Learning How to Price Hearing Aids

Pricing a hearing device is not as easy as one might think. A lot of the hearing device clinics try to limit the amount of knowledge that you are given when it comes to the price of higher cost hearing aids. Can you imagine what you would think if you were told how much a hearing aid could end up costing you? Would you want to go in and make an appointment?

Most of the hearing device clinics will be able to offer you a free hearing aid test to help get you to make the first step and come into their office. Once you have had the hearing aid test performed, they will give you a list of options if you need a hearing device. They will go over everything and help you decide if you want to make your purchase that same day or come back. The scariest thing for most people is the cost, which can be anywhere from a few hundred up to a few thousand. Even though this may seem extreme, that is the case with the hearing aid industry.

Cost of the Hearing Instrument versus the Benefits They Can Bring You

Go through your budget and determine how much money you are going to be able to spend without feeling like you are breaking the bank. Depending on what type of technology you choose and how advanced it is, you could end up spending anywhere from $ 1000 on up to around $ 10,000 for a pair of hearing aids.

You have to remember that hearing aids are there to restore your hearing as you wear them. The higher level of hearing aid you get, the clearer your sound and speech will come through while you wear them. In reality, you are going to get what you pay for when it comes to hearing aids.

Determine which level you need in terms of technology, ranging from low to high end. The lower end models will work the best in environments that are quiet and their pricing varies between $ 500 on up to a couple thousand. Middle level ones will work best when in an environment that is quiet, but they can handle some moderate noise. Expect to spend a couple thousand on these easy.

If you need a hearing device that will be able to handle any type of environment, you are going to want the higher end models. The only downfall to these is the cost factor with a price tag of up to $ 5,000 for one hearing device. However, you can get some for as low as $ 2,500 each. Beyond just your budget, you need to consider your lifestyle and what you need to hear on a regular basis. This will help you to get a better understanding of what you are going to need and what technology is going to work the best for you.

Call around to the local clinics and see what brands they have to offer, as well as what their pricing is on the individual units based upon the technology that you are looking for. Most of the clinics will not be able to give you a price over the phone; however, they will give you a price range, and try to get you to come in for an appointment for a free hearing test.

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Do You or a Family Member Suffer From These Hearing Loss Symptoms?

If you have suspected that you or a family member may have hearing loss, a million questions may be swirling in your mind. Do you actually have a hearing injury, or are you just getting older? Is this only a temporary issue? What is causing this? Will I need surgery? Do I need a hearing instrument? Many questions may arise symptoms of hearing impairment surface. The first thing to do is understand your symptoms.

Symptoms of hearing impairment include:

• Feeling as though you hear, but do not understand
• Asking others for frequent repetition
• Feeling as though others mumble or speak unclearly
• Feeling tired or tense after conversations
• Tension / strain increases with especially long conversations
• Tension / strain increases with larger group conversations
• Tension / strain increases with greater levels of background noise
• Missing portions of conversation
• Having greater difficulty with children and women or with higher pitched sounds that others seem to hear
• Putting greater focus on watching the face of the person you are speaking to understand
• Feeling stopped up, plugged up, or as though your head was in a barrel

If you have one or more of these symptoms, you may have a loss of hearing. Normal hearing individuals will also sometimes have difficulty in conversation now and again, missing portions of conversation or having difficulty in background noise. Hearing impaired individuals, however, have a much more difficult time in everyday listening situations. It is very important to be evaluated for any loss of hearing as soon as possible. The faster the rehabilitation process can begin the better.

Chronic or severe ear infections are one of the most common reasons for a referral. This is most common in children under the age of five, but can also be a problem in older children, teens or even adults. The most common treatments for chronic ear infections include vaccinations, antibiotics and the surgical insertion of tubes in the ears.

An ENT will investigate the problem to find out why the infections keep occurring, recommend the appropriate treatment and determine if the infection has caused hearing loss to occur.

A complete hearing assessment will be completed to assess your hearing status. If there is a loss of hearing, the type and severity will be determined, and appropriate recommendations for treatment and therapy will be made.

After your testing results are completed, your hearing healthcare provider will guide you through understanding of your hearing injury and its implications. Your options for treatment will be discussed and example hearing aids will be shown to you if relevant.

If you are a candidate for hearing aids, all of your hearing aid choices will be discussed from style to color. Make sure you express any concerns about your rehabilitation process and get all of your questions regarding hearing aids and hearing loss answered!

