Questions About Hearing Aids? What does the Mayo Clinic Advise?

The highest-rated hospital and research facility in the country, the Mayo Clinic, has some insightful things to say about hearing aids, especially before you buy some.  From their web site, we’ve condensed some key points:

  •          To understand what type of hearing aid will work best for you, seek a reputable audiologist.  “An audiologist will assess your hearing and help you choose the most appropriate hearing aid and adjust the device to meet your needs.  You may get best results with two hearing aids.”

  •          Beware of bogus claims.  Hearing aids can’t restore normal hearing or eliminate all background noise, despite advertisements or dispensers who claim otherwise.

  •         Plan for the expense.  The cost of hearing aids varies; talk to your audiologist about your needs and expectations.

  •          Hearing aids take time to get used to.  “You’ll likely notice your listening skills improve gradually as you become accustomed to amplification.  Even your own voice sounds different when you wear a hearing aid.  Allow time to get used to the hearing aid.” 

  •          Wearing your hearing aids regularly will lead to success.  “An audiologist can tell you about new hearing aids and devices that become available and help you make changes to meet your needs.  The goal is that, in time, you find a hearing aid you’re comfortable with and that enhances your ability to hear and communicate.”

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Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave!

It happens every week.  Indeed, this week it happened three times in two days. 

Someone bought hearing aids after a search on the World Wide Web, but due to the complexity of matching individual hearing loss with sophisticated electronic circuitry as well as the unique aural anatomy that is as different as one fingerprint to the next, the low cost ‘deal’ of the internet purchase has them searching for brick and mortar solutions.

The ironic truth is that whatever money saved for an internet purchase of hearing devices ends up being time and money poorly spent.  The devices that we’ve seen at JC Audiology’s Hearing Aid Hospital tend to be outdated technology, or substandard devices, or otherwise woefully inadequate for the patient’s hearing loss.  Often, the ‘deal’ on the internet cost the same amount as devices we sell.  But with an online purchase, there is no service like the service you get from a professional audiologist right around the corner.  Hearing devices dispensed at JC Audiology can be serviced here anytime, often on the same hour that you bring them in.  And never a cost while the devices are under warranty.

The audiologists at JC Audiology service on average 120 hearing devices EVERY MONTH.  That’s in addition to the dozens of hearing devices that local patients purchased with us every month.  Patients who have hearing devices dispensed through brick and mortar establishments know the value of having someone in the flesh in the same room, adjusting, servicing, professionally gauging and matching hearing loss to decibel gain using calibrated equipment for the most accurate results.   

Our advice, based on years of helping those who have made regrettable decisions before coming to us, is to call us and talk hearing devices before you make a purchase online.  Our prices are just as fair as any deal you will get anywhere, and our services are superior.  Don’t make the mistake of those who found out that the ‘deal’ they got meant old technology that crashed soon after they spent a lot of money on their devices, or the patient who purchased it from an internet retailer who then went out of business, providing him with no support for the devices.  With 120 hearing devices serviced monthly here, we can attest to the need for ongoing professional care and maintenance!

Oh, and there’s something else about buying from a local business that you should know:  the dollars spent locally stay in the community, circulating and strengthening the local economy and benefiting local institutions.  Online purchases send your money elsewhere, and if it is for inferior merchandise and service, it might as well be money down the drain.

If you purchased your devices online and need them serviced by us, our team of professional audiologists stand ready to greet you and work with you—in person! 

Call us at the same number we’ve had since 2005:  (813) 949-1331. 

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Maybe We Should Call Them Brain Aids

The Wall Street Journal published an article (Health-Care Technology section, Feb. 7, 2019), titled “Hear Better, Think Better,”  in which the link between hearing and cognitive abilities is explored.  The article cites multiple research studies that confirm what scientists have suspected, that there is a link between hearing loss and cognitive declines in thinking and memory.

The good news is that hearing aids can boost brain function.  The Journal of American Geriatrics Society published a study that found that the rate of cognitive decline slowed after participants started wearing hearing aids.  Another study by the University of Maryland said that hearing aids boost brain function, citing two groups of individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss who were tracked for six months.  Most of the hearing aid users showed improvement in working memory and neural speech processing, and a greater ease of listening.

These recent studies follow other published research of the past couple of years in which hearing loss was linked to other health and social problems, such as falls, depression and increased financial burden.  A study published in the JAMA Otolaryngology journal in November said that health-care costs for those with hearing loss are 46% higher over a decade than for those without hearing loss, in part due to increased hospitalizations.

If you suspect you may have hearing loss, give the audiologists at JC Audiology a call (813-949-1331).  They are dedicated to help you keep your hearing and brain healthy and strong.

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Top 10 Reasons to Make the New Year a Time to Get New Ears!

It’s the time to make resolutions, so why not resolve this year to eliminate the term “HUH?” from your vocabulary!  Let’s make it a great year for hearing!

Here are the top reasons to HEAR BETTER!

10.  You’ll be HAPPIER!  A couple of scientific studies conclude that adults with untreated hearing loss are more likely—sometimes TWICE as likely—to be depressed and feeling sadder than people who wear hearing aids.

