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October is National Protect Your Hearing Month

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October is “National Protect Your Hearing Month.”

At Ears 2 U Hearing Aid Services, we do our best to educate the public regarding their hearing health and how to protect their hearing.  During the month of October, we increase those efforts.

“Loudness is measured in what’s called decibels (dB).  Over time, any sound that’s 85 decibels or higher can cause hearing loss – or other hearing problems, like tinnitus (a ringing sound in your ears that won’t go away).  The louder a sound is, and the longer you listen to it, the more it can damage your hearing.

So how can you tell when a noise is hurting your hearing? If there’s so much noise around you that you need to talk extra loud when your friends are only a few feet away, it’s probably hurting your hearing. Time to bring out the earplugs — or go somewhere quieter!”

Click on the following link which has been provided by NIH.  You can experience a noise meter to see how loud different sounds are – and how you can protect your ears when you’re around them.

Remember: Exposures above 85 dB can be hazardous to your hearing.

 

https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/listen-infographic

Hearing Loss Common Myths

If you are struggling to follow in everyday conversations, or your loved ones are complaining that your radio or television is too loud, take action.  There are positive solutions to keep you involved with your family and community.  Do not let these common myths prevent you from being engaged in your everyday life.

Re-posting this informative article from HearingLink.org.

Man, Old, View, Question Mark, Direction

Myth #1 – If I had a hearing impairment I would know about it

The truth is that hearing loss tends be gradual, and the signs can be very subtle at first. We also have an in-built ability to adapt, so self-diagnosing a hearing problem can be difficult.

Myth #2 – Living with hearing loss is no big deal

Wrong. Hearing loss can have a huge impact on your everyday life. Psychological effects like frustration, social withdrawal and depression are common – even for those with mild hearing impairment.

Myth #3 – I can get my hearing loss treated with minor surgery

Although some types of hearing loss can be treated with medical or surgical intervention, this only applies to between 5-10% of adults.

Myth #4 – I may have one bad ear, but the other works perfectly fine

Almost all patients who believe they have one ‘good’ ear actually have two ‘bad’ ears – it’s just that one is worse than the other.  Most types of hearing loss affect both ears fairly equally, and about 90% of patients are in need of hearing aids for both ears.

Myth #5 – Hearing loss only affects ‘old’ people

Not true. Only about 35% of people who suffer from hearing loss are over the age of 64. Hearing loss can affect all age groups.

Myth #6 – My hearing loss cannot be treated

In the past it may have been true that there was nothing that could be done to help your hearing loss. Today, though, almost all patients with some form of hearing loss can be helped to some extent by some extent by hearing aids.

Myth #7 – Only people with serious hearing loss need hearing aids

Hearing aids work by amplifying sounds, so can help anyone who has a form of hearing loss – however mild it is.

Myth #8 – Hearing aids will make everything too loud

As hearing aids are essentially amplifiers, it used to be the case that the wearer would have to turn up the volume to hear soft speech – which would mean normal conversation would then be too loud. Nowadays, though, hearing aids are much more intuitive and can control the level of sound automatically. Indeed, many of them don’t even have volume controls any more.

Don’t let these common myths and misconceptions keep you from seeking the help you need.  As trained and experienced professionals, we are here to assist you stay in the conversations of life.

Scott Erickson, Ears 2 U Hearing Aid Center

Why do hearing aids & services from a professional cost more?

Updated on August 7, 2017 by Scott Erickson, Owner Ears 2 U Hearing Aid Services

 I have had many conversations with our new and existing patients who are trying to make an educated decision on the amount of money they need to spend on new Hearing Aids.

Regardless of the severity of your hearing loss, in a nutshell, not hearing in your everyday environment is a handicap. Because hearing instruments are not a quick fix like glasses are for vision, in my opinion, consultations and follow-up adjustments with a professional provider, along with hearing aid maintenance for the life of the hearing aid is the key factor for a patient’s success.