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The Procedure for Plastic Ear Surgery – Could You Be a Candidate for It?

If you opt to have plastic ear surgery (otoplasty) because of an ear that did not form correctly then you need to locate a facial plastic surgeon that has plenty of experience performing these types of operations through his career. Finding the right surgeon will put you on the right path to the improvements that you are looking for.

How the Procedure Takes Place

The procedure that takes place for plastic ear surgery is relatively simple. The operation will take in the range of an hour and a half to two hours to complete. You will be given a general anesthesia to render you unconscious during the operation. There may be cases however where the surgeon decides that it will be within the best interest of the patient to give them a local anesthesia accompanied by a mild sedative.

The plastic surgeon will then make an incision at the back section of the ear where it attaches to the head. Any excess cartilage or skin that is found there will be removed from the area. The doctor will then shape the ear in an appropriate fashion. If the plastic ear surgery is taking place because of ears that protrude then the surgeon will use sutures of a permanent nature to pin the ears back to the right position. In some cases sutures will not be permanent and will only be used to hold the ear (s) in position until the healing and recovery following the procedure is complete.

The surgeon will talk with you about what you need to do to prepare for the plastic ear surgery. He will also explain to you what you can expect during your recuperation period.

For the first couple of days following the cosmetic operation on your ears you will need to wear soft bandages. They will be taken off at your next visit to the surgeon's office after that. You should be completely cured within about six week's time. At that time you will be able to bear the brand new and improved appearance of your ears. You will be happy to see the final results of the plastic ear surgery!

A patient of this surgery should be able to return to school or his / her place of employment within roughly a week to two weeks. This is something that will have to be discussed with the surgeon before the operation is scheduled to take place.

The best way to figure out if you are a worthy candidate for this surgical procedure is to meet with a plastic surgeon that is qualified in his field for a consultation. An eligible candidate for this operation must be in good to excellent mental and physical health. Men, women, teenagers and children are worthy candidates for this type of cosmetic surgery procedure. A child must be over the age of four before he or she can be operated on.

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Understanding What Microtia Is Before Scheduling Microtia Surgery

Microtia is a condition that a person is born with that affects how the ears look externally. It may or may not affect the individual's ability to hear properly. Microtia surgery is an option for those who are afflicted with this condition, especially those who suffer from the severest cases of it.

Classifications

Microtia is broken down into four separate classifications. The determination for which classification a patient should be placed into is based upon the manner in which the ear is affected.

Grade 1 is the first classification and is the mildest form of the condition. In this case the ear that is affected is smaller than a normal ear but the external ear is all there. Nothing is missing.

Grade 2 of this defect is when many of the normal elements of the outer ear are not there. Reconstructive surgery is required in this case.

Grade 3 is the most common form of defect that doctors see. In this instance the ear that is affected is not a normal, healthy ear but is made up of a vertical appendage of cartilage and skin. Typically in grade 3 microtia there is no external auditory canal whatever.

The most extreme kind of microtia is known as anotia. If your son or daughter has this kind of ear condition then one or both of his / her ears is missing. It is possible for anotia patients to have an inner ear that is healthy and normal. It is also quite possible for your child to be able to hear out of this absent ear.

Microtia surgery can give the ear a natural looking appearance which by so doing can make it possible for the sufferer of this unscientific medical condition to feel better about themselves. It can also help to improve their self-image.

Parents who have a child born with this condition may wonder what causes it. The answer is that doctors and the medical community as a whole are not sure. It is a problem involved in development when an infant is still in the embryonic stage. In some instances it takes place because of an inherited defect. However most of the time it just happens and is not associated with a family history whatsoever. This health condition can sometimes be an element of a variety of syndromes. One of these is known as hemifacial microsomia.

Microtia surgery is an option for improving the look of an affected ear. It is often not performed on newborn babies but is later later on in the child's development.

This medical condition occurs in approximately one in every 6,000 infants. It tends to show up more in boys than in girls. The potential that a parent will transmit a gene for this condition to their unborn child is very small. There is a six percent risk of this or less.

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Dizziness and Balance Disorders

Dizziness and balance disorders are common and may be dangerous! If you are experiencing issues with dizziness, lightheadedness, or are just feeling off-balanced, you should contact an audiologist or otolaryngologist (ENT) as soon as possible! Inner ear dysfunction may be to blame.

