Higgins Hearing Aid Service, Inc. | Hearing Aid Traverse City
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By higginshear24209522, Mar 30 2018 01:21PM

Have you said those words before? Do you walk around your house without your hearing aids in, because you can turn up the volume on things you want to hear, when you want to hear them?

These are words I have heard many times over the years. In one aspect, I completely understand where this is coming from. Because there is no one to listen to, you don’t really feel the need put them in while at home alone. You only put them in when you are leaving the house, or maybe only when going to an event. We are finding out however, that it’s not just words that are important information for the brain. It’s the sounds of your house and your environment that are important as well. Keeping you in tune with what is going on around you keeps your brain active and engaged. The more information your brain receives, the better it performs, because it is a muscle, and must be exercised. Also, if you only wear your hearing aids on select occasions, you will never acclimate to what it is like to hear your surroundings.

If you are having a quiet afternoon, maybe on a rainy day, put those hearing aids in your ears so you can HEAR the rain hitting the windows, and the sound of thunder. Listen for the singing of the birds. Engage your brain to the living, breathing world around you. After a couple weeks, you will be acclimated again, and these sounds will not seem strange or bothersome, but a wonderful reminder of the beautiful world we live in.

By higginshear24209522, Mar 16 2018 01:12PM

I have recently come across an article regarding innovations on hearing aids, so of course, I checked it out. Starkey has announced hearing aids “of the future” at their expo…..and it’s quite startling.

We all know how much better we can hear and understand with hearing aids, but did you know that soon, they will help you plan your day? With the use of onboard internal sensors, your hearing aids will track activity. They will give you driving directions and remind you of an appointment you have that day. They will let you know if the route you are taking has a backup or delay, and will suggest a better route to take, then give you driving directions to your destination. They will track things like blood pressure and blood sugar, and let you know if and when your health needs attention. They will turn on your coffee maker when you arise for the day. They will do all this and more, very soon.

I have not decided just yet how to feel about this type of technology. In many ways, we will not have to think for ourselves, because the hearing aids will do it for us, and we will not have to do the menial things we do every day, like make coffee. There is also the issue of distractions while doing things like driving. Is it a great idea to have a device suddenly speak up, in your ear, that you have an email, or that you have only walked 1500 steps that day?

The brain is a muscle, and if it’s not used, it becomes weak, this has been proven. Some will say these hearing aids will free up the mind for more important thoughts and decisions, but if the basic, everyday thoughts and functions of the mind disappear, will that impair the mind for those higher-level thoughts over time?

By higginshear24209522, Feb 23 2018 03:20PM

Who Knew?

Everyone knows exercise is good for the body, mind and spirit. But did you know that it is good for your hearing as well? Our bodies are amazing pieces of work, and when you treat them right, they will respond in kind.

The connection between cardiovascular health and hearing has been well documented over the past eight decades. That research showed a reduction of blood and nutrients to the cochlea, or hearing nerve, can reduce the viability of that nerve.

An interesting research project done in the seventies (Gerontology, 1977) showed adults with chronic cardiovascular disease had significantly poorer thresholds (a level that one can just barely hear a tone) than those without. The research found that even among younger adults diagnosed with early onset arteriosclerosis, there was a correlation with changes in the cochlea of those subjects.

More current research (2005) found in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, shows exercising appears to protect against hearing loss. The study participants, with all ranges of general health who exercised at least once a week were 32% less likely to develop hearing loss, compared to those who led a sedentary lifestyle. Expanding on their research, it was found that poor cardiovascular health had a negative effect on language processing and decision making in adults.

There have been many more studies on this subject and all seem to point in the same direction. Exercising will help our lives in many ways, even our hearing and cognitive function. So let’s get up and get moving!

By higginshear24209522, Jan 12 2018 02:15PM

One of my favorite things about serving patients at Higgins Hearing Aid Service is the relationships we have formed with them and their families over the years. We have the honor of getting to know family members and friends, and loved ones of all persuasions, even the fury kind. This helps in selecting the proper amplification for each individual, as each case is unique.

After spending some time with a new patient and being able to listen to their struggles and experiences, it’s valuable to also involve a close family member or friend that can help to elaborate on those struggles, and be the second set of ears in listening to the information provided by us. Counseling family members and friends on what hearing loss is all about can be a great benefit to the patient, as their hearing loss will be better understood by those around them. There are many aspects and tools to better help our loved ones with hearing loss, above and beyond the use of hearing aids, such as knowing where to sit in a busy restaurant, and enunciation, which are some examples.

As time moves on and the relationship grows we develop a much better understanding of the needs of our patients and can make recommendations that will be of greater help over the course of the relationship. We have many such relationships that have developed over the forty-six years we’ve been in Traverse City, and we value each one. In many cases we are now helping the children of those we’ve helped in the past and are no longer with us. It’s a great satisfaction to be able to forge these relationships that are so valuable to both the patient and our staff.

By higginshear24209522, Dec 29 2017 02:47PM

For some people, even when wearing their hearing aids and can hear moderately well, the phone can be a nightmare. They let others answer it, and when they must use the phone it’s frustrating not to be able to understand what is being said on the other end. If this sounds like you, give your hearing care professional a call. Most will have a relationship with a company providing captioned phones for land line in your area, such as Cap Tel. They offer free captioned phones, with extra large print, and a volume that can be turned up quite loud, much louder than ordinary phones. These phones also caption messages left on its answering machine. After reading your messages, you can save them or delete them.

Ask your hearing care professional if they have a relationship with a captioned phone company in your area. All that is needed is a form to be filled out by your hearing aid dispenser or audiologist, and faxed to the number provided on the form. Usually within two days the folks who install these phones will call you for an appointment to come to your home and set the phone up and will teach you how to use it. The service is free through the Americans With Disabilities Act, and it’s a wonderful thing. We have many happy clients with these phones, and that makes us very happy! For some of the phones internet is required. The folks at the captioned phone company will ask you the pertinent questions to make sure they have the right equipment for their visit. It’s really quite simple, and it’s making life easier for thousands across our great country.

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                1211 West Front Street

Traverse City MI 49684    231-947-2420