As a professional hearing aid provider who has been helping patients just like you for thirty plus years, who also wears hearing aids, I understand the process of what it takes to be a long-term, successful hearing aid wearer.  My goal is to improve your outcome with hearing aids.

When you make a hearing aid investment, it is best to factor into the cost what is included in your purchase.  Are the hearing aids providing you with state-of-the-art technology to help you understand speech in noise, or are they just amplifiers?  How many appointments are provided for professional clinical hearing screenings, computer adjustments, clean and checks, wax removal, and additional consultations at no cost to you for the life of the hearing aids?

No additional cost to you for these visits is the key.

When reviewing your less expensive options, please consider this. With a pay as you go agreement, many patients who invested in a contract which only provides a limited amount of free appointments stop the needed professional maintenance hearing aids require. Wax, hair, body oil, and every day environmental challenges tax the hearing aid’s performance. Today’s hearing aids are computers in your ears! Professional clean, checks and adjustments are a must for success!

Unfortunately, too many hearing instruments bought with a limited amount of appointments provided, wind up in a drawer instead of being worn. The patient is frustrated and gives up. Patients who have had this experience conclude hearing aids just don’t work and are not worth the effort. Hearing is worth the effort! Professional office consultations with a qualified hearing specialist coaching you can make a difference. Adjusting to hearing aids is a process and every patient has individual needs. Knowing the number of visits someone requires to be successful varies.

Lastly, I would like to share the experience of one of my patients who purchased hearing aids from me nine years ago. His hearing had changed and he needed his aids adjusted. After being rescreened and the hearing aids were computer programmed to his new hearing loss, he was amazed these services were included in the initial cost of his hearing contract. That is one of the benefits of including services for the life of the hearing aids. Unlimited adjustments and professional services.

Please help me, help you, keep your hearing aids out of the drawer and into your ears! I hope this commentary helps answer your questions.

As always, thank you for your business and looking forward to seeing you soon.

Scott

 

Special Event: Is it hearing loss or just ear wax?

Special guest Jon Wilson, an Audiologist with Unitron, will be joining me for a three day event to present new technology and ways to optimize your communication abilities.  Jon has over 22 years experience helping people hear better, with a passion for fitting hearing aids and helping rehabilitate hearing impairments. 

You may be asking yourself, is it hearing loss or just ear wax?  We can help you answer that question.  You are invited to a FREE HEARING AID COSULTATION.  Now, with state-of-the-art fiber optic otoscope technology, you can find out what’s happening inside your ear. 

We will also be introducing the latest in RECHARGABLE hearing aids.

Unitron is proud to introduce the MoxiTM

Moxi_Fit_R

Fit R, the worlds smallest rechargeable hearing aid. An easy, overnight charge keeps you hearing all day with no interruptions. Now you can have comfort, style and convenience all in one package.

We invite you to take the first step towards better hearing by calling us today.  This is a three day event only!

 

 

  • Tuesday, August 8th

  • Wednesday, August 9th

  • Thursday, August 10th

Call us today to schedule your appointment.

Ears 2 U Hearing Aid Services

Alamosa, Colorado (719)587-9820

Pagosa Springs, Colorado (970)731-4554

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Seniors Who Walk

Here is a terrific article from Uplifting Mobility, regarding the benefits of seniors who walk.  To enjoy the entire article, please visit their website: upliftingmobility.com

“People are spending more time indoors. While walking around a city center may be common in some countries, people in the United States are walking much less. The lack of movement is a major issue for the current generation of seniors.

Walking may not seem as beneficial as other cardiovascular exercises like, running, biking or swimming, but there are a lot of health benefits to walking regularly. Especially for seniors.

should seniors be trying to walk more often?

We strongly believe so. Here are some reasons why:

Walking Can Stop Bone Mass Loss

Bone mass loss can lead to bones that break faster and more easily. Older people that are at risk of osteoporosis should be walking in an attempt to maintain their bone mass into old age. Hip fractures, a common occurrence in seniors, was reduced by 40% by walking just 30 minutes per day, according to one study.

