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Surprising Ways Hearing Aids Improve Your Quality of Life

Having difficulty hearing can be hard to admit. You might feel like it means you’re getting older or are somehow less vital than you were. But the truth is, the majority of people, whether young or old, will experience hearing loss at some point in their lives, so don’t suffer in silence. You might worry that hearing aids will be a hassle to use, or fear what others will think when you wear one. But studies show that those fears are unfounded, as hearing aids significantly improve quality of life. And hearing aids today have an aesthetic quality and technological capabilities that you have to see to believe. Hearing Instrument Specialists love seeing the change in patients when they reclaim a full and rewarding life with hearing aids. You might expect your hearing to improve with hearing aids, but what you might not expect is how your whole life will benefit. Take a look at some unexpected ways hearing aids can improve your quality of life.

Hearing Aids Build Stronger Relationships

Our social lives really suffer when we struggle to hear friends and family. When you meet a friend for lunch, you don’t want to be distracted by background noise in the kitchen or the conversation at the table next to you. If loved ones call you on the phone, a missed word here or there can change the whole tone of the conversation. This leads to frustration and, often, avoidance of social situations. Many may not realize how much it also contributes to exhaustion. When we strain to hear, our brain and ears are working overtime, which can cause irritability and fatigue. At Discount Hearing Aid Center, we know how much those relationships matter to you, and we want to take the struggle out of your conversations. Hearing aids eliminate confusion and the embarrassment you might feel, asking others to repeat themselves.

Hearing Aids Increase Your Intelligence

Hearing aid users test higher for cognitive function, communicative functioning, self-esteem, and emotional intelligence than those who choose not to wear one. When you allow your brain to stop working so hard to pick up indecipherable sounds, you prevent blocked pathways, loss of sound recognition, and mental fatigue. Social engagement is also key to cognitive ability, and hearing aids make socializing far more appealing. Hearing aids also offer advanced technology like smartphone app connectivity and programmable settings to keep you ahead of the curve. The longer battery life and impeccable sound quality of today’s devices make hearing a much easier task, so your brain can focus on other things, like the people you love listening to.

Hearing Aids Enhance Your Lifestyle

If you’re worried that your hearing aid will be cumbersome or ineffective, you can lay those fears to rest. Significant advances have occurred in hearing technology since your grandparents used a device. You may envision them as a clunky apparatus that emit high-pitched squeals for no apparent reason. But technological advances have produced reliable hearing aids that are discrete, adaptive, and programmable. At Discount Hearing Aid Center, we customize your device to your environment, including everything from preferred volume levels to sleep settings. We’ll get you back to swimming laps in the pool, watching your favorite blockbuster film, or enjoying a round of tennis with durable, comfortable hearing instruments. We offer a variety of shapes and sizes and provide expert individualized care to help you find the perfect fit.

Hearing Aids Make Everything More Fun

You might not even realize how much you’re struggling at first. It’s easy to assume the difficulty of hearing is caused by a loud environment or a bad telephone connection. You may be feeling tired or suffer from headaches or funny sounds in your ear. Once you see what an impact hearing loss has on your life, you’ll be entirely invigorated by restored hearing. Some things are a pleasure to regain, like the ability to hear the wind whistling through trees, or crickets chirping in summer. While other things are an actual necessity to regain, such as the perception of cars honking, ambulances approaching, or dogs barking. Hearing aids remove the stress of missing out on the fun, as well as missing essential safety cues. Life is so much more enjoyable when you don’t have to miss a note.

Quality of life is a variable thing, and there are simple ways to improve it. Why struggle through your day straining to hear, when you can eliminate that hurdle? A hearing aid improves social, mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s one small solution for a multitude of problems. Our patients often wonder why they didn’t come in sooner, once they experience the difference hearing aids make. This is a small investment you can make in yourself that will have a tremendous impact. We’d love to help you find the perfect fit and show you what you’ve been missing. We’re Greater Boston’s most trusted hearing care specialists because we provide, honesty, transparency, and compassion to all of our valued patients.

