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Austar hearing founded in 2003, as a national high-tech enterprise, Austar has been dedicating to improve the hearing of hearing-impaired people through the advanced technology. Our business covers hearing aids, hearing devices and Audiology-related equipments.

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All About The Inner Ear

All About The Inner Ear

The ear is made up of three very different areas that all work together to gather and interpret the sound that we hear around us every day. The inner ear is where all of the magic takes place. Taking what the middle ear has converted into waves from the sound given to it by the outer ear, the inner ear now turns this into electrical pulses that the brain can interpret for us to understand.

Plainly put the inner ear looks like one crazy rollercoaster ride. With three loop-de-loops and a seashell type ending, it would be one crazy ride for sure. But it is what is in the structure that matters the most. The inner ear is a very complicated system that works in creating the sound we hear and sending the proper information off to the brain as well the inner ear maintains our balance. The inner ear consists of two main areas the cochlea, which is the hearing part of the ear and the vestibular system, which is the balance area of the ear. Within these two areas are two further defined structures of the inner ear the bony labyrinth, which is the hard outer structure of the inner ear and the membranous labyrinth, which is the softer area inside of the bony labyrinth inside the inner ear.

The cochlea is where sound is converted into the electrical impulses that will be sent and interpreted by the brain. The cochlea is shaped like a seashell and inside of it are all of the tiny little hairs floating around in liquid waiting for the correct sound to hit them to send of the electrical impulse to the brain. These tiny hairs are very fragile and can be easily damaged over time due to noise or disease. Once damaged these little hairs will never repair or regrow; once the damage is done it is irreversible. The electrical impulses are sent to the brain through the auditory nerve.

The vestibular system looks like three loop-de-loops on a rollercoaster. These canals are strategically placed for balance purposes and are known as the semicircular ducts. There is the anterior, the lateral and the posterior duct each containing a liquid that adjusts and work together to keep a person balanced.

The inner ear can be further broken down, but to be honest it can get kind of confusing. The inner ear is the end of how the ear works and how sound is transferred and interpreted by the ear to the brain of a person. It can be a little bit of an overwhelming process but very interesting to think about the process as a whole and how quickly it is executed.

Hearing Knowledge2020-11-27

How Cotton Swabs can Damage your Hearing

How Cotton Swabs can Damage your Hearing

Earwax plays an important role in maintaining the health of your ears. It forms a barrier over the skin that lines the ear canals, protecting it from dust, bacteria, excessive moisture or dryness. However, like so many things in life, too much of a good thing can be bad.

In the case of earwax, an excessive amount can interfere with your hearing by blocking the ear canal. Alternatively, you may use a hearing aid and find wax plugs the tiny tubes and inters with amplification. This being the case, it might be your audiologist suggested you clean your ears regularly.

But did you know there is a right and a wrong way to clean your ears? Unfortunately, one of the most popular tools for the job, the cotton swab, may actually add to your problems. To understand why, it helps to learn a little about how earwax works.

Earwax is produced by the outer third of your external ear. The ear is equipped with a ‘wax elevator,’ a series of hairs that waft very slowly, pushing the wax up and out of the ear. This happens incredibly slowly, but is very efficient at what it does. This natural mechanism is nature’s way of ensuring the ear canal is self-cleaning, as the wax it produces eventually finds its way out, along with the impurities it trapped.

Cotton swabs, also known as cotton tips or cotton buds, are cheap and readily available. They also appear to be the perfect tool for cleaning the ears, but appearances can be deceptive. When your reach for a cotton swab and put it in your ear, you are highly likely to be pushing wax back in the direction from which it came.

Indeed, pushing wax deeper into the ear can also compact it and make a dense plug of wax. This plug sits just out of reach in the ear canal in an area where there is no wax elevator to move it out of harm’s way. Over time, a plug of wax can form and acts as an earplug, muffling your hearing.

If you regularly use cotton swabs and your hearing has deteriorated, then get your ears checked by a hearing care provider. They will use an instrument called an otoscope, to examine the ear canal and visualize problems such as a plug of wax. They can then use appropriate methods to flush out the ear and clean it. After this procedure, it’s also a good idea to have a hearing test, because it’s perfectly possible to have more than one problem. If you get the all clear this is excellent news, but if not, it’s a great opportunity to address those hearing issues.

And don’t forget; speak to your hearing care professional about the correct way to keep your ears clean for better hearing health.

Hearing Knowledge2020-11-27

Hearing Aid Troubleshooting Tips

Hearing Aid Troubleshooting Tips

Has your hearing device developed an annoying whistle? Before making a special trip to the audiologist’s officer to get it fixed, it’s worth knowing that some problems have simple fixes. Take a look to see if you can sort these simple issues at home with minimal fuss and inconvenience. If the following tips don’t help, schedule an appointment with your audiologist to assist with your hearing aid repairs.



Q: My hearing aid no longer works. What can I do to fix it?

A: Common things are common, of which a dead battery heads the list. Remove the battery and wipe the contact with a clean dry cloth. Replace the battery with a new one that is within date, taking special care to insert it the correct way up, matching the symbols.

At the same time check the receiver tube for blockages. This is the length of tubing along which the amplified sound passes from the body of the hearing aid into your ear. It is prone to blockages, either from a buildup of earwax or condensation. Visually check the tubing and make sure it is clear. If it isn’t then insert a slim tool (inexpensive hearing aid maintenance kits are usually equipped with an appropriate tool) into the tubing and earmold to clean it. With the obstruction cleared there should be no further blockage to sound transmission into your ear.