Walking Strengthens Muscles

A major complaint that follows aging is that a person isn’t able to maintain their muscle mass going into old age. The loss of muscle mass is natural, and it begins occurring in your 30’s and 40’s, but these losses can be offset or stopped with regular exercise.

Walking has been shown to strengthen the:

  • Legs
  • Abdominals

Stronger muscles lead to better overall mobility, and they also alleviate pressure put on the joints, which can worsen the effects of arthritis.

Improved Circulation

Circulation problems do occur when you age. This can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and a variety of other health-related issues. The University of Tennessee found that walking improves circulation, offering the following benefits:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Less risk of heart disease

Poor circulation can further lead to swelling and water retention among many other issues. Studies find that walking just 30 minutes a day can reduce blood pressure by nearly 11 points on average.

Weight Loss

Weight gain is detrimental to a senior’s mobility. Walking increases the metabolism and helps to burn excess calories. Just 30 minutes of walking per day can lead to an additional 200 calories burned per session.

This can lead to weight loss and an easier time maintaining weight.

Mental Sharpness is Increased

The mental sharpness of a senior is very important for self-esteem and confidence. The University of California conducted a study on walking and the slowing of mental decline. The study included 6,000 women who were aged 65 and older.

Women who walked more often were found to have less memory decline than their non-walking counterparts.

Women who walked an average of 2.5 miles per day were able to lower their mental decline to 17%, rather than 25% for women who walked less than 0.5 miles per week.

Studies have also been conducted on the lowering of Alzheimer’s risks and walking. Men between the age of 71 and 93 were found to have a lower risk (roughly 50% less risk) of getting Alzheimer’s disease or dementia if they walked just a quarter mile per day.

Your brain needs walking to stay young and vibrant.

Walking Makes You Happier

Depression plagues a lot of people as they age. When seniors lose some of their mobility, they may even become depressed. Happiness and walking have been linked together. Cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, will help your body release endorphins.

These endorphins are what make you happy and also increase your mental stability.

Walking Increases Lifespan

Seniors who want to live a happy, long and healthy life will find that walking has been shown to reduce the risk of death. A study conducted on people that exercise regularly in their 50’s and 60’s found that these individuals were 35% less likely to die over an eight-year period than their counterparts.

Final Thoughts

Walking just 30 minutes a day is recommended for seniors and people of all ages. A brisk walk can help you lead a happier, healthy life well into old age. It is very important as you get older to stay active. Maintaining your muscle mass and flexibility goes a long way in keeping you healthy and independent. It will also greatly reduce the need for a walker or other type or walking aid. However, if you do find that you are needing some support when you are getting around you may need a mobility aid. To see what we recommend please click the following link: http://www.upliftingmobility.com/walkers-for-seniors/.”

Summary: Hearing Aids Lessens Cognitive Decline

Research Summaries

Use of Hearing Aids Lessens Cognitive Decline Among Older Adults who Report Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition affecting older adults—some 30% of people aged 65 or older have some degree of hearing loss, and some estimates suggest that as many as 70–90% of people 85-years-old or older have some degree of loss. Hearing loss can lead to symptoms of depression and isolation, and research suggests that older adults with hearing loss can also have cognitive performance problems. In fact, in one study of a group of people aged 70 to 79, hearing loss was linked to faster cognitive decline and impairment independent of any other symptoms.

In their new study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers from the University of Bordeaux in France examined whether or not using hearing aids impacts cognitive decline in older adults who have hearing loss.

The researchers collected data from a study began in 1989 and included 3,670 people 65-years-old and older. At the start of the study, participants were asked whether or not they experienced hearing loss. Overall, of the participants:

  • 4% reported having major hearing loss,
  • 31% reported having moderate problems (such as, difficulty hearing conversations when several people are talking or in noisy backgrounds), and
  • 65% said they had no hearing problems.

