Newsletter - February/March 2012

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Taking Care of Your Hearing Aid

The beginning of a new year is a good time to review regular hearing aid maintenance. Hearing aids, like your car and furnace, will avoid problems when cleaning and checkups are completed on schedule. So what needs to be done?

  • Check the microphone and sound port openings for debris at least once a week.
    Note: Do this and then change battery before calling the audiologist when you experience a problem with the hearing aid.

  • Remove any debris ONLY with the cleaning tool provided by your audiologist.
  • It is best to clean and dry your hands before taking the hearing aids out.
  • Some parts of the hearing aid might look like debris. So, "If it doesn't move easily, don't force it."
  • Wipe your hearing aid with a dry tissue at night. Do not use any cleaning solutions unless given to you by your audiologist.
  • Keep the hearing aid out of the reach of children and pets.
  • When the hearing aid is out of your ear, it should be in a carry case.
  • Protect the hearing aid from excessive heat and moisture.
  • If the hearing aid becomes wet, use a dry towel to pat it dry, take battery out and let air dry with battery door open.
  • Try not to drop your hearing aid.
  • Take the hearing aid out before using hair spray, shaving cream or make up.
    Schedule an appointment for cleaning and assessment of the hearing aid at six to twelve month intervals.

By following these suggestions, your hearing aid should be running as smoothly as your well maintained vehicle!

How to Become Friends with Your Hearing Aids

There are many times when the hearing aids do not seem to be working the way that you would like them to work. Maybe they are too sharp or too dull. Sometimes you might wish to hear better in noisy environments. Whatever the issue might be, this article will offer some advice for new and even veteran hearing aid users.

  • Do Not Give Up! The new digital circuits offer many options to adjust the sound from the hearing aids.

  • Call Your Audiologist! Many times there is advice that can be given over the telephone that will reduce or eliminate the issue.
  • Develop Realistic Expectations! Hearing aids assist you in better hearing. Not to enable you to hear exactly as you did before your hearing loss developed.
  • Ask Friends and Family! Did they hear what you missed? You will be surprised at how noise affects normal hearing individuals.
  • Allow Time to Adjust! Allow your brain to be trained to listen through the hearing aids and accept the new way you will be hearing.
  • Arrange your environments to obtain optimum hearing!
  • Be Assertive! Tell people to face you, keep their mouth visible and don't shout at you.
  • Ask people to repeat when needed.
  • Consider the use of Bluetooth accessories for especially difficult situations.
  • The best thing you can do for yourself is to work with your audiologist on adjusting to your hearing aids. You will find that you really can use hearing aids successfully and enjoy a much fuller life.

More Benefits Found for Those with Musical Training

It is pretty well known in academic circles that students with musical training exhibit improvement in verbal intelligence, mathematical skills and memory tasks over those without such training. These improvements have previously been shown through academic testing and performance. Research taking place at Northwestern University in the lab of Nina Kraus, PhD focuses on the use of an objective auditory test to determine why this is happening.

Although the research is in the early stages of answering specific questions, the present findings are causing many to think more about the physical changes in the auditory brainstem and cortex caused by the musical training. Findings show that musicians are not only more in tune with melodious signals, they are also better at auditory processing of speech in quiet and in noise. This research not only supports the idea that music instruction is needed for school-aged children, but might actually end up assisting in improvement of speech understanding in noise for hearing aid users in the future.

BATTERY PROGRAM UPDATE

Barrington Hearing Center Battery Program now offers more batteries for the same cost. A switch to the PowerOne zinc air batteries allows us to offer you 36 batteries for $30.00. This means you will receive six more batteries at no cost increase. Members of the program pre-pay $30.00 and are then entitled to six (6) packets of batteries (6 batteries per packet). When the member needs batteries, all that they need to do is call our office and request that one of the packets be mailed to them. The $30.00 fee includes the cost of postage. The batteries are guaranteed.
If interested in more information, please call our office at 847-382-5700.