Hearing Health Blog

Find Tinnitus Relief in 2015

Chicagoland Audibel Hearing Aid CentersEvery year more than 50 million Americans experience persistent ringing in the ears both day and night. This condition, called tinnitus, is one of the most common hearing loss-related impairments that historically had very few treatment solutions. However, over the past two years, Audibel has been helping numerous patients finally find the relief that they have been looking for with the A3 tinnitus device.

Up until the introduction of the Audibel A3 tinnitus device, the best clinical treatment suggestions had been a mixture of preventative actions and therapeutic solutions. Traditional tinnitus treatments have been more focused on coping with the condition instead of managing the condition, similar to what is described in this Harvard Health Publications article. However, the A3 tinnitus device helps to cover up the tinnitus by creating a sound stimulus to soothe the irritating ringing.

While the ability to diminish the tinnitus side effects with the A3device varies by individual, the large majority of wearers have reported success! To learn more about tinnitus solutions and to try an in-office trial of the Audible A3 tinnitus device, simply visit our Contact Us page or call our office during regular business hours. We want to help you find your tinnitus relief!

 


Talking About Hearing Loss is A Matter of Timing

Audibel_Hearing AidsTalking 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.


Better Hearing Can Help Overall Health

Chicagoland Audibel Hearing Aid Centers, Invisible Hearing Aids, Made for iPhone Hearing Aids, Niles, Wheaton, BloomingdaleEvery New Year brings many new resolutions. Most often we aim to have better dietary habits, exercise more often or get adequate rest every night. Rarely does anyone consider taking better care of his or her hearing health! However, senses, especially hearing, play a vital role in overall health and wellness. Here are several reasons why having your hearing checked annually is an opportunity to be healthier now and in the future.

Most people make a goal to regularly visit their dentist, eye specialist and physician for annual check-ups.  So why is having an annual hearing screening so commonly neglected? The biggest reason might be that symptoms from a toothache, high blood pressure or poor vision are much more noticeable than symptoms of hearing loss. Those symptoms are often more subdued over time, even though hearing is a crucial part of our quality of life.

Numerous studies have shown a direct correlation between the likelihood of getting dementia and people who have untreated hearing loss.  However, a Johns Hopkins University study showed that a majority of people who treated their hearing loss with hearing aid technology were able to ward off dementia symptoms for several years. Additionally, hearing loss has been linked to heart health as the inner ear is a sensitive to blood flow and can indicate abnormalities in heart function.

A simple, yearly hearing screening, which we offer at no cost, can go a long way to prevent possible health complications down the road. To get your annual hearing screening scheduled for yourself or a loved one, simply click here <contact us> and call our office during regular business hours.

 


Modern Hearing Aids are like a Computer for Your Ears

Audibel_blog_Hearing AidsOften we jokingly say, “These aren’t your grandpa’s hearing aids,” but nothing could be truer. Today’s hearing aid technology is truly a marvel in sophistication and design. Digital hearing aids encompass much more than a simple microphone and receiver. In fact, a microchip circuit board allows a wide range of features, programs and settings to function simultaneously and tailor to the individual’s unique hearing needs. In this blog we will explore what makes up a hearing aid and its many capabilities.

Don’t let size fool you! Whether a larger on-the-ear device or a miniature in-the-canal device, all of today’s hearing aids are packaged with several complex components to produce the most comfortable sound amplification possible. There are five main parts to hearing aid technology. The microphone is the primary component that picks up sounds and determines the environmental settings. From there, the sound is transmitted to the circuit board for processing. This component is essentially the ‘brains’ of the hearing aid, just like the processor in a computer or mobile device.  Once the sound is processed, it is emitted to the wearer via the receiver; amplifying the sound based on the listener’s unique hearing loss needs.

The antenna is an increasingly important component. As hearing aid technology continues to sync with media devices and smartphones for audio streaming capabilities, the hearing aid antenna is the primary component that picks up those streaming signals. Lastly, the battery supplies the energy needed to continuously power all of these parts for optimal performance.

As you can see, today’s hearing aids are truly ‘computers for your ears.’ We encourage anyone to participate in our hearing aid trial programs, whether you’re considering using hearing aid technology for the first time or upgrading an older pair of devices. Simply submit your information on our Contact Us page or call our office during business hours. We look forward to showing you more about this sophisticated technology!

 


Chicagoland Audible’s 5 Steps to Better Hearing

Having a hearing loss is not something that most people get excited about. However, with the right attitude and approach, it can actually be a very manageable condition to care for. In my years of caring for those with hearing loss, I have seen time and time again peoplemake remarkable improvements by simply dedicating themselves to getting the most out of wearing a hearing aid. With hopes of similar outcomes in the future I am sharing 5 simple steps to better hearing for you or a loved one to use.

1. Admit that your hearing is not what it may used to be. Understanding your hearing has changed is difficult at first, but the sooner one begins to seek a solution the more likely they are to maintain critical speech comprehension abilities and avoid unnecessary struggles.

