Tinnitus Issues

Tinnitus is also known as a ringing, buzzing, humming or other similar sound that some patients can hear in their ears. It affects nearly 50 million Americans and can be very disabling. These sounds are not real sounds but can appear to be very real to the people who suffer from this condition.
Baby boomers are the most common age group to experience tinnitus. This happens because they reach an age at which hearing is beginning to diminish and that is when tinnitus is most likely to be perceived.
We know from research on animals that tinnitus most frequently occurs when input to the brain from the inner ear is not occurring or is diminished. This is what happens in hearing loss. We also know that in greater than 50% of patients with tinnitus who wear hearing aids that their tinnitus is reduced or eliminated. However, this is usually temporary and tinnitus can resume when the hearing aid is no longer in the ear.

tinnitus ringing in the yearsResearch1 has shown that new signals come into the hearing part of the brain and replace the lost signals from the inner ear. However, these new signals coming into the brain tend to overcompensate and make everything noisy thus cause the disabling tinnitus that patients can experience. The research has shown that these new signals come from the sensory input of the nerves of the face, neck and jaw. Interestingly, some people who move or manipulate their face or jaw can cause the tinnitus to increase or change in character. Studying tinnitus helps us to better understand the relationship of hearing loss and sensory input to the brain.

However, it’s not just the new signals replacing the lost signals in the hearing part of the brain but the timing of these signals. Therefore, new methods of disrupting the timing of these signals might lead to a cure for tinnitus. In fact, some particular styles of hearing aids that are sold by Hearing Professionals incorporate technology that helps some tinnitus sufferers. Tinnitus does not have a proven cure at this moment but the hope is that with new research we might be able to find a cure. We will keep you up to date on the latest research in our blog. In the meantime, please contact Hearing Professionals to have your hearing tested if you suffer from tinnitus and we will do our best to find you a product designed to address your needs.
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1Stimulus Timing-Dependent Plasticity in Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus Is Altered in Tinnitus
Seth D. Koehler and Susan E. Shore
The Journal of Neuroscience, December 11, 2013 • 33(50):19647–19656 • 19647

New Jackson Center Graduate

New Jackson Center Graduate

Recent Graduate – Rhett Fogt

Rhett graduated from Jackson Center High School in May.    Hearing Professionals’ own, Jolene Fogt and husband Bruce, could not be happier.   Jolene’s smile says it all…..”we have the house to ourselves!”.  In all fairness, Jolene and Bruce are very proud of Rhett.  Daughter, Gabby, graduated in 2015.  Congratulations Rhett from your friends at Hearing Professionals.   #JacksonCenter #HearingProfessionals

Great time in Charlotte, NC

 

Great time in Charlotte, NC

Good morning everyone.   Tricia Schmiesing here.  I had a great time in Charlotte, NC for the Oticon conference this weekend.  I got to meet a lot of great people in the hearing industry from all over the country.   Would you believe while I was there the Taste of Charlotte festival was going on right outside my hotel?  What luck!   A lot of great food and entertainment.  We also had dinner at the NASCAR Hall of Fame one night.   This is a picture of me in the Jeff Gordon car I got to race.  Wonderful food! Wonderful entertainment! Wonderful people!   #Oticon #NASCAR #HearingProfessionals

oticon alta 2

How To Manage Your Hearing Aid’s Automatic Volume Control

Hearing aids are often an essential way for those with hearing loss to communicate with those around them. Many have what is known as automatic volume control. This is often a useful option, but it has its drawbacks that are important to understand.

What Is This Option?

Hearing aids typically have some form of volume control that you can adjust manually. This helps keep you from falling a victim to a sudden increase in volume, such as book slamming or when commercials pop up on television.

However, automatic volume control will adjust the settings of your hearing aid when it’s noisy to help protect you from hearing damage or, at the very least, shocking volume changes.

How Can It Be A Problem?

Automatic volume control is often a problem for people when they talk on the phone. The hearing aid confuses the proximity of the voice coming from the speaker for excessive volume.

As a result, it will adjust its volume lower and lower, which can make it difficult to continue talking on the phone. This is also a problem in party situations, as the background chatter can make it impossible to hold conversations.

In What Ways Can It Be Managed?

The best way to manage this problem is to turn off your automatic volume control when you’re talking on the phone or at a party. Then, you can manually adjust the volume to a level that feels comfortable, but not overwhelming.

A good gauge is to match it to make it a little quieter than the voices of the people next to you. In this way, you can still hear them without getting too overwhelmed by background noises. To learn more about hearing aid concerns like this, please contact us today.

 

The Connection Between Hearing and Memory

 

Harvard Medical School blog published an article in 2013 on hearing loss and mental decline. Several studies have shown a relationship between losing hearing and losing thinking-power. None of these studies were able to show which came first, or which caused what.

