Benefits of Two Hearing Aids

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Our ears were engineered to work together to allow for the best possible hearing and understanding. Binaural listening is impaired when one experiences a hearing loss in one or both ears.

When a hearing professional finds a hearing loss in one or both of your ears, it’s always better to get two aids, even though it may be less expensive to get just one. One hearing aid alone cannot provide the same ear-to-ear experience as two and will not offer the user the same listening experience. Two hearing aids will also enable easier audibility and directional sound detection.

So what are some of the benefits to wearing two hearing aids?

  • Fuller, more natural listening experience – The world is meant to be heard in “surround sound” and two hearing aids help provide fuller and richer sound for a more natural listening experience. The brain requires input from both ears to hear the world in “surround sound” and using only one hearing aid when two are needed impairs your auditory perception of your surrounding environment.
  • Easier processing of sounds and speech through auditory and cognitive systems— Your ears are designed to work together and binaurally process sounds, and your brain’s two halves also work together to create auditory intelligence. Each ear is responsible for sending unique signals to your brain, and each signal is received differently and affects perception and understanding. In short, your ears and brain work together to create a precise definition of the sound you have just heard, and when only one ear is working to send signals, it can take longer to understand the sound or it can alter the perception of the sound itself.
  • Volume Reduction—When hearing loss occurs, many find themselves turning up the volume on the radio or TV. Wearing two hearing aids eliminates the need for loud volumes and consequently helps reduce your exposure to unsafe listening levels when enjoying radio, movies or music.
  • Tinnitus Management—Hearing aids are often recommended for helping to manage tinnitus, many are equipped with tinnitus specific technology or masking capabilities. Using one hearing aid will not help mask the ringing in the unaided ear, so it’s recommended that two hearing aids are used when tinnitus is a concern.

Discover even more benefits by contacting us today!

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How to Properly Clean and Care for Your Hearing Aids

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Just like cars, hearing aids require a certain degree of routine maintenance to keep them functioning at optimal capacity. Some maintenance items should be used only by the manufacturer but there are many other preventative measures that you can complete regularly to ensure that your hearing aid is at full-functioning capacity!

Below we examine three main causes or hearing aid problems and offer cleaning and care tips to help!

Battling Ear Wax
Ear wax is often described as the hearing aid’s worst enemy, and rightfully so as the most common cause for hearing aid repairs across the industry. While ear wax is a healthy, normal occurrence in the ear canal, it can create a number of problems for a hearing aid. The ear canal contains not only the solid or soft components of ear wax but also vapor that can migrate deep into the hearing aid where it can become solid and settle on critical mechanical components.

What you can do:

  • Clean your hearing aids every morning: In order to prevent wax from clogging critical components of your hearing aids, such as the microphones or receivers, it is important to wipe off the hearing aid each morning. Tissues should not be used if they contain aloe or lotions, and cleaning cloths should be cleaned regularly to avoid re-depositing of wax or other debris. It is best to wipe hearing aids in the morning when the wax has had the opportunity to dry and will be easier to remove.
  • Don’t wipe onto the microphone ports: Be careful to not wipe debris onto the microphone ports from another part of the aid.
  • Take care of your hearing aid tubing: When hearing aids are fit with either a thin tube or standard-sized earmold tubing, often times you will receive a tool used to clean the tubing when it is removed from the hearing aid itself. This cleaning should be performed regularly in order to prevent wax buildup within the tubing.

Beating Water
Any exposure to water, humidity, condensation or perspiration can cause serious damage to a hearing aid. Our hearing aids use Surface™ Nanoshield moisture and wax repellant to help repel water, oils and debris. But as with any technology, nothing is 100 percent safe. If your hearing aids are accidentally exposed to large amounts of moisture, contact a local NuEar provider right away.

While accidental immersion in a bath or swimming pool can happen, preventative measures can help guard from moisture buildup within the device during normal usage.

  • Avoid accidental exposure to water: Remove hearing aids when planning to swim or when planning to interact with large bodies of water. Store hearing aids in their storage case and keep somewhere cool and shady to avoid condensation and overheating.
  • Keep a routine: Try to adhere to a routine when it comes to your hearing aids to help avoid accidents. For example, if you typically shower first thing in the morning, always leave your hearing aids in their storage case in the same place every time (not in the bathroom) in order to avoid forgetting to take them out before bathing or accidentally knocking them into the sink or toilet.
  • Remove condensation in tubing: Moisture can collect on the inside of earmold tubing through condensation as warm moist air from the ear canal migrates out to the cooler tubing walls exposed to the environment. If moisture is noted in the tubing of a standard BTE hearing aid, a tube blower may be used to force the moisture out of the tubing after removing the tubing from the earhook.
  • Open battery doors at night: At night, hearing aid battery doors should be left open to allow air to flow through the device; this has the added benefit of preserving battery life. Ideally, hearing aids should be stored in a dehumidifying container. These serve not only as a safe nighttime storage container but also act as a moisture absorbing environment to help draw moisture from the devices into moisture absorbing crystals or packs. NOTE: follow proper use and maintenance instructions of dehumidifying devices as some may require reactivation or replacement parts after a certain amount of usage.

Avoiding Physical Damage
To prevent damage, hearing aids should be stored in a consistent, safe manner whenever they’re not in use. They should be placed out of the reach of small children and pets, as animals tend to be drawn to the devices due to the lingering human scent.

When damage occurs, gather all components of the hearing device and schedule an appointment with your local NuEar professional as soon as possible.

