Ken-Ton Hearing
3306 Delaware Ave Buffalo, NY 14217
(716) 874-1609
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3306 Delaware Ave, Buffalo NY 14217(716) 874-1609

It’s time to end the stigma of hearing aids!

We often encounter patients who come in with negative ideas about hearing aids.  Much of this negativity has come in part from movies, cartoons, comic strips, and comedians poking fun at hearing aids and the hearing impaired.  These negative ideas were a result of the older hearing aid technology.  It wasn’t until the newer digital technology came out in the past ten years or so, that we started to see improvements in the way hearing aids performed in a variety of listening environments and improved in their discreet cosmetic appeal.

 

One negative connotation we hear is that hearing aids whistle and make noise.  This whistling is referred to as feedback.  In the past, hearing aids would feedback if the fit wasn’t proper, if wax was blocking the ear canal, or if the power of the aid was causing some of the sound to leak out of their ear.  This was not only annoying to the patient but also embarrassing to them and their loved ones.  Fortunately, the new hearing aid technology makes feedback virtually nonexistent.  The hearing aids are able to eliminate feedback while maintaining the proper sound level and quality the patient needs to hear well.

 

Another major issue patients hear about is the performance of hearing aids in noisy or social situations.  Prior to the noise filtering features of digital technology, hearing aids would often amplify the noise as much as the people they were trying to hear.  This made it impossible to understand conversation in social situations.  Modern hearing aid technology is not only discreet and comfortable but also performs extremely well in noisy environments.  Noise reduction features help keep sound levels comfortable when the volume of surrounding sound increases. Further, advanced digital circuitry and directional microphone technology work in conjunction to help you more easily hear speech in noisy situations, such as restaurants, crowds or airports. And, special circuitry works to reduce wind noise when hearing aids are worn outside.

 

Probably the biggest misconception is that hearing aids make people look old.  To me, this is faulty logic.  Which is worse?  Wearing a hearing instrument (that’s unnoticeable) and understanding what’s being said? Or, not wearing hearing aids and constantly saying “huh?” Or, even worse, misunderstanding and responding inappropriately?  If the appearance of a hearing aid is the main reason you aren’t moving forward toward better communication, you have nothing to fear.  There are very discreet hearing aid options available for all types of losses.

 

Stigma?  Forget about it!  There is really no reason not to improve your quality of life through the use of amplification.  And with our 60-day trial period and 100% money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and better hearing to gain!  As Doctor’s of Audiology, we would be honored to help you end your hearing loss and communication frustrations.

By |October 23rd, 2013|Hearing Aids|Comments Off on It’s time to end the stigma of hearing aids!

“I can hear but I still can’t understand…”

Hearing loss can be a very complicated problem.  There are two “parts” to our ability to hear; one part is to provide the adequate volume necessary to hear the things important for communication, and the second part is the brain’s ability to interpret or make sense of what was heard.  Some patients simply need sound amplified to hear and communicate well because their word understanding ability is good once the adequate amplification is provided.  However, when a patient has poor word understanding it can limit how much benefit hearing aids alone can provide.  The hearing aid provides the proper amount of amplification needed to hear the sounds but they still find it difficult to clearly understand what is being said.  This is not because the hearing aid is not working properly, but more a limitation in the brain’s ability to clearly process and interpret what they heard.  You may ask, “What good is the hearing aid if it can’t help me or my loved one understand what is being said?”  In order to try and understand conversation you first must be able to hear it.  The hearing aid provides the necessary amplification to give audibility to the sounds that the hearing aid deficit is affecting.  This provides more information to the brain giving you or your loved one a better chance at understanding what is said.  The key to the best success is to wear hearing aids for audibility and also use other listening strategies such as watching people’s faces for visual cues, having loved ones get your attention first before they speak so you can focus more on what’s being said, reducing background noise when possible, and asking people to slow down their rate of speech so the brain can process it more clearly.  Following these simple strategies along with hearing aid use can help end your hearing loss frustrations and open the lines of communication once again.

 

By |September 25th, 2013|Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss|Comments Off on “I can hear but I still can’t understand…”

Are you being a hearing aid?

Over 36 million people suffer with hearing loss in the U.S. But, hearing loss actually impacts many more than that. Family members and friends also feel the effects of hearing loss, and how it changes their relationship with the person struggling to hear. If you live with someone who has untreated hearing loss, are you becoming a “hearing aid”? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you routinely have to repeat yourself when speaking to the hearing-impaired person?
  • Are you asked to repeat what was said on TV?
  • Are you starting to go to fewer movies because you are tired of hearing “what did he say?” throughout the movie?
  • Do you find yourself repeating conversations to your hearing-impaired loved one at social events?
  • Do you automatically raise your voice when speaking to this person?
  • Are you limiting your activities and social gatherings because they are becoming too
    much work?
  • Are you starting to automatically answer for your loved one to save embarrassing misunderstandings and help hide the hearing loss?

The fact is, when we have communication issues with loved ones who have a hearing loss, we try
to compensate to “normalize” the situation. The person with a hearing loss will even state, “My loss is not that bad,” or, “My hearing is pretty good,” or, “I hear what I need to hear,” or, “I get by.” The only reason the person is “getting by” at all is because their spouse or loved ones are acting as a hearing aid for them. These behaviors – if repeated over and over – lead to over-dependence on the person with normal hearing. Ultimately, this will lead to frustration and anger, and quite possibly damage the relationship.

What should you do if you are a “hearing aid”?

First, have your loved one’s hearing tested by a Doctor of Audiology. Have your hearing tested at the same time, if that will make the hearing evaluation more ‘palatable’ to the person. That’s the only way to know for sure if there is a loss, and to learn what type and degree of loss it is.

Second, let the Audiologist know how you have been helping this person compensate for their loss. A proper evaluation of hearing is more than just measuring the loss. It’s also how the loss has impacted the lives of the hearing impaired person and those around them.

Third, if hearing aids are recommended – get the help your loved one needs. A wise investment in the right hearing aids will give the hearing-impaired person the independence they need, and allow you to regain your role as a dear companion – not a hearing aid.

By |September 19th, 2013|Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss|Comments Off on Are you being a hearing aid?