The Top 5 Hearing Aid Myths Exposed

Sometimes, it seems as if we love to mislead ourselves. Wikipedia has an entry called “List of common misconceptions” that consists of hundreds of widely-held but false beliefs. Yes, I know it’s Wikipedia, but take a look at the bottom of the webpage and you’ll notice approximately 385 credible sources cited.

As an example, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb? Or that sugar does not actually make kids hyperactive? There are myriad examples of beliefs that we just assume to be accurate, but once in a while, it’s a good idea to reassess what we think we know.

For many of us, it’s time to reassess what we think we know about hearing aids. Almost all myths and misconceptions about hearing aids are based on the problems connected with the older analog hearing aid models. But since the majority of hearing aids are now digital, those issues are a thing of the past.

So how current is your hearing aid knowledge? Read below to see if any of the top 5 myths are preventing you or someone you know from obtaining a hearing aid.

The Top 5 Myths About Hearing Aids

Myth # 1: Hearing aids are not effective because some people have had bad experiences.

Reality: To begin with, hearing aids have been proven to be effective. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing the effectiveness of three popular types of hearing aids determined that:

Each [hearing aid] circuit markedly improved speech recognition, with greater improvement observed for soft and conversationally loud speech….All 3 circuits significantly reduced the frequency of problems encountered in verbal communication….Each circuit provided significant benefit in quiet and noisy listening situations.

Moreover, since the release of this investigation, hearing aid technology has continued to get better. So the question is not whether hearing aids work — the question is whether you have the right hearing aid for your hearing loss, professionally programmed in accordance to your preferences by a competent professional.

Negative experiences are most likely the result of receiving the wrong hearing aid, buying hearing aids online, contacting the wrong individual, or not having the hearing aids customized and professionally programmed.

Myth # 2: Hearing aids are big, cumbersome, and unsightly.

Reality: This one is relatively easy to disprove. Just perform a quick Google image search for “attractive hearing aid designs” and you’ll discover a variety of examples of stylish and colorful models from multiple producers.

Additionally, “completely-in-the-canal” (CIC) hearing aids are available that are virtually or fully invisible when worn. The newer, attractive designs, however, compel some patients to choose the slightly larger hearing aid models to showcase the technology.

Myth # 3: Hearing aids are too expensive.

Reality: Today, some flat screen televisions with ultra-high definition curved glass retail for $8,000 or more. But this doesn’t make us say that “all TVs are too expensive.”

As with television sets, hearing aids range in price depending on functionality and features. While you may not want — or need — the top of the line hearing aids, you can almost certainly find a pair that suits your needs, preferences, and finances. Also remember that, as is the scenario with all consumer electronics, hearing aids are becoming more affordable each year, and that the value of better hearing and a better life is almost always worthy of the expense.

Myth # 4: You can save time and money buying hearing aids online.

Reality: Remember myth # 1 that asserted that hearing aids are not effective? Well, it was most likely caused by this myth. Like we stated before, hearing aids have been proven to be effective, but the one caveat to that assertion has always been that hearing aids have to be programmed by a professional to ensure performance.

You wouldn’t dare buy a pair of prescription glasses on the internet without contacting your eye doctor because your glasses need to be individualized according to the unique characteristics of your vision loss. Buying hearing aids is no different.

Yes, visiting a hearing specialist is more expensive, but think of what you receive for the price: you can be confident that you get the right hearing aid with the right fitting and settings, combined with follow-up care, adjustments, cleanings, instructions, repair services, and more. It’s worth it.

Myth # 5: Hearing aids are uncomfortable and difficult to operate.

Reality: If this relates to analog hearing aids, then yes, it is generally true. The thing is, almost all hearing aids are now digital.

Digital hearing aids dynamically process sound with a mini computer chip so that you don’t have to worry about manual adjustments; in addition, some digital hearing aids can even be operated through your mobile phone. The bottom line: digital hearing aids are being produced with optimum ease-of-use in mind.

