Welcome to our Blog! Here you can find a variety of information ranging from customer experiences to what's new in audiology. Feel free to comment and suggest other topics of interest to you.
|Posted by angela.esterline on August 19, 2019 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
A lot has changed since the “big beige bananas” of the 60’s and 70’s. Technology is obviously the biggest driver behind this change in our modern world. The first patent was issued in 1792. In 1915 the number of patents issued reached 1 million. The electric motor ushered in patent number 2 million in 1940. By 1965 the semiconductor helped boost the number to 3 million. We passed 4 million in 1982, and 5 million in 1992. Today we have crossed the 10 million mark. This technology race shows no signs of slowing.
We have opportunities for better, richer, fuller lives than ever before. On the topic of hearing, we don’t have to wait till we are dangerously hearing impaired before we seek help for a loss. Now, we can correct mild loss (and major frustration) without sacrificing comfort, clarity, or vanity. In our industrialized society noise is the number one cause of hearing loss. OSHA has plenty of safeguards in the workplace to protect hearing. Apple has warnings on their products to remind users to “turn it to the left”. However, people don’t always follow rules or suggestions. Many young people today (and always, really) believe it can’t happen to them. That sense of immortality has a way of catching up with us later. So, by age 35 many people have some diagnostically significant hearing loss in the high frequencies. This interferes with speech understanding, not volume. It makes other people “mumble”. It makes dinner meetings frustrating and tiring. It makes the demands on our busy life more aggravating than they need to be.
Introducing the Styletto Connect… It is a fully functional, digitally programmable, lithium-ion rechargeable, iPhone compatible, eminently wearable hearing aid of today! This device has 141 years of technological development behind it. Signia (formerly Siemens) dipped their toes in the water of improving hearing in 1878. (That’s over 9 million patents ago.) They thought then and we know now that better hearing reduces stress and anxiety, which improves productivity and growth. We also know that most people wait an average of 7 years after they know they have a hearing loss to do anything about it. Why?! We are working longer. We are staying active well into retirement. Many people in their 50’s and 60’s are taking care of parents and/or grandchildren which leads to an incredibly demanding lifestyle. Why let hearing loss add to the list of demands? Why not stay at the top of your game! Come in a take a closer look at the Styletto Connect.
Call and reserve your demo appointment today. (812) 303-4300.
|Posted by angela.esterline on July 15, 2019 at 3:25 PM||comments (0)|
How many settings are on your dryer? Go look. I’ll wait. My dryer is not a fancy machine and it has 21 different drying options. 21! There is even a setting for jeans. My dryer ought to be able to handle drying most anything. There are eight choices on my blender. From food processing to chipping ice, my blender can get the job done! My phone can do things I don’t even know enough to ask it to do. Suffice it to say, tools and appliances today are not simply “one trick ponies”.
Enter the modern hearing aid.
Top end model hearing aids have six or seven automatic programs and room for an additional four to six manual programs. Why on earth would we need so many programs?! We live in a very noisy, active, connected world and that world has very specific demands. Some examples of listening environments an automatic program might not be able to handle well: the bowling alley, live music, a reception hall, working at a childcare center, or media streaming from a mobile device. Our mid-level products have five automatics and three or four manual program slots. Even our entry level devices have four manual programs available.
So, what’s the point to this blog?! The tools are good if we know how to use them. I’ll never get my jeans dry if I put them in the dryer on the delicate cycle, but I can’t blame the dryer for that. There are many good hearing aids out there with lots of potential that just isn’t being utilized. If people don’t know what they have, or how to use it, the device will never function as intended or do the job needed. Then the hearing aid gets a bad rep and thrown in the drawer.
Rescue that hearing aid. Learn what it can do. Have it programmed, if possible, and get it back in the ear where it so wants to be! Give us a call at 1-812-303-4300 and we’ll help you do that.
|Posted by angela.esterline on June 19, 2019 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
There are two warranties for most hearing aids: Repair and L&D (Loss and Damage).
The repair warranty covers any repairs that might need to be performed for the device. Repairs include things like broken speaker wires, moisture damage, cracks in the housing, broken battery doors, and corrosion.
