Hearing Aids

5 Oct
Written by in Hearing Aids | 485 Views | Comments Closed

Why You Should Bring a Third Party to Your Hearing Test

Having a family member or close friend at your hearing test appointment can be valuable in more ways than one. Why?

  • They know you on a personal level: Hearing loss does not just affect the individual with the hearing loss, but rather it affects everyone they communicate with. At your first appointment your family member or friend knows you better than the Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist. They have a better idea of your lifestyle, interests and what situations become harder for you to hear in, so it is important to have them help explain what brought you in for the examination.
  • Familiar voice: Bringing an individual with a familiar voice is very useful during your initial hearing test appointment. Not only can your third party help the provider during the testing process, it is beneficial to for the patient to have a familiar voice and support system while the provider reviews their hearing test results in the office to help the individual better understand their level of loss and the hearing instrument options available to them.
  • Another perspective: Someone who has experienced these struggles with you can share their perspective on the situation. A lot of information is provided to you at your first appointment and it can be an abundance for one person to absorb. The third party can help you recognize your need for the treatment, and provides  support for the patient during the decision process. The third party can also be there to help ask questions that you may not have thought of in that moment. With the provider’s instructions, the three of you can determine which hearing aid make and model would be best suited for your lifestyle.

All American Hearing wants to make your transition into better hearing as easy as possible and we would be happy to lead you and your companion through this process. To schedule a complimentary hearing test, click here.

22 Sep
Written by in Hearing Aids | 1100 Views | Comments Closed

Southern Illinois Helps Give the Gift of Hearing!

Last month marked the 9th annual All American Hearing Celebrity Golf Classic Tournament in West Frankfort, IL. The tournament benefits the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides free hearing aids to people in need. Major League Baseball Hall of Famers, Lou Brock and Bob Gibson, from the St.Louis Cardinals, were at the event to sign autographs and to help raise money for this great cause. This year’s event has the biggest turnout to date. A handful of both children and adults were fit with hearing aids.

All American Hearing feels fortunate to once again be able to provide the gift of hearing to those that otherwise would not get the hearing help they deserve. To learn more about the Foundation, or to donate, click here.

22 Aug
Written by in Hearing Aids | 1927 Views | Comments Closed

Doctors Warn About the Dangers of Earbuds

Earbuds, headphones and Bluetooth devices are present everywhere today. From being plugged into your iPhone to MP3 player, they provide listening at gyms, at home and in the workplace. Ear buds are the most popular choice for listening, they weigh almost nothing and are cheap to purchase. The problem is that earbuds are causing hearing damage at an alarming rate.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that “1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss because of personal audio devices, such as smartphones, and damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues like electronic dance music festivals, where noise levels can top 120 decibels for hours.”

Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist from Munster, Indiana stated that the largest cause of hearing damage in millennials is the use of iPods and smart phones as music devices. Since the 1980’s and 90’s hearing loss in teens is reportedly 30% greater. “You (once) had a Walkman with two AA batteries and headphone thongs that went over your ears,” said Cherukuri. “At high volume, the sound was so distorted and the battery life was poor. Nowadays, we have smart phones that are extremely complex computers with high-level fidelity.” It is a growing problem that could get worse if people do not take necessary precaution.

Some facts to consider:

  • At full volume, iPod and MP3 players, along with other digital music devices, can produce as much noise as if you were attending a live rock concert.
  • 89% of people tend to turn up their earbud volume as cars, lawn mowers, etc. are in the background. Be conscious of this behavior!
  • Follow the 60/60 rule: do not listen to these devices over a 60% volume and for no more than 60 minutes per day.

Cherukuri makes it his mission to educate and attempt to stop young people from wearing earbuds altogether. Since earbuds are so close to an individual’s ear drum, they can raise the volume as much as 9 decibels. People need to be aware that permanent hearing damage can happen in minutes and once the damage is done it is irreversible. It is important to remember to not only protect yourself, but also your children at sporting events, music concerts, riding the subway, etc.

How is your hearing? Get immediate results right now by taking this test online.

