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Introducing La Belle: The Worlds Most Popular Eyeglass Hearing Aid

Last year the Better Hearing Blog brought you an article about a group of Virginia Tech students who developed NuWave, a pair of glasses that transforms sound waves into vibrations. After we posted the article, our in-box was flooded with emails asking when and where NuWave would be available.labelle_hoerbrille_3_300dpi

Why was the article about NuWave so popular? The answer is simple: The fact is that only one in five people who would benefit from wearing a hearing aid actually wear one because of the stigma of wearing a hearing aid. The hearing industry has failed to address this problem.

For people who don’t like the idea of wearing a hearing aid who want a more discreet solution to their needs, the LaBelle could provide the answer.labelle_click_system_300dpi

  • The La Belle comes from Bruckhoff, a German company who are experts at putting almost invisible hearing aids onto the arms of glasses. For those who do not already wear glasses, Bruckhoff offers a selection of men’s and women’s frames to choose from.
  • La Belle is suitable for people suffering from mild to severe hearing loss as well as people with conductive hearing loss.knochenleitungshoerer-la-belle-bc-06_300_dpi
  • The La Belle glasses contain a high quality digital hearing aid, with nothing in the ear or visible to other people.

With La Belle, Bruckhoff has developed a unique hearing aid system that simply clicks onto the frame of their adapted glasses. No matter if you’re nearsighted or farsighted, you can attach La Belle to your driving glasses, your reading glasses or even your sunglasses.labelle_mister_300dpi

Prices for these amazing hearing instruments start around $1,600, dependent on the model selected. Once you have your hearing tested and you place your order, the adapted glasses can be manufactured in about four weeks. But don’t go running to your audiologist just yet – La Belle is available in over 20 countries … but not in the United States.

For more information on La Belle, visit their website.

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Fighting Fires and Hearing Loss

Urgent need for hearing prevention programs, according to an American study.

Exposure to high levels of noise is common for firefighters. Daily work in the fire services includes being surrounded by noise from fire sirens, alarms, communication devices, audio equipment in cabs, engine pumps, rotary and chain saws and ventilation fans. firefighters

An American study of 425 American firefighters shows that more than 40% have signs of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) as a result of their line of work. In addition, reported use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) was only 34%.

Effective hearing loss prevention programs, better work practices and HPDs like ear muffs and ear plugs, should therefore be implemented to reduce NIHL in firefighters.

Longer exposure, worse hearing. Firefighters are exposed to harmful sources of noise in their line of work. Such exposure to high noise levels may contribute to hearing problems, like NIHL.

According to the American survey, firefighters with longer years of work in fire services demonstrate significantly worse hearing. Also, firefighters who used HPDs less were more likely to experience hearing loss.2608

Hearing protection devices (HPDs). With firefighters being exposed to harmful noise levels, they risk damaging their hearing and the risk of NIHL is severely increased.

To prevent hearing impairment among firefighters, it is recommended that effective hearing loss prevention programs are implemented as well as better work practices. Also, firefighters are urged to make better use of HPDs to ensure better hearing health.

About the study. The study was published in the medical journal “Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine’. 425 American firefighters from three states across the United States participated in the study, which was carried out by Dr. OiSaeng Hong, from the University of California.

Source: National Institute of Health

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Young Adults Should Prepare for Hearing Loss

One in four 18-44-year-olds using headphones reports hearing problems, a study shows.

More and more people have trouble hearing. Especially young people are at risk, as they often use headphones at a loud volume. This is also the case for young adults in New York City, i.e. the city that never sleeps.party_bar_pattaya_for_sale2

According to a study, one in four young New York adults aged 18-44 reports hearing loss and hearing problems are found in 23% of people who use headphones at a high volume at least five days a week for four hours a day. Overall, 16 % of adult New Yorkers have hearing problems.

Researchers conclude that if young adults frequently use headphones at a loud volume, they should be prepared to deal with ringing in their ears or hearing loss as a result.

Heavy headphone use

According to the study, younger adults frequently listen to music on headphones at a high volume. Prolonged young-teenagers-listening-to-music-12047932exposure to loud levels of noise may cause irreversible damage to the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss, tinnitus or both.

Young adults, who regularly use headphones at a loud volume, are more than twice as likely to have hearing problems, than those who do not.

About the study

The study is a survey from 2011 carried out by the New York City Department of Health.

For the researchers, the message is clear: people need to turn down the volume on their headphones if they want to protect their ears from damage.

Source: New York Daily News

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Guitarist Paul Langlois Diagnosed With Sudden Hearing Loss

Paul Langlois of the Canadian band The Tragically Hip lost all hearing in his right ear.