9.  You won’t be so alone!  Another study reported that greater amounts of hearing loss were associated with increased odds of social isolation in women in their 60s.

8.  Your brain will be healthier!  The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that even mild hearing loss equates to 7 years of cognitive decline when compared to a similar age group with normal hearing.

7.  Your relationships will be stronger!  With better hearing, there won’t be endless battles over the TV volume, phone conversations, other missed communications.  Addressing a problem together makes the solution and the relationship a healthy, happy one.

6.  Your finances could benefit!  One report estimates that the average person with hearing loss loses about $14,000 per year.  (Also, you may have an insurance benefit that covers some or all of hearing devices—we’ll be happy to check that out for you).

5.  Technology has never been better!  The processing power and functionality of hearing devices is incredible.  The latest technology can allow sounds to stream into your ears from your cell phone, the TV, or other sources.

4.  You’ll be enjoying the joke—not asking someone laughing what the punchline was that you missed.

3.  You’ll senses will thank you!  Of all the human senses (which all deteriorate with age), only the sense of hearing can be digitally, electronically enhanced with such sophisticated technology to match your hearing loss that can move you toward a more natural hearing environment.

2.  You never want to miss a loved one’s terms of endearment, or respond to them with another “HUH?”

1.  Hearing devices can save your life!  Sirens are loud, sure, but there are other warning signs that might not be heard.  One patient of JC Audiology told us that while walking in the woods one day he heard a rattle nearby.  He was certain he would not have spotted the rattlesnake hear his foot in time had he not been wearing his hearing aids!

Call us today (813-949-1331) and let us help you keep your resolution to the best self-improvement project you can make this New Year: Better Ears for a Happy New Year!

Come see the best!

Come see the best!

9 Things About Hearing Devices That Will Rock Your World!

From Helpingmehear.com:

9 Things You Should Know About Hearing Aids
Most people with hearing loss don’t get hearing aids even if they need them. There are a lot of reasons for this, but in part it’s because they have misconceptions about hearing devices, or simply don’t know enough about them to make that choice. If you or your loved one have untreated hearing loss, these nine things will help you make up your mind.

You’re Not Alone
People with hearing loss sometimes believe they are the only one with the problem. That is far from the reality. Close to 20 percent Americans have hearing loss, and the numbers rise sharply with age. Close to 30 million adults in the US would benefit from hearing aids but few use them. Your decision to get hearing aids not only benefits you, but as more and more people start using them, the less others will find a stigma attached to their use.

Hearing Aids Have Changed
The technology related to hearing aids has changed dramatically in the last decades, and all signs point to continued improvement. They are much more discreet than models from the past, and the newest models let you connect directly to your TV and other devices. This creates a much better environment for people with hearing loss and those around them.

Enjoy a Better Quality of Life
The National Institute for Aging found that people with untreated hearing loss were twice as likely to be depressed, and that they reported feeling sadder than people who wore hearing aids. If you’re still on the fence about getting a hearing aid, think of how great it will be to hear the birds chirping again, or to have easier conversations with your loved ones.

Hearing Aids Can Slow Dementia
Several studies have shown that people with hearing loss experience dementia and a general decline in cognitive abilities at a higher rate than those with good hearing. Researchers don’t know exactly what causes people with poor hearing to experience cognitive problems, but as a result of the available research many recommend getting a hearing aid to stave off dementia.

Hearing Aids Save Relationships
When people don’t address their hearing loss they may also notice that their relationships with loved ones change. It is frustrating for others to have difficulty with phone conversations, hearing the loud volume on TVs and radios, and experiencing a lack of communication. When couples address hearing loss together, everyone wins.

Hearing Aids Save You Money
People worry about the cost of hearing aids, when in reality they should worry about the costs of NOT getting them. If left untreated, hearing problems lead to depression and anxiety, other health issues, and difficulties with communication in the workplace. This can lead to underemployment, unemployment, and lost wages due to time off. It is estimated that the average person with untreated hearing loss loses about $14,000 per year. That puts the cost of hearing aids in a whole new light.

There Are Organizations That Help
If you are still worried about the cost of hearing aids, talk to your audiologist about organizations that can help. Several organizations collect used hearing aids for donation. While you must have your audiologist calibrate it to fit your specific needs, this eliminates the initial cost of the device. Other groups like AARP have partnered with hearing aid makers to provide discount programs.

Hearing Aids Help You Feel Better Rested
If you have hearing loss, you also may find that you are tired in the middle of the day or go to bed earlier. This isn’t a figment of your imagination. It’s called listening fatigue, and it’s caused by how hard you have to concentrate to make out what other people are saying. Once you wear a hearing aid and don’t strain so hard, you will also find that your energy levels get higher.

Hearing Aids Can Save Your Life
Hearing aids do not cure hearing loss, but they certainly do help people hear better. We take fire alarms, emergency broadcast messages, and sirens for granted, but imagine the dangers of not being able to hear them. A person with a hearing aid is also more likely to avoid things like oncoming traffic and other dangers.