Your hearing specialist can also generate a custom mold for your hearing aids, providing a comfortable and correct fit. While a one-size-fits all hearing aid will probably be uncomfortable, a custom-fit hearing aid conforms to the shape of your ear.

Professional musicians at greater risk of developing hearing loss

Continuous exposure to loud music: that’s what can damage your hearing. Hearing loss starts with recurrent exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels (decibels being a unit used to measure loudness). This means musicians are at a very high risk, considering the high decibels found at a concert.

Check out these common activities:

Whisper at 6 feet: 30 decibels (dB)
Regular dialogue at 3 feet: 60 – 65 (dB)
Motorcycle: 100 dB
Front row at a rock show: 120 to 150 dB

A musician’s hearing is what is most predisposed to damage from the performance of their craft. Fame, wealth, and screaming fans — these are a couple of the terms and phrases you’d pick in order to summarize the everyday life of a professional musician. The terms “hearing loss” or “tinnitus,” signify the negative side-effects of all that glory, wealth, and screaming.
The culprit of all that hearing loss is recurring subjection to deafening noise. In the long run, loud noise will irreparably destroy the hair cells of the inner ear, which are the sensory receptors responsible for sending sound to the brain. Like an ample patch of grass worn out from frequent trampling, the hair cells can in a similar fashion be wiped out from repeated overexposure to loud noise – the dissimilarity, of course, being that you can’t grow brand new hair cells.

Signs of Hearing Loss

In reality, musicians are close to four times more likely to acquire noise-induced hearing loss in contrast with the average person, according to scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology. The scientific study also discovered that professional musicians are about 57% more likely to suffer from tinnitus — a disorder connected with a repeated ringing in the ears.

Unfortunately, musicians don’t see an audiologist until it’s too late and they experience:

A ringing or buzzing sound in the ears
Any pain or discomfort in the ears
Difficulty comprehending speech
Trouble following discussions in the presence of background noise

The trouble is, when these symptoms are present, the damage has already been done. So, the leading thing a musician can do to deter long-term, permanent hearing loss is to schedule an appointment with an audiologist before symptoms are present.
If you’re a musician, an audiologist can recommend custom made musicians’ plugs or in-ear-monitors that will give protection to your hearing without limiting your musical performance. As a musician, you have unique needs for hearing and hearing protection, and audiologists or hearing specialists are the professionals specifically trained to provide this custom protection.
Considering the unique requirements of musicians — as well as the significance of protecting the details of sound — the best road to take is to schedule an appointment with an audiologist.

How musicians, and fans, can protect their ears

Rock shows are literally ear-splittingly loud, and continued unprotected exposure can cause some considerable harm, which several popular musicians know all too well.
Chris Martin, the lead vocalist for the band Coldplay, has dealt with with Tinnitus for a decade. According to Martin:
“Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don’t think about until there’s a problem. I’ve had tinnitus for about 10 years, and since I started protecting my ears it hasn’t got any worse (touch wood). But I wish I’d thought about it earlier. Now we always use moulded filter plugs, or in-ear monitors, to try and protect our ears. You CAN use industrial headphones, but that looks strange at a party.”
Other significant musicians that suffer from hearing loss or tinnitus include Neil Young, Ozzy Osbourne, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Bono, Sting, Ryan Adams, and more, many of which indicate regret that they hadn’t done more to take care of their ears all through their careers. Lars Ulrich from Metallica points out:
“If you get a scratch on your nose, in a week that’ll be gone. When you scratch your hearing or damage your hearing, it doesn’t come back. I try to point out to younger kids … once your hearing is gone, it’s gone, and there’s no real remedy.”

Even though musicians are at greater risk for acquiring hearing loss or tinnitus, they can slash their risk by taking protective measures. Plus, everyday folks who are subjected to loud environments should also seek protection.