2. Keep an open mind and positive attitude while seeking help. Like we have all been told from a young age, attitude is everything. The same applies to having success in treating your hearing loss. Since everyone’s hearing loss is unique, there are a lot of options available to consider. We strive to present those solutions that are best for you.

3. Learn about your hearing problem. Get educated on what may have caused your hearing loss and what the best solutions are for treatment and extended care. We will make sure every patient is aware of the factors and given the resources needed to be successful.

4. Set realistic expectations for hearing aids. As was mentioned in step 1, expectations for restoring perfect hearing are not realistic. Today’s hearing aid technology has produced tremendous hearing benefits for wearers. Your focus should be on improving your hearing abilities with hearing aids at a slow, gradual pace as you adapt to wearing a hearing aid.

5. Patience, practice and time are critical to success. As with anything good, it comes from hard work and practice. Improved hearing in various situations is no different. At first, regaining comprehension abilities for sounds that have not been heard in years may be difficult. However, the reward will be yours to eventually hear simple sounds that mayhave been lost, even perhaps the songs of birds on a nice day.

We are aware that an investment of money and time into hearing aids is not alwayspreferred. Yet, we are confident that with the right attitude the benefits of better hearing will justify those investments on a daily basis for you. We aim to make the process of gaining satisfaction with improved hearing as simple as possible. To start your hearing journey or help a loved one get the care they need, contact us today – visit our Contact Us page now.


We Have an App for That!

Hearing Loss AppForThatIt appears as if every business has an app to support the customer shopping experience, but not many offer apps to help you after a product is purchased. We presently offer several apps aimed at helping you understand hearing loss and ensuring you get the most out of your hearing aids. Read on to learn about these apps provided by our manufacturing partner, Audibel, and the features they offer.

Several of our hearing apps are used at specific milestones in your journey to better hearing. One such app is called SoundCheck. It offers a free hearing screener to test you or a loved for any symptoms of hearing loss. For new hearing aid wearers, Hear Coach offers auditory rehab games to help you re-learn how to perceive sound and understand speech. For current hearing aid wearers, we offer many user-friendly apps such as the T2 Remote app. It enables your smartphone to function as a wireless remote for adjusting your hearing aids. Another smartphone app, the TruLink™ Hearing Control app, connects to our Made for iPhone® hearing devices to offer numerous personalized options, including remembering your favorite locations and automatically changing settings to accommodate each.

As you can begin to see, there are many apps to choose from and more are on the way! With these apps, more individuals can test for symptoms of hearing loss and enjoy the added benefits as current hearing aid wearers. To start your hearing journey or learn more about which iPad® and smartphone apps we offer, simply contact us!

 


Becoming Master Artists of Better Hearing

Chicagoland Audible Hearing Aid CentersMany times when people ask why someone wants to become a hearing care specialist, they say a loved one was given the gift of being able to hear again and they want to share that with others. Yet rarely does anyone ask what it takes to become a practicing hearing specialist. Let’s take a look at the requisites needed to receive certification for dispensing and fitting hearing aids.

While every state has slightly different requirements for its hearing instrument specialist certification, there are still many common fundamentals for all specialists-in-training.  Just like other specialized professions, there is a governing board called the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. It requires examinations as well as experience working with a current, certified hearing instrument specialist.

The exam requires extensive time studying and preparing for questions on varying topics such as assessing patient needs, analyzing test results, fitting hearing aids, counseling practices and much more. Additionally, a letter of recommendation from a current employer confirming at least 15 months of supervised hearing aid dispensing is a mandatory requirement to even take the exam.  Once certified, continuing education is required to maintain our license and stay at the cutting edge of hearing technology and patient care.

We are very serious about the level of care given to our patients and hearing aid technology that assists your hearing difficulties. Our goal has always been, since we started down the path to a certified hearing specialist, to help you or a loved one with hearing needs. If you have hearing-related questions, reach out to us using our Contact Us page or call the office during business hours.


How to Buy the Right Hearing Aid

Chicagoland Audibel Hearing Aid Centers Hearing AidsWhen a hearing aid is recommended, the hearing healthcare professional tries to offer the best option for that particular patient’s unique listening needs. As part of that decision, consider a few important factors such as lifestyle hearing needs, technology features and cost. In this blog we discuss each factor to help anyone who is considering purchasing a new hearing aid.

The first consideration is how hearing needs interact with a lifestyle. For people who are active in the community or workforce, managing background noise is an important feature to consider. New hearing aid technology offers many levels of this sophisticated feature to help speech clarity in noisy settings. This allows for more comfortable listening experiences in social venues such as loud restaurants, meeting rooms or gatherings.

Also consider the overall sophistication of the technology. Not only does hearing aid technology help manage background noise, but it also helps with compatibility with media devices and with telephone conversations. For example, the new Audibel A3i™ hearing aids are Made for iPhone® devices which allow the user to wirelessly sync hearing aids to an iPhone® to stream music, television and phone calls.