The center for the body's balance is controlled in combination by the brain, eyes, and vestibular system of the inner ear. Having issues with dizziness or balance typically means another problem is present. A thorough medical and balance evaluation should be completed to help determine your undering issue. While some causes may be treated with pharmaceutical, medical, or surgical intervention, others may require more intensive balance rehabilitation.

Defining dizziness is involved. Dizziness symptoms include everything from feeling a little lightheaded to off-balanced, feeling unsteady or as if you were falling. Dizziness is common, and may make you feel nauseous, fault, anxious, disoriented, or as if you were moving when standing still. Your vision may blur, you may feel a spinning sensation, or objects may appear to spin around you (vertigo). Some people may notice that difficulties worsen when changing head or body position. Make sure to thoroughly describe your dizziness to your audiologist or physician.

Dizziness and balance issues may be associated with something as simple as the presence of a foreign object in the outer ear canal, viral / bacterial infections, changes in blood pressure, or migraines. More invasive disorders can also be connected to dizziness and imbalance, including: vision disorders, vascular disorders, fistulas, Meniere's disease, multiple sclerosis, and tumors (benign and malignant). Certain types of medications, considered ototoxic or vestibulotoxic, can be detrimental to the vestibular system causing imbalance or dizziness.

Vestibular evaluations (balance testing) may be recommended for some patients. These tests should aid in determining the cause, location, and symptoms. Most testing requires specialized devices, so a trip to the clinic may be necessary. In many cases you will be asked to follow a series of lights in various patterns with your eye movement.

You will probably also move through a variety of positions from lying down to sitting up while the evaluation is being completed. Let your audiologist or physician know of any back and neck difficulties prior to evaluation. You will probably feel dizzy during the assessment.

Here are Some Tips for the Day of Your Assessment.

• Do not eat heavily. If the assessment is early enough in the day and no other medical conditions will be affected, do not eat prior to testing. Bring crackers or another small snack in case the wait time to be seen runs long.

• Ask if electronstagmography (ENG) testing is going to be completed. If yes, do not wear make-up or lotions on the head, neck or face. A good connection to your skin needs to be maintained through the test. Make-up and lotions may affect the contact between the testing pads and your skin.

• Tell your audiologist about any major illnesses or back and neck difficulties you have. Other conditions may affect the way you are evaluated.

• If you feel sick during the assessment, let your provider know. They will assist you in any way they can.

• Have someone come with you. As your balance / dizziness may be affected, you may not feel up to driving or navigating your way around town following evaluation of dizziness and balance disorders.

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Coping With Your Child’s Microtia Diagnosis

If your child has been given a microtia diagnosis from his / her doctor then as the parent you need to familiarize yourself with this medical condition. The more you know the easier it will be for you to help your son or daughter to cope with all that comes with having such a health issue.

What do you need to know about a microtia diagnosis?

Microtia is a condition that is congenital in nature which means that an infant comes into the world with either a deformity of the ear or is missing one or both of his or her external answers. When this condition affects only one ear it is called unilateral and when it affects both it is called bilateral. It is more common for only one ear to be affected. Of the youngsters given a microtia diagnosis, 90 percent of them suffer from the unilateral form of this congenital problem.

This ear condition is found in approximately one in 6,000 infants. In the majority of cases the ear that is affected experiences a 40 percent reduction in hearing capacity. Most of the children who are born with this problem have inner ear canals that have developed as they were provided to but they are missing the external part of the ear. If you baby has been diagnosed with this condition then you will be comforted by the knowledge that there are surgeons who are skilled at constructing a new ear for your son or daughter when the time is right.

No parent is happy to know that their infant has been born with an ear that is malformed. Children who are given a microtia diagnosis by a physician often can hear something out of the ear that did not form properly. As the child gets older it is possible to find a surgeon who has the skills and experience to reconstruct the ear or ears that have been affected by this congenital condition. Surgery can return the ear to looking normal in appearance.

The majority of children who come into the world with this ear condition do not experience any health problems associated with the ear situation. This means that the youngster can recover from the surgery to repair the ear and from there can go on to have a normal, healthy and happy life.

Some people wonder why this medical situation causes a problem at all. In actuality it often looks worse than it is for the child. As previously stated, most babies who have this ear condition have a normal and healthy inner ear. This means that regardless of what their outer ear looks like or how much of it they have, they are still able to hear sounds.

Microtia is often viewed as being more of a cosmetic issue, to varying degrees. However the social effects of this circumstance can be improved upon with proper education about the medical condition and the emotional support that the child requires.

