Hearing Loss
Will wearing cheap hearing aids affect your health?

Will wearing cheap hearing aids affect your health?

Hearing aids will not have any impact on the health of the body. It is not cheap hearing aids that are not good. The only thing matter is whether hearing aids are suitable or not. Of course, cheap hearing aids are not comfortable to wear. If the matching is not good, it will have an impact on deafness.

If it is big, it will be ear shattering, but if small, it will not be heard. Therefore, hearing aids must be tested and matched in a professional agent, which is suitable for your own hearing aids. Only in this way can it be helpful to wear them, and they will not become more and more deaf.

Is Your Hearing Loss Linked to Diabetes?

Is Your Hearing Loss Linked to Diabetes?

Hearing loss affects approximately 48 million Americans,1 and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 30.3 million people in the United States have diabetes, which is just under 10% of the US population.2 These statistics make them two of the most prevalent health concerns in America. As research continues there seems to be a growing overlap between these two populations, hinting as a potential connection between hearing loss and diabetes.

Hearing loss is twice as common in diabetes patients

In her 2008 study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, Kathleen Bainbridge, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, drew a number of conclusions from national survey data. She concluded that hearing loss is more than twice as common in diabetes patients than in the general population. In addition, her study found that 21% of respondents exhibited both hearing loss and diabetes, compared to 9% of those surveyed who only had some form of hearing impairment but no diabetes. Finally, of the 86 million Americans with prediabetes, rates of hearing loss are 30% higher than adults with normal blood glucose levels.3 Perhaps, this final finding is the most alarming number.

More research?

Current studies show evidence to support a noticeable overlap between the illnesses. Beyond primarily impacting older populations, medical practitioners have several theories as to how the two might be related. The current body of research linking hearing loss and diabetes is still fairly limited. So, we need more research to connect the two health concerns definitively.

Metabolic involvement in hearing loss? Anecdotal evidence

Audiologist, Marilyn Enoch, writing for The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) shared stories from her experience treating people with both hearing loss and diabetes. For one patient, she explained, "An audiogram revealed hearing loss in both low and high frequencies, with normal hearing in the middle frequencies. The shape of this audiogram suggested metabolic involvement." But anecdotal evidence isn't enough. She hopes that more resources will be dedicated to looking into the links between these two conditions. "More research is necessary to determine how diabetes, which is thought to be a microvascular disease, interacts with and affects the auditory system."4

What links the conditions?

Diabetes patients have sustained elevated blood glucose levels. This results in damage to many of the fine blood vessels that supply the inner ear. A network of vasculature supplies the cochlea. When patients fail to manage their illness, or it goes uncontrolled for too long, it negatively impacts the inner ear tissue and nerves. This leads to impaired hearing.

Take the Appropriate Course of Action for your hearing loss

Talk to your primary care physician or an endocrinologist to address your diabetes. Our professionals at HearingLife can counsel you on your hearing loss and to conduct a hearing assessment*. If so, we can work with you decide which treatments suit your needs best. For more information on hearing loss and links to other illnesses, make an appointment or make for a complimentary hearing assessment*.
How often should I replace my hearing aids?

How often should I replace my hearing aids?

Today’s hearing aids are more sophisticated than ever before. They utilize the most advanced microelectronics, wireless radios, and computer processors, and they are built to exacting specifications to offer the best hearing possible. This includes being as resistant to moisture, dust and dirt as a high-tech instrument that sits in your ear all day can be.

However, this does not mean hearing aids never break down or never need to be replaced.
If hearing aids are worn in the manner they are designed to be worn — meaning every day all day long — then they are guaranteed to be exposed to some pretty rough environments. This can include perspiration, body oils, ear wax, hair spray, lotion, makeup, rain, humidity, dust, pollen, etc.
Add to that, hearing aids get dropped, rattled around in purses and back packs, twisted and turned while putting them in and taking them out, and much more. Overall, they take quite a beating but keeping performing.

A five-year lifespan is typical
That said, the average life of a hearing aid is around five years. This is assuming the wearer cleans and maintains the hearing aids regularly and has their hearing healthcare professional check and clean the aids at least every six months.