Troubleshooting common hearing aid issues

Hearing aids are like mini-miracles. These tiny technological wonders enhance your vital sense of sound so you can enjoy the world. Millions of people count on hearing aids for daily function, as well as listening pleasure. So, what happens when your hearing aid isn’t working correctly? Don’t worry; there are easy solutions you can try at home. Take a look at four common hearing aid problems and how to fix them. And remember, we are always here to help!

1. No Sound

When you turn on your hearing aid, the last thing you expect to hear is nothing. But there are several reasons this can happen, so try one of these simple solutions.

  • First, make sure it’s turned on. It’s common to forget this step, especially when adjusting to a new device. Sometimes the power gets turned off accidentally when putting it in. So, pop it out, check the power, and try again.
  • Next, check the volume. Make sure it’s turned up to a discernible level- it may have switched to a lower setting.
  • If you’re powered up, and the volume is set to max, and you still hear nothing, check the battery. Sometimes batteries are installed upside down, which prevents the battery door from fully closing. You might need a new battery if you bought your device at a store or online rather than at Discount Hearing Aid Center.  
  • Check for earwax clogging the tube or microphone. It’s essential to clean your hearing aids regularly with a brush or pick to prevent sound blockage.
  • Lastly, check for any signs of damage, and stop in our office if you can’t generate sound.

2. Poor Sound Quality

If the volume is turned up, but the sound is still low or distorted, there are a few things to check. We guarantee a quality sound, so if these tips don’t work, come in, and we’ll make it right.

  • Check that your hearing aid is set to the right program, and toggle between settings to find the best one.
  • For In the Ear (ITE) devices, check for earwax and wipe it away. For Behind the Ear (BTE) aids, check the tubing for any cracks, clogs, or moisture.
  • Turn the volume up and down manually and listen for changes in volume to make sure it’s working.
  • Eliminate dust or debris by rotating controls to free any loose particles.
  • Check the batteries for corrosion or to see if they’re running low.
  • Try dehumidifying your device overnight since moisture distorts the sound.
  • If sound quality doesn’t improve, come and see us. Your hearing needs may have changed, or your device needs repair.

3. Whistling & Feedback

A whistling sound, or feedback, is a common but an uncomfortable sensation with hearing aids. Luckily, there are easy ways to prevent that sound in your ear.

  • Try putting it in again. Friction causes feedback, so if your device is misaligned in your ear, it can make funny sounds. Keep your head still when you install it since movement can cause whistling before it’s in place.
  • Lower the volume. Sometimes high-frequency sound causes whistling. If you’re new to hearing devices, start lower, and work your way up to a comfortable volume.
  • Clean your ears. Earwax in the canal can cause tinnitus (ringing) that you mistake for whistling from your device. Earwax can also cause you to turn the volume so high that it whistles.

4. Uncomfortable Fit

It takes a minute to adjust to something in your ear, just like adjusting to new glasses. But if your hearing aid is still uncomfortable after a bit, consider these possibilities.

  • It might be the wrong size. If you ordered your aid or didn’t have it fitted, it could be too big or small. That’s not only uncomfortable, but it also causes many of the symptoms above, like feedback or distorted sound.
  • You might need a different shape. Hearing aids come in an array of shapes and sizes. See us to find a comfortable fit.
  • Your needs may have changed. If you lose significant weight or change careers or activity levels, a different aid might be better. An aid that slips around in your ear won’t feel good, and you run the risk of it falling out.

Hear More Associates loves restoring sound quality to our patients, and we aren’t happy until you are! Try these tips to fix hearing aid problems, or come in and we’ll fix it for you!

Eight ways to prevent hearing loss from getting worse

Many people view hearing loss as an unavoidable aspect of growing old. While some degree of hearing loss may be inevitable, in other cases, it’s entirely preventable. And even when hearing loss is imminent, there are steps to reduce its progression significantly. Ear trauma, noise damage, and disease are all sources of hearing loss that can be averted when you know the steps to take.

1. COVER YOUR EARS

Trauma to the ears in the form of injury, harsh weather, or contact sports can have a lasting impact on your delicate sense of sound. The position of our ears makes them susceptible to damage, as they are rarely covered and can easily get bumped and bruised. Be sure to cover your ears in cold weather, as well as in sporting endeavors. This includes bike and motorcycle riding, boating, and skiing or tennis.