Preventing work related hearing loss with high fidelity, custom-fit ear plugs

Everyday work-related activities have high decibel levels associated with them – not just for people who work in loud environments. For example, a power saw can reach 110 decibels, a newspaper press 97, a chain saw 120, a sporting event 105, and a jet takeoff 150. Musicians, production line workers, construction workers, airport staff, emergency workers, plumbers, and craftsmen are all likely to develop extreme hearing loss and tinnitus.
Did you know that 85 decibels is the noise intensity at which repetitive exposure can cause significant hearing damage?
Did you know that 100 decibels is the sound degree reached by a rock concert? Bad news for anyone who plays in a band or who likes to go see one.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says an amazing 30 million people in the U.S. are subjected to dangerous sound levels, representing one of the biggest occupational threats over the previous 25 years.

Work-related hearing loss impacts countless numbers

This is a story that’s been around the block a time or two, and it happens more than you think. Just take in the fact that in 2009 alone, there were 21,000 incidents of occupational hearing loss reported.
Kevin Twigg of Stockport, England understands all too well about the occupational hazards of loudness. That’s because he worked on evaluating and repairing law enforcement car sirens — which get to between 106 to 118 decibels — for more than 30 years.
After retirement, severe tinnitus set in along with severe hearing loss that mandated the use of hearing aids. Having failed to adopt the safety actions that would alleviate the noise levels, Twigg’s employer was found liable in court, losing a case in which Twigg won big.

4 reasons why you should choose custom-fit ear plugs over the off-the-shelf foam variety

Why are custom-fit ear plugs so much better than those cheap foam ear plugs? We explore the reasons:

1. avoidance of the “Occlusion Effect”
With foam ear plugs, the user will perceive a hollowed out or boomy sound in their voice when speaking, singing, or playing an musical instrument. This bothersome noise is referred as the “occlusion effect.”
Custom-fit ear plugs are molded to the ear, forming a deep seal that helps prevent this distracting sound.

2. conservation of sound quality
Common foam ear plugs muffle speech and music. By reducing noise mainly in the high frequency range, rather than in the mid-to-low frequency range, music and voices appear to be unnatural and indecipherable. Foam ear plugs also decrease sound by 30-40 decibels, which is excessive for the prevention of hearing damage.
Custom-fit ear plugs will minimize sound more evenly across frequencies while lowering sound volume by a lower decibel level, thereby maintaining the all natural quality of speech and music.

3. price & convenience
Custom ear plugs can last up to four years, almost always at a price tag of well under $100.
Let’s do some math on the disposable foam plugs:
$3.99 for 10 pairs equals $0.39 per pair
$0.39 per pair X 5 days per week X 52 weeks per year X 4 years = $405.60
With custom-fit ear plugs, you will certainly save cash in the long run and will avert all of those outings to the store. No one likes shopping for ear plugs, so while the initial visit to the audiologist seems like a pain, in the long run you will also conserve time.

4. preserving the environment
Throw-away ear plugs produce a lot of waste:
5 days per week X 52 weeks per year = 260 pairs of foam ear plugs tossed out every single year.

How to protect your ears while at work

The ideal method at work requires the use of custom-fit ear plugs, sometimes referred to as musicians plugs. You just have to be fitted for them by your hearing consultant, who can tailor specifically to you, your job, and your needs.
This is much better than picking up disposabless at the community store, and it’s cheaper and better on the environment in the long run, too.

Schedule an appointment today

The benefits of custom-fit ear plugs speak can be seen in many facets of life. Particularly if you undergo exposure to loud noises at work, or attend several concerts, be sure to schedule a consultation with a hearing expert today. Custom-fit ear plugs will protect your ears the best.

A Brief History of Hearing Aids

Approximately 35 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. In perspective, very few of them are prescribed a hearing aid. They can be quite costly, but their advantages are unparalleled and well worth it. On average, a hearing aid costs about $1500. They have come a long way from the primitive ear trumpets of 200 years ago. As a result of research over the years as well as growth in technology, these devices now come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and even colors. Plus, they only weigh a few ounces, providing an unmatched versatility to the user. They used to weigh tens of pounds! With connections to Bluetooth and filtering capabilities inherent in today’s models, there has been quite an evolution in terms of these devices.