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Benefits and Risks of Reconstructive Ear Surgery

Reconstructive ear surgery (also called otoplasty) can be used to correct ears that are enlarged, cupped, drooping or protruding. The operation can also correct ear deformities (such as those found in children born with microtia), cauliflower ears, ears that are too small in size and lop ears (tips that fold down and jut forward on the head). This form of surgery can also be performed on patients who require reconstructive work following some kind of trauma to one or both ears.

Otoplasty surgery has its benefits. Those interested in undergoing it will be happy to hear that it is a safe procedure that involves little to no risk of complications and side effects. Reconstructive ear surgery is capable of correcting numerous imperfections. Children, teenagers and adults alike who get teased, taunted and made fun of by others will not have to end such unkind treatment any more because their ears will be normal looking following the reconstructive work. Another psychological benefit of otoplasty is that it will increase your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

If you are worried that you will have to take a number of weeks off work or miss school then you need not worry about this. The downtime required for surgery performed in this area is minimal. The amount of scarring following the operation is minimal once the healing is complete. You can talk with the surgeon about how you want your ears to look and he can then decide which reconstruction procedure is most suitable for your situation and how best to accomplish it in the operating room.

The results you will receive for the reconstructive ear surgery will be very natural looking. You will marvel at how amazing your ears look and so will your family members and friends! This operation will have a positive impact on your emotional and psychological well-being.

Before embarking on a path that will lead to a change in how your ears look you need to be aware of the risks involved in having the surgery. No matter what type of cosmetic procedure you have there are risks and side effects to consider. No one should plan to have an operation, no matter how serious or minor before they understand all that can potentially go wrong while they are on the operating table.

For those interested in reconstructive ear surgery the risks and side effects are rare. You may experience mild pain following the operation, as well as itching and / or numbness. Any discomfort that you feel should go away in a short period of time. You may or may not need to take a pain medication to deal with the initial discomfort following the procedure.

Make sure that you disregard your complete medical history to the plastic surgeon. He needs to know about any existing conditions that you are living with. During the consultation is the time for you to ask any questions that you may have.

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Can You Get Financial Aid for Hearing Aids?

Not everyone who has hearing loss will be able to benefit from having a hearing aid. It greatly depends on what type of hearing loss the individual has. According to market studies, there is an estimated one out of every five people who could receive a benefit from some sort of hearing devices, if actually wearing one. There are numerous reasons because someone might not use aids, even though they would be able to benefit from their use. The number one factor is cost. On average a person can expect to spend about $ 1800, as well as the cost of fittings and additional follow-up care.

Do You Need Financial Assistance?

Many of the insurance companies do not cover the costs, but there are some out there that do. Medicare is one of the leading insurance companies for the elderly and yet they do not cover the costs. Having hearing aids can be something that will change your life, for the better in a lot of cases. People may be able to return to work with the assistance of a hearing devices, but without one they have difficulty being able to hear anything around them.

However, there are some people who are deaf that will work without having a hearing aid in place to begin with. Aids may be the key to success for a little one who is struggling in school to be able to hear what the teacher is saying. They are the key to allowing someone with a hearing injury to have the freedom to interact socially with others around them.

How Do You Find Financial Aid?

There are plenty of different programs that will help provide you with the assistance you need, but it may take a little bit of work on your end to be able to find out which programs you will be qualified for. The first step is to contact your local health insurance provider to make sure whether or not they cover the cost of your hearing aid. Since many companies do not offer this service, you can look into all of the government programs that are available to provide you with the assistance you need. As a last resort, there are other organizations and various programs out there that may be able to help you cover the cost.

Government Assistance for Hearing Aids

Depending on what state you live in, Medicaid may cover the cost of a hearing aid and the hearing tests you need. However, not everyone who has low income will be eligible for Medicaid. You should contact the Medicaid office in your area to see if you are eligible for their program and what exactly they cover when it comes to hearing aids. If you are a veteran, you may be able to get assistance from the Veterans Administration. Do you need a hearing aid to be able to find a job? If so, you may be able to get the help you need from the Vocational Rehabilitation program in your state.

Organizations Offering Assistance for the Deaf

Many of the organizations out there for those who are deaf or hard of hearing will be able to provide you with the financial assistance you need to be able to obtain a hearing aid. Beyond just helping you to get the hearing aid that you need, you will also be able to receive a variety of additional services. There are different eligibility requirements that you need to meet, so the best option is to contact your local organization and see what they have to offer.

