Higgins Hearing Aid Service, Inc. | Hearing Aid Traverse City
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By higginshear24209522, Dec 22 2017 02:21PM

In 2017, over the counter hearing aids became law. It is now legal to buy and sell them. The intent is to make hearing aids affordable for those with a mild to moderate hearing loss who may otherwise not seek amplification.

The first drawback is the safety and success of OTC hearing aids has not been established with research. If an OTC hearing aid doesn’t seem to help, the wearer may believe hearing aids won’t help them at all. This may stop him/her from seeking professional counseling for their hearing loss as well as putting those OTC aids in the drawer.

The second drawback is, people cannot self-diagnose the level, or type of hearing loss they may have, which could include conditions that may require the need for medical intervention. They are not able to look into their ears and see whether or not they are impacted with wax, or if the canal or ear drum has a medical condition that we are trained to look for, such as a perforated ear drum.

The third is that you do not get the personal service you do from a hearing aid provider when purchasing over the counter hearing aids. Our customers will be the first to say the attention they get, from cleanings, modifications if necessary, to programming and education about their hearing aids and their hearing loss, as well as educating family members is well worth it. If your hearing aid gets full of wax and will no longer amplify, will you know what to do? We do everything we can to help make the experience a great one right from the start.

If you feel you may have a hearing loss, give us a call for a free screening. We’ll explain our findings, and counsel you on the best scenario to help you hear again.

By higginshear24209522, Dec 8 2017 09:24PM

Other people are telling you, you aren’t hearing them. You notice people seem to mumble more, and you don’t always understand what is being said. Throw in some everyday noise, and you are lost.

You aren’t alone. As we age, just like our eyes, the ears need some extra attention. Many hearing aid dealers and audiologists offer free screenings, so you may see just what sort of hearing loss you are dealing with. They will explain it to you, and possibly recommend doing a full audiometric exam, which includes bone conduction testing and speech discrimination tests. They will also check your ears for wax. At times ears can be impacted with it, and it could be the cause, or at least partially the cause of your hearing loss.

It may be hard to think of ourselves wearing hearing aids, that it makes us look old. If you haven’t seen todays hearing aids, take another look. With technology at our finger tips, you can be fit with hearing aids that are virtually unnoticeable, and will allow you to understand speech without straining to understand. If you have tinnitus as well, wearing hearing aids alleviates it for most people. Many hearing aids have a direct to smart phone feature, meaning you can take calls, and hear your caller right through your hearing aids, hands free. There are also accessories for your television, and just about any other device that has audio capabilities.

If you are a person who needs hearing aids, you can trial a set at most places, with no obligation. Here at Higgins Hearing Aid Service, we offer a 30-day trial with counseling to help you get used to wearing amplification. Give us a call. We can help.

By higginshear24209522, Nov 17 2017 03:11PM

I am not talking about rechargeable batteries for your hearing aids, I am talking about actual rechargeable hearing aids. No batteries required.

Phonak, one of the top manufacturers in the world of hearing aids and related accessories, has recently come out with a line of rechargeable, over the ear style hearing aids. They come in a receiver in the canal style, and a traditional behind the ear style. Both styles have high quality digital sound. The great thing about these is that they last a full twenty-four hours on one charge. At night when it’s time to take them out for the day, the wearer puts them in their recharging case, which also acts as a drying case. What a genius idea! The recharging case gets plugged into a wall socket. The case is small, much like a normal hearing aid case. If you happen to forget to put them in their case, with a thirty-minute charge they will last six hours. I think that is a pretty great feature.

Repairs have been minimum, due to the fact that there is no battery door for moisture to get into, which is a great plus. No more buying and fumbling around with batteries too, which is great news for our arthritic patients.

As always, you may trial a pair of these here at Higgins Hearing Aid Service and see if they make life a little easier. Give us a call, or stop in for a chocolate break and make that appointment.

By higginshear24209522, Nov 10 2017 02:40PM

With the leaves falling and the breeze becoming quite cold, it’s that time of year to remind those of you who enjoy shooting sports to COVER YOUR EARS. Whether hunting birds in South Dakota or deer in Northern Michigan please be sure to protect your hearing.

Why does hearing protection matter? Many people believe that hearing loss is something that happens to old people, but the fact is young and old people can lose their hearing as the result of regularly shooting guns without ear protection. You see, a normal conversation between two people occurs around 60db. A blast from a gun often exceeds 140db. The loud noise permanently destroys the fine hairs in your ears that are responsible for stimulating auditory nerve fibers and once those hairs are damaged, that’s it. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to repair them.

Hearing protection also helps with flinching. Since the blast is softened, it is less likely to startle you and cause you to flinch.

Losing your hearing doesn’t just affect the way you hunt, it affects the way you live. High-frequency sounds are usually the first to go. Such as s, f, sh, ch, h, or soft c sounds. Communicating with women and children becomes very difficult and frustrating as their voices tend to fall in higher-frequency ranges. Making communication with them a struggle and after a day in the woods when you are ready to come home to dinner with the family. The last thing you should have to work at is hearing.

So, when you head to the range, woods, or in some cases your backyard use protection…

Foam/Impulse Ear Plugs

Ear Muffs

Electronic Ear Muffs

Electronic Ear Plugs

And, if you want to be able to enjoy the sounds of the wilderness and your family when you are old and gray, protect your hearing now and throughout.

Please have a safe hunting season and the best of luck to you.

By higginshear24209522, Nov 3 2017 01:49PM

If this has been your experience, you may benefit from adding an accessory to your hearing aids.

Some people have what is called compromised speech discrimination. The speech discrimination test is usually done at your hearing evaluation, with one or two syllable, spoken or recorded words. This is done at a volume level that is sufficient, if not a bit loud for the person being tested, to test the ability to understand words. When a significant hearing loss is detected, quite often, the ability to understand words is diminished as well.

What can be done about it? Most manufacturers of today’s hearing aids also have available accessories to further aid you in understanding speech. I will outline a few of these:

TV Streamer: If you have trouble understanding the television, you may purchase a TV streamer from most hearing aid companies. This streamer is a small box that plugs into your TV and an electrical outlet for power and will broadcast your television program right into your hearing aids. You may turn up the television volume for only yourself, and not the whole room. The range for most is 25 feet, so you may walk about the room and still hear your television program. The streamer will have to be paired to your hearing aids, and can be done in your hearing care professional’s office, or quite often it is easy enough to do at home, with the assistance of the user manual.

Mini Mic: This small devise is usually worn on the clothing with a clip, and will send voices of your loved ones right to your hearing aids. There is an up and down volume on the mic as well. This can be used in many creative ways, such as clipping it to a glass and putting it in the middle of a conference table, in order to better hear the voices at the other end of the table.

Remote control: Another small devise, this one will control your hearing aid volume, program choice in the hearing aids, and in some cases, can control the TV streamer volume too, if you have one.

Apps: Many manufacturers also have applications for smart phones to complement their hearing aids. These apps give a lot of control with the aids, some even have a graphic equalizer so you can make adjustments on the fly, and GPS, just in case you lose your hearing aids too!

All of these accessories must be purchased through the manufacturer that produced your hearing aids.

Overall, these accessories are a great addition for anyone still having a difficult time understanding speech, even with new technology. Sometimes it is the missing piece in your hearing health care system.

As always, we would be happy to help you in deciding which accessory will best help your situation.

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Traverse City MI 49684    231-947-2420