On the Ear

It wasn’t till the late 1930s that hearing aids that could be worn on the ear with relative comfort got popular. These devices were made by a Chicago electronics manufacturer, featuring a thin wire connected to an earpiece and receiver. A battery pack which attached to the user’s leg made it hard to get around easily, though. More compact models emerged during World War II for more reliable service to the user thanks to the invention of printed circuit boards.

Precursors to Hearing Aids

Ear trumpets were crafted for the very wealthy, such as the Reynolds Trumpet, personally made for Joshua Reynolds, a famous painter of his time. The ear trumpet is a horn-shaped instrument that is designed to direct sound into the inner ear. It was invented back in the 17th century, which were beneficial only to those who suffered from a partial hearing impairment. These were large, cumbersome devices that only served to amplify sound within the immediate environment. Just think of an old phonograph with the conical sphere and you’ll get a good mental picture of what these resembled. As the 18th century approached, they came even further.

How can Phones Improve Hearing?

When the 19th century came about, electrical technologies emerged spurred on by the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. This invention was a catalyst for advancement leading to electrical transmission of speech. Thomas Edison was inspired by this invention and came up with the carbon transmitter for the telephone in 1878. This was designed to boost the basics of the telephone as well as the electrical signal to improve hearing. The 17th and 18th centuries brought with them devices that offered only limited amplification qualities.

Modern Models

Behind-the-ear models, invented in 1964 by Zenith Radio, boasted digital signal-processing chips. Then along came hybrid analog-digital models and then fully digital models by 1996. By the year 2000, programmable hearing aids were on the scene that gave users increased flexibility, customization and comfort. Today, most — about 90 percent — of all hearing aids are digital in nature.

Vacuum Tubes Were Revolutionary Yet Cumbersome

Vacuum tubes, put out by Western Electric Co., came next in New York City in 1920. Manufactures built upon the technology that came from Lee De Forest’s finding of the three-component tube years earlier. They offered not only better amplification but also better frequency. However, they were huge and impractical. They got to the size of a small box eventually, but they were still quite inconvenient.
Today’s hearing aids are light years ahead in terms of size, weight, functionality and adaptability.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have went through a large number of iterations in their 200-plus year history. The technology that is implemented in hearing aids has historically been developed by means of a devoted scientist who is either affected by hearing loss or has a friend or family member affected by hearing loss. As an example, Alexander Graham Bell’s mother had substantial hearing loss and his wife was deaf.

Here are 10 other little-known facts about hearing aids:

1. Hearing aids can be synced up with wireless devices through state of the art technology like Bluetooth, so users are able to enjoy direct signals from their smart phone, MP3 player, TV, and other gadgets.

2. Hearing aids are not one size fits all – in fact, they can and should be programmable. This means they have the capability to recall the most comfortable settings for the user, often readjusting in real time to the surrounding environment.

3. Digital hearing aids – a recent advancement — have drastically diminished the occurrence of pestering feedback, echoes, and background noises. These were par for the course as part of earlier technologies, and they made concentrating much harder.

4. In addition to the amplification of sound, modern hearing aids can also enhance and clarify sound.

5. When used in combination with special induction or hearing loops, hearing aid users can more clearly hear notices in public areas, meetings, airports, arenas, and other congested areas. This technology enhances sounds and minimizes all the background noise.

6. It used to be that hearing aids were only manufactured in beige and related colors to match people’s skin color, so that they were not easily recognizable. Today, users are welcoming their hearing aid technology, exhibiting a range of colors and patterns to show off their devices and stick out in a crowd.

7. Similarly, hearing aids are smaller in size than ever before. They used to be large, cumbersome gadgets that weighed several pounds and barely amplified sound. Today, they only weigh a few ounces and provide remarkably better sound quality.

8. Today, you can purchase water resistant and waterproof hearing aids to better fit in with your lifestyle. Water resistant hearing aids can tolerate low levels of humidity and moisture, while waterproof hearing aids can withstand higher levels of moisture during showering and even swimming.