The sentence “Let’s just see what the morning brings”, from The Tragically Hip song Wheat kings, turned out to have extra significance for one of the band’s members, namely guitarist Paul Langlois.

As the Canadian rock band, referred to as The Hip, was recording its album, Now for Plan A, guitarist Paul Langlois suddenly lost all hearing in his right ear, resulting in him becoming completely deaf on his right side.

The Hip-guitarist was diagnosed with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), a relatively rare condition which involves the onset of unexplained one-sided deafness.

Early treatment for sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) may potentially save a person’s hearing. Most people recover from the condition, but about 15% have hearing loss which continues to worsen. Further treatment may involve various types of hearing aid or cochlear implants.

The “New Normal”

Being diagnosed with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) left The Tragically Hip-guitarist Paul Langlois in an anxious state. He feared that his music career would be over if he lost the ability to sing in key.

Paul Langlois (far left), member of Tragically Hip, suffers sudden hearing loss.

Paul Langlois (far left), member of Tragically Hip, suffers sudden hearing loss.

A small blessing for the guitarist, however, was that the band was in the studio recording and not on the road. This allowed Paul Langlois more time to get used to and adjust to ‘the new normal’.

Musical and social adjustment

Following the diagnosis of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), Paul Langlois always plays on the right side of the stage while touring with The Tragically Hip. This means that the band is on the guitarist’s left side, where his good ear is. Paul Langlois’ condition therefore does not force him to switch the way the band lines up onstage.

With time, the guitarist has adjusted both musically and socially to the sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) in his right ear. From being anxious and worried about his musical future, The Tragically Hip-member has become more relaxed about his condition.

Source: The Calgary Herald

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May is Better Hearing Month

Back in 1927, the month of May was designated as Better Hearing and Speech Month to raise awareness about the causes and treatments of hearing loss and speech impediments. And, on May 21, 1986, President Ronald Regan issues a formal proclamation designating May is the official month to “heighten public awareness about hearing loss and speech disorders.”

President Regan’s proclamation is as follows:

 NOW, THEREFORE, I RONALD REGAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of May as Better Hearing and Speech Month, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies and activities. (Proclamation 5486, May 21, 1986)

Hearing is one of our most vital senses. It enables you to process everyday sounds to communicate and safely interact in your daily environment. Better hearing gives us a better quality of life.

As hearing diminishes, everyday sounds once taken for granted become less and less apparent until they can no longer be detected at all. When hearing loss goes unrecognized or untreated, more serious consequences can occur not only to the individual’s physical and mental health, but to the communities as well.

Consider a potential automobile accident caused by a driver failing to hear warning signals like sirens, screams or screeching. This puts the hearing impaired driver and the public at risk. There are also the potential dangers of not hearing telephones, doorbells, security alarms or smoke detectors.

Currently in the United States, an estimated 30 million people suffer from varying degrees of hearing impairment. Approximately only 5 million of them wear hearing instruments. Most people with hearing damage deny that they have enough damage to seek help. As America’s baby boomers age, hearing loss has become increasingly prevalent. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, hearing impairment is the third most common problem affecting the baby boom generation.

For most people, hearing loss can start to weaken at 30 years old. Hearing deterioration can be caused from a number of reasons including aging, a virus, high cholesterol, diet, medications, repeated environmental situations such as loud concerts or amplified music or operating loud equipment without proper ear protection.

Hearing loss is becoming increasingly popular at younger age due to the advancement of equipment and amplifications experienced daily. The time exposed to high levels of sound impairs hearing temporarily, but permanently with continued exposure.

Noise Level Exposure Limit Activity
90 dB 8 Hours Lawn Mower, Shop Tools
100 dB 2 Hours Pneumatic Drill, Chainsaw
110 dB 30 Minutes Woodworking, Motorcycle
115 dB 15 Minutes Sandblaster
120 dB Under 15 Minutes Ambulance Siren, Rock Concert
130 dB Immediately Jackhammer
140 dB Immediately Jet Engine at Takeoff
150 dB Immediately Most Firearms

The good news is that most hearing losses can be effectively treated with amplification. The key for effective treatment and rehabilitation is to identify a hearing loss in the early stages. The best way to identify early signs of hearing loss is to have your haring checked regularly be a professional especially after the age of 50.

Because the onset of hearing loss tends to be gradual, The Hearing Professionals has developed a series of questions to help identify possible indicators:

  1. Do you tend to favor one ear over the other?
  2. Have you been told to turn down the TV (because it is too loud for everyone but yourself)?
  3. Do you have difficulty following conversations in large groups or noisy places such as restaurants?
  4. Do you often ask others to repeat themselves, especially young children and women?
  5. Do you have trouble hearing at a distance, such as in church or movie theaters?
  6. Have friends or family members commented on your inability to hear?
  7. Are you over the age of 50 and it has been over one year since you last had your hearing checked?