Among the 1,276 older adults with hearing problems, 150 people used hearing aids. During follow-up visits every two or three years throughout the 25-year study, researchers gave participants the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), a test that measures a person’s state of cognitive impairment.

Regardless of age, people who had hearing loss had lower MMSE scores at the start of the study and a slightly greater decline in their scores 25 years later compared to those who didn’t have hearing trouble. However, people who used hearing aids over the course of the study experienced less cognitive decline and scored about the same, cognitively, as did people who had no hearing problems.

The researchers noted that hearing aids—by partially restoring an older adult’s ability to communicate—could improve mood and social interactions and could potentially slow cognitive decline.

http://www.healthinaging.org

Happy Father’s Day

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

 

Father’s Day is fast approaching.  Every year, the perfect gift is discussed within the family.  Something for Dad’s car?  A new grill tool set for the BBQ?  An item for his golf game, a wallet, or a crossword puzzle book? Or maybe some of the latest ideas including a “bacon me crazy gift set,” or a “Fitbit,” which is a heart rate and fitness wristband.

Although Dad may gladly welcome all of these gift ideas, this year, consider the gift of better communication.  If you have noticed changes in Dad’s ability to understand normal conversation, this could be a sign of hearing loss.

Years past, occupational noise exposure in many occupations was not closely monitored.  While Dad was working to provide for his family, depending on his occupation, he may have been repeatedly exposed to damaging noise causing permanent hearing loss.  On the job hearing protection devices were not, in most cases, a priority.  Sadly, many of our older generation now suffer from hearing challenges due to this workplace hazard.

If you suspect Dad is experiencing hearing difficulties, make an appointment for a hearing screening.  This is a FREE service, and the problem may just be ear wax.  So, instead of the “bacon me crazy gift set,” remember this.  While Dad was working to bring home the bacon, he may have developed hearing loss that has compromised his ability to communicate with you.

Scott Erickson (BC-HIS)

 

Better Hearing Month and CaptionCall

Better Hearing Month and CaptionCall

In the hearing industry, May is considered “Better Hearing Month.” As a Board Certified Hearing Specialist, (BC-HIS) my goal is to assist you with all of your hearing needs.  My intent is to improve your quality of life not just with hearing instruments, but any device, tool or solution I can offer.  My 30+ years of professional experience in this industry helps me accomplish this goal.

That being said, a CaptionCall telephone is one device I would like to share with you.  Are you, or a relative not understanding conversations on the telephone?  Many of our patient’s are miles away from their loved ones.  This separation causes the telephone, as their main communication instead of in-person visits, crucial.  Now and then, some aided patients can not hear properly on the telephone.  Holidays, special occasions, and even emergency update phone calls are challenging to say the least.  The good news is a CaptionCall telephone which allows binaural listening, (listening with both ears) can be a lifeline to the outside world.  Hearing a conversation with a state-of-the-art speakerphone system with both ears AND reading the dialogue simultaneously, dramatically improves the quality of the call.

More good news:  This telephone system is FREE!  Once the application paperwork is completed, a qualified technician will simply visit your home, install the system, and coach you and your family on CaptionCall.  Many technicians witness the immediate positive impact of a newly installed system.  The CaptionCall customer makes a call, smiling and nodding their excitement since they can now understand the conversation.   Staying connected to their family and loved ones just became easier.

In conclusion, with an estimated 28 million people in the U. S. experiencing some type of treatable hearing loss, “Better Hearing Month” is an excellent time to commit to your hearing health.  Call us to schedule your annual hearing test.  After being tested, if you are experiencing any communication challenges, together we will create a positive solution that can be life-changing.

Scott Erickson (BC-HIS)

Alamosa: 2101 Main Street, Suite C, Alamosa, CO  81101 (719)587-9820

Pagosa: 190 Talisman Road, Suite C-3, Pagosa Springs, CO  81147 (970)731-4554

Coloradohearingaid.com

What is CaptionCall?