9. Instead of having to frequently replace the batteries in hearing aids, many are now made with rechargeable technology to cut down on upkeep costs.

10. Hearing aids do much more than amplify sound – they can also contain special tinnitus therapy components that provide the user with relief when it comes to constant ringing in the ear.

Now that you learned some interesting facts about hearing aids and their accompanying technology, you can better understand what they have to offer the young and the old alike.

How Hearing Aids are Programmed

Programming is an important component of your hearing device, no matter what your degree of hearing loss. How your hearing aid is programmed depends on your degree of hearing loss, comfort level and other personal considerations. You can’t simply purchase a set of hearing aids from a retailer without having them programmed to your specification. Just like glasses without the lenses, a hearing aid won’t do you any good without programming by a certified audiologist. This is crucial because your hearing aid needs to conform to your ears and your existing hearing capabilities.

What Factors can be Adjusted?

An audiologist is skilled in adjusting elements such as volume, frequency, intensity levels, compression ratios, max power output, noise reduction, microphone parameters and the like. Many factors are involved when programming a hearing aid. Depending on the model type you have, along with the software contained in it. Therefore, if one setting is too sensitive in regards to noise, it can be changed to accommodate the user’s comfort level. Many can be adjusted to filter out certain levels of background noise as well.

Processing Time

You may have to go back a couple of times to get your hearing aid adjusted. Did you know that the brain has to take time to adjust to the new sounds emitted by the device, which can only be determined over time when exposed to different environments? Most people come back to their doctor with suggestions on how the device could work better or complaints about what the device can’t do for them. Most hearing aids manufactured today are digital in nature, as opposed to older devices that could be adjusted with a simple screwdriver. Back then, you got what you got – there weren’t too many adjustments available. Fast forward to today and hundreds of elements can be fine tuned within digital hearing aids to accommodate the hearing needs of an individual. Programming takes place as a result of a complete hearing evaluation with the user on his or her subjective preferences. This trouble shooting approach is what’s so great about digital hearing aids.

Programming Hearing Aids

During the actual programming process, many doctors use a surround sound system to simulate real noise from the outside world and make adjustments based on real-time feedback. This surround sound system can simulate crowd noises to determine how they will go about noise reduction. This is a helpful feature because so many people with hearing aids say they work great when all is quiet but as soon as they are in a restaurant, or even at a train station, they have to work hard to compete with all that background noise. Through real ear measurements, visual mapping and environmental simulations, a hearing aid can be customized to the individual user. Real-ear probe microphones can detect how much sound is reaching the eardrum so the doctor can be the most accurate in his programming. Visible speech mapping (VSM) tells the doctor how various sounds of speech hit the eardrum. This is a great alternative to traditional measurements because today’s hearing aids can now help with noise reduction and feedback reduction algorithms. The process of programming a hearing aid requires the proper hardware, software and cables to connect to the hearing aid. Many people learn to program their own hearing aids but the equipment can get expensive and the level of accuracy goes down. However, a word of caution: have a qualified audiologist perform this important task for the ultimate in hearing health.

How Cell Phones Are Revolutionizing The Hearing Aid Industry

No longer is it sufficient to just use a hearing aid. You can now take advantage of the latest technology in conjunction with your hearing aid. Offering state of the art technology to accommodate the hearing impaired population, cell phones and smart phones now have special components that result in greater clarity of sound. If you never thought cell phones and hearing aids would go together, think again. In fact, both cell and smart phones are taking the hearing impaired community by storm, boosting the use of modern day hearing aids. For those with different degrees of hearing loss, sometimes a hearing aid just doesn’t do the trick. Cell phones and smart phones are now here to pick up the slack. Hearing aid devices have traditionally been the most popular way to help hearing impaired individuals hear more clearly in everyday life. Now to boost that capability, cell phones and smart phones can help with this even more so that people with hearing loss can tackle their day with increased confidence.

