How Can You Prevent Damage to Your Hearing?

How Can You Prevent Damage to Your Hearing?

How Can You Prevent Damage to Your Hearing

Your hearing is precious—and that’s an understatement. As one of your most vital senses, looking after your hearing should be one of your very top priorities.

As the primary organ for hearing and balance, your ears are not to be abused. Although like most of your body’s biological systems, they will experience wear and tear over the years, looking after your ears now will save you from a host of hearing problems in the future.

But, how do you look after your hearing exactly? Well, read on because as one of Perth’s leading hearing & audiology specialists, we’re going to tell you how.

Let’s get started.

How to look after your hearing: essential tips & best practices

To help you look after your hearing and keep your ears healthy for as long as possible, here are some essential tips you need to know.

Avoid continual loud noise

Of course, if you live in a fairly bustling town or city like Perth, loud noise is hard to avoid. But, to define loud noise—the potentially damaging kind—you should steer clear of any sounds (speakers, amplifiers, construction or crowd noise, etc.) that cause you to shout. Make a habit of avoiding these noises where possible and if you are exposed to loud sounds frequently, invest in some quality ear plugs or protectors.

Remove earwax correctly

Earwax is a natural substance designed to protect the eardrum and help to fight infections. Having wax in your ear is healthy but an excess buildup can reduce or muffle sound and cause distress. While you might need to remove the excess from your ear canal, using a cotton bud is likely to cause damage to your hearing. That said, if you need to get rid of some earwax, use a trusted home irrigation kit or consult the services of a professional.

Try not to smoke

Not many people know this, but smoking tobacco can increase the likelihood of hearing loss or damage overtime—another solid incentive to quit if you need to. If you’re a smoker, seeking help or advice on how to give up will help to preserve your hearing and if you’re not, steering clear of second hand smoke is also advisable.

Book a hearing test

If you feel there may be any issues (including a distinct ringing in your ear or you have trouble listening to conversations) with your hearing whatsoever or hearing loss runs in the family, don’t live in doubt or fear—book a professional hearing test. Your typical test is painless and non invasive—read our guide on what to expect from a hearing lost screen test and find out for yourself.

When it comes to your ears, you cannot afford to be complacent. As industry-leaders in hearing aid support and trusted local audiologists, we can offer personal advice, consultancy, and screening. 

If you live in the Perth area and you’d like to book a test, we’re here for you. Contact us and we’ll be happy to get the ball rolling.

Taking A Look At The Best Hearing Aids On The Market For 2020

Taking A Look At The Best Hearing Aids On The Market For 2020

Hearing loss can make life much more challenging. Keeping up with conversations, following along with a movie or sports games, hearing the phone ring, or even enjoying the sounds of nature can all become daunting tasks when you’re struggling with hearing loss.
That’s why the hearing aids that you choose make all the difference in your daily life. You shouldn’t have to struggle to hear on the phone, at noisy restaurants, family gatherings, or even concert venues.

Finding the right hearing aid in today’s market can be tough. There are so many companies advertising all the bells and whistles that it can be a bit overwhelming.

So we’re going to tell you what you should be looking for in your next set of hearing aids and review some of the best out there to help you make an educated decision.

hearing aid

What to Look for When Purchasing Hearing Aids

There’s much more to think about these days when purchasing hearing aids. With technological advances came a greater variety of features capable of fitting a wide range of listening circumstances. With all the new and improved choices out there now, it can be difficult to make the right decision.

Here are a few things to keep in mind during your search:

Programmability

You may not need a state-of-the-art hearing aid to get the job done, but you do need to have programmability. After all, it’s the primary difference between a personal amplifier and a hearing aid.

Your hearing aid should be programmed to enhance sounds specific to your hearing loss. Otherwise, all sound will be amplified in the same manner, which won’t do you any favors.

Programmability

From behind the ear to the inner ear canal, hearing aids come in all different shapes and sizes.

The extent of your hearing loss may limit the styles you can choose from. Of course, you want something functional in both appearance and performance that will fit into your daily activities.

Directional Microphones

The main reason that people invest in hearing aids is to hear and understand others’ speech. This is where directional microphones come in.

Hearing aids with directionality are built with two or more microphones positioned at certain distances from each other. This provides a contrast in arrival time of sound to each individual microphone, which dictates the reaction to those sounds.