2. PROTECT YOUR EARS

Chances are, you live near something noisy- whether it’s the construction site in your neighborhood, the traffic on your commute, or the lawnmower in your yard. The use of power tools and dentist’s drills can create ringing in your ears that won’t quit. When you are heading into a noisy environment, pack protection for your ears. Earplugs, noise-canceling headphones, or even ear muffs will help soften the sound that is impacting your ears every day.

3. AVOID LENGTHY NOISE

Little bursts of loud noise can pop into our day without warning. But prolonged exposure to loud sounds can often be avoided. This includes concerts, live events, music played through headphones, and loud cinemas. You can still enjoy such activities by taking earplugs along to muffle the harsh noise. Take breaks from loud events to reduce the impact on your ears. Immediate, as well as, cumulative damage can be caused by loud events when our ears aren’t protected.

4. KNOW YOUR RISK

If hearing loss runs in your family, you’ll want to be proactive. Stopping progression is often easier than repairing the damage. It’s essential to know the warning signs of hearing loss, such as asking people to repeat themselves, having trouble understanding over the phone, and hearing funny sounds in your ears. When you talk to a specialist about hearing loss, you can help mitigate your risk and reduce progression.

5. STAY HEALTHY

Your body is one organism working to maintain homeostasis. When one part is not working correctly, other parts often suffer as well. Staying hydrated, eating well, and exercising will help stave off the effects of aging. Practice good hygiene to reduce the number of colds and viruses you catch, which can lead to inner ear infections. Guard against swimmer’s ear and other rashes by using protective measures. Keeping hydrated will protect the delicate ear membranes by preventing dryness and dehydration.

6. LISTEN TO YOUR LOVED ONES

Those who you speak to daily may pick up on your hearing loss, even before you do. While it might seem like a bad phone connection or a noisy TV is to blame for your difficult reception, friends and family can tell if you’re struggling more than usual. Trust their advice if they suggest you have your hearing checked. You may even want to bring someone along to the appointment to help describe the symptoms they have noticed.

7. VISIT A HEARING SPECIALIST YEARLY

We wouldn’t skip a mammogram or dental appointment, so take your hearing just as seriously. Hearing loss can often be addressed successfully when we stay ahead of it. Each year, our bodies change, and that includes our ears. You may have been struggling to hear, even with your current hearing aids, without realizing it. Furthermore, hearing loss can be a symptom of something more troubling, such as dementia, diabetes, or heart disease. Your hearing may be the first clue that something else is going on. Be sure to ask plenty of questions to understand your test results.

8. ADDRESS YOUR HEARING LOSS

If your doctor recommends a hearing aid, it’s best to follow their advice. Pay close attention to the directions, and volume controls to regulate what your ears are receiving. Superior hearing technology not only restores the sound but protects the hearing you have. Failure to use a necessary hearing device causes strain and fatigue to the ears and brain when you try to decipher the sounds. Going for long periods without your hearing aid can affect your ability to process what you hear.

Common relationship challenges for the hard of hearing

The sound of a loved one’s voice is unmistakable. Even newborns respond to the sound of their mother’s voice before they understand her words. So, when our ability to hear our loved ones diminishes, it has a profound impact on relationships. And it doesn’t just affect the person with hearing loss, those around them struggle too. It’s frustrating, isolating, and sometimes frightening to lose that special connection. As a hearing instrument specialist, it is my distinct mission and privilege to restore meaningful sound to your relationships. Discount Hearing Aid Center understands the relationship challenges for the hard of hearing, and we are here to help.

Relationship Challenges Caused by Hearing Loss

Conflict- The first struggle most people encounter is a difference of opinion about the problem. If your hearing loss is gradual, you may not notice how often you turn up the volume, ask others to repeat themselves, or miss out on cues like the telephone ringing. If a loved one presents the problem to you, it may cause tension if you don’t agree, or don’t want to face the problem.

