ability to hear higher frequencies in the normal hearing range. He worried about potential speech and learning difficulties. So in consultation with the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at the University of Texas at Dallas, he had Truly outfitted with a pair of hearing aids. They are purple because that’s Truly’s favorite color.

Earlier this week she received an upgrade to those hearing aids. They are now connected to a transmitter that a parent or school teacher can wear around their neck. The sounds are transmitted via FM signals directly to Truly’s hearing aids.

The technology also makes the use of headphones unnecessary because the device can also be plugged into televisions, computers, DVD players, and mobile devices enabling her to hear music and education programs directly through her hearing aids. At her Tuesday appointment at the Callier Center, Truly smiled when she was the only one in the exam room who could hear “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen broadcast only to her hearing aids from an iPhone.

But Joe Urso wanted one more upgrade. He had Truly’s doctors do a quick inspection of his own ears with an otoscope to prove it tickled his ears too. Then the Callier Center team presented him with his own hearing aids they’d ordered weeks before.  His hearing aids are purple just like his daughter’s. But they are fake. He doesn’t need them.

“In fact sometimes when she doesn’t want to wear hers she’ll say Daddy wear yours and I’ll wear mine. So it’s been a very effective tool for us.”

Without hearing aids he says his daughter had a tendency to withdraw from social situations. And that when wearing them there was the concern that she’d feel different, perhaps ostracized as the odd one out when she started school. He wanted a pretend pair of hearing aids for himself so he could model good behavior for his daughter while also proving there was nothing wrong with rocking a cool pair of purple hearing devices.

“He doesn’t want her hearing to stand in the way of her learning. And I think that’s great,” said Kenneth Pugh, PhD with the Callier Center. “If your kid’s enrolled in soccer, you’re going to go to soccer. Your kid has piano lessons you’re going to do that too. So this kind of fits that mold.”

As for raising a daughter with healthy self-esteem, Joe Urso’s plan is clearly already working. During News 8’s interview a happy 4-year-old announced she was actually four and-a-half.  Five minutes later, with a smile on her face, she announced she’d already advanced to four-and-three-quarters.

“She means everything to me,” Joe Urso said of the daughter he calls his little angel. “I can’t imagine my life without her. And we’ll do everything we can to help her have as many opportunities as humanly possible.”

Opportunities provided by a pair of pair of working hearing aids and a second pair that don’t.  But then again just by wearing them, maybe Dad’s pretend hearing aids are working just fine.

We just love this story! You can contact Chicagoland Hearing Aid Centers today to set up an appointment for child! We do help kids 🙂

Treat Hearing Loss!


Getting a hearing test and treating hearing loss can open up a whole new way of looking at life! New research shows that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be optimistic, tackle problems actively, have a strong social network, and feel engaged in life.

Research has long shown that addressing hearing loss is one of the best things you can do to improve your quality of life, which has been studying the effects of hearing loss and hearing aids on people’s lives for decades.

Fortunately, for the vast majority of people with hearing loss, hearing aids can help. In fact, most people who currently wear hearing aids and participated in a recent survey say it helps their overall ability to communicate effectively in most situations, along with having a positive effect on their relationships, work performance, ability to participate in group activities, and overall quality of life. Many also say they feel more confident and better about themselves as a result of using hearing aids.

6 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade Your Thinking on Hearing Aids

Hearing aid technology and design have undergone a sweeping transformation over the past several years, taking off in terms of what they can offer youthful-minded people eager to stay active and engaged.

The new reality is that hearing loss is part of modern life for a great number of people. It’s commonplace. But new technologies are making it easier to manage hearing loss.

Below are six compelling reasons to upgrade your thinking on hearing aids and to schedule an appointment today for a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional.