Still, in that five-year period, it is not unusual for hearing aids to require few repairs. Once hearing aids reach the five-year mark, investing in new hearing aids vs. repairing old ones is something to seriously think about. As durable as today’s hearing aids are, over time the components will break down from daily exposure to the elements. At this point, new hearing aids are a much better investment than continuing to repair the old ones.

Hearing aid technology gets better every year
Purchasing new devices won’t just provide you with a more reliable set of hearing aids. In the time you wore those older devices, hearing aid technology will have advanced. Significantly. This means better sound quality, better hearing in noise, advancements in wireless technology, more accessory options, and more life-enhancing features.

It took him years, but Jeff finally found tinnitus relief

It took him years, but Jeff finally found tinnitus relief

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Jeff P. is a law enforcement officer who’s been living with tinnitus since as long as he can remember. Five years ago, it got so bad he could barely sleep. After trying numerous treatments, none of which helped, he tried our tinnitus technology solution.

We recently talked to Jeff, and his wife, who wanted to tell their story in hopes it could help other tinnitus sufferers who were looking for help.

The following is a transcript of that conversation. Some questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Let’s start with an introduction.
Jeff: My name is Jeff. I'm a law enforcement officer. I also did construction for a number of years with my father. I've played drums all my life; been in and out of bands. So I’ve definitely been exposed to loud sounds, noises, things like that.

Tell us when your tinnitus first started: how you noticed it and what it felt like.
Jeff: I've had it all my life. But up until about four or five years ago, it's something that's been more of an annoyance and nuisance. During the day when you have your ambient noise, hustle and bustle around you and you're busy and everything, it's not something that I really thought about because the tinnitus was fairly quiet.

But if I got into a quiet room, or when it became night and things quieted down and you're still, then it was noticeable. So I had always used something, like turning on a radio or turning on some white noise or using a fan or something to distract me and keep me from hearing the ringing — and until about four or five years ago, that sufficed.

How did it shift four or five years ago? What changed?
Jeff: I don't know what changed. I had not been recently exposed to any loud noises, jackhammers, gunfire, etc., but I was at home one day and out of the blue, like boom, it's like someone took the volume knob on the ringing and — if 10 is the max and it had previously been at a two — it turned it up to what seemed to be about an 11.

I mean, I don't know why. It just turned up; it was all of a sudden and I thought maybe it would go away in a couple seconds or something. But it didn't.

It was the same exact sound I'd had all my life, but for some reason, the volume just shot up and I don't know why. Plus, now it was there 24/7. It wasn’t just like, "Hey, I need a little bit of white noise at night." It was like, "I need some help and I need it bad!"

Did you try anything?
Jeff: Of course. I tried the so-called miracles in a bottle — that if you take this the ringing will go away. I've tried the different products and they never helped. And then I came to find out that — because of the kind of tinnitus that I have (pulsatile) — like many people, unfortunately it's not helped chemically.

Mine has also not been helped by chiropractic treatment or acupuncture, or stretching. It's not been helped by TMJ therapies, which can help people and can have a positive effect on certain individuals if that's what's causing or driving theirs. That's not what was driving mine.

In fact, as mine worsened, I even tried a procedure called intratympanic steroid perfusion. I'd heard that could possibly be a miracle solution for it. Unfortunately, it wasn't, so I've kind of tried just about everything that's out there.

So what did you do?
Jeff: Then, one day I was talking to an employee at the Shea Ear Clinic in Tennessee and he told me, "Hey, my wife tries these [hearing aids] and they seem to give her some relief. Maybe you might want to try them." And so, not wanting to leave any stone uncovered, with the help of that employee at the Shea Ear Clinic, I located an audiologist in my city who sold this tinnitus masking device.

I was skeptical at first, but I went in and tried a pair and from that moment on, my life has been changed in terms of the relief that it’s given me.

What was different about this tinnitus treatment?
Jeff: One reason why it works so well is because of these little tubes that sit right against your eardrum. They put the masking sound inside your head instead of outside, like other external noise maskers. If you don't have tinnitus you wouldn't really understand this, but if you do suffer from it you know that the sound is inside your head. It's different than being outside of you. You still describe it as "hearing it,” but it's more inside your head.

When you place the device in your ears, because it sits closer to your head, it's right on your eardrum and puts the sound inside your head where the ringing is — which is absolutely amazing!

