Monday, April 30, 2012

Siemens Aquaris- the First Truly Waterproof Hearing Aid

The Siemens Aquaris satisfies the Food & Drug Administration criteria to qualify as the first truly waterproof hearing aid. The completely sealed housing shell and battery door enables the Aquaris to be completely waterproof.

The watertight housing and moisture-resistant surface of the Aquaris safeguard the electronics from corrosion and efficiently repel dust, sweat, and dirt. Enjoy outdoor recreation or exercise without the fear of damaging your hearing aid. Make your golf partner sweat instead of your hearing aids!

Offered in two performance levels, the Aquaris features:
- Feedback stopper which automatically detects and stops feedback
- Speech Focus which helps you hear and understand what's being said from any direction
- SoundLearning 2.0 which learns and automatically adjusts to your individual hearing preferences
- Bluetooth Technology which wirelessly connects to phones, MP3 players, TVs and other audio devices so you can listen to them while you swim.

- The Aquapac -
Listen to your iPod while you swim and talk on your cell phone while you fish or kayak!
Waterproof and water pressure resistant, the Aquapac is perfect for storing your small electronic devices like remote controls, mobile phones, or MP3 players when at the pool or in contact with the elements.

- Tek and miniTek -
Wirelessly connect to phones, MP3 players, TVs and other audio devices. Stream stereo sound directly to your Aquaris.

- The Sport Clip -
The Sport Clip securely attaches the Aquaris to your ear, preventing the loss or displacement of your hearing aids while you enjoy your favorite extreme activities.
To find out if the Aquaris is right for your particular type of hearing loss and lifestyle, visit our website or call our offices to schedule a no-charge consult with one of our clinical audiologists!

Monday, April 23, 2012

How Audiologists Help With Allergies
Hearing Aids Are Affected By Allergy Symptoms!
Be sure to share with your audiologist if you have chronic allergy conditions. You would want to have a hearing device with a volume control or remote
control rather than a totally automatic device so that you can increase or decrease your hearing levels for "good hearing days" and "bad hearing days."

The six most common allergies are airborne, and these microscopic particles can clog the microphone ports of your hearing aids. Hearing aid microphone port covers should be changed every 6 to 9 months. The microphone port covers should be changed more frequently if you are outside often or sense you are not hearing as well in noise. This could mean the microphones are no longer balanced (due to drift or pollen). Replacing the covers will fix this. Schedule an appointment, so we have time to order your specific hearing aid port covers for you.

Seasonal allergies may cause a dip in hearing--but only when the pollen is flying. Remember, hearing aid service is available for the life of the hearing aids. If your devices need a spring cleaning, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Treating Allergies
Treating allergies is important to prevent ear infections and conductive hearing loss. The goal of treatment is to decrease or prevent excess fluid from building up in the ear. Ear infections, conductive hearing loss, fluctuating hearing, and pressure can be relieved by eliminating excess fluids.
  • Avoidance
    • The first step to treating allergic reactions is to avoid the allergens that induce them! To do this, you must identify what you are allergic to. This is done through skin testing or blood work.
  • Antihistamines/Steroids/Expectorants/Decongestants
    • Antihistamines
      • Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of histamine. This relieves or reduces many symptoms including nasal inflammation and excess fluid production.
      • Popular antihistamines include Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec.
    • Inhaled Steroids
      • Inhaled steroids help treat allergies by reducing inflammation and mucus production, particularly in the nasal passages.
      • It can take up to two weeks before the full benefits of inhaled steroids are realized.
    • Expectorants
      • Expectorants work by thinning respiratory secretions such as mucus and phlegm. They essentially help coughs become more productive in expelling excess fluids out of the respiratory tract.
      • The most common expectorant is called "guaifenesin" and is found in most OTC allergy and cold medicines.
    • Decongestants
      • Decongestants work by reducing swelling in the nasal passages and lessening the amount of fluid that is produced.
  • Immunotherapy
    • When allergy symptoms cannot be successfully controlled by allergen avoidance and medications, it may be possible to alter a person's hyper-active immune response through immunotherapy.
    • Immunotherapy involves gradually injecting allergens in increasing amounts over a period of time in hopes of helping the body adjust its immune response appropriately.
    • A person's reactivity to specific allergens can potentially be altered by immunotherapy.
Click here for more information on how to treat allergies.

Monday, April 9, 2012

How Allergies Impact Hearing
The immune system reacts to an allergen by producing antibodies and causing the release of histamine. Histamine can cause inflamed nasal passages, sinuses, and airways. This inflammation results in mucus production which leads to congestion, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. The excess fluid created by an allergic reaction can create problems for the ear.
Eustachian tubes function as the drainage passage for the middle ear. The Eustachian tube is a muscular tunnel that opens and closes to both drain debris and equalize the pressure between the environment and the middle ear space. Its functions are very important to maintaining the health of the middle ear space. These tubes are connected to the nose and throat. If they become clogged from excess drainage from the nose and/or throat, this fluid can build up in our ears along with other debris such as excess ear wax. Once fluid, excess ear wax, or foreign debris builds up in the ear, numerous problems can occur. These include:
  • Conductive hearing loss/decreased or fluctuating hearing
    • Conductive hearing loss is caused by the inability of sound waves to travel through the ear and connect with the tiny bones of the middle ear.
    • Excess fluid and ear wax naturally lead to conductive hearing loss and decreased hearing as they prevent sound from traveling uninterrupted to the cochlea (the hearing organ of the ear).
    • Fluctuating fluid levels in the ear can lead to differing hearing levels due to varying degrees of interruption along the auditory pathway.
    • Conductive hearing loss and fluctuating fluid levels in the ear are curable.
  • Middle ear infections
    • Excess fluid in the ear cavity provides a moist environment in which bacteria may thrive. If these infiltrate the ear, ear infections could result. Multiple ear infections can lead to such conditions as tinnitus and permanent hearing loss.
  • Pressure or a feeling of "fullness"
    • Excess fluid in the ear naturally makes the ear feel like it is "filled up." This fluid can press against the eardrum/tympanic membrane causing pressure and discomfort.