“CaptionCall is the world’s best captioning telephone designed to help people with hearing loss use the phone to stay socially connected with loved ones, conduct important business, and best of all, maintain confident communications for a longer, happier, healthier life.”

TIA-4953ComplianceGraphics

 https://captioncall.com

Go online or call 1-877-557-2227 to request a CaptionCall telephone

 

 

7 High-Tech Reasons You Should Deal with Your Hearing Loss

7 High-Tech Reasons You Should Finally Deal with Your Hearing Loss

Lifting your mood, boosting your energy, protecting your earnings, super-charging your social life — and even keeping your mind sharp: These are just some of the many spoils that come with facing and dealing with a noise-induced hearing loss that has been slowly but persistently creeping up on you.

The quality-of-life and feel-good benefits of treating even just mild hearing loss brought on by years of loud music, power tools, high-volume headphones, motor-sport engines, crowded night clubs and bars, noisy restaurants, and raucous sporting events are plenty. But in this digital age of smart phones and wearable technologies, the draw for many solution-minded consumers may be in the technology itself. Super-smart, super-sleek, super-convenient, and super-sophisticated — today’s hearing aids give you a multitude of reasons to address that hearing loss you’ve been trying so hard to ignore.

Consider these inspiring facts about today’s highly functional, high-powered hearing aids. They just may get you to finally do something about your hearing loss and make your life easier.

  1. They’re cool, sleek, discreet and virtually invisible. New technologies are all about function, style, and effortless living. The latest hearing aids offer all three. The designs are incredibly attractive with smooth, modern contours. And they’re much smaller than even conventional Bluetooth earpieces. Many of the latest hearing aids are so tiny, they sit discreetly and comfortably inside the ear canal, out of sight. You might say that aesthetically, hearing aids have had a complete makeover.
  2. They cut out background noise so you hear what you want to hear. Even with the best of hearing, it’s tough to hear people when it’s noisy. But many state-of-the-art hearing aids not only reduce unwanted noise, they also scan the listening environment and automatically adapt to it — even in wind. There are hearing aids that can actually “geo-tag” a location. So if it’s convenient for you to network at a certain coffee shop, your hearing aids will know when you’re there and adjust themselves accordingly. For the record, it’s not by chance that the latest state-of-the-art hearing aids are so adaptable to changing noise scenarios. Recordings of virtually every imaginable listening situation have been used to create algorithms and “train” these amazing mini-computers for your ears
  3. They capture the natural richness and variation of speech, so it’s easier to follow the conversation wherever you are. Let’s face it, one of the most pesky aspects of not hearing as well as you once did is not catching everything people are saying. New technologies not only help you decipher speech details in music and noise, but they better preserve and clarify the more subtle sounds of language — like the consonants B, S, F, T, and Z — so you can really follow what someone is saying. No faking.
  4. You can hear from all directions — even when scoping out what’s in the fridge. Advanced directional microphone technology lets you hear from the back and side — something really important when driving a car. But it also makes it easier to hear voices more clearly in other everyday settings — like when your head is in the fridge and your significant other is talking at your back. Yes, that’s one great feature.
  5. Digital, Bluetooth, and wireless capabilities keep you connected when it counts. Digital, wireless hearing aids are the now the norm. That means many new technologies let you stream sound directly into your hearing aids — at the perfect volume — from your smartphone, laptop, conference-room speakerphone, home entertainment system, and other Bluetooth devices. Music, phone calls, podcasts, videos, whatever you listen to through your iPhone (or iPad and iPod for that matter), you can listen to through many hearing aids. Some even let you control the volume and other personalized sound settings with an app on your smartphone. Several types of wireless accessories give you a listening boost by bridging the gap between you and the speaker, making it easier to hear in loud or large places. Using a wireless mini-microphone — with cool, contoured designs, some even looking like a pen— placed on the restaurant or conference-room table, or near anyone you want to hear, makes it feel like they’re speaking directly and clearly into your ears, no matter how noisy the setting. You adjust the volume.
  6. State-of-the-art comfort and convenience mean you’ll always want to use them. Super-small, super-light, customized, functional, and ergonomically designed, hearing aids today are more comfy than ever — yet tough enough to withstand real life. For most of the newest hearing aids, there’s virtually no feedback or whistling thanks to advances in digital technologies. And most are hypoallergenic with nanotechnology coating to keep them clean and dry. Some are even fully waterproof, so you can swim and shower in them, no problem. Plus, today’s greater-than-ever audio-processing goes hand-in-hand with less battery usage. Some hearing aids are even rechargeable, eliminating the need to change batteries altogether. But the convenience and comfort don’t end there. Some brands let you set up reminders for things like appointments or taking medicine. Perhaps the most “peace-of-mind-preserving” life hack, though, is leading-edge technology that helps sooth the ringing in your ears (tinnitus) in a way that suits you.
  7. There are even more disruptive hearing technologies on the horizon. Totally out-of-sight, semi-permanent hearing aids that stay in for two to three months let you shower and sleep in them, no fuss. Perhaps the most futuristic glimpse of hearing aids is tied to recent ground-breaking studies revealing a significant link between untreated hearing loss and dementia. Hearing aid manufacturers are deep in the trenches working to create future break-through technologies that will make it as easy as possible for the brain to decode speech and other sounds. Reducing cognitive load — that is, drawing fewer resources from the brain just to “hear” — is a very good thing. After all, we really do hear with our brains and not with our ears. Some hearing aids with these technologies are already available. Yes, leading-edge hearing aids are here to help you keep your mind sharp and your life easier by hearing your best at every age — starting today.