Service Organizations Can Help Also

There are a lot of service organizations that have different programs available to help you receive the funding you need to get a hearing aid or provide you with a hearing aid. Contact the different organizations to find out what services they have available for you and what you need to do in order to request financial assistance.

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Common Forms of Interference When It Comes to Hearing Aids

Hearing aids work to help amplify the sounds of your environment. They also control how the sound is sent into your ear. It may take you a little bit of time to be able to get used to your new devices. You may want to see if there is a trial period available for your device, but wearing it on a consistent basis will help provide you with the adjustment period you need. Sometimes it is easy to detect that there is a problem externally. One of the common types of problems is interference.
Do you hear a buzzing sound when you're using your cell phone? This is one of the most common types of interference. Make sure that you bring your cell phone along with you when you are going in to have your hearing aid fitted or upgrading to a different one. If you are in the market for a new cell phone, make sure that you have your aid with you during the process. This will help you know right off the bat if there is going to be a problem with interference. The circuitry between cell phones and hearing aids is on the rise all the time, so now more than ever it is less of a problem than what it was years ago.

Radiation from X-Rays

Radiation from certain tests can cause interference with your aid and end up causing it to stop working completely. If you are going in for any MRI scans or CT scans, you may want to make sure that you leave your device outside of the room while the test is being conducted.

What Can You Do?

If you believe that your device is causing you to have interference from your television and radio equipment, you may want to try turning it off to see if you may be able to determine what the exact cause of the problem is. Through a process of elimination you will be able to get the answers you are looking for in no time.
Try correcting the source of the interference by moving the antenna into a different position or heading away from the television and radio when you have your device on. You can also try plugging your television or radio into another outlet and replacing the batteries in your hearing aid. If you have tried all of the aforementioned ideas and none of them seem to be working, you may want to take the hearing aid back to where you purchased it from.

Complaining With the Control of the Government

Any hearing aid that is purchased within the United States needs to make sure that it is in full compliance with the Federal Communication certification. This certificate will help ensure that the device is in compliance with Part 15 of the rules that the FCC has set into place for monitoring any interference. This means that the unit is not supposed to cause any harmful interference nor is it provided to be able to receive any of it, especially when that interference could end up causing you an undesired operation with your unit.

The device needs to make sure that it is tested. Assuming that you purchased your device within the United States and not somewhere else, you will have the reassurance that your hearing aid has been built to be able to withstand most levels of interference that come along. It is built to help you get the least amount of interference possible.

How Can You Take Care of Your Unit?

Make sure that you are doing your part to protect the device from any moisture. When you are getting ready to head out for a swim, you need to make sure that you remove your hearing aid prior to jumping in. Moisture plays a huge role in how your hearing aid is going to work for the long haul.

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Amplifying the Sounds That We Hear: How Does It Work?

Most of the time, the changes in air pressure are relatively small. They do not apply a lot of force to your eardrum, but since it is extremely sensitive that minuscule amount of force will cause it to move at an increased distance. The cochlea inside the inner ear works like a conductor to send the sound through the fluid, instead of sending it through the air. This specific fluid has a larger amount of inertia than that in air, which makes it a lot harder to move.

If you think of it in terms of how difficult it is to push through water versus being able to push through air, it will make much more sense. Since the amount of force that is felt at the drum is so small, it is not able to move the fluid. Before any noise is passed onto the inside of the ear, the amount of pressure within the ear is going to need to be amplified.

The whole process is the responsibility of the ossicles, which are a small grouping of bones within the middle ear. They are essentially the tiniest bones found within the human body. Ossicles are composed of:

• Malleus – Hammer
• Incus – Anvil
• Stapes – Stirrup

The malleus is attached to the middle of your eardrum, which is on the inside. Once the drum vibrates, it will move the malleus to and fro, similar to that of a lever. On the opposite end of the malleus is the incus, which in turn is connected into the stapes. At the opposite end of the stapes is the faceplate that rests up to the cochlea alongside an oval window.

Whenever there is air pressure that pushes into the eardrum, the resulting ossicles will end up moving the faceplate, which pushes the strains into the fluid within the cochlea. As the air pressure from the rarefaction pulls the eardrum out, the ossicles will move in a manner that pulls the strains into the cochlea fluid. As a result, the stapes are similar to that of a piston. They work to create waves within the fluid of the inner ear that help to represent the varying fluctuations within the air pressure of the sound waves.

The ossicles work to amplify the forces from within the eardrum in one of two different ways. Mainly the amplification comes from the varying difference between the stirrup and the eardrum.

