Categories
Hearing Loss

Are SoundVoids™ a Part of Your Life?

SoundVoids™

Do any of the the following scenarios apply to you (or a family member, friend, or co-worker)?

●  Someone is talking to you, but you miss the beginning and/or ending parts of some of the words, which results in the sentence structure not making a lot of sense.

●  You are watching TV or listening to the radio, but the speaker drops entire words from his or her sentences. The result is that you find it difficult to impossible to understand what is going on.

●  Conversing one-on-one is something that you can do well enough, but the minute any background noise comes into play — such as occurs at restaurants and social gatherings — your comprehension of the discussion nosedives.

If any of this has happened to you or someone you know, you may be experiencing SoundVoids™, a term used by AudigyCertified™ hearing care professionals.

A SoundVoid is defined as a moment lacking in clarity in hearing or understanding. It can also be described as an empty space in one’s life caused by the absence of sound clarity.

The trademarked term SoundVoids was created by AudigyCertified professionals to help explain the gaps that some individuals say they experience in their day-to-day listening lives. SoundVoids usually occur in specific listening situations where a person’s hearing difficulties do not permit them to detect or understand important sounds and speech cues.

However or wherever you experience them, SoundVoids can detract from a desired lifestyle. The good news is that as an AudigyCertified professional, I have the education, experience, training, and access to the world’s most advanced hearing technology to provide you with the best possible solution to SoundVoids.

So, if SoundVoids are affecting you or a loved one, call my office today and tell us you no longer wish for SoundVoids to be a part of your life, and we will schedule you for a complementary no-obligation office visit… because hearing is a wonderful gift!

Commonly misunderstood words for people with hearing loss

People with hearing loss typically miss the beginning and ending of a word because of its consonant sounds, which are commonly high frequency sounds. As a result, some words can easily be mistaken for others.

Here are a few examples:

Rose sounds like road

Catch sounds like cat

Sit sounds like it

Vote sounds like boat

Pass sounds like path

Wife sounds like white

Want to learn more about hearing issues?  Visit our Internet website at www.nsaudiology.com, where you can find all sorts of great information including an archive of articles by Dr. Chalmers. Once on our site, simply click on the “Ask Dr. Chalmers” banner…because hearing is a wonderful gift!

Since 2006, AudigyGroup has interviewed over 5,000 of the 18,000 audiologists in the U.S., yet has selected only 250 to be members in this elite association. Dr. Chalmers is the only AudigyGroup professional in the entire northeastern part of California. AudigyCertified is a trademark of AudigyGroup, LLC.

Categories
Hearing Aids

Are My Hearing Aids Supposed to Whistle?

“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee”

“Dr. Parker, can you please help this person in the waiting room? That feedback sound is driving everyone crazy!” This comment came from my assistant the other day. I quickly finished up what I was doing and called the patient back.

What causes feedback?

Well, feedback for hearing aids happens just like the feedback at church — basically the microphone and speaker are too close together. In other words, when the sound is picked up by the microphone and then amplified and then released through the speaker, some of that amplified sound might get picked up again through the microphone. That sounds is the “eeeeeee” sound you hear. You can make your hearing aid whistle by cupping it in your hand. (Note: the hearing aid must be turned on and have a good battery inside.)

Feedback happens for a reason

It is your audiologist’s job to figure out the cause and treatment for it. Specific causes for feedback with hearing aids includes: excessive ear wax, cracked or broken tubing, incorrect insertion of your hearing aid, a bad physical fit of your hearing aid (too loose in a certain place), too much volume at certain frequencies or pitches, or sometimes an internal problem inside the hearing aid.   My advice to my patients is that feedback should tell you that 1) your battery is working great; 2) your hearing aid is not in your ear correctly.   If your hearing aid still whistles after these things are considered, then you need to see your audiologist to see what is causing feedback.

Ears change over time

For many users, their ears actually get bigger on the inside of their ears. After a few years, their hearing aids fit smaller and looser than what they had when the aids were newer. Occasionally I will recommend to a patient to consider new technology rather than having their older hearing aid repaired, because ears change and feedback can occasionally be a greater problem after the repair than before due to how the aid fits in their ear and the dated technology.

Occasionally we still have problems with feedback even with new technology. However, it is not the problem it used to be.

Today’s hearing aids can provide more power with less feedback than ever before

Different companies manage feedback differently, and that affects patients’ hearing.

In my patient’s case, her feedback was the result of too much wax in her ear. Once this was removed, the problem was solved and she was thrilled to be able to hear again. Her family was even happier that they did not need to listen to that annoying sound. Next time you hear “eeeeeee,” consider the possible reasons, and then call your audiologist for help!

Categories
Hearing Loss

Better Hearing Means Better Balance

Balance and hearing aids

Hearing aids may do more than just help us hear. They may also give us better balance. Imbalance is a concern of millions of people worldwide. Balance can be related to inner ear, visual, neurological, and muscular disorders. While hearing aids cannot cure balance issues, it is just another clue that the parts of the ear (hearing and balance) work more closely than previously thought.

Balance and ears

According to a recent research study from Washington University in St. Louis, ENT Dr. Timothy E. Hullar reports, “We don’t think it’s just that wearing hearing aids makes the person more alert. The participants appear to be using sound information coming through their hearing aids as auditory reference points to help maintain balance.” It is a bit like using your eyes to tell you where you are in space. This study suggests that opening your ears (to sound) also gives you information about balance.”

Research results

Patients maintained their balance over a longer period of time on balance tests using a foam pad. On the more difficult heel-to-toe test, patients remained stable nearly twice as long with hearing aids on. This study was done with a small number of patients. However, results appear to be statistically significant according to Dr. Hullar. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lary.24974/abstract)

Sudden hearing loss can be a factor

Balance is sometimes observed in an office setting when patients who are used to wearing two hearing aids are suddenly in a position where they can only use one, such as if a battery dies or if a repair is needed. Sudden sensorineural hearing losses can also contribute to balance issues, though these are often related to the vestibular — the balance — portion of the inner ear.

We can help

If you have questions about how your ears work, or if you would like your ears to work better, please contact your AudigyCertified™ professional. We are “hear” for you.