Smart Phones- Leading The Way

The earliest forms of the cell phones were not the technological strong holds that they are today. Nonetheless, they were still crucials on the long road of helping people with hearing loss use their phones with greater accessibility and confidence than ever before. For example, early cell phones integrated telecoils into their design so that people with hearing aids could use the phones without worrying about the interference or static that plagued early cell phone services.
Thanks in big part to static and noise cancelling technology that come equipped in the latest models people who use hearing aids can further take advantage of smart phone usage. The great thing about this is that there is virtually no feedback or static present when using a hearing aid together with a cell phone. This establishes the hearing aid capacity rating, or HAC, which acts as an objective rating for the cell phone’s ability to interact with a hearing aid; a rating that still exists in the modern era. Smart and cell phones can also alert users via a phone call or text with blinking LED lights to get the user’s immediate attention. Or, they can send vibrations when a message or phone call or text is received so the user can count on their device to notify them of any emergencies or conversations.

Cell Phone Technological Advancements

To make conversation clear, many modern cell phones come with a telecoil, which that is responsible for changing magnetic signals from the phone into sound signals that can be interpreted by the user. This occurs when the telecoil and the cell phone are used in conjunction. Most cell phones today must live up to a T3 or T4 standard, meaning they have met and surpassed the overall power and efficiency that they are required to have in order to function. You, thus, get a greater range of accessibility for your cell phone.
As you can see, phones and hearing aids allow for a clearer experience on a daily basis for hearing impaired individuals.

The Multiple Functions Of Digital Earplugs

With all of the latest technology that is flooding the market, it seems that people are finally beginning to take their hearing health much more seriously than before. One of the devices that has arrived on the market and shows just how dedicated people are to saving their hearing is the digital ear plug. This device uses a variety of novel technology to help people save their hearing and make every job environment safe for hearing. Here we will take a look at the digital ear plugs in terms of how they work, the specific functions that they can perform, and where they are most useful.

How Does A Digital Ear Plug Work?

Digital ear plugs still provide one of the most important functions of any earplug- being able to prevent sounds from entering into the ear canal. While this is valuable, it is the technological integration that makes this device so noteworthy. For example, digital ear plugs can change the amount of sound that is let into the ear based upon the level of frequency that is being put out in the area. Also, they can shut down completely in the event of a sudden, loud blast of noise. Many digital ear plugs are also fitted with devices that make understanding conversations in loud environments possible.

How Do They Make This Possible?

These digital ear plugs make use of several forms of technology to ensure that the ear remains safe at all times. As far as preventing all sound from entering into the ear, these devices can be molded to fit a specific person’s ear, meaning that sound will not get past the device. In terms of technology, these devices use stop-gate effects to prevent high frequencies and damaging amounts of decibels through the device. While they are blocking out loud and harmful sounds, these devices can also boost the ability to hear soft or spoken sounds by using hearing aid technology, which is incredibly useful in many areas of work.

Where Can They Be Most Useful?

For the most part, digital ear plugs were designed with emergencies and heavy industrial jobs in mind. For first responders and soldiers, the ability to shut out all sound from occurring is very valuable, allowing for focus while preventing physical damage and pain. In terms of blocking out loud frequencies and blasts of sound, this is also very useful in emergencies, on battlefields, and even in industrial areas. Even in daily life, such as in construction industries, the ability to protect hearing and filter in conversations is incredibly valuable. Being able to effectively communicate with hearing protection means jobs getting done faster and with a lower risk to the workers involved.