25 Jul
Written by in Hearing Aids | 1063 Views | Comments Closed

So The World May Hear 2016 Awards Gala

The Starkey Hearing Foundation celebrated their 16th annual So the World May Hear Awards Gala on July 17, 2016 in St.Paul, Minnesota. The event raised a record breaking amount for the Starkey Hearing Foundation and was a night to remember!Capture

The evening celebrated the milestone of the opening of the Starkey Hearing Institute in Zambia, which is a school that equips students with academic rigor, resources and tools to advance in hearing health care services. Along with this exciting achievement, the Starkey Hearing Foundation is expanding it’s missions with more programs and services, specifically with the Foundation’s Hear Now program. The Hear Now program is planning to have a 15% increase in 2016 over 2015 to provide more hearing devices to those in need domestically.

This years honorees included Paula F. Goldberg, co-founder and executive director of PACER, a program and lifeline for parents of children and young adults with disabilities. Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who was honored for his philanthropic achievements in advancing the future of Africa and Jennifer Garner, award winning actress, who was honored for being an advocate for early childhood development and her commitment to this growth.

There were several special guests and performers who provided entertainment throughout the evening. This included Jay Leno, the Hollywood Vampires, featuring Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, country duo Maddie and Tae, and both the Tenors and former American Idol winner Trent Harmon who serenaded the audience. The evening ended with a performance by John Mellencamp who closed out the event with a few crowd favorites. For more information on the Starkey Hearing Foundation, click here.

22 Jul
Written by in Hearing Aids | 861 Views | Comments Closed

The Hidden Healthcare Cost Behind Untreated Hearing Loss

Untreated hearing loss can negatively impact your life by leading to depression, cognitive decline, deteriorated relationships with family and friends, and most recently a study found higher costs associated with your medical bills.

According to a new study conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina, those with untreated hearing loss had significantly higher medical bills than those without hearing loss. But how much higher?

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery compared 562,000 privately insured individuals between the ages of 55 and 64, both with and without hearing loss. The individuals had similar employment, health conditions and low-deductible health insurance. The study compared their inpatient and outpatient costs and prescriptions over an 18-month period.

The results found that those with hearing loss had significantly higher medical bills than those without hearing loss. Specifically, over an 18-month period those without hearing loss spent $10,629 and those with hearing loss spent $14,165.

While it may appear that the difference results in treating the hearing loss alone, that was not the case. The costs were higher for those with treated hearing loss than for those who did not suffer from a loss at all, but the individuals with untreated hearing loss spent the most, even more than those who had a loss and had purchased hearing instruments.

Hearing loss puts patients at a disadvantage when it comes to medical care. One conclusion is that these individuals avoid seeking medical assistance due to the stress of trying to communicate with the medical provider. This stress may delay them seeking the correct medical attention which in turn can lead to them needing more expensive care in the future.

Eventually, untreated hearing loss can lead to physical and emotional distress along with financial consequences if left untouched. The rate of hearing loss triples between the ages of 50 and 60. If you believe that yourself or a loved one is suffering from hearing loss, schedule a hearing examination at one of our 200 locations today. You could not only lower your healthcare costs long term, but also live a healthier and happier life in the process.

8 Jul
Written by in Hearing Aids | 789 Views | Comments Closed

Congratulations to Schmidt’s Hearing Center, Family Hearing Center of Marlton, Audibel Hearing Centers, Hearing Unlimited & Sound Decision!