Eardrums have a surface area of ​​roughly 55 millimeters square, whereas, the stapes only have an area of ​​around 3.2 millimeters square. Sound waves work by applying force to every single inch of your eardrum, with the eardrum working to transfer all of the available energy into the stapes. If you take this amount of energy and concentrate it into a smaller space, the pressure is going to become a lot more intense.

The way in which the ossicles are configured controls how the sounds are amplified. Mallei are longer than the incus, which works to form a lever between the stapes and the eardrum. Even though the incus moves with an increased amount of force, the malleus moves at a far greater distance.

This whole process for amplifying sounds is extremely effective. The amount of pressure that is applied to the fluid within the cochlea is roughly 22 times as intense as the amount of pressure felt within the eardrum. It is enough pressure to pass the required level of sound into the inner ear, which is where it is translated into something that the brain is able to understand thanks to the nerve impulses.

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What to Expect From Advanced Hearing Center

Realizing you or a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss is often a very starting and unsettling discovery. Many people see loss of hearing as a concrete sign of aging or of the body starting to fail. People become afraid that their lives are going to change forever and worry what others will think of them when they are seen wearing hearing aids.

Many of these negative connotations associated with hearing loss and the need to wear hearing instruments are based on the older models of hearing instruments. They were large, ugly and uncomfortable. They were embarrassing to wear and often emitted loud squeals at the most appropriate times. Fortunately, today's hearing aids are completely different. They are small, sleek and discrete. They also feature the latest technological advances in bringing sound to people who have experienced loss.

The first step to take if loss is suspected is to schedule an exam and audiogram. An audiologist, or hearing specialist, will assess the information gathered at your visit to access if hearing loss has occurred and if so the reason, the extent of damage that has occurred and the best course of action for treatment. If hearing devices are recommended, the audiologist will suggest the best types for your specific situation.

The hearing test is quick, simple and painless. The hearing specialist may start by whispering words to you at various levels from around the room to get a baseline for your hearing capabilities. A tuning fork is often used by gently tapping on the knee or elbow. This is to determine if you can hear the vibrations the tuning fork makes when it is snapped. A small device placed behind the ear helps audiologists find the exact location and extent of the loss that has occurred.

Once the hearing specialist analyzes the results and makes a diagnosis it is time to move on towards a solution to bringing back the gift of sound. Hearing aids are typically suggested as the course of action for hearing loss. There are dozens of hearing instrument manufacturers, each with a long list of models on the market. There are many possibilities available. Some of the features hearing devices have include digital, wireless and water resistant technology. There are even hearing aids available that are so tiny they are worn completely inside the ear, making them invisible to the outside world.

Your hearing specialist will explain the advantages and challenges each type of hearing aid presents. They will help you find the unit that best fits your needs. They will then explain to you how to operate it, as well as the proper care and maintenance.

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Maintaining the Health of Your Hearing Aids

By completing weekly maintenance, you can reduce your need for hearing aid repair drastically! Breakdown and improper function is often caused by a dirty, unmaintained aid. Your instruments require a clear sound path for sound transmission to work properly. Any build up of debris or ear wax on the microphone or receiver ports can cause your aid to sound distorted, weak, or completely deaf. Taking a small amount of time to clean them is easy and can save you money. Your hearing healthcare professional should guide you through the maintenance process at the time of your fitting.

How to clean your aid:

1. With a dry soft cloth, wipe down the exterior of the instrument. Do not use any unapproved liquids to clean your device. Your aid is an electronic device and can be permanently damaged by water and other liquids.

2. Using the wax pick (small stick with loop on tip) provided, remove any build up of ear wax or debris from the sound port and vent. Gently flick away defris from the vent and receiver without pushing deeply into the openings.

3. Change wax guards / springs / traps / stops. Many aids have some sort of wax blocker to prevent build up of ear wax. This typically looks like a small white cup that fits into the sound port of the hearing instrument. This wax guard prevails ear wax and debris from going into the hearing aid, and needs to be replaced every 2 weeks to 1 month.

4. Take a soft brush and brush away any ear wax or other debris from the outer aid casing. These brushes are usually provided. Make sure to hold your device downward to prevent any of the debris from falling into the aid. Pay extra attention to the microphone ports. These small openings in the outer case are typically located near the battery door or at the top of the aid (eg, with BTEs). Some ports are covered by a guard that should be replaced as necessary.