Some of the theories were that the depression and social isolation that is worsened by hearing loss as we get older also causes or worsens memory and thinking skills. Other theories were that the decreased brain stimulation of processing thoughts and ideas that we hear leads to lesser brain function overall.

Now for the good news: new studies have shown an increase in cognitive function and thinking skills when hearing loss is treated. A study in France showed a small group with profound deafness in one ear, treated with cochlear implants and hearing rehab, showed an 80% improvement in cognitive function.

Research into mental decline and cognitive function in older adults is getting some big-money, splashy attention from researchers. They are focusing on finding causes, because in modern medical science, a treatment cannot be truly effective if the cause of a problem is unknown. Cognitive function problems seem to have a wide range of interrelated causes.

It may not be important for researchers to establish a cause and effect relationship between hearing loss and mental decline. If improving hearing through any of the available therapies has the potential to also increase cognitive function and decrease social isolation, it’s worth doing.

 

For more information about hearing and your health, please contact us.

hearing tests

How Hearing Professionals Can Change Your Life

The loss of hearing alone is not the only related issue with which hearing challenged people are faced. Many feel as though the hearing culture treats them without empathy, or as though they are handicapped, people to be changed or pitied.  The assistance of hearing professionals who have been specially trained to deal with the specific needs of the hearing impaired can make a tremendous difference in their lives.

Hearing Impaired Children

Children who are hearing impaired face special challenges. They learn language from hearing it spoken by their parents, peers and teachers.  Hearing challenged children can have struggles with communication far longer than children who can hear clearly, causing them to feel isolated and lost. 

Both children, teenagers and adults who are hearing challenged need caring attention from qualified hearing professionals who understand their needs and the circumstances surrounding the hearing loss, and who can respond to it accordingly. 

A dedicated hearing professional has the following characteristics:

  • He or she strives to provide the best care possible for his or her hearing impaired clients.
  • He or she treats clients with empathy and understanding.
  • He or she is up to date on the latest legislation concerning the hearing impaired.
  • He or she stays abreast on the latest treatment modalities and is trained to administer them.
  • He or she listens and responds to the hearing impaired in an honest, straightforward manner.

Hearing Professionals

When clients visit the Hearing Professionals in Celina, Sidney or Troy, Ohio, they are attended by highly trained professionals who know how to address their needs and to convey communications in direct, honest ways.  The Hearing Professionals dedicated staff provides clients with the individualized attention that they deserve. 

Contact Us

If you or a family member are experiencing hearing loss, please contact us at your earliest convenience to set up an appointment with our experienced Audiologists and hearing instrument specialists. The experience can change your life for the better.

aural rehabilitation

The Connection Between Hearing and Health

As with our other senses, hearing is something we often take for granted — that is, until we start to lose the ability to hear well. It’s often difficult to cope with an untreated hearing loss, and people sometimes try to cover it up as though they should somehow be ashamed that they have a problem hearing. Part of the reason for this may have to do with denial about aging, since many hearing problems come with advancing age. But did you know that there’s also a connection between hearing and your overall health? It’s true. Hearing loss can and often does lead to physical and psychological health problems such as fatigue, tension, irritability and depression, reduced alertness leading to reduced personal safety, impaired memory, withdrawal from social situations which can lead to isolation and loneliness.

An inability to hear properly can also affect your stability when walking and your overall sense of balance. Why does this happen? The ear is a very complex organ which is responsible for processing sound signals and sending them to the brain, while at the same time hosting the vestibular system. A person’s vestibular system is a sensory system that is the main contributor to your sense of balance and spatial orientation. Working with the cochlea (a part of the auditory system), it encompasses what’s known as the labyrinth of the inner ear, which is in the vestibulum of the inner ear. The vestibular system sends signals to the parts of the brain that control eye movements, and to the muscles that keep you upright. So without getting overly scientific, there’s a connection between your hearing and the overall ability of your ear to perform as it’s intended to when it comes to orienting you in space and keeping you balanced.

There’s no reason to be ashamed of hearing loss. Take steps to correct your hearing loss so that you can stop having to “cover up” the problem and so that you’ll feel your best mentally and physically. We’re Hearing Professionals, and we can help. We’ve got three locations in Celina, Sidney and Troy, Ohio. Contact us today and get back to hearing clearly and feeling well and confident!

 

 

Hearing Aid Repairs and Performance Solutions

It is incredibly frustrating and stressful when a hearing aid isn’t working properly or is showing signs of poor performance.  Although hearing aids are fragile, they are not necessarily damaged every time they exhibit odd signs or lowered performance. Before spending money on costly repairs or replacement, consider these  common hearing aid repairs and performance solutions.