This way, your hearing aids can target the sound source that is closest to you, such as the person speaking to you.

Minimization of Background Noise

Background noise along with feedback suppression is typically built into all the digital hearing aids. However, it’s still something you want to double-check when making your decision.

Hearings aids have microprocessors that are capable of distinguishing between high-frequency sounds, such as speech, and low-frequency sounds, like background noise. The microprocessors should be able to intensify the high-frequency sounds while suppressing the low-frequency sounds.

Telecoils

Telecoils are small copper coils built into the hearing aids.

They make it possible for you to talk on the phone without feedback. They also make it possible to connect to hearing loop systems. For example, if your local cinema has a hearing loop system, the sound will be transmitted directly to your hearing aid.

Wireless Connectivity

We live in a digital world where we’re always connected. If you own a smartphone, you’ll want to make sure your hearing aids are compatible with it. This way you can stream your music and telephone calls directly to your hearing aids for greater sound quality.

You’ll also be able to use your smartphone as a remote for your hearing aids, where you can control the volume and other settings.

Battery Life and Options

Hearing aid batteries are important. You don’t want your hearing aids to stop working in the middle of something important. You want to make sure yours can last at least 24 hours, giving you a whole day’s worth of usage.

The batteries should be easy to locate and replace. Of course, replaceable batteries can get expensive. A better option would be to find hearing aids with rechargeable batteries.

Most rechargeable hearing aid batteries can take up to seven hours or more to get a full charge, which is convenient since you can charge them while you sleep.

The Best Hearing Aids on the Market

As mentioned before, you want to find a hearing aid that suits you and your daily activities. There are a lot of them on the market today, so, keeping in mind the above points, we’ve created a list of the top hearing aid brands for you to choose from:

 

widex

Widex

Widex is a family-owned company founded in Denmark in 1956, and they’re one of the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturers. They have a reputation for providing high-quality sounds, with an emphasis on high-frequency sounds that are most important, like one-on-one conversations. Their hearing aids effectively block out wind noise and other external noises.

As the first company to bring you inner-ear hearing aids, Widex has consistently been a leader in innovation for the industry. Their latest product, the Widex Evoke, is the world’s first “smart” hearing aid. As you adjust your settings, the Evoke “learns,” remembering your settings in different environments, so it can later adjust itself for a better listening experience.

Key features: remote control settings, real-time directional technology, rechargeable batteries.

 

Sivantos

Sivantos

Sivantos Ltd. is also the producer of Signia, Rexon, and Siemens hearing aids. They’re one of the world’s largest producers of hearing aids in the world, with one in every four hearing aid purchases falling under their umbrella.

Their most recent hearing aid, the Signia Stylette is not only stylish but filled with smart technology. They come with advanced features including television streaming, battery life of up to four days, and their patented OVP (Own Voice Processing) for high-quality sound.

Key features: long battery life, smart streaming, Dynamic soundscape processing, OVP, acoustic motion sensors.

 

Phonak

Phonak

With over 70 years of experience and customers in more than 100 countries, Phonak has been on a mission to help the hearing impaired live without limits.

The Phonak Audéo Marvel is their most recent product, and it was also the winner of the CES 2019 Innovation Awards, in the Accessibility category. The Audéo Marvel is the first universal BlueTooth hearing aid capable of supporting stereo streaming from multiple smart devices.

On top of being compatible with both iOS and Android devices, all Phonak hearing aids are built with an operating system that can automatically adapt to the user’s surroundings.

Key features: Stereo BlueTooth streaming, compatible with any phone, rechargeable batteries, speech to text application.

 

Starkey

Starkey

Founded in 1964, Starkey is an American-owned company accredited with creating the first custom digital invisible hearing aid as well as the first in-canal hearing aid. They were also the first company to produce an iPhone app and the first to use both digital and nano-technology.

Their Muse iQ technology was made to help you hear in a wide range of challenging situations, and their Acuity™ Immersion Directionality can improve speech audibility in the most difficult hearing situations. They also come with high-performance wireless streaming capability that will keep you connected to all of your devices, TV, and music.

Key features: Hearing and activity tracking, smartphone and device compatibility, patented technology for challenging hearing situations, rechargeable batteries.

 

Unitron

Unitron

Unitron is a Canadian hearing solutions manufacturer owned by the same group (Sonova) that produces Phonak hearing aids. Unitron has been in Phonak’s shadows for quite some time, but are finally inching their way into the spotlight.