  1. Addressing hearing health may help protect cognitive function. A new study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University found that hearing aids may slow cognitive decline tied to hearing loss, according to Reuters. The study found that estimated 20-year rates of decline in memory and global function were greatest in participants who did not use a hearing aid. Earlier studies have linked hearing loss to dementia and cognitive issues.
  2. State-of-the-art features make today’s hearing aids better than ever. Many hearing aids are virtually invisible, sitting discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal. Many can adjust to all kinds of noise environments and pick up sound from all directions. Best of all, many are wireless. Many of today’s hearing aids can stream sound directly from your smartphone, home entertainment system, and other electronics directly into the hearing aid itself—at volumes just right for you. Some are even waterproof.
  3. Using hearing aids may help unleash earning potential. Research has found that using hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. People with untreated hearing loss can lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, the study found.
  4. Many hearing aids can help mask ringing in the ears. Tinnitus affects nearly 50 million Americans and is often the result of noise exposure. It is almost always accompanied by hearing loss. The good news is that many hearing aids can help reduce the prominence of tinnitus by amplifying background sound. Just taking the focus off the tinnitus can provide relief for many people. Hearing aids also help reduce the stress associated with intensive listening, which alone can help relieve tinnitus symptoms.
  5. More than 9 out of 10 of the newest hearing aid owners are happy. As many as 91 percent of all owners of the newest hearing aids—those purchased in the last year—are satisfied with their hearing aids, according to recent BHI research. When you look at just those with wireless hearing aid technology, the satisfaction rates go even higher. And just think, wireless technology seems to be getting better every year.
  6. Today’s hearing aid users are giving the thumbs up to others. The vast majority of current hearing aid users say they’d recommend a hearing aid to others with hearing loss. In fact, as many as 90 percent of people who purchased their hearing aid within the last four years say they’d recommend a hearing aid to a friend or family member.

Do you or a loved one experience hearing loss? Contact Chicagoland Hearing Aid Centers to set an appointment up for a FREE hearing evaluation!


Important Audibel A4i and A3i Update


iOS 10.2 Compatibility

We have evaluated the performance of Apple® iOS 10.2 with our Audibel A4iTM and A3iTM hearing aids and confirmed compatibility.

When updating the version of iOS on an iPhone®, the hearing aids may lose connection, requiring patients to unpair and re-pair the hearing aids with the iPhone.

Compatibility information can be found here. Please contact Chicagoland Hearing Aid Centers at any of our 23 locations with any questions.

‘Tis the Season for Giving at Starkey Hearing Technologies

Starkey® Hearing Technologies, the only American-owned and operated hearing aid manufacturer, is celebrating its annual season of giving with an array of local charitable events to support families, children and veterans. “Ever since Bill Austin founded Starkey Hearing Technologies, almost 50 years ago, philanthropy has been embedded deep in the company’s DNA,” Starkey Hearing Technologies Senior Vice President Brandon Sawalich said. “Each year, we partake in the season of giving to express our gratitude to our community, and we’re always humbled and awed by the number of Starkey employees who join us in giving back.”

To kick off the season of giving, Starkey Hearing Technologies set up its Wish Tree in support of the Angel Foundation, the Mendota Heights-based non-profit that provides emergency financial assistance, education and support for adults with cancer and their families. For the third year in a row, hundreds of Starkey Hearing Technologies employees bought gifts, gift cards, toys, and other items which will be delivered this week to fulfill families’ holiday wishes.

On Tuesday, December 14, Starkey Hearing Technologies hosted a MobilePack™ event for Feed My Starving Children®, the Coon Rapids-based non-profit that feeds malnourished children around the world. Nearly 300 Starkey employees packed 54,432 nutritious, high-protein meals, which will feed more than 150 children in need every day for one year.

On Saturday, December 17, Starkey Hearing Technologies partnered with Wreaths Across America to place 1,500 wreaths at Fort Snelling National Cemetery as part of National Wreaths Across America Day. The evergreen wreaths, adorned with traditional red bows, express Starkey Hearing Technologies’ gratitude for veterans’ courage, service and sacrifice.

On Thursday, December 22, Starkey Hearing Technologies will donate holiday turkeys to the McLeod Emergency Food Shelf, which serves families in the Glencoe and Hutchinson areas.

On New Year’s Day, Starkey Hearing Technologies will host a group of local veterans at the Starkey Hearing Technologies hospitality suite when the Minnesota Vikings face the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium.

And finally, as part of Starkey Hearing Technologies’ commitment to giving back throughout the year, the company is working with Make-A-Wish® Minnesota to grant the wishes of 10 local children and teens who are suffering from cancer or other life-threatening medical conditions. These 10 life-changing experiences are currently being planned and will be revealed to the recipients in 2017.