The All American Hearing Network would like to congratulate the following offices on their standard for excellence in hearing healthcare. Please join us in acknowledging Schmidt’s Hearing Center, Family Hearing Center of Marlton, Audibel Hearing Centers, Hearing Unlimited and Sound Decision Hearing on the following awards each location received:

1. Schmidt’s Hearing Center-Stuart, Florida: “Best Hearing Care.”FLORIDATerry Walters, HAS

 2. Family Hearing Center of Marlton-Marlton, NJ: “Best Hearing Aid Specialist by the Burlington County Times.”

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Terry Jackson, HIS, Tiffany Berth, Sc.D, Au.D, CCC-A, FAAA & Cindy Abbott, Patient Services Coordinator

3. Audibel Hearing Center-Athens, TN: “The Best Place to Purchase a Hearing Aid.”

2016 Athens-Ribbon1stC4. Hearing Unlimited-Ames, IA: “Best of Story County Award” & “Best Audiologist.”

BOSC

5. Sound Decision Hearing-Sioux City, IA: “2016 Best of Sioux City Awards for Hearing Aids.”

6. Audibel Hearing Centers-New Ulm: “2016 Best of New Ulm Awards for Audiologist.”

Congratulations to all locations for receiving these awards and your commitment to serve your patients!

22 Apr
Written by in Hearing Aids | 987 Views | Comments Closed

Hearing Loss & Music

No matter your age, you have most likely been exposed to loud music during several points in your lifetime. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), “more than one billion teens and young adults are at risk for losing their hearing.” While many people enjoy music at concert venues, personal listening through headphones, or do it for a profession, it is important to note that once you lose your hearing you cannot get it back.

Many factors can attribute to this. These can include but are not limited to: how loud the music is, how close you are to the speakers, if you are listening to the music with headphones on, the amount of concerts you attend per year, or your family history of hearing loss.

The inner part of your ear contains tiny hair cells with nerve endings. These hair cells are responsible for picking up sound vibrations and carrying these signals to the brain where they are recognized as a sound. These hair cells can become damaged overtime due to exposure to loud noises. Just like any body part, too much exposure to something can damage it. There are several ways to practice safe listening habits.

Concerts:

  • Wear foam ear plugs to help reduce the noise or get custom fit musician plugs which allow you to hear the music at the same quality, but in a safer range.
  • Stand 10+ feet away from the speakers or sound system.
  • Move around and seek a quieter spot.

Ear Buds:

  • Decrease the amount of time you wear headphones for, take listening breaks.
  • Decrease the volume. The level of damage you can cause to your ears is correlated with the length and the volume of the sound.
  • Download a smartphone app to help monitor safe listening levels.

So when should I seek help if I believe I am suffering from hearing loss? While there are several unique symptoms, here are some key ones:

  • Asking others to repeat themselves.
  • Turning up the TV or radio to volumes that others would find too loud.
  • If it sounds like people are slurring or mumbling their words.
  • Have trouble hearing on the telephone or in a restaurant or public setting.
  • You have ringing in your ears.
  • Missing important information in professional settings, such as meetings.
  • Avoiding social settings or becoming anxious or depressed.

Click here to learn more about Starkey’s new hearing technology that processes speech and music independently, allowing hearing aid wearers to hear music the way it is meant to be heard.

Hearing loss can impact your life in many ways. If you or a loved one believe they are affected by noise induced hearing loss, a hearing aid is a life changing device that can improve your quality of life and prevent any additional damage from happening.

1 Apr
Written by in Hearing Aids | 1123 Views | Comments Closed

10 Reasons Why You Should Get a Hearing Test

10 Reasons Why

Hearing loss is more common than you think. In fact, it is the third most common health problem in the United States, according to WebMD. Hearing loss is treatable, especially if it is detected early on. All American Hearing believes that every individual should be getting a hearing test annually and this is why:

  1. A hearing test is painless and takes an hour or less.
  2. Hearing loss may be correlated to several other health conditions within the body including: hypertension, heart health, osteoporosis, diabetes, smoking, eye health and much more.
  3. The Mayo Clinic recommends baseline hearing tests for all adults.
  4. Untreated hearing loss increases your chance of dementia, falling, depression, social isolation and more.
  5. Hearing loss treatment has been shown to improve learning power, in fact a Better Hearing Institute study showed that people who have untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in annual income.
  6. A majority of clinics serve free coffee and cookies.
  7.  Hearing tests are free of charge.
  8.  You get your eyes checked and teeth cleaned-keep up with your hearing health!
  9.  Those with untreated hearing loss experience a 30-40% greater decline in thinking abilities compared to those without hearing loss.
  10. Because you want to be proactive about your health and live a healthy lifestyle!