Unitron produces both behind-the-ear and in-ear hearing aids. Their Moxi Now is the world’s smallest wireless Receive-in-Ear (RIC) hearing aid, which allows for an invisible style. The Moxi Now was also the winner of the 2017 Red Dot award in the “best of the best” category.

All of Unitron’s hearing aids are made with their patented Sound Nav 3.0 technology which blends an infinite mix of sound situations to deliver optimum hearing. They’re also made to work seamlessly with any phone and smart device.

Key features: SoundCore and SpeechPro patented technologies, binaural spatial processing, rechargeable batteries.

Your Life, Your Ears

Remember, it’s important to choose your hearing aids based on your lifestyle. It’s best to work with a specialist that can help you choose the right hearing aids for you.

We don’t want you to have to live in a world without sound, that’s why our highly experienced hearing specialists are here to work with you and help guide you in this great decision. Book an appointment with us today.

7 Tips For a Carefree Vacation With Hearing Aids

7 Tips For a Carefree Vacation With Hearing Aids

Holidays are meant to be fun and stress-free, but they also often take you to crowded, noisy tourist attractions that make your hearing aid essential, and the last thing you need is to be worried about your hearing aid or finding yourself struggling to use it in a new setting.

We’ve collected seven top travel tips for hearing aid users to help you enjoy every moment of your holiday:

Tip 1: Make Sure Your Hearing Aids Are Working Well

Our number one tip is to ensure that your hearing aids are in great working order before you leave – there’s nothing worse than having to deal with an unexpected fault, especially if it could have been prevented. If you have any concerns about the performance of your hearing aids or require any adjustments, get them done before you leave. You don’t want to be worrying about your hearing aid while on holiday!

Tip 2: Don’t Forget These Hearing Aid Essentials

Make sure you’ve packed everything you could need; depending on your destination these might not be easy to purchase while you’re away. Items you should consider taking include:

  • Extra batteries and charger
  • Outlet converter
  • Protective waterproof case
  • Cleaning kit
  • Dryer or humidifier – particularly if your destination is humid
  • Any other accessories you use frequently

Tip 3: Familiarise Yourself With Your Hearing Aids Settings

If you’re in an unfamiliar and noisy environment, you may need to make use of some features of your hearing aid you don’t normally use. For example, we recommend you practice using any Bluetooth settings your hearing aid has – these are useful for connecting to other devices, including TVs, mobile phones, and computers. Preparation will ensure you’re ready for any situation.

Tip 4: Keep Essentials in Your Carry-On Baggage

You’ve heard the nightmare stories about baggage being sent halfway around the world in the wrong direction and, unfortunately, it does happen. We recommend keeping all those hearing aid essentials we recommended you bring on your carry-on baggage. If you have them with you, they can’t get lost, so wherever you go (and regardless of what happens to the rest of your baggage), you’ll be able to use your hearing aid.

Of course, don’t forget your hearing aids either! We recommend you wear these for both security checks and then on to the flight so you can hear the boarding and safety instructions. There is not normally a need to take them off for security scanners.

Tip 5: Ask About Induction Loops

Many tours, museums, theatres, and other tourist attractions have induction loop systems installed to help visitors who are hard of hearing. If possible, check in advance to see if they have a loop or any other allowances to help you enjoy your experience there; the venue website is often a good place to check. If you can’t see any information, ask – even if they don’t have an induction loop, they may be able to do something else to help you get the most out of your visit.

Tip 6: Contact Your Hotel When Booking

Some hotels have adaptive rooms with special features that may make your stay more comfortable. For example, these rooms may have flashing lights to alert you to a door knock, fire alarm, or ringing telephone. The more advance notice you give your hotel, the more likely they are to be able to help.

Tip 7: Check For Local Hearing Aid Experts

You’ve got the perfect itinerary, packed everything you could need, and you’re having a brilliant time – but then your hearing aid breaks. To avoid this ruining your holiday, we recommend checking in advance where the local hearing aid expert is. Who will you contact if you need repairs or a new battery? Having this information in advance should enable you to enjoy a stress-free holiday – you’ve got a plan for everything.

Whether you’re travelling or a resident, Hearing And Audiology are your local hearing specialists in Western Australia. Call our team on (08) 9388 8003 or book an appointment online.