Miscommunication- Perhaps you are aware of your hearing decline, but enjoy the peace and quiet. In reality, you might be missing critical information like crucial details of a conversation or a subtle tone of voice. This leads to miscommunication in the relationship since you aren’t in sync with your loved one. A missed appointment, uncompleted task, or lack of response might be perceived as hurtful when it’s actually the result of hearing loss.

Frustration- It’s frustrating to miss out on sounds, and the disappointment extends to your friends and family. When they frequently have to repeat themselves, tolerate excessive volume, or handle all of the timers buzzing, doorbells ringing, and texts coming through, life becomes very tedious. This irritation breeds resentment that shouldn’t have to occur.

Health Issues- When you listen to music, television, and movies at high volumes to counter hearing loss, you make the problem worse. And if that’s not enough to make you seek treatment, it damages your loved one’s hearing too. Your health is also at risk if you can’t decipher important sounds like honking horns, fire trucks, or smoke alarms. Your relationship health suffers because you’re putting your family’s physical health at risk.

Emotional Distance- Hearing loss is isolating for yourself, as well as your friends and family. It’s disheartening to know that a loved one can’t hear you, and it creates division in the relationship. Your friends and family might seek other people to confide in or socialize with if you can’t listen to what they’re saying. When there is a communication breakdown, it affects the wellbeing of everyone involved and leads to loneliness, as well as a reduced desire to interact.

How a Hearing Test Heals Your Relationships

Sometimes it’s hard to admit that we need our hearing checked. But when you think about all relationship challenges caused by hearing loss, it’s easy to take that step. At Discount Hearing Aid Center, we provide the best hearing solutions from the top manufacturers. We are trained in the latest technology and testing procedures to restore the sound of the voices you love the most. Don’t let your relationship suffer when the answer is just a click away. Contact us today!

5 Simple Care Tips for Your Hearing Aid

A hearing aid brings welcome relief. Finally, you hear the world around you without straining, confusion, or frustration. For those who rely entirely on their hearing aids for sound, the idea of a malfunction is worrisome. At Discount Hearing Aids, we only provide the most durable hearing aids on the market and we are always available to assist with hearing aid needs. In addition, there are simple steps you can take to prolong the life of your hearing aid and ensure optimal sound quality. Try these 5 tips to care for your hearing aid and don’t hesitate to call us with any questions.

1. Store in a Safe Location

When you first get a hearing aid, you might not think about where to store it, but it’s the first step to protecting it. Pets are helpful companions if you suffer from hearing loss. But store hearing aids away from pets and children. Not only can they damage the device, they can also be harmed by it if they swallow it or get too close to feedback. Avoid extreme temperatures or humidity, and consider storing aids in a drying container or protective case.

2. Avoid Moisture

Moisture can damage the electronic components, so always remove hearing aids before swimming, bathing, or showering. Sweat or humidity can also create condensation, so remove the batteries and leave the battery compartment open, then allow the device to dry overnight or in a drying container. Consider purchasing a forced air blower to remove moisture and dust, but don’t use a hair dryer.

3. Protect Aids from Dirt and Cosmetics

Hairspray, dust, face powder, moisturizer, or any small particles can clog the tubes and damage the speaker. Make sure your hands are clean before you handle the device and remove hearing aids before applying hair products or cosmetics.

4. Clean with Care

Ear wax buildup is a common culprit of muffled sound quality or feedback. Hearing aids require frequent cleaning, but it’s important to do it gently. You might think a strong chemical would be the most sanitizing, but it will damage the device. Use a soft, dry cloth to remove dust or debris and a mild soap to clean the ear molds once you remove them. Make sure the molds are completely dry before you put them back on.

5. Conduct Sound and Battery Checks

Some batteries only last a week or two, so it’s important to check them often to prevent sound interruption. You can purchase a battery tester or conduct daily sound checks, even if you don’t wear the aids every day. A listening tube helps check the clarity, and trust loved ones if they sense your hearing is not what it was.

No matter what your hearing aid concerns are, Discount Hearing Aid Centers are here to help. We have 4 convenient locations to serve our valued customers. It’s important to schedule visits with your Hearing Aid Specialist for deep cleaning, maintenance, and assurance that the size and model are still the best fit for you. Contact us today to learn more!

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