Lastly consider cost. This is a significant concern for many people, but we advise not letting it be the primary decision-maker. There are many cheap, quality hearing aid solutions for anyone who needs hearing assistance. In particular, we offer no-interest financing plans to help manage the cost of new hearing aid technology.

We recommend always taking advantage of free hearing consultations to determine the degree of hearing loss and then discussing the most beneficial hearing aid technology options with a professional. To get started, simply call during business hours or submit your information on the Contact Us page.  We look forward to helping you find the right hearing aid technology.


Don’t Let Earwax Spook You!

Chicagoland Audibel_hearing-aid-wax-guards-blogThis Halloween we are going to discuss a topic that is very scary for many patients; earwax! Earwax isn’t just spooky because of its unsightly appearance, but it can also terrify in-the-ear hearing aid wearers for fear of repairs due to buildup. However there is reason to rejoice for Audibel hearing aid patients! The new wax guard protectors have alleviated most occurrences of earwax buildup that may cause damage to hearing aids.

Everyone’s ears produce earwax to different degrees. For some individuals, their earwax production is much higher than others, causing greater chances of damage to in-the-ear styles of hearing aids. Wax guards use plastic tubing that is placed within the hearing aid receiver. This catches any wax that would normally find its way into the hearing aid components when the devices are inserted and removed from the ear canal. These wax guards are simple to insert into the hearing aids and even easier to remove with a simple tool. While the cost for wax guard protection packs is minimal, the savings can be huge by avoiding potential costly out-of-warranty repairs.

Though earwax is nothing to be afraid of, it is important to protect your hearing aids from unnecessary repairs due to earwax on the components. If you are presently wearing hearing aids or considering a purchase and have concerns or questions about earwax protection, simply submit your inquiry on our Contact Us page or call our office during business hours. We’re always happy to answer your questions!


Seeking old hearing aids to help children hear…

chicagoland audibel hearing aid centerOne of our favorite patients (who are we kidding, we love them all!) came across a newspaper article from the Wheaton Leader that was written up about us a few years back and brought it into our office. They wanted to know if they could still donate their old hearing aids to help children around the world hear better. We said of course! We are quickly approaching our 6th year in partnership with the So the World May Hear charity of Starkey Hearing Foundation, and we feel like that is a reason to celebrate! In recognition of the upcoming anniversary, we thought it would be great to get the article and information out to our patients again – as a reminder that we would love to have you join in our fight to ensure quality hearing for ALL children in need! Thank you to all of the kind-hearted patients who have already joined us in helping children hear around the world. It is because of YOU we can make a difference. Read about the charity in the full newspaper article here:

Audibel specialist Benjamin Wright in Wheaton seeks old hearing aids to help children through So the World May Hear charity of Starkey Hearing Foundation, Wheaton, Ill.

Chicagoland Audibel specialist Benjamin Wright in Wheaton seeks old hearing aids to help children through So the World May Hear charity of Starkey Hearing Foundation Wheaton, Ill.

Audibel specialist Benjamin Wright in Wheaton seeks old hearing aids to help children through So the World May Hear charity of Starkey Hearing Foundation Wheaton, Ill.Do it Through a charitable project, you can donate old hearing aids of any style and vintage to be recycled into new hearing instruments for children in need within the United States and around the world. Coordinating collections at his three suburban offices is Benjamin Wright, the hearing instrument specialist who owns Chicagoland Audibel. He says the So the World May Hear outreach mission is under the auspices of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. The Starkey company manufactures the Audibel brand of hearing instruments, a newer term for hearing aids that Wright says reflects technological advancements within the last few years. Starkey has dedicated an entire department to rebuilding hearing instruments for charity.

“(I) partner with Audibel because of their technology and because of the philanthropic work that they do,” Wright says.

Whom it helps “We believe everyone deserves a chance to hear,” says Wright of the project. “By donating hearing aids and accepting other donations, we are able to help the whole world hear better. One child at a time, we can really make a difference and an impact in their lives. The goal is to fit 1 million children (with hearing aids) this decade.” He says in the last one, 335,000 kids were helped.

Wright says there are additional avenues for people to find assistance, and notes he offers free hearing tests to anyone in the community.

“We also have a Hear Now program, where we can help people who can’t afford new hearing aids (in) our area,” he says. “(There’s) a small fee for the application. As long as (they’re) approved, we can fit them with hearing aids at no charge. We’re a mom-and-pop family business trying to help the community.”

How to help Donate any hearing aids no longer being used. The project takes them apart for such components as microphone and receiver.

“No matter the age or the style, we can salvage it for parts (and) put it to use,” Wright says.

Also sought are monetary donations to help fund the work, as well as trips overseas to fit children with the devices that can open up the world to them. Gifts can be made through Wright’s offices or the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

–By Renee Tomell, rtomell@mysuburbanlife.com Wheaton Leader

Original article here: Audibel specialist Benjamin Wright in Wheaton seeks old hearing aids to help children through So the World May Hear charity of Starkey Hearing Foundation, Wheaton, Ill.