Top 5 Hearing Aid Brands for 2019

Top 5 Hearing Aid Brands for 2019

If you’re looking for a hearing aid, you might be wondering where to start. There are hundreds of brands out there, and many of them seem very similar. You should always carefully consider the recommendations of your hearing aid professional, and you can’t go wrong if they suggest any one of the following five brands.

We’ve been using these brands for our customers for years, and each one has had a strong start to 2019. In no particular order, our top 5 hearing aid brands for 2019 are:

Sivantos

Sivantos Ltd, producers of the Signia, Rexton and Siemens branded hearing aids, are one of the biggest producers of hearing aids in the world. One out of every four hearing aids produced worldwide come under the Sivantos umbrella, and they have customers in 95 countries around the world.

Their current headline product, the Signia Stylette, is a stylish hearing aid infused with smart technology. These slimline hearing aids are focused on providing the highest possible level of quality and customer satisfaction and come packed with advanced features, including streaming from televisions, batteries that last for four days, and high-quality sound courtesy of Signia’s Own Voice Processing (OVP).

Widex

Widex, a family-owned company from Denmark, is another large hearing aid manufacturer. They have a history of delivering innovative new approaches and technologies and were the first company to produce in-ear hearing aids.

Their latest product, the Widex Evoke, claims to be the world’s first “smart” hearing aid. When you adjust your hearing aid, the Evoke learns. It remembers the settings you use in different environments and uses this information to adjust itself for a better listening experience.

Additionally, the Evoke sends this data back to Widex anonymously, helping them to fine-tune their hearing aids to the benefit of every Widex customer.

Starkey

Founded in 1964, Starkey has a long history of helping users access high-quality hearing solutions. Starkey has long been at the forefront of hearing aid innovation; they were the first company to produce an iPhone app and the first to use both digital and nano technology.

Starkey’s Muse iQ technology helps you to hear in a wide range of challenging situations. Acuity™ Immersion Directionality improves speech audibility in even the loudest and most difficult hearing situations, while high-performance wireless streaming keeps you connected to TV, music, and smartphones.

Phonak

Phonak have been helping the world to hear better for more than 70 years, and now have customers in more than 100 countries. Phonak’s latest technology, the Phonak Audéo Marvel, was a winner at the recent CES 2019 Innovation Awards in the Accessibility Category.

The Audéo Marvel is the first universal Bluetooth hearing aid that can support direct stereo steaming from both Android and iOS phones. This enables wearers to better experience high-quality sound when on the phone, listening to music, or watching video.

Unitron

Unitron produces both behind-the-ear and in-ear hearing aids. Their Moxi Now hearing aid is the world’s smallest wireless Receive-in-Ear (RIC) hearing aid, enabling wearers to look great and hear in comfort. Winner of the 2017 reddot award for ‘best of the best’, the Moxi Now is a popular choice for many consumers.

Contact us today on 08-9388-8003 or click here to book your FREE consultation.

What Is The Best Hearing Aid Brand?

What Is The Best Hearing Aid Brand?

There are a lot of hearing aid brands out there, but which is best for you? Well, it depends on your individual needs! There is no one best brand for every hearing need, and anyone who says there is, is probably on that company’s payroll.

Instead, there are several good brands, of which the best for you will depend upon your individual needs and tastes. We recommend specific brands towards the end of this article, but first, there are a few other things we think you should know:

What You Should Know Before You Choose

We know you’re probably eager to get started choosing a hearing aid, but the worst thing you could do right now is to go out and purchase a hearing aid online before you know what you need. A hearing aid is not a complete solution to your hearing problems and should only be purchased as one part of a holistic hearing rehabilitation plan.

Additionally, hearing aids aren’t all the same. Some types may be better suited to your condition than others, and if you make a hasty purchase, you might not get all the benefits you could have received with the right model.

Before you purchase, we recommend you take the following three steps:

Step 1: Consult an Independent Audiologist

To purchase the correct hearing aid, you first need to understand your unique individual needs. An independent audiologist will diagnose your hearing problem and will suggest which different hearing aids will best meet your needs.

Step 2: Decide What Is Important For You

To choose from those hearing aids, you should consider what is important for you. Do you want your hearing aid to be as hidden as possible? Do you have an active lifestyle that necessitates an in-ear hearing aid? What is the maximum you are willing to spend on a solution?