5. Clean your battery contacts. This need only be done once a month or so. Any build up or film on the battery contacts can prevent proper power from flowing to the aid. The aid may sound weak, dead, or distorted. Take a cotton swab and gently rub away any debris. Using highly concentrated rubbing alcohol on the tip of the swab clean the area. Never pour alcohol into the aid.

Ask your hearing healthcare professional to thoroughly explain how to perform your hearing aid's maintenance.

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The Cause of Your Ringing May Never Be Known – Is It Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of sounds inside the head / ear that has no external sound source. Many people report sound of ringing, buzzing, humming, and pulsing in the ear. This sound may occur consistently or intermittently. People may suffer from bilateral (two ears) or unilateral (one ear) ringing. While the cause of this issue is often difficult to be determined, common possible causes include: excessive noise exposure, head trauma, typical aging processes, and pharmaceutical causes (ototoxic medicines).

The cause of your ringing may never be known. It may be accompanied by hearing loss and Hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is the abnormal perception that sounds that are only moderately loud are very loud and uncomfortable. It is a common issue suffered by many in the United States. For many, the issue is so severe that it affects daily living. It is important for those experiencing ringing to seek evaluation and treatment from a physician or audiologist.

Each patient experiences this disorder in a different way. For some, the ringing is just a slight annoyance while others may feel angry, paranoid, angry, or even depressed. Some are so bothered that the issue causes distortions in their sleeping patterns or ability to concentrate during quiet tasks (eg, reading, sewing, writing, etc.). Quiet tasks appear to be an exceptionally difficult time for those even with mild othersome ringing.

Treatment for this disorder involves masking, retraining, or other therapies. As of now, there is no known cure. No medication or surgical intervention exists to stop the ringing. However, if a middle ear issue or ototoxic medication is the cause of your ringing, medical / surgical intervention or changing medications may eliminate the issue. Speak with your physician regarding these options. Do not change medications without advisement by your physician.

Counseling (eg, Tinnitus Activities Treatment) may be a viable, beneficial option for those suffering with the emotional toll of their ringing. Ask your hearing healthcare provider for more information. Sound therapy or maskers may be effective in decreasing the perception of the ringing. Sound therapy may be as simple as introducing sounds to the environment in quiet situations (eg, turning on a fan, soft music, etc.). Wearable sound generators or maskers are also available. These typically produce a soft white noise ('shhhh') that gently reduces the prominence of the ringing sound. These wearable options can be used alone or may be coupled into a hearing aid. Hearing aid use has also been found to effectively reduce ringing perception in patients with hearing loss.

Many patients find solace and help through self-help books and meditation. There are many of these available on the market, and have been used with varying degrees of success. Remember that your Tinnitus is real, and contact your hearing healthcare provider for help today!

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Is Tinnitus Sound Therapy the Right Choice for Me?

More and more forms of therapy to help treat Tinnitus are coming available on the market. Some of the treatment options have been proved beneficial, while others have not been determined as to how great they really are. There are more studies that need to be done to know where the additional options are a possibility to help treat your case of Tinnitus.

Treating Tinnitus with sound therapy is one of the easiest procedures and it is affordable for just about every budget. It has been proven effective time and time again for sufferers to help reduce the symptoms associated with Tinnitus. Sound therapy is used as a way to help treat the symptoms of Tinnitus through a special music that has been composed of a frequency that is specifically designed to help stimulate the brain. It also helps to provide the necessary rehabilitation your ears need.

The discussed results are that the ears are going to get used to hearing the higher sounds that are sent to your brain directly. Essentially, you are reprogramming your brain to be able to tune in to the normal noises in everyday life around you, and tuning out the sounds associated with Tinnitus.

You will be listening to the music for your sound therapy through headphones connected to an MP3 player or CD player. During the course of treatment, you are going to experience various types of sounds, including: clicks and pauses. These clicks and pauses will be mixed along with different soundscapes and music.

The variety of sounds is going to be customized to your individual case; however, you can always purchase a generic CD for treatment or download it onto your MP3 player. There are some people who opt for the least expensive options to begin with before proceeding further with treatment. When you think about the cost associated with therapy, sound therapy is one of the best options to help save you money and restore your hearing.

Some individuals have found relief from their Tinnitus within a few weeks, but others have taken up to six months to experience the true benefits. Regardless of how long it is taking, it is recommended that you stick with your treatment plan once you begin.