Diabetes and Hearing Loss

While it may be interesting to note that 30 million people have diabetes and 34.5 million people have hearing loss in this country, there’s actually been a link proven between the two. Researchers just completed some studies of 20,000 people from the United States, Asia, Brazil and Australia to determine whether diabetes and hearing loss are intertwined. The answer is yes; however no one really knows why yet. You may have heard that you have twice the chance of having some degree of hearing loss than someone who is not diabetic. This is an alarming finding. This puts diabetes and hearing loss at the top in terms of two health concerns in the United States, points out the American Diabetes Association.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

Although one solution to curbing this correlation is to do a better job of controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics so hearing impairment doesn’t happen, not enough is known about the causes yet for this to be a an office suggestion. Because diabetics ingest many medications and diuretics related to lowering their blood pressure, no one knows if this could actually be causing the hearing loss. While the link between diabetes and hearing loss is not in question, the exact reason why is still unknown. The high blood glucose levels that are associated with diabetes can harm your inner ear’s sensitive blood vessels. This is one of the factors being explored but conclusive evidence is still yet to come. Hearing loss occur in diabetics just like they can suffer from problems with the eyes, kidneys and feet. But to learn more about the connection between the two conditions, more research must be undertaken. Old age and a noisy working environment, according to researchers – well known to cause hearing loss – don’t seem to play into the scenario of diabetes and hearing problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

You may have difficulty picking up on background noise when there’s a crowd of people around. This is one big sign of hearing loss. Perhaps you only hear muffled sounds instead of clear words when people are talking to you. This too can lead to hearing loss as it relates to diabetes. Other signs of hearing loss include the failure to adequately keep track of conversations involving multiple participants, inability to distinguish the voices of small children or women, and the tendency to crank the volume to high on the TV or car radio. We know this can be embarrassing; however, it’s also dangerous. Driving a car or walking along a busy street, for instance, can pose a dangerous threat if you can’t hear what’s going on around you. You may also avoid parties so you don’t have to be embarrassed about not hearing anyone. This is why you should see an audiologist for diagnosis and treatment.

Testing for Diabetes

All diabetics should get routine testing for hearing loss. When you next see your doctor, ask for a hearing exam so you can get treated by a specialist right away. This should be part and parcel of any doctor visit for diabetics, yet it’s not – even though doctors check many other components of a diabetic’s health at checkups. Be an advocate for your ears and ask for an audiologist referral.

Hearing Loops: What They Are And How They Work

Hearing loop technology is now being implemented in more places than ever before. This incredible re-purposing of telephone technology has allowed people to hear better inside of public spaces. Since there is a growing community that is looking to get more adaptations in place for hearing impaired individuals, this inexpensive and easily-implemented technology is looked upon rather favorably. Since there are still so many who are unfamiliar with this tech, we will take a close look at what hearing loops are, where they are implemented, and how they work.

What Is A Hearing Loop?

The term “Hearing Loop” tends to throw many people off from discovering what this technology actually consists of. The loop refers to a cable that is run throughout a room so that it can pick up and transmits electromagnetic signals. The second part of the hearing loop is a hearing aid that is fitted with technology to pick up and translate electromagnetic signals. Together, these two parts make up the hearing loop and increase the hearing abilities of people in public spaces around the world.

Where Are They Used?

Currently, there is a push to have hearing loops implemented in just about every public building that is capable of affording them. Some lawmakers are even looking at a way to get federal funding for these hearing loops because they have shown such early success. Right now, you can mainly find hearing loops in meeting rooms, conventions centers and even in some parts of public transportation. These hearing loops allow people to hear all different manner of sounds without having to worry so much about signal interference and frequencies not working properly. Overall, there is a continuing push to see more buildings outfitted with hearing loops in the near future.

How Do They Work?

The process behind a hearing loop is not terribly difficult to understand. A hearing loop uses a microphone to pick up the sound and transform it into an electromagnetic signal. This signal travels through the cable of the hearing loop, and then transmits it into the open air in the same way that a radio works. From there, the sound needs to be picked up by a telecoil, a specific receiver that was initially used as a way to boost the transmitting power of a hand held telephone.
Most modern hearing aids have a telecoil built into them in the form of a t-switch. These can be manually turned on by the hearing device’s user. After it is activated, it can receive the signals put out by the hearing loop and translate them into sound that is able to be heard without as much background noise that ambient sound holds. This allows hearing impaired individuals to listen to speakers and clients in building settings much more effectively.

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