If there is damage to the casing, the devices should not be worn as sharp edges may cause irritation or abrasion to the ear and surrounding areas.

Damage to the tubing, either tears or pinches, should be addressed as soon as possible as such damages can have severe effects on the sound quality of the hearing device.

Make sure to utilize these tips to get the most out of your hearing aids and to keep them in optimal working condition. If you have any questions, feel free to contact one of our local NuEar providers today!

Overcoming the Stigma of Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

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Chances are you know someone with hearing loss. In the United States alone, over 34 million people, roughly 1 in 10, have some level of hearing impairment. Hearing loss not only affects the individual who has hearing loss but those around them as well. Hearing loss can adversely affect your ability to interact with the world around you, leading to embarrassment, social isolation, negative workplace outcomes and relational stress.

The good news is that 95 percent of hearing losses can be treated with hearing aids. Yet fewer than 20 percent of people with hearing loss choose to do anything about it. So why don’t more people seek hearing help?

People usually suffer needlessly for several years before they look for hearing help. A study published in 2010 by Margaret I. Wallhagen, Ph.D., found that the perceived stigma associated with hearing loss negatively impacts an individual’s initial acceptance of it and whether or not they choose to wear hearing aids.

The study found that hearing loss stigma is directly related to three main factors: alteration in self-perception, ageism, and vanity. Unfortunately, just the idea of wearing hearing aids was found to negatively change self-perception for participants in the study, even before they actually tried them. The study also found that the negative associations were markedly diminished after they tried hearing aids which were discreet and unnoticeable.

The stigma associated with hearing loss and hearing aids often prevents a person from seeking hearing help. Typically, the same people that worry needlessly are pleased to find that there are many discreet, customizable options and that they greatly improve quality of life.

How can you break the stigma of hearing loss? Here are four things you can do:

  • Get your hearing tested annually and encourage your loved ones to do the same.
  • If you have a hearing loss, treat it. Contact a local professional today and they can find the best fit for your hearing loss, lifestyle and budget.
  • Wear your hearing aids. Our NuEar professionals know that getting new hearing aids can be an adjustment, which is why they are here to help you every step of the way through your hearing journey.
  • Speak up about your hearing loss. Being vocal about your own hearing loss will gradually lower the stigma for others.

Don’t let the stigma of hearing loss and hearing aids prevent you from living life to the fullest. Investing in better hearing should be a priority! If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing difficulties, don’t wait – contact a local professional for a hearing evaluation. You owe it to yourself and to those around you to hear your very best.

The NuEar Pilgrimage

USMap_50transparentHow many times have you heard of someone moving from the sunny beaches of California to the arctic splendor of Minnesota? Probably not often, but for the NuEar network, that northern migration path has led to many incredible opportunities to become leaders in providing premium hearing aid technology across the country. Learn how NuEar’s humble beginnings have evolved into numerous successes in providing better hearing to thousands of individuals every year.

The NuEar story begins nearly 40 years ago in sunny San Diego as a hearing aid manufacturer. NuEar’s products were gaining traction in the 1980s but didn’t take off until the company was purchased by fellow hearing aid manufacturer, Starkey Laboratories. Based out of the Minneapolis, MN area, Starkey Laboratories, and the company’s CEO William F. Austin, saw the potential to grow successes in providing superior hearing products to a larger portion of the United States. With the acquisition of NuEar came the loyalty of many dedicated hearing professionals. Over time this group of hearing professionals grew rapidly into one of the largest nationwide networks of hearing care professionals in the country!

In the late 2000’s opportunity struck again to relocate NuEar under the same roof as it’s parent company Starkey Hearing Technologies, formerly Starkey Laboratories. This move came with little hesitation as it presented new opportunity to incorporate industry-leading hearing aid technology into patient offerings. This leap forward easily justified the relocation, as it allowed for greater patient outcomes and hearing benefits.

The NuEar pilgrimage, from the southwestern United States to northern, is not at all a backwards move. Rather, it was a forward progression into providing the best possible hearing care to many individuals in need. The NuEar Nework of hearing professionals continues to grow stronger together each year, trading a more tropical annual training destination for greater successes in patient care. That is a trade we would all make every time we would have to choose.

Welcome to Hearing Independence

We believe that hearing is unique and special and that no matter your age, being able to hear should give you the freedom to live life to the fullest! This belief is called Hearing Independence and it guides everything we do at NuEar. It’s not only what our Partners strive to provide to each person who walks through their doors, it’s what makes us different from other hearing healthcare providers.

NuEar providers are in your community and are locally owned and operated. We put others before ourselves, commit to improving every life we touch and aren’t afraid of putting in the hard work needed to make our patients happy. We believe that by helping our fellow community members hear better, we improve their lives AND the community as a whole. Patients who visit one of our offices around the nation leave hearing loss woes behind and see family relationships grow tighter, experience social interactions become smoother, and feel that safety is improved and misunderstandings are minimized.

We know that a community of confident, vibrant and engaged people is one where there is unlimited potential, which is why we’ve started another community, an online community, with the NuEar blog! Join us as we regularly post about various hearing topics including patient testimonials and better hearing insights. In addition, we’ll highlight product technology and advances in patient care programs to demonstrate how we hold ourselves to the highest level of quality. Because at the end of the day, NuEar is built the American way, which means we promise to do whatever it takes to send patients home happy and hearing well. We know the time for Hearing Independence is now, and we know that you’re ready!