For more information on hearing loss, visit Ears 2 U Hearing Aid Services

Alamosa:  2101 Main Street, Suite C, Alamosa, CO  81101, (970)731-4554

Pagosa: 190 Talisman Road, Suite C-3, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, (970)731-4554

The importance of professionally cleaning hearing aids

The importance of professionally cleaning hearing aids.

When you visit our office for hearing aid cleanings, it helps maintain the life of your investment.  It allows us to check your hearing instruments which are tiny computers that function in your ears.  An office visit is also an opportunity for us to answer any questions or concerns you may have.  In order for you to have continued hearing success, it is important to keep your hearing aids in good working order.  Our goal at Ears 2 U Hearing Aid Services is to provide excellent patient experience and service.  We look forward to seeing you soon.

The following article reinforces professionally cleaning your hearing instruments.

Why you should get your hearing aids professionally cleaned.

A Starkey Hearing Tip by Sarah Bricker

I treat my hearing aids a lot like my car, maybe better actually. Both are routinely treated to cleaning rituals and maintenance tune-ups. And while my car may only get cleaned once a month, I make sure I dry and clean my hearing aids daily, regardless of how long I wear them each day.

But while my day-to-day hearing aid care routine is great, I still make sure that I take my Halo hearing aids into my hearing professional for a full, professional clean at least once a year! Why? Here are my reasons.

1. I don’t have the tools or the knowledge to do a safe, deep clean that removes all the built-up wax, debris and oil without damaging the receivers or microphones.

2. I am always pleased with the improved audio quality a professional cleaning provides. You’d be shocked at how the wax or debris I can’t get at impacts the quality of speech and music.

3. My hearing professional is also able to inspect my hearing aids for any signs of damage and suggest or provide repairs.

4. Professional cleaning helps my hearing aids run better, longer.

If professional hearing aid cleanings are not already part of your annual hearing health program, I highly suggest you add them! I am even going to start doing professional cleanings more often now, especially as sweat and wax buildup accumulate faster during the warm, humid summer months.