Another wonderful thing about the device is that the white noise is asymmetric. So instead of a constant level of sound, it's kind of swooshing up and down, like ocean waves. But not only that, it's doing it differently, randomly, in each ear — which might make you think, "Hey, well, that's not a good idea." But when you hear it, you're absolutely blown away at how well it removes the ringing sound.

Another great feature about the device is that the white noise is tunable. The technology allows you to adjust the pitch of the swooshing sound to exactly match the pitch of the ringing you hear, which is another reason why this product is so effective.

How has it made a difference?
Jeff: Once I tried them out, I was absolutely amazed. I had finally found some relief. Although I was skeptical at first, I wasn't going to leave any stone unturned and not try the product. I couldn't believe it. I said to myself, “Wow, that really seems to make a difference! Wow, that really seems to help!”

It's just unbelievable. Even though you're not cured and you know you still have the problem, it takes away so much of the worry and the anxiety and the dread because you know you can throw those things in, any time you want, and get relief.

For me, because of the type of work I do, I'm very active and very busy, so I don't need them during the day. But before I had these, I would dread going to bed at night. I would dread going to sleep because I would have to deal with the tinnitus. I would think, “How am I going to do it? I'm not going to get any sleep.” The thought of that would drive me crazy during the day. Now I don't worry about it for one second. I don't think about it at all during the day.

And whenever I'm ready to go to bed I throw these things in and immediately the ringing goes away and it's replaced with the soothing swooshing sound, which is easy to habituate because you get so used to it. You forget about the swooshing and you're not even thinking about your tinnitus.

You're just back to your life as it was before you either had the problem or before it was devastating you.

What would you say to all the people who've tried treatments and are frustrated — what you say to them about this?
Jeff: I would describe to them why it can help them. I would let them know of the different remedies and things that I've tried. Because, for me, if I can help somebody else, if I can change their life, that's an amazing thing.

They need to get down to their nearest Starkey provider, as quickly as they can. Get down there, and get these in your ears and it'll change your life.

If it's okay, my wife has experienced all of this with me and she wants to add her two bits to what I'm saying.

Of course.
I’m Teri and my husband Jeff is a Type-A personality. So, because of what a go-getter he is, he didn't want to tell me when the raging tinnitus first happened; he was trying to fix it on his own. For a week or so I saw him acting strange, he was more agitated than normal. He just was acting differently.

And it got to a difficult point for him, where he said, "I can't look at this anymore. I've got to talk to you about it. This is what's going on. I need you to take on the research and figure this out."

He's not a Facebook user, but I am — so that's when I got onto Facebook groups, trying to see what people were talking about, what solutions they were finding.

All the herbal supplements and all the different things like acupuncture — we went through a list of all the different things and, over the next few weeks, months, tried all these different things.

So when we found this solution, which maybe took eight, nine months — I just didn’t know how there could be this great of a solution. And if there are other wives sitting there as desperate as we were and they're trying to help their family members, it's a big deal. It was life-changing for us.

[Jeff gets back on the phone]
Jeff: Like I said, I only wear them during the night, when I sleep. But it even helps me during the day, when they're not in because I know that I'm going to throw them in at night, and that gives me peace and comfort and that takes away that dread and worry.

And that's an amazing thing!

As with all technology, hearing aids are constantly getting better and better. Investing in new hearing aids regularly provides wearers with reliable hearing aids that provide the best hearing possible, which is always the most important thing. And with hearing aids, the return on investment is often priceless.

You can try before you buy
If you’re on the lookout for new hearing aids, we can help. Call 1-888-908-1845 or click here and we’ll connect you with an experienced hearing healthcare professional who can show you our Livio AI hearing aids — the only hearing aids ever to be named a TIME Magazine Best Invention.


P.S. Don’t forget to have your hearing checked every year to monitor for any changes in hearing. This could also play a role in the decision to replace your current hearing aids.
Can I get just one hearing aid?

Can I get just one hearing aid?

When most people receive the news that they will need hearing aids, the biggest shock comes from learning how high the cost will be. It can be tempting to try and reduce the cost by buying only one aid for a “dominant” hearing ear and cut the cost in half. Unless you only have hearing loss in one ear, we strongly advice against this practice for a number of important reasons.