Here at Chicagoland Hearing Aid Centers we are PROUD to be a part of the Starkey Hearing Technologies network. Giving the gift of hearing is beyond important to us! If you’d like more information on this foundation or would like to set up a free hearing consultation, please contact us!

About Starkey Hearing Technologies

Starkey Hearing Technologies is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Founded in 1967, the company is recognized for its innovative design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. The company develops, manufactures and distributes hearing aids via three distinct brands – Audibel, NuEar and its original brand, Starkey. As the only American-owned and operated provider of hearing technologies, Starkey Hearing Technologies is proud to support veterans and active military service personnel with the best in American innovation, including a suite of revolutionary hearing technologies and other resources. Starkey Hearing Technologies currently employs more than 4,800 people and operates 21 facilities and conducts business in more than 100 markets worldwide.

Is Noise Tolerance A Problem?

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We have all experienced discomfort in noise. Sometimes it’s too loud, like a motorcycle or large speaker system; sometimes it’s annoying, like fingernails on a chalkboard. Either way, noise takes many forms and impacts each of us differently.

For instance, take the rumbling of a motorcycle engine. While some find it a nuisance, the motorcycle owner may have purchased that exact brand for the sound that it makes while cruising down the highway.  

Most patients will respond to noise differently. Some are tolerant of noise, while others exhibit high sensitivity to noise. These patients who appear sensitive to noise are the ones that cringe at sharp impulsive sounds or feel the need to remove their hearing aids when driving in the car. It’s this particular, noise-sensitive, patient that has motivated some recent research efforts.

There is a research-based agreement that people who are more accepting of background noise (or “noise-tolerant”) tend to be more successful with their hearing aids while those who are “noise-sensitive” are less likely to find success1. This thought has led clinical audiologist to develop research projects that are focused on understanding if the benefit that one person receives from their hearing aids is linked to their individual noise tolerance.

Many have started to answer this question, in part by asking research participants about their willingness to tolerate background noise with a variety of noise-reducing technologies. Early findings suggest that noise-tolerant patients report mild benefits from the reduction of noise while noise-sensitive patients report the greatest benefits. Recall that these noise-sensitive patients are the ones that may be challenged to succeed with hearing aids.

Today, the best guidance for supporting the noise-sensitive patient would be through the selection of advance noise-reducing technologies (e.g., digital noise reduction or directional microphones) and the inclusion of a volume control either on the hearing aid or through a remote control.

Guided by ongoing research, tomorrow’s options may be different. If one could diagnose patients as noise-tolerant or noise-sensitive, it would be possible to identify patients that benefit most from aggressive strategies for improving noise acceptance. Once identified, a research-derived prescription would be selected, presenting a unique combination of hearing aid settings that assist the noise-sensitive patient toward a successful experience with hearing aids.

There’s no doubt that listening in noise is an immense challenge. For anyone with sensitivity to noise, this challenge may become an impasse to their acceptance of hearing aids. This opportunity to significantly improve a patient’s noise tolerance means their path to success could be one that’s short and easily navigated.

Contact us to set up a FREE hearing consultation!


Nabelek, A.K., Freyaldenhoven, M.C., Tampas, J.W., Burchfield, S.B., & Muenchen, R.A. (2006). Acceptable noise level as a predictor of hearing aid use. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 17, 626-639.

Talking About Hearing Loss is a Matter of Timing

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Talking to a loved one about their hearing loss is a difficult thing to do. Each holiday season, millions of American struggle with hearing loss at social gatherings around Thanksgiving, religious holidays and New Year’s Eve. For some there is embarrassment and frustration. For others their family and friends are more burdened by the challenge of communicating to their loved one with hearing loss. Since awareness for hearing difficulties tends to reach its height this time of year, we want to offer suggestions for knowing when it is best to speak to a loved one about addressing hearing loss. 

Accepting change is often said to be one of the hardest things to do. In fact, it has been found that there are many stages in the process such as anger, denial and, ultimately, acceptance. Far too often those with hearing loss are pushed too hard into making a hearing aid technology purchase at the early stages of this process. Many individuals will return the product and subsequently wait several more years until taking the needed actions. Just like changing any habit or situation for the better, it takes the proper mental commitment from the impacted party for successful outcomes. For a concerned loved one it is important to employ caring and patience in your sentiment when speaking to a loved one about their hearing loss. Patience is extremely important as this individual should be shown the respect to make the decision, when they are ready.