If you answered yes to one or more of the previous questions, you need a complete hearing evaluation. If you suspect you have hearing loss, you may be pleased to learn that it is just wax build up that can be removed.

During the Month of May, The Hearing Professionals will be celebrating Better Hearing Month. If you suspect that you or someone you know suffers from hearing loss, we urge you to have them come in on May 13 and 14 for a free hearing screening. The screening will tell you if you have a hearing loss or not. Call the location nearest you to set up an appointment.

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How Do I Know When It’s Time For New Hearing Aids?

Do you remember when you first got your hearing aids? How nice it was not to concentrate so hard to understand a conversation? How pleasant it was for everybody else that you didn’t have to turn the TV up to such a high volume? All of the wonderful sounds you could hear again? If you’ve had your hearing aids for a few years, are you sure you’re still hearing that well?

Here are six things to consider to consider when deciding if it’s time for new hearing aids. If one or more sound familiar, it might be time to talk to one of us about your options.

  1. How old are your current aids? Hearing devices last an average of five years. Manufacturers typically stop making parts for devices after about five years and will not even service devices that are more than seven years old.cochlearimplant6
  1. Have you experienced a change in health, vision or dexterity? If you are not as easily able to clean your devices or replace batteries, it might be a good idea to change to a different model that is more easily operated and maintained.
  1. Has your hearing worsened? It is not uncommon to have patients complaining that their hearing aids don’t work as well as they used to, but after testing it’s found that the devices are fine and the hearing has dropped. Often times this can be resolved by updating the hearing aid’s prescriptive levels. But if your hearing has significantly worsened, it might be time for a stronger or higher fidelity devices.
  1. Do you want to hear your “best” or “just better”? Most people replace their hearing aids every four to five years. The hearing aids themselves will last longer, but technology significantly improves about every four years. Like other electronics, hearing aids are rapidly advancing while becoming less expensive. You can often purchase lower-priced new hearing devices with a wider frequency response and better sound quality than a premium technology pair bought just a few years ago.460143
  1. Do you have special hobbies or a unique lifestyle? Woodworking, snorkeling and horseback riding are all examples of activities that can cause trouble with hearing aids. Thankfully, today’s devices can be water, dust or shockproof. Even better, these are available at all price and all levels of technology.
  1. Do you have a new attitude about hearing aids? Most people are hesitant about getting their first pair of hearing aids. Along with considering sound quality and hearing aid dependability, new users typically consider size, style and “invisibility” of their first hearing aids. By the time the second set of hearing aids is being debated, most people have changed their thoughts and prioritize fidelity, clarity and features before invisibility.

If you are wondering if your current hearing aids are still giving you their best, we invite you to come in for a free, no-obligation test drive of new devices. We like to test and compare your existing hearing aids with new instruments. That way, we’ll all know if you’re still hearing the way you ought to with your current devices, or, if new, more modern instruments will offer a significant improvement.

 

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Anything Can Be Bought On The Internet … Including Hearing Aids

For years there have been websites selling inexpensive hearing aids, but today there are far more including those being sold by insurance companies. For those who may not otherwise be able to purchase hearing aids due to financial concerns, this may sound like a great opportunity. However, in order to protect yourself I strongly recommend that you consider this: Can a thorough hearing evaluation and ear exam to rule out medical concerns be done online? And, how can you get custom fit hearing instruments without accurate ear impressions for one’s hearing loss and lifestyle when no verification testing can be done in the office? There are other considerations that include providing the right size receiver wire and dome fit, for example, on open-ear style, a popular hearing aid often requested by patients in my practice.

These are just a few issues that raise a red flag when it comes to purchasing hearing aids online. What if your hearing aid needs repair? How easy is that going to be to send it in and have no back up loaner provided when needed? Wearing your hearing aids continuously is part of the rehabilitation process, so why disrupt that waiting on a repair when indeed most repairs can be done in our lab?

When working with The Hearing Professionals, we are trained to assess potential medical concerns of your ears, make appropriate medical referrals when necessary and properly fit hearing devices optimal performance is vitally important. Since my first office in 1996 and fitting literally thousands of patients, I can honestly say there is no substitute for personalized attention and care when it comes to fitting and maintaining your hearing aids.

Before you make a decision to purchase hearing aids over the internet, consult with one of us at The Hearing Professionals. Today there are leading hearing aid manufacturers who will work with us to provide high quality digital hearing technology at very economical prices when needed. We’ve always strived to provide what’s best for our patients without compromising professional services. Purchasing hearing aids online compromises that service and may very well cost you more in the long run.

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