If you think you or a loved one have hearing loss, find out by scheduling a hearing test at one of our 250 locations by clicking, here. Hear better, live better!

18 Mar
Written by in Hearing Aids | 969 Views | Comments Closed

How to Clean Your Hearing Aids

With any big investment, it is important to take all necessary steps in order to keep the purchase well maintained. While the majority of your hearing aid maintenance should be done by your hearing healthcare professional, there are several preventative measures you can take at home to keep them in quality condition.

Ear Wax Prevention: Ear wax is the most common cause for hearing aid repairs across the industry. There is both solid ear wax along with vapor that can travel deep into the hearing instrument. The vapor can become solid damaging critical components of your device. How can you prevent this from happening?

  • Clean your hearing aids every morning with a clean cloth, free of lotions, aloe, etc.
  • Do not wipe the microphone ports. These are fragile areas of the device that should be cleaned and repaired by a hearing professional.
  • Take care of your hearing aid tubing. When you purchase your hearing instruments you receive a tool to clean out the tubing. This should be done on a regular basis to prevent wax build up.

Water: Precipitation, condensation, and humidity can cause serious damage to your hearing instruments. Luckily, every All American Hearing hearing instrument is coated with a Surface Nanoshield and wax repellent to help repeal water, oil and debris. Remember to remove your hearing aid before showering, swimming, or entering any body of water. It is important to leave your hearing aid battery doors open at night to allow air to enter the device which preserves the battery life. If your hearing device is exposed to any degree of water, contact your hearing professional.

Avoid Physical Damage: Finally, remember that this is a life-changing device that should be well maintained. Always store them in a safe place away from pets, children or any form of danger. If damage is to occur, collect all parts and make an appointment with your hearing healthcare provider.

Taking great care of your hearing instruments will prolong your device and give you the best results when worn!

15 Feb
Written by in Hearing Aids | 1430 Views | Comments Closed

The Main Event: A Transaction vs. An Experience

By: Joy Glen
Audiologist

As an Audiologist with 20 years of experience in hearing healthcare, I am often asked about the pros and cons of big box hearing solutions.

Chain stores are a convenient place to solve many of our problems. You can purchase whatever you need, from a gallon of milk to a new tire all within a few aisles of one another.

So it’s not hard to see why some people are turning to chain stores for their hearing aids. But while it may be convenient, there are many reasons you shouldn’t buy your hearing aids at the same place you buy your undershirts.

Before you throw a pair in your cart, consider everything you’re not getting when you buy hearing aids at a big box store.

When I first discovered that a hearing impaired person could buy hearing aids at their local big box store (Costco, Sam’s bigboxClub, CVS) I was instantly concerned. How could the hearing impaired get personalized attention to their hearing journey if they were stopping in for a hearing test under the bright fluorescent lights, next to the flat screen TV section? I wondered about the licensed professionals who would work in a big box setting, challenged with the task of fitting hearing aids. I could only imagine that the experience would be, well…less than an experience.

I know first-hand how personal and unique each hearing loss is to that person and their family. No one’s hearing loss is identical to another person’s. Each person faces his or her own unique challenges. Some people struggle to hear children’s voices; others can’t hear women easily. Some people find that they experience debilitating ringing in their ears and they start to get desperate for solutions. Others can hear well in small groups, while some can’t hear at all.

Hearing losses come in all shapes and sizes. On top of all of that, they change over time. Untreated hearing loss can illicit so many different emotions: sadness, embarrassment, anger, frustration, and feelings of worthlessness…. I wondered how all of this would be taken into consideration for the person that winds up in the sound booth at the local big box hearing aid store.

I knew I had to get to the bottom of all my questions and concerns and that there would only be one way to get honest answers. I would have to find a hearing impaired friend to go on a “secret shopper” journey for me at several different Sam’s Clubs and Costco hearing aid places.