L&D covers things like pet damage, going surfing while wearing a hearing aid, flushing an aid down the toilet, or accidentally putting it in the microwave.
In essence, the warranty covers the hearing aid. Services or accessories associated with the device are not covered by a warranty that comes from a manufacturer or repair company. They are truly only warranting the work they have done or the product they have built.
Some clinics may offer “free service while the device is under warranty”, or “for the life of the hearing aid”. Those clinics use a “bundled” service approach. That is, they have charged for an anticipated amount of service in the cost of the hearing aids at the initial fitting appointment. This can lead to some hefty price tags.
Other clinics have a pay-as-you-go philosophy for service and follow up care. Like any other professional service provider’s office, each visit is charged separately.
A third option might be a service package that includes a set number of visits or amount of time, plus a few extras like batteries or hearing tests. These packages may be purchased at any time, or even as a gift for someone else.
While regular maintenance is designed to ward off the need for repairs, bad things sometimes happen to good devices. The next time you suspect your device might need a repair, it's important to ask upfront what your charges will cover.
|Posted by angela.esterline on May 20, 2019 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
It seems like there is a month for everything! Why do we need a whole month to think about better hearing? Considering that people wait an average of seven years to do something to improve their hearing after they know they have a problem, maybe having a month to pay some attention to this vital sense… makes sense.
Hearing has an impact on every aspect of our lives. Seriously, from basic safety (back up beepers on trucks), to daily communication (What’s for dinner?), to relaxation (sounds of nature), to higher learning (lectures, conferences, Bible study), most of us rely on hearing to get the job done. Untreated hearing loss can unleash any number of atrocities. We could get hit by a truck or, have to eat Brussel sprouts!
In the face of such looming disaster, why do people wait so long to correct hearing loss? There are a hundred reasons ranging from vanity to denial to economics. But I believe the ONE reason people put off seeking care is lack of education.
Vanity: Today’s hearing devices are smaller than they have ever been. Nine times out of ten, they are totally inconspicuous. Come take a look.
Denial: You don’t know what you don’t know. A hearing test is absolutely pain free and will prove someone right!
Economics: How much is it worth? Is better hearing worth $2.34 a day? Message us here and we’ll share with you our direct cost comparison sheet between owning a car and owning hearing aids.
|Posted by angela.esterline on April 18, 2019 at 12:05 PM||comments (0)|
National Mental Health Awareness month isn’t until October, but this was on my mind now. I’ve been doing a lot of work with Communication and Communication Strategies training lately. This quote by George Bernard Shaw made me stop and think. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” It truly is sad when people think they are communicating, and they aren’t. Communication, for the most part, is facilitated through the sense of hearing. When one suffers a hearing loss, he or she consequently suffers a loss of communication. A loss of communication leads to damaged relationships. Damaged relationships lead to feelings of isolation. And, now we’ve come full circle back to mental health.
Clinical studies have shown that untreated hearing loss compounds the effects of depression on individuals affected. It also induces behaviors that could be attributed to depression or lead to depression in others. Here’s an example: Jo finds it extremely difficult to hear in a group situation. So, she finds excuses to stay away from those events. Since most of her friends take part in those group events, Jo doesn’t see her friends. She is forced to choose between enjoying her friends or enduring the fatigue brought on by the constant concentration needed just to follow a simple conversation. Over time, she chooses to stay home more often. She convinces herself that if her friends want to see her, they will make the effort to come visit. If they don’t, the friendship must not have been as good as she thought it was. These thoughts very often lead to thoughts directed inward. Jo may start to believe she is no longer worthy of friendship. She withdraws further and her friends wonder where she has gone. This reminds me of another quote. Helen Keller said, “Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people.”
There is light at the end of this bleak tunnel of untreated hearing loss. With treatment (testing, counseling, hearing aids, communication training) Jo can get back into the lifestyle she left behind. And, we’re here to help.
