When NOT to wear your hearing aids

Aug9_Do_Not_Forget_Cartoon

I love how comfortable my hearing aids are, but sometimes I forget they are there. And while this is a wonderful thing — and there is little I can’t do while wearing hearing aids — there are a few times when remembering you have incredibly advanced technology in-or-on your ears is important.

We all have “oops!” moments though. 

And when “oops!” moments happen, the best thing to do is call one of our Audibel hearing professionals for what to do next. Every “oops!” moment is different, and they are always happy to help!

This blog originally appeared as a fun, personal story on www.starkey.com.  

Excellence in Hearing Quality

As part of the largest manufacturer of hearing aids in the United States, Starkey Hearing Technologies, every Audibel hearing center provides the most advanced technology in hearing aids to their patients. What most wearers aren’t aware of are the rigorous measures each hearing aid goes through before making it to their ears. In this blog post we will share some of the many interesting tests that each hearing aid, or it’s parts, undertake.

One of the biggest complaints of the past with hearing aids was the adverse effect that humidity had on hearing aid components, especially in warmer climates and summer months. Yet, with the addition of the HydraShield 2, a water-resistant IMG_0528coating applied to hearing aid casing a couple years ago, moisture from humidity and rain is no longer a concern. As a part of the application of this coating comes extensive testing that puts the hearing aids in an extreme humidity simulation for an extended period of time.  As shown in the picture to the right, the hearing aids are all tested for durability in heat and humidity to ensure consistent performance when used by patients.

Additionally, hearing aids once were subject to potential damage due to exposure to saline environments, such as living near the ocean.  To ensure product quality in these environments, a salt fog test lab has been set up at the manufacturing quality lab to simulate years of exposure to high salinity. As you can see in the pictures below, these hearing aids have proven to be able to handle the most extreme of environments.

IMG_0531IMG_0530Lastly, for our receiver-in-canal style of hearing aids, one of the most important parts is the long tubing that runs over the ear from the hearing aid into the ear canal. In the picture below, this part is the thin curved shape tubing. To maintain a discrete appearance, this tubing is very thin but yet needs to be firm enough not to break from bending over time. To make certain breaking doesn’t occur a unique quality test has been created to simulate years of bending of the tubing. This test, called the ‘Wiggle Test’ connects the receiver tube to a rotating wheel on one end and a weight on the other, as shown below. After up sixty-thousand rotations the receivers prove to be just as sturdy as there were on first use.

wiggle test

ric

As you have learned, quality is a very important part of of providing excellence in hearing aid technology. These extensive tests done by our parent company, Starkey Hearing Technologies, on every Audibel hearing aid they help to manufacture ensures each Audibel location delivers upon their promise of better hearing without hassle. The Audibel line of hearing aids and partnering nation-wide network of hearing professionals assure each patient that they aren’t only using a hearing aid that enhances their listening abilities but will work for them in many of the most extreme climates.

To locate your nearby Audibel hearing professional simply visit our locator page here or if you have any questions feel free to email audibel@audibel.com and we will be glad to assist.

What Better Hearing Month Means for You

Today we are excited to kick off the start of Better Hearing Month during May! Though, this year, we want to take a bhm_poster_2012different approach than year’s past by spotlighting many of the unique better hearing success stories we have encountered.  These testimonials will highlight the many ways that better hearing through hearing aids can truly help improve one’s quality of life.  We understand that everyone has a different lifestyle, so we hope this year’s Better Hearing Month offers the opportunity to learn how addressing any hearing loss difficulties can improve lives.

Throughout the month you will read about these many interesting individual’s who have gained real benefits from hearing care. Janie will share her story about working as a call center employee and the vital importance  of having hearing aids to fully perform in her job duties.  Gwen realized the benefit of her hearing aids while on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Venice with her Granddaughter.  We will also feature others who cherish their renewed relationships with family members and have rediscovered nature.

We encourage and invite you to participate throughout the Month in our Facebook and Twitter campaigns and share your own better hearing story in those spaces or by commenting below.  For many, the value of better hearing isn’t realized until an important moment happens where you wished you had it.  We encourage anyone considering addressing their hearing loss or interested in hearing aids to start their journey to better hearing this May.

