Your team at Elkhart Audiology Rehab loves to help you hear your favorite sounds! Over the years we have had a whole list of them shared with us and the top ones are always about the voice of a loved one…a grandchild, a spouse, a parent. Our greatest blessing is being able to help you achieve your listening goals. Creating and maintaining hearing goals is one of the reasons we have you complete a survey each time you come in for a scheduled cleaning. These surveys focus on specific listening situations needed in our daily lives. Your responses are a guide to what is easy to understand and where you might need help. The ability to hear your favorite sounds can change with additional hearing loss, a change in jobs, moving to a different home, attending a new place of worship… do you have a challenge? We don’t know how you are doing unless we ask, or if you let us know, so please answer the surveys and then be specific when we probe deeper into your listening needs or preferences.

Some preferences for favorite sounds were classified by Zodiac Signs recently and I’ve shared the graphic here. I find the categories intriguing and the description for mine isn’t that far off. What about yours? Options to help hear your favorite sounds better might be as simple as getting a good cleaning; reprogramming your device after an updated hearing test; teaching you how to make an adjustment using your app; or adding an accessory for a specific situation.

An Accessory you ask? Every hearing aid has optional accessories that can work with your hearing aids to provide additional assistance and communication benefit. These accessories have the potential to take good hearing to great hearing. We are happy to demonstrate them, just call ahead for an appointment time just for you!

Remote Microphone

Imagine going to the busiest restaurant in town on a Friday evening with your significant other. Or imagine riding in a car with a friend or family member. Or imagine talking in an environment with high ceilings and significant sound reverberation. Hearing loss or normal hearing, these situations can be difficult to hold a conversation and understand those who are speaking. Even with perfectly programmed hearing aids, many individuals and hearing aid users report difficulty understanding speech in these environments. These are examples of situations that a remote microphone can be very beneficial.

The speaker wears a remote microphone as a necklace or clipped onto their clothing. The remote microphone then allows the speaker’s voice to be transmitted directly to the listener’s hearing aids. There are variations of remote microphones, such as table microphones, that are designed to be placed in the middle of the table so all speakers voices are directly transmitted to the listener’s hearing aids. Remote microphones significantly improve hearing and speech understanding by giving the listener/ individual with hearing aids direct access to the speaker’s voice. Remote microphones can be used to overcome noisy environments, larger distances, and poor room acoustics.

Television Streamer

Watching television and movies is a fun pastime, but it can be very frustrating for individuals with hearing loss. Even with hearing aids, hearing and understanding the television can be difficult depending on the program and the acoustics of your environment. A television streamer is a device that can plug into your television and transmit the audio directly to your hearing aids.

There are many benefits to using a television streaming device. Using a television streamer allows hearing aids to overcome poor room acoustics and gives the user direct access to the audio, similar to headphones or TV Ears. Using a television streamer also allows the user of hearing aids to have control of their volume and gives others who are watching their volume control.

Remote Control

The last accessory I would like to discuss is a remote control. Many hearing aid users want to have access to control the volume or program of their hearing aids. Some users may use the buttons of their hearing aids for volume control or program changes as needed. Other users may use an app on their smartphone to control their devices. When a hearing aid user wants to control their devices but does not have hearing aid buttons or a smartphone app, they may benefit from obtaining a remote control. The remote control is a handheld remote (much like a television remote) that allows users to adjust the volume or program of their hearing aids as needed.

Researchers Find New Possible Link Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Hearing Loss

The University of Rochester Medical center used mice and found the location of amyloid plaques may play a key role in Alzheimer’s Disease. The older mice had more plaque in the auditory processing regions. Plaques

reduced the brainstem’s ability to coordinate responses to sound. Patricia White, PhD, the senior author of the study states: “We think the location of the plaques may be more important to hearing decline. It could be a potential biomarker to track disease progression because it could be assessed with amyloid PET imaging. Our data also suggests that regular Auditory Brain Stem Response (ABR) assessments could help with diagnosis.” ABR testing is completed by audiologists. More longitudinal studies are needed to validate the findings and create a protocol for clinical applications.

Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Means Monitoring

Although research hasn’t found one definite answer as to why diabetics have more hearing loss, the most popular thought is that high blood sugar over time causes damage to blood vessels in the inner ear, leading to permanent hearing loss. In fact, those with diabetes are twice as likely to develop hearing loss. So a healthy diet and exercise is encouraged to help your diabetes as well as your hearing!

Our protocol is to screen hearing every year or two to re-program hearing aids to compensate for any changes in hearing. Keeping on top of hearing changes and maximizing hearing aid performance gives the most value and the most communication benefit. Do you need an updated hearing test?

Got Sweat? We’ve Got Redux!

Redux is a system that draws water out of electronic devices. The system we have in the office is very efficient, drying aids in minutes. This time of year, 98% of hearing aids contain some harmful moisture. The Redux process is part of our Worry-Free cleaning process but can be requested as an individual service. Redux uses a vacuum to reduce the evaporation point of water. The liquid turns to gas and is pulled out of the device. The process continues till the humidity sensor confirms the moisture has been removed. The typical run time is less than 10 minutes, but we’ve had a few wet air-pods go closer to 20 minutes but actually “come back to life” after a dunking. The fee for Redux is $25 a session and includes microphone suction once the moisture has been removed.

Teaming up with the Elkhart County Council on Aging and the Salvation Army

Hearing The Call Michiana is providing hearing screenings and hearing aid cleanings at no charge to participants at these agencies. There is also an application available for free or reduced fees for hearing aid fittings. Dates will be posted in conjunction with their life enrichment programs. If you know of someone needing access to better hearing that is at or near federal poverty guidelines, that doesn’t have insurance or Medicaid, please give us a call.

Can hardly believe it but Elkhart Audiology will turn 13 in August!

Thirteen wonderful years of helping others find their connections and maintain their passions through better hearing. I am blessed to have been joined on this special journey by many wonderful support staff. Each contributed to the learning, growing and development of a patient experience that is unique to US! A few of our patients have been with us the entire journey and a couple have been with me even before I started this adventure…thank you for believing in EAR. Thank you for supporting EAR and contributing to our success. We could truly not do it without you sharing about WHY it is important and HOW we make you feel when we get all the pieces in place for better hearing. Help us celebrate with lemonade, dilly bars and some special treats the first week in August!

TEAMWORK Makes the Dream Work!

Can you match a favorite sound with our fabulous team members?

Sharon                                 waves on the beach

Deb                                      puppy paws

Jill                                         baby giggles

Bev                                       distant thunder

Chelsea                                 rain on the roof

Until next time, be well and find some new Favorite Sounds along the journey this summer-

Sharon, Deb, Jill, Bev and Chelsea

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