By taking this suggested approach, the best possible outcomes will be achieved for all parties involved in that the loved one will be committed to improving their hearing and getting the most out of their investment. If you would like additional assistance in crafting your approach for speaking to a loved one about their hearing loss, simply reach out to our office by phone or submitting your information on our Contact Us page. Also, when that person is ready to take the first step, we offer complimentary hearing consultation appointments to help determine the best course of action for gaining better hearing.

If you feel like you or a loved one experiences hearing loss, please contact us today to set up a FREE hearing consultation. In addition, being there by the side of your loved one is very important too. You can also visit our website at wwww.chicagolandhearing.com to learn more about what we have to offer.


Experts Recommend That Hunters Use Ear Protection While Hunting!


As hunting season continues, we’d like to take the opportunity to talk about the health concerns associated with not wearing ear protection.

Many hunters say they don’t like wearing hearing protection while they hunt because it inhibits their ability to hear when an animal approaches. But many may not realize the hearing loss that can occur from just a few shots over the course of the day.

“I’ve been doing this all my life, so if my hearing’s going to go, I’m guessing it’s probably going to have gone already,” Jeff Lohmeier said.

Megan McMahon, an audiologist tried to describe why gunfire causes hearing loss.

“The gunshot’s going to be at a level that’s 140 decibels, which is essentially like standing next to a jet engine,” McMahon said.

McMahon said that noises this loud can cause instantaneous hearing loss.

“People think … one shot’s not going to do too much, I can get away with just that one shot, but we do know with a high-level noise, something that high, you can cause some permanent hearing loss just that one time,” McMahon said.

Many hunters at the shooting range said they won’t plug their ears because they want to hear when a deer approaches.

“It’s a personal preference, some guys might [wear hearing protection], but it might take away from the hunting experience as well,” Jason Petrella, a Brown County Park Ranger, said.

McMahon knows she can’t convince all hunters to plug their ears, but hopes that she can save as many as she can from requiring hearing aids in the future.

“Once the damage is done in the inner ear, that’s a permanent type hearing loss, so it’s not going to regenerate or come back,” she said.

It’s unfortunate that the damage can not be reversed, but it can be prevented! Here at Chicagoland Hearing Aid Centers we offer hearing protection for hunters. We would like to express how important it is to protect your ears during this sport! Contact us today to learn more about hearing protection options.

5 Tips To Be A Great Advocate

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Being an advocate is hard, and when you’re an advocate for someone with hearing loss, it can be even more challenging. Hearing loss is connected to the misleading belief that only the elderly has it and that hearing aids aren’t for the “young.” In reality, hearing loss affects children and adults of all ages, and according to the World Health Organization, over a billion teens and young adults are at risk for hearing loss as of 2015. That being said, it is very difficult to encourage someone with hearing loss to get the help they need without alienating them or actually causing them to wait even longer.

Being an advocate for someone with hearing loss is hard because you aren’t trying to get someone else to help them but are trying to get them to help themselves. Here are five tips to be a great advocate for a friend or loved one with hearing loss.

1. Let them come to you: Instead of constantly pushing them to get help or overwhelming them with hearing aid pamphlets and articles on hearing loss, let them come to you when they are ready. Everyone eventually reaches a point at which help is the only option left, so give them time to come to terms with their hearing loss and be ready to help when they ask for it.

2. “With” not “at”: Don’t talk at them about hearing loss. Talk with them. Let them know you are there to listen and encourage them to be open about difficulties they may be facing.

3. Sometimes, not all the time: When you notice them blaming their hearing issues on other things (people mumble, it’s windy, it’s loud, etc.), politely suggest that they should have their hearing checked just in case. If they get defensive and say no, let it go and try again at a later time. Be patient and pick your moments wisely. It’s better to mention their loss every now and then instead of all the time.

4. Two minds think alike: If you have other friends who have hearing loss or wear hearing aids, consider introducing them to each other. Sometimes it takes someone else with hearing loss to help a person see how much he or she is really struggling and how much getting help could improve their life.

5. Be patient: Try not to get frustrated or impatient when communicating difficulties arise and you have to repeat yourself multiple times. Getting angry or annoyed will only make you less trustworthy as an advocate and may make the person with hearing loss feel like you don’t support them anymore and consequently avoid interacting with you.