Step 3: Have Your Hearing Aid Fitted By a Professional

Finally, give this information to your audiologist. They will be able to identify which hearing aids both meet your needs (healthwise) and your established lifestyle and financial objectives. From there, you should have several good options to choose from according to your tastes.

Please note: We do not recommend you ever purchase a hearing aid online. By purchasing through your audiologist, you will not only get the correct device, but you will also benefit from their help fitting and setting up your hearing aid. You may also be able to trial a hearing aid.

Hearing Aid Brands We Recommend

Because we’re independent, we have tried (and stock) a wide range of hearing aid brands. In particular, we recommend the following to our customers:

  • Unitron – Global hearing aid manufacturers that produce both in-ear and behind-the-ear models. Unitron produce the Moxi Now – the world’s smallest wireless Receive-in-Ear (RIC) hearing aid.
  • Phonak – Phonak have been producing hearing solutions for more than 70 years, and we’re a fan. They are constantly innovating to help their customers hear better.
  • Oticon – The Oticon Opn hearing aids couple a high-quality sound experience with some very stylish designs, including invisible in-ear hearing aids.
  • Starkey – Starkey created the first hearing aid for iPhone and have been innovating ever since.
  • Widex – A family-owned Danish company, Widex has grown to be one of the largest manufacturers of hearing aids in the world. Their innovation-first approach led to the world’s first in-the-ear hearing aids.
  • Sivantos – Sivantos manufacture both the Siemens and Signia brands of hearing aids.

All of these brands produce high-quality solutions, but please don’t guess about which one is right for you. We strongly recommend you book in a consultation with your local audiologist first.

Analog Hearing Aids vs Digital Hearing Aids

Audiologist showing woman hearing aids

Until quite recently, all hearing aids were analog. Today you can find both analog and digital hearing aids on the market, although analog hearing aids are becoming less common due to the advantages digital technology can provide.

Both analog and digital hearing aids provide the same function, have similar components and are powered by batteries. They pick up sound using a microphone and use circuitry to amplify certain sounds. The main difference is in the way they handle the electrical signal.

Analog Hearing Aids

Analog hearing aids work by increasing the volume of continuous sound waves, amplifying all sounds including speech and background noise. Like a microphone connected to a speaker, they use a continuously varying electrical signal to produce sound.

Better quality analog hearing aids compress the sound using automatic gain control. This limits the volume of louder sounds while keeping quieter sounds loud enough to be heard. Some also have programmable settings, which allow you to change the hearing aid settings depending on how loud or quiet the environment is. These settings are usually adjusted with a volume control, physical switch or button on the device.

Advantages of Analog Hearing Aids

  • Generally more affordable than digital hearing aids
  • Can be more powerful than some digital hearing aids
  • Are preferred by long-time hearing aid users because they are used to the sound and functions of it

Disadvantages of Analog Hearing Aids

  • Sound filters on analog hearing aids are limited or non-existent, forcing you to hear every sound around you including the ones you don’t want to hear
  • Volume on analog hearing aids needs to be carefully adjusted as they can sometimes cause loud screeching sounds

Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids use a digital signal processor, transforming the electrical signal from sound into digital binary code. Once the signal is digitalised, it can undergo advanced manipulation to adapt precisely to changing environments and your specific hearing abilities. Digital technology makes it possible to tailor and process sounds precisely in ways that are impossible with analog hearing aids.

Digital hearing aids offer the user more features and greater flexibility including memory to store environment-specific settings. They use directional microphones and sophisticated algorithms to selectively detect the sound of voices and identify background sounds. This reduces irrelevant noise and removes feedback.

Advantages of Digital Hearing Aids

Disadvantages of Digital Hearing Aids

  • Generally more expensive than analog hearing aids
  • Cheap and poor quality digital hearing aids are often sold online or over the counter by off-brand manufacturers

Ultimately, the right hearing aids for you will depend on the type and severity of your hearing loss as well as your personal preferences and budget. The most important thing is that you consult a hearing aid specialist who can advise you on the best solution for your case.

If you need hearing aids in Perth, get in touch with Hearing And Audiology by calling08 (08) 9388 8003 or enquiring online. We are hearing aid specialists with more than 30 years of experience and two audiological clinics in Perth – Duncraig and Subiaco, and one in Geraldton.