This will help to contain the symptoms that you are dealing with already. One of the best ways for you to begin your therapy is during the night as you are going to sleep, unless your doctor recommends otherwise. Beginning your sessions as you are preparing for sleep will help you eliminate any of the distractions around you. It helps to allow your brain to be able to comprehend what is going on and absorb the sounds that it is hearing. There are a lot of people who believe that this is a beneficial way to learn subconsciously while you are relaxed.

It is imperative that those suffering with Tinnitus understand how treatment with sound is different from just trying to cover up their symptoms. The whole point of trying to cover up Tinnitus symptoms is an attempt to drown out any of the sounds associated with Tinnitus through increasing the level of sounds or music. If you were to begin doing this as a way to cover up your symptoms, you would ever cause the symptoms of Tinnitus to become worse.

Sound and music therapy have worked for a lot of people, but there is no guarantee that it is going to work for you. Each and every person is unique in their own way, so there is no way to know how everyone is going to respond to Tinnitus therapy. If you try Tinnitus sound therapy and it does not work for you, there are plenty of other options from which to choose. Occasionally you will find the relief that you are looking for, if you remain steadfast at searching for the right treatment option for you.

How long will I need to use sound therapy?

The majority of people will only use sound therapy when their Tinnitus is bothering them, but as the Tinnitus is masked they will not have to enlist the therapy as often. If you are one of the individuals who have to wear a sound generator, you may only need to wear it until you are able to manage your condition better. Once you have been able to establish a sleep pattern you may find that you are no longer going to need a bedside sound generator.

What are the different types of sound therapy?

There are a few different types of sound therapy and the key is finding the one that is going to work the best for your specific needs. A lot of people find that they work best with a sound that is not too demanding or difficult to listen to. Environmental sound provides you with background noises that you are going to hear in everyday life, such as: traffic in the distance, wind blowing through the trees or a busy office setting. There are a lot of times when you can find the therapy you need by opening your window.

Bedside generators sit next to your bed on a small table and give you the choice of various sounds, all at the touch of a button. You will be able to adjust the volume levels based on your individual hearing needs. In the evening you may find rest with a peaceful sound that will help you get to sleep. If you leave the noise on throughout the evening, it will provide you with the distraction from your Tinnitus if you wake up in the early hours when there is no noise. There are some sound generators on the market that can provide you with the sounds you need through a pillow speaker. This is perfect for those with partners who are trying to rest.

Hearing Aids are very beneficial for those with hearing loss. They are going to give you a type of sound therapy that will make it easier for you to tolerate the normal sounds in the everyday world. A lot of people will find that their condition is easier to deal with when their hearing aids are turned on. These have also been beneficial when used in conjunction with a loop system.

CDs and MP3 players can offer you a lot of different types of sounds. You can even check out some of your local library to see how well they work for you. There are also websites that you can go to in order to download some options to see which ones you like best.

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Everything You Need to Know About Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids are very simple by definition, but when you go to the store to buy one things may seem completely different than what you originally thought. Expect to be shown a few different models that will range in price from a few hundred dollars on up to a thousand thousands dollars for each hearing aid. In 2009, all of the aids became digital but they are not all the same.

What are some of the misconceptions of Digital Hearing Aids?

Just because you have them does not necessarily mean that you are only going to hear the noises that you want to hear. A lot of people assume that they will never have to worry about hearing any loud background noises ever again, but that is not the case at all. Digital units use the amplifier to provide you with better sound quality than what you are currently receiving. Basic units will simply amplify the sound, regardless of what type of sound it is. It does not matter if the sound is something that you are trying to hear or one that you want to avoid because in the end the digital hearing aid will amplify the sound and provide you with perfectly clear and crisp sounds at the same volume.

Considerations for Digital Hearing Aids

Once you have made the decision you need to consider a few different factors. If you are very active and currently working, you may want to look into the advanced hearing aids. Digital units are able to give you the level of sound that you need for your specific case of hearing loss.

However, if you are someone who is very active, the higher technology levels will be able to ensure that you will have the comfort that you need in a daily situation. Consider how long your devices are going to last, if you take the time to care for it properly. Hearing aids have been proven to slow down your loss when they are worn on a regular basis. The benefits in a will far outweigh any of the cost involved.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the choices will vary based upon your degree of hearing loss and the way your ear is shaped. The type of size and style you need should be determined by someone who specializes in the field. Make sure that you always have your hearing test performed by a specialist and never order anything online or over the telephone. If you do not have a specialist, there are plenty of audiologists near you who would be happy to help determine what you are dealing with.

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