 

A “Dead” Aid

A hearing aid that provides no help whatsoever may have several potential issues to consider.  The first and most obvious cause to this frustrating scenario is a dead battery.  Battery life may differ widely and be irritatingly unpredictable.  Even if you’ve recently replaced the batteries try a fresh set to ensure that your hearing aid is operating off a full battery. Other causes behind a “dead” hearing aid include blockage of the receiver tube.  Wax and other foreign substances may build up over time and prevent sound from properly entering and exiting the device.  Gently cleaning it with the appropriate tools and cleaners may remove the blockage and restore function. 

Inconsistent Performance 

 Another common hearing aid malfunction includes inconsistent performance levels.  A hearing aid may work fine one moment only to go silent the next.  This frustrating, unpredictable situation is almost always a sign of a low battery.  This scenario is easily remedied with a new battery.  It is helpful to note the dates of battery replacements on a calendar or planner to ensure that a low battery does not sneak up on you at an inopportune moment.  By watching the replacement dates and planning for the next low battery, you can be prepared with a fresh one the moment you notice a depleted or inconsistent performance level. 

Never Loud Enough

Initially, a hearing aid provides the proper level of assistance, but over time you may find that the device no longer offers the appropriate volume.  If you find yourself constantly adjusting the device’s volume or straining to hear, it is wise to visit a hearing specialist with your concerns. Your level of hearing has most likely changed significantly; this is a medical concern your audiologist should be aware of.  Voice your concerns and keep track of the adjustments you’ve made to your device.  Your specialist will help determine the next appropriate step. 

 

Hearing aids are amazing devices, but they can be temperamental at times.  Keep these common scenarios in mind in addition to monitoring your own level of hearing.  For more information on hearing aid care and maintenance, please contact us today.   

Hearing Loss and Other Health Issues

What? What? WHAT?

Why is it that so many people who lose their hearing, find it so difficult to seek out help for the problem? Not only is it frustrating for them, but it’s also annoying for their loved ones, co-workers and friends.

Most commonly, with age, Presbycusis is the reason for a loss in hearing. It comes on gradually and is the result of changes in the auditory nerve, and/or the inner, middle or outer ear. However, Presbycusis is not always the result of aging.

According to an article on the John Hopkins Medicine website, other contributing factors can include:

  • Loud noise
  • Heredity
  • Head injury
  • Infection
  • Illness
  • Certain prescription drugs
  • Circulation problems such as high blood pressure

Unfortunately, hearing loss is also associated with other health-related problems. For one thing, those who have a loss can become depressed and withdrawn. There can be further mental issues, as well. A loss in hearing can lead to a further decline in cognitive functioning and can be associated with dementia.

A hearing loss can also be associated with balance, or a loss thereof, which stems from the inner ear. This can lead to more cases in falling, and a risk of broken bones, among other injuries. This problem in equilibrium can also slow you down; people with a hearing loss may walk more slowly.

All of these issues, can, and most-likely will, result in a decline in quality of life. So, why not own up to the problem? Whether you are sensing a loss in hearing in one ear or both, it is time to visit with a hearing professional and have a free hearing test. The staff at Hearing Professionals is friendly and understanding. Let us help you.

hearing aid batteries

Forget Frost on the Pumpkin: Prepare to Bundle Up Hearing Aid Batteries

Ohio is beautiful at this time of year. The fall foliage in Troy, Sidney and Celina is spectacular but it’s also a harbinger of what’s to come. That’s right, freezing cold weather. During the winter, annual lows tend to be in the 40s but we may experience much colder days and nights than that. The proof is in the news reports.

Last year, parts of the state got as low as -39 degrees! Toe-numbing, we know, but those little tootsies aren’t the only things we must protect from the cold. It’s also important to shield your hearing aid batteries from winter’s worst. Failing to do so may shorten their shelf life as well as cause them to malfunction, and who wants that? Thankfully, there are several ways to keep old Jack Frost from nipping at your hearing aid batteries.

For one, ask our Hearing Professionals™ about the best ways to store hearing aid batteries year round. We’re sure they’ll recommend storage containers that keep the hearing aid batteries from developing condensation or coming in contact with the elements. Examples of such storage aids include, but are not limited to dehumidifier boxes, silica gel desiccant packs and over-the-counter, Dri-Aid Kits®. Many are small enough to be tucked into a winter purse or travel bag for safe keeping.

Simply using a dry storage container isn’t enough though. As our Hearing Professionals™ can attest, maintaining a winter maintenance schedule is imperative too. Otherwise, hearing aid batteries and tubing may accumulate moisture as one transitions from outdoor, holiday events to evenings by the fireplace. As such, we recommend carrying travel size containers of compressed air, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol along for those winter rides. They’re great for removing moisture from hearing aids in a pinch. To learn how to use them and what else must be done to preserve hearing aid batteries in the weeks ahead, please contact our Hearing Professionals™ today.