Monday, February 27, 2012

Bluetooth Technology: "Bells and Whistles" or Necessity?
 Hearing loss sufferers and their family members typically have four primary complaints:
  • "I can't hear on the phone."
    • "We have to shout so our loved one can hear what we're saying over the phone."
  • "I have to turn up the TV really loud so I can hear it."
    • "The TV has to be so loud we can't watch it together now."
  • "I can't hear conversations in noisy places."
    • "We have to get really close so our loved one can somewhat decipher what we're saying in crowded or noisy environments."
  • "It's impossible to turn the computer volume level high enough to understand what's being said."
Bluetooth  (wireless) technology makes the following solutions possible:

    • Streaming the volume of phones, televisions, computers, and portable music players directly to your hearing aids
    • Watching the television without having to adjust the volume level
    • Hearing the television from anywhere in the house
    • Hands free phone use
    • Hearing telephone conversations in both ears
    • Answering the telephone without leaving your seat
    • Focusing on social activities and people around you instead of working hard to listen!
For more information, visit our website!

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Hearing Aid for Treating Tinnitus
Siemens Hearing Instruments has released a new device to mask tinnitus and simultaneously work as a hearing aid. The Siemens Life hearing aid is equipped with 4 different "masking sounds" used to mask tinnitus and enhance hearing. It also contains:
  • SoundLearning 2.0 which equips the hearing device to learn and automatically adjust to the wearer's unique hearing preferences regardless of environment
  • Feedback Stopper which quickly identifies, isolates, and cancels whistling before it begins.
  • SpeechFocus which helps the wearer understand speech from any direction more clearly.
If you would like to know more about Siemens Life or other hearing aids that can help you cope with tinnitus, please call our offices to schedule a no-charge consultation with one of our clinical audiologists.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Treatments for Tinnitus

Interest in finding a cure for tinnitus has dramatically increased in recent years due to the number of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from this condition.  Presently, over 50 trials are being conducted by the VA to find a cure for tinnitus.  Promising treatment options include:

Neuromonics of Australia
In 2005, neuromonic treatment of tinnitus was introduced in the United States after approval by the FDA.  This treatment involves an acoustic signal which targets the neural pathways in the brain to reprogram them to filter the sounds produced by a patient's particular type of tinnitus.  The process takes about six to eighteen months under the supervision of a clinical audiologist. 

Open-Fit Digital Hearing Aids
Nearly 80% of patients properly fit with open-fit, digital hearing aids report relief from tinnitus.  Because tinnitus usually accompanies hearing loss, hearing aids have traditionally been an effective treatment method to mask tinnitus.  Researchers have reported that the benefits of digital hearing aids in treating tinnitus increase dramatically every three months during the first year of wearing the hearing device.

The Future of Treating Tinnitus
Perhaps the most encouraging development in the treatment of tinnitus is a new compound under research at the University of Buffalo.  In controlled studies, the compound eliminated tinnitus with a single dose.  Research is ongoing.

For more information on tinnitus, visit our website!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Risk Factors for Tinnitus
There are multiple risk factors that can contribute to the potential onset of tinnitus. These risk factors include:
        • Age related hearing loss
        • Constant exposure to loud noise
        • Consistent middle ear or sinus infections
        • Constricted or poor blood flow due to atherosclerosis and/or kinking in the carotid artery or jugular vein
        • History of migraine headaches
Before deciding on a course of treatment, a clinical audiologist must first look for any potential contributing factors to the onset and presence of a patient's particular type of tinnitus. A thorough history and lifestyle evaluation must be completed. In many cases, lab work is essential to investigate various potential or contributing factors like salt intake, very high or very low blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.