April’s Showers May Bring Symphonic Sounds

“The day I drove home with my new hearing aids it was raining. I heard the beautiful sounds of raindrops dancing on my roof. I could not believe how much I had been missing. I could hear the tires going through the water on the road and it was like a symphony! The sounds were clear and crisp.  These hearing aids have opened a beautiful and expanded world to me.” – Robert Ayers, Groton, CT, Audibel wearer.

treebranch_rain

First time hearing aid wearers are often astounded with all the sounds they hear again.  Spring, in particular, is full these lively sounds of rejuvenation.  Birds chirping, children playing outside and, of course, rain showers.  As so eloquently described by Mr. Ayer’s above, these simplest of sounds can sound like a symphony when heard together.  There truly isn’t a better time of year to enjoy better hearing.

For Brenda Powell of Trinity, TX, her jubilation with her Audibel hearing aids came from hearing these sounds of Spring again. Also, she enjoyed having hearing aids so small no one could easily spot her wearing them.  On this she shared, “I can hear the wind as well as the birds singing again.  People don’t even know I am wearing the hearing aids.”

Your hearing remains our concern and the Audibel network of hearing professionals would love to help you fully experience the sounds of Spring.  These comments shared by Robert and Brenda on a couple of many we have received that depict really how precious are hearing is in our everyday lives.  If you or a loved one is interested in learning more simply contact us or a network hearing professional on our locator page.

Better Hearing Takes More than Luck

shamrockFor many, the decision to begin using hearing aids is both an exciting and nerving one.  After noticing the signs and effects of hearing loss, the benefits of pursuing a hearing aid usually becomes very evident.  Yet, when evaluating hearing aids for the first time, the common misperception is that they will fully restore lost hearing abilities.  However, this expectation is not always met.  Around this St. Patrick’s Day we wanted to illustrate the steps required in achieving better hearing, rather than just letting first-time users to rely on good luck.

The reason a hearing aid can’t fully restore hearing abilities is actually due to the way in which our brain processes sounds.  When someone has untreated hearing loss for an extensive period of time, the brain eventually forgets how to process and recognize certain syllables or words that may have gone unheard.  While today’s hearing aids are designed to make the amplification of sounds clear and comfortable, even in noisier environments, they do not always help the user with full speech comprehension.  To regain speech comprehension, the brain requires time to adjust to new sounds as well as practice in listening.

Our MyAudibel program offers fun and interactive hearing games that provide a perfect opportunity to practice speech comprehension with hearing aids.  These games are designed to help those who have made the smart investment in hearing aids to get the most of them.  Your hearing is our concern.  We want to be with you at every step in the journey to better hearing to ensure you get the optimal listening benefits.

Whisper Sweet Nothings Again This Valentine’s Day

Hearing aids, Valentine's Day
Reconnect to your loved one with better hearing

Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person who has it, their hearing loss actually has a large effect on their loved ones as well.  Family members and spouses are often negatively impacted with frustrations from the communication challenges posed by the hearing loss.  In fact, untreated hearing loss is an enormous contributor to tensions and displeasure among middle-aged couples today.  Rather than enjoying their time together, many of these couples spend time arguing through simple conversations and isolating themselves from each other from mere exhaustion of trying to communicate.

One such example was recently shared in an online Huffington Post editorial.  Senior writer, Ann Brenoff, wrote a personal column depicting her own struggles with her husband’s hearing loss.  This article, titled “How My Husband’s Hearing Loss Has Affected Our Social Life” provides commentary on the barriers that have been created between her husband and her due to his hearing loss.  We encourage you to read the article here and if you or a loved one is suffering from untreated hearing loss please let us know and we can help you locate an Audibel professional.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to whisper sweet nothings to your loved one this coming Valentine’s Day.

Better Today than Yesterday, Better Tomorrow than Today

Hearing Aids
2013 Audibel Hearing Aid Professionals Training

At Audibel, we are always looking for ways to improve on the hearing aid solutions and patient care experience we provide for each patient.  We thrive on the motto of our network Founder, Bill Austin, to be “better today than yesterday, better tomorrow than today”.  As a part of this relentless effort to deliver better patient outcomes, the Audibel network of hearing professionals regularly convenes for in-depth training on new products and patient programs.

Recently, the 2013 Leadership Summit took place to introduce and train Audibel providers on the new tinnitus management device, the MyAudibel personalized patient websites and much more.  This three day training offered our partnering hearing professionals a chance to improve their skills and offerings to start the New Year. Also, it gave all an opportunity to share their successes in patient care amongst the network and learn from each other’s’ experiences.   We are confident in our abilities today and are committed to bettering ourselves in the future.  We hope these extra efforts are evident to our patients by providing the best hearing care experience for anyone who walks into an Audibel office.  We are ready to help you or a loved one with better hearing in 2013.