If you have a Jo in your life, don’t let her just fade off into the sunset. Reach out to her. Make sure hearing loss doesn’t steal a friend. If you don’t know how to start the “hearing loss” conversation, give us a call. We have resources to share.
|Posted by angela.esterline on March 20, 2019 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
I’ve been hearing a lot about a certain YouTube audiologist lately. I’ve been hearing a lot of questions I haven’t heard before and, some answers that just lead to more questions. Since I fully support learning and being completely informed, I thought I’d check him out.
He’s very entertaining. He appears to be well-informed. Some of what he says is right on target. And, some of it just misses the mark entirely. For example, he claims to know “the single most important thing that will determine your success with hearing aids”. Really? Has he met you? Does he know your specific listening needs? Does he know your preferences for (or tolerance to) sounds? I dare say he does not. As such, how can he claim to know what’s best for you?
The issues each hearing impaired person deals with are unique and should be treated as such. Treatment plans are created one at a time. Some include an entire battery of objective measures. Some require baby stepping into the use of amplification. Others need communication strategies and training with a friend or family member. Whatever the needs are, I highly recommend meeting them on an individual basis.
While claiming to hold the key to hearing aid success might make for exciting TV, be careful about believing everything you see on the internet. So here’s your assignment: when you see something that looks too good to be true, ask me about it. I will find the answer (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and let you know what’s real and what’s fluff. Leave your comment/questions right here on this blog. I’m already looking forward to hearing from you.
|Posted by angela.esterline on February 12, 2019 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
Exercise is good! It makes us feel better, rest more completely, and fit into that killer suit. So, I was a bit surprised when I saw a headline about exercise being bad for hearing health. And since I hate to exercise, I thought I’d look into and see if I had a ready excuse. Turns out I don’t.
Noise is bad for hearing health and gyms have noise in them. People wear earphones for their music. Most people don’t even think about the abuse their ears get at the gym. Music has been proven to motivate people toward a more consistent exercise routine. Loud, pumping music really gets a body moving.
OSHA says anything louder than 85dB is call for hearing protection. But, how loud is that, really? A quiet room has a noise floor of about 40dB. Add normal conversational speech and it hits about 60dB. A crowded school cafeteria can reach 80dB. Turn on the music so it can be heard over the ruckus and we are in the danger zone where hearing is concerned.
A study conducted at the University of Louisville demonstrated that even with warnings placed on the exercise equipment cautioning against exposure to loud music during a workout, participants still turned the volume to “10” on the head sets. And that’s how exercise is bad for your hearing.
Exercise is good. Music is good. Exercising to music is good. Please be responsible and share this bit of wisdom with your work out buddies: “Turn it to the left. Keep the volume reasonable.” Next time you go to the gym, look for a warning about excessive volume. If you see one, let us know where. I’d like to thank them. If you don’t see one, let us know. I’d like to put one up.
|Posted by angela.esterline on January 14, 2019 at 4:05 PM||comments (0)|
So, my husband was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I learned that a lot of the things I thought I knew, I really didn’t. But, the one thing I did know was something our counselor did NOT know.
Compared to the 17% of diabetics who suffer vision issues, roughly 65% of all diabetics suffer with hearing loss! Why doesn’t that statistic get any comment? In all the recommendations for diet and exercise and lifestyle change my husband received, there was no recommendation for a baseline hearing test. No mention of anoxia (loss of oxygen) in the inner ear. No mention of permanent hearing loss. No recommendation for annual testing to monitor the progressive nature of the beast. Nothing.
Naturally, I tested his hearing. And, guess what I found…in the five years since his previous test, there has been a drop in hearing sensitivity in both ears. His hearing is still “within normal limits”, but he is only 46 years old, he has no medical history with the ears, and he has no history of noise exposure. His hearing should be within normal limits, and yet it is not as good as it was five years ago. He is already scheduled for his annual test for next year!
Please ask all your diabetic friends and family if they have noticed a change in their hearing, then invite them to get an annual hearing test. Because, really, how can they be compliant to the physician’s recommendations if they can’t hear them?
As for you, dear reader, has your primary care physician (or any other care provider) recommended/ordered a hearing exam for you?