The Secret Shopper Adventure Beginssecretshopper

I asked a married couple who were friends of mine to go to several different locations and to share their hearing experience with me. “Jill” was very experienced with hearing loss and had been her husbands, Dave, advocate for better hearing for a few decades. “Dave” has a moderate high frequency hearing loss and has been wearing hearing aids for years. I asked them to get Dave’s hearing tested and to go through the process of buying hearing aids and getting fit.

What I learned is that not all big box hearing places are bad. I also learned that not all big box hearing aid places are good. There were so many different levels of professionalism and service and the experience was more grey than black and white. This is a summary of their secret hopper hearing aid journey:

couple

  • Big Box Hearing Aid stores aren’t really focused on the third party. This means that they don’t really care if you bring your husband or wife with you. They don’t do speech testing using your loved ones voice to see how much of your wife’s or husband’s voice you are missing. They don’t treat the hearing loss as a family problem and don’t encourage the family to attend the fitting and follow up counseling sessions. This is something that we routinely do at our All American Hearing locations.
  • Some of the audiology testing was top notch; some of it barely met state licensure requirements. Some licensed professionals did complete and thorough testing, others just did basic air conduction testing, and might have missed potential areas for conductive hearing loss or middle ear issues. Bottom line regarding testing: it all depends on whom you get during their “shift”.
  • athensinteriorThe experience that you get when talking to your hearing care professional is not exactly an experience, but more of a transaction. You are sitting under florescent lights, and typically next to the toilet paper or electronic isle. There is not a lot of privacy, nor is there a lot of time to get to the root of your problems and how it has impacted your quality of life. There is just enough time to get your ears inspected and tested, and then you are given a sales pitch for the cheapest technology that would be appropriate for your hearing loss. All of this is happening in a very loud office with soaring high ceilings and bright lights. This is certainly not the experience that we provide at our All American Hearing locations, where our hearing testing rooms are sound proof, private, and conducive to family counseling.
  • Once you are fit with hearing aids, you might not be offered the open door for follow up visits. Some big box hearing places are booked for months and getting a follow up appointment is not an easy option. Walk-in appointments for trouble shooting service are hit and miss depending on how busy the office is. Long-term care is not proactive.
  • Price is typically lower than you might get in a local hearing aid practice, sometimes up to a couple hundred dollars. However, you don’t always get offered some of the “bells and whistles” that the local hearing aid practice will offer. Some of the “bells and whistles that All American Hearing might include are: free batteries, complimentary monthly follow up fittings, family counseling for hearing loss, ringing in the ears counseling, wax management, quarterly clean & checks for “tune ups”, and annual hearing tests.

So why should you trust your hearing care to one of our offices in the All American Hearing network?

At a chain store, you give the cashier money, and she gives you hearing aids. End of transaction. If your aids break or need adjustments or cleaning, where do you take them? The store where you bought them may send them far away to be repaired, leaving you without hearing aids for weeks, or they may provide no aftercare services at all.

When you purchase your hearing aids at an All American Hearing location, you know exactly where to take them, and who will be working on them. The same licensed hearing care providers you see every time you come in will repair your devices for you while you enjoy some freshly made coffee and warm cookies.

aftercareAt our All American Hearing offices, your aftercare services are included with the purchase of your hearing aid. Our audiologists and licensed providers provide a complete Hearing Healthcare program, which comes with regular cleaning and adjustments, repair and damage warranties, yearly screenings, and batteries. We encourage families to join you for your appointments, where we incorporate their voice into your hearing testing and help them become part of your hearing solutions. We also help people with tinnitus issues, or “ringing in the ears”.

That ten-items or less lane might be great for your groceries, but it’s not a great place to take care of your hearing loss.

The biggest difference between hearing solutions from a big box versus hearing solutions from All American Hearing is that big box hearing aid services are a transaction. All American hearing looks at you as a unique person with individual needs. We customize hearing solutions and work with you along your hearing journey. We are with you for the long haul and will be your partner for better hearing. Coming to our office is an experience that you will enjoy and look forward to.

Life is Worth Hearing!

 

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