If this fix and the new battery still doesn’t sort the problem then fair enough, you ruled out a simple fix and a trip to the audiologist is a good idea after all.

Q: My hearing device doesn’t make the sound as loud as it used to. What can I do?

A: If the amplified sound seems too quiet the two most likely causes are a blockage in the receiver tubing or your hearing has changed. As mentioned above, the receiver tube is the conduit along which the amplified sound travels. Any blockages in that tubing will act to deaden the sound, in the same way as putting your fingers in your ears would.

If you’ve carefully checked the tubing and it all seems in order, then consider the possibility that there’s been a change in your ability to hear and it is time to have a hearing checkup. Audiologists advise an annual hearing test.

Q: My hearing aid whistles and it’s driving me mad. How can I stop it?

A: This time it might not be the problem is with the hearing device but with wax in your ear canal or the way the device is inserted. Check to see you inserting the hearing device correctly and it sits where it should. Sometimes just removing the aid and the reinserting it correctly is all it takes to get whistle free sound. If you have no such luck then have your physician or hearing healthcare professional check your ear canal for wax build up and if necessary have the ears syringed.

Hearing Aid Knowledge2020-11-26

The Safe Way to Clean your Ears

The Safe Way to Clean your Ears

You know the importance of cleaning your ears, but how should you do this?

First, a couple of safety points. Do not use cotton swabs, because these push wax deeper into the ear where it can create a complete blockage. Also, if you have earache or experience a sudden loss of hearing, schedule an appointment with your hearing care provider immediately. It might be you have an ear infection or even a ruptured eardrum, in which case cleaning your ears is not advisable.

Regular ear cleaning once or twice a month helps prevent a buildup of excess earwax that could muffle your hearing or plug your hearing device. Don’t clean more often than this, unless advised by your doctor or hearing care professional, because this can lead to irritation of the skin lining the ear canal or excessive drying of the ear.

Your pharmacist or hearing healthcare practitioner can advise you on a good commercial ear cleaner to purchase or you can make a suitable solution at home. Here are two ‘recipes’ which have been deemed safe and effective.

The first involves mixing equal parts of:
White vinegar
Warm tap water

Rubbing alcohol

Or alternatively try mixing equal parts of:
Hydrogen peroxide
Mineral oil
Glycerin

Mix up the ingredients fresh each time and put few drops of solution into your ear.

While you can pour the cleaning solution direct from a bowl or cup into your ear, this can be messy. You will find it helps to use an eye dropper or a syringe in order to control where you squirt the solution and the quantity.

Drip a few drops into the ear and then tip your head to one side and wait. It helps to have the ear canal as near vertical as possible, so the drops trickle downwards. This could be a good excuse to rest the opposite ear on a cushion and watch TV for ten minutes!

Then tip your head in the opposite direction while holding a pad of cotton wool over the ear to catch the mess. Don’t be tempted to push cotton wool into the ear as this can push debris deeper, instead, let it drain out and then gently wipe around the ear flap for a final clean up.

If you use hydrogen peroxide be aware you may hear a bubbling sound. This is nothing to worry about and is the peroxide fizzing up and helping to loosen debris.

One tip to make life easier is to clean your ears after bathing or a shower. The heat and humidity helps to soften the wax and facilitates cleaning. Popping the cleaning solution in after a shower makes it more effective for no extra effort. Remember, regular ear cleaning can improve your hearing health, but if you experience pain or discomfort always consult your hearing professional first.



Hearing Knowledge2020-11-26

Handling Hearing Aid Repairs

Handling Hearing Aid Repairs

Hearing aids may be small but they are also complex, highly technical devices. Even if you are consistent caring for your hearing aid, sometimes things go wrong or simply wear out. Do you know what to do when your hearing aid starts malfunctioning? Find out more about what solutions you can handle yourself and when to contact your hearing care provider.

Troubleshooting

Here are some common problems encountered by hearing aid users that are often easily solvable, if you don’t have any luck with these solutions be sure to contact your audiologist.

Feedback: This can happen when the sound being amplified by the hearing aid is picked up by microphone, it can result in an irritating ‘whistling’ sound. One possible cause is the earmolds not sitting correctly in your ear; try gently adjusting them or pushing them in. Another common problem that can create feedback is excessive earwax; make sure you keep your ears and hearing aid as clean as possible.

Buzzing sounds: If your hearing aid has a loop setting, check that you haven’t accidentally activated it; this is a common cause of ‘buzzing’ sounds.

Distortion or unclear sound: Make sure the volume is set at an appropriate level and is not too high or too low. Check that the batteries are in correctly; if that isn’t the problem try new batteries. Exposure to moisture can cause corrosion in the battery compartment, if your hearing aid is producing no sound at all, check for this. Always keep your aid as dry as possible.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) users: If you have a BTE hearing aid, carefully remove the tubing and check for blockages or condensation build up by blowing gently through the tube. Be sure to check that the tubing is not squashed or twisted as this can also cause problems.

When to contact your audiologist

If none of these solutions have fixed your problem, it’s time to contact your audiologist. Many hearing aid warranties cover necessary repairs; it could even be something as simple as a programming issue. In cases of physical damage, many hearing care providers are able to conduct simple repairs themselves, so if you catch the problem early enough there may be no need to send your device back to the manufacturer. Contact your audiologist immediately if any of the following points apply to you:

You have been comfortably using your hearing aid for a while and it suddenly starts to produce static; excessive feedback or volume disturbances

You notice any cracks or holes in the faceplate of your hearing aid

You have a BTE hearing aid and your tubing has become dislodged




Hearing Aid Knowledge2020-11-25

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