Higgins Hearing Aid Service, Inc. | Hearing Aid Traverse City
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By higginshear24209522, Apr 25 2019 05:57PM

“Older adults with hearing loss have a three-fold risk of falls, which comprised the largest percentage of deaths from unintentional injuries between 2007 to 2016”. This is a quote from this month’s Hearing Journal, and it resonated with me, as I watched my own mother fall several times, break bones, have surgeries and extended stays at the hospital. At that time, we didn’t realize how her untreated hearing loss may be contributing to these falls. She was stubborn, and finally, after she turned 80 years old, she let me fit her with new hearing aids. She felt, she said, hearing aids would make her “feel old”. Even though today’s hearing aids are certainly not what they were, even ten years ago, she was against being tested and fit, even knowing it was her own daughter who could help her. This was a very hard few years in our lives.

I am willing to bet you know someone who fits this description. Information is imperative, and that is what I’d like to impart here. There are a few risks from untreated hearing loss, unintentional falling is one. The other is a possibility of dementia. When the brain quits receiving sound signals, it may get lazy, as it’s a muscle needing stimulus to continue to be vital. Sound is a vital stimulus, and when it’s removed, our brains will react in the negative. What else can happen when someone has untreated hearing loss? Feelings of isolation and depression. This makes sense, considering the sounds of our world keep us connected to it, and each other. Hearing the birds in the Spring when our windows can finally be opened can bring a smile to anyone’s face, unless it’s impossible to hear them. The little people in our lives, such as our grandchildren, quite often have voices we can’t hear clearly without help. How sad to not hear those precious voices!

Most hearing aid offices will offer a trial period for new hearing aids. In the state of MI, it’s the law. I highly suggest using this service. You can really get an idea of how it feels and also how truly wonderful it is to be a part of the world again. Since it does take a bit of time to get used to new sound, a trial period is essential as adjustments can be made in the hearing aids to fine tune them over a period of a few weeks.

Don’t put it off. Give us a call, let us test your hearing, or that of your loved ones. We will give you honest and forthright answers to your questions, explain the hearing test, and explain in detail what we would recommend. There is no obligation if you choose not to keep the new hearing aids, but you will never know what you are missing if you don’t give it a try!

By higginshear24209522, Mar 25 2019 07:00PM

About a year and a half ago, I wrote about rechargeable hearing aids, they were finally here. They have come even further with technology since then, and can now stay charged longer than the people wearing them.

The latest rechargeable hearing aids that we have been fitting to our patients are from Phonak. Let me remind you, I am not talking about rechargeable batteries. I am talking about rechargeable hearing aids. These aids only need four to five hours to charge completely, in the charger that comes with your hearing aids at no additional cost. If one forgets to put them in their charger overnight, a half hour charge gets you about four hours of use. These units will stay charged for well over twenty-four hours. That is a pretty nice improvement!

Are rechargeable hearing aids for you? For most I would say the answer is yes. The breakdown rate of this style is only about 2%, which is a great improvement over conventional battery driven hearing aids, because there is no battery door for moisture and other environmental debris to enter the hearing aid. The fact that you are not buying batteries is attractive as well. You can also purchase an extra battery pack for extra charge power. For those who struggle with batteries due to dexterity, this is a great option as well.

The cost for these aids isn’t significantly more than battery driven hearing aids. Here at Higgins Hearing Aid Service, it’s only about one hundred dollars more per aid. You will spend that before long in batteries.

We feel it’s a win-win situation for our clients. Less break downs, less cost over all!

By higginshear24209522, Aug 21 2018 03:53PM

When one decides it is time for hearing help, their search begins. Where do I go? Who can I trust to test and fit me with the most appropriate hearing aids, and what happens if I have trouble?

These are questions you should ask yourself. Service after the sale is of utmost importance. If one is a first-time user of amplification, it is even more important to find someone you can work with, after the fitting, to help you adjust to hearing again. A good portion of our job is to help and counsel you along the way. It is not necessarily natural to put a hearing aid in your ear, or to wear one all day, until you adapt. This can take a month, and for some maybe a little longer.

There is also the issue of maintaining the hearing aids. It is wonderful if you have a place you can walk into, at most any time during business hours and get real service. The kind where you walk out happy, and hearing.

Our office offers all of the above, and then some. We have a warm, comfortable space where you can wait for your hearing aids to be serviced, where you will find interesting reads, and chocolate! Lots of chocolate. You will be greeted warmly by Amy, our office manager, who is also a great technician. She can do most anything from professionally cleaning your aids, replacing receivers, tubing and filters, to blue tooth connection to your Iphone. She can also help with any insurance questions.

We are full service, reasonably priced, and very happy to see you whenever it is needed after the sale. What more could you want?

By higginshear24209522, Jun 1 2018 01:28PM

Lovers of music who also wear hearing aids may be missing the boat if they do not get a music program added to the program selection of their hearing aids.

Have you, as a user of hearing aids, listened to your favorite music only to have it sound, shall we say, less than stellar? Maybe even downright bad? This is because the circuit in your hearing aids for everyday listening is geared for speech, not music. The circuit is what makes the hearing aid run and process sound. Music, with drums, horns, pianos, and all the other instruments that go into making a delightful sound, is simply noise to your everyday circuit, which the hearing aid is supposed to suppress, thus making the final sound not what you might expect.

Most hearing aids have a program button, which can be used to access a program specifically designed for music. This program shuts off the noise cancellers and filters giving you the sound, unaltered, and true to what it is. It will also likely make things a bit louder, since your hearing is no longer being filtered by the circuit. This is a great program to use whenever you want to hear anything unfiltered, not just music.

If you would like a music program on your hearing aids, call your hearing dispenser or dispensing audiologist and make an appointment to have this program programmed into your hearing aids. Most of today’s circuits have this option. Happy listening!!

By higginshear24209522, Apr 27 2018 02:17PM

Part of getting hearing aids is choosing a style. How a hearing aid couples to the ear is a big deal. It changes the sound, the feel, and even how one feels about wearing the hearing aid.

For most patients we like the receiver in the ear style, for a few reasons. I will list them in no particular order:

A. Most of the time we can vent your ear canal much better with this style. When you get proper venting, everything “feels normal” as well as sounds better. No “barrel” effect, or the feeling of being occluded.

B. They are more aesthetically pleasing. Because the hearing aid is tucked behind the ear (they are much smaller now than ever before), with only a very thin wire going into the ear canal with an ear bud on the end (or sleeve mold if indicated), it’s not easy to notice when one is wearing them.

C. Receivers are changeable in our office if one does quit working. At times the wire can get a short, or simply wears out. No more sending the aid to the manufacturer for repair.

D. Because the receiver is located close to the ear drum, the sound is much cleaner and crisper sounding than in the ear or traditional behind the ear hearing aids.

Receiver in the canal hearing aids would not be an ideal fit for a patient who uses oxygen. Already having the tubes from the oxygen over the ears, and possibly glasses, we would not want to add a third device to that mix. Also, if a patient has problems with dexterity and cannot manipulate the hearing aid, we would want to consider all in the ear hearing aids. After all, if hearing aids are not functional, what is the point?

So, there you have it. Canal aids versus receiver in the canal aids depends on many factors from the aspect of hearing AND functionality. Talk it over with your professional when it’s time for new hearing aids. Make sure that person knows if you wear any other medical device, or have trouble manipulating small objects. They can work with you to give you a solution that satisfies your hearing as well as making them work in your daily life.

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                1211 West Front Street

Traverse City MI 49684    231-947-2420