Your ears and your brain work in tandem to produce and interpret sounds. The brain relies on input from both ears to determine the location of sounds, filter out background noise, and to provide the inputs that will allow maximum reception of the clear speech. If the brain only receives signals from only one ear (or one hearing aid), it will not only be less clear but also the extra concentration required to hear and interpret speech can lead to stress and fatigue.

Not only do users who choose to use a single hearing aid suffer from sub-optimal hearing in the short term, they can cause more damage to their ability to hear in the longer term. If the brain receives clear signals from one ear and muffled signals from the other, it will shut off the inputs it receives from the muffled ear and the auditory nerve in the unused ear can deteriorate further.

In addition, many of the most powerful features of today’s best hearing aids are only active when two hearing aids are present. Today's high end hearing aids communicate wireless with each other to clarify sounds and optimize the localization of speech. To learn more about the benefits of two hearing aids, click here to read this excellent article from The Better Hearing Institute

Embrace Hearing is committed to providing the highest quality European hearing aids to our customers at about a third of the cost of Store Front retail operations. A pair of our custom programmed digital hearing aids sell for $900 to $2,498, depending on performance level and processing technology. You can build you hearing aids at embracehearing.com.

Whether you choose to purchase your hearing aids from a local retailer or online, the right hearing choice is to purchase two hearing aids if this is indicated by your hearing test. Be sure to purchase good quality hearing aids with reliable professional customer support. Make sure you check independent hearing aid reviews for both the retailer and the hearing aid brand you are considering before you buy.
When I heard how expensive Hearing Aids were, I knew I had to help!

When I heard how expensive Hearing Aids were, I knew I had to help!

A number of years ago, both my father and father-in-law started to experience hearing loss. Communication became increasingly frustrating for everyone and eventually they were convinced to have their hearing tested. While no one was surprised that their audiologists recommended hearing aids, we were all stunned when we heard how much the recommended models were going to cost! $4,000 for a basic model and over $6000 for the best available. 

I knew there had to be a better and a more affordable option. After all, incredibly sophisticated smart phones and computers cost hundreds of dollars, not thousands!

I decided to look into the industry and see what could be done. Some very smart people had looked at this issue including The New York Times: The search for an affordable hearing aid and AARP: Why do hearing aids cost so much. But most articles simply explained why they were expensive rather than what do do about it. 

I quickly learned two things:

First, there are many models and options for hearing aids but the best ones are built using European technology and are custom programmed by an experienced audiologist to meet each individual patient’s hearing challenge.

Second, much of the cost of hearing aids comes from the highly costly local retail model. Hearing aid retail shops must cover the many costs that come from running a “brick-and- mortar” storefront, including rent, equipment, and staff salaries. In addition, they typically serve only a very local customer base so these exceptionally high fixed costs must be spread over very few customers, adding several thousand dollars to each order.

So, I began to wonder if it would be possible to provide high quality hearing aids without the costs of retail storefronts and retail staff while maintaining a highly experienced audiology and customer service team … and that is when I discovered Embrace Hearing.

Thanks to the Internet, Embrace Hearing can offer the highest quality audiologist programmed hearing aid technology found at a brick-and- mortar retailers for thousands of dollars less. I was really impressed and spoke with the owners and eventually decided to buy the company.

Embrace Hearing keeps costs down by:

 *   Buying directly from the German manufacturer. We focus on a few, really great models of hearing aids to get the best pricing possible.

 *  Selling exclusively online. We sell to customers anywhere – across the United States and around the world but we only sell online to keep our costs down.

 *   Eliminating the costs of retail storefronts and retail staff while maintaining a highly experienced audiology and customer service team.

In fact, Embrace Hearing can deliver custom programmed hearing aids directly to your home in less than a week for about 1/3 of the cost charged by the typical local retailer. That’s a savings of $2,500 - $4,000!

So, I found a solution that offers German technology, 24/7 customer service and a 45 day free trial program – 100% satisfaction or 100% of your money back.

Can I help you afford top quality hearing aids?

The Best Hearing Aid Type for your Activity of Choice

The Best Hearing Aid Type for your Activity of Choice

If you want to maintain an active, social lifestyle, there are some great ways to stay healthy and exercise. But you want to factor in the differences between hearing aids types and health activities when deciding on a hearing aid.
According to the National Institute on Deafness, hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. If you are over age 45, it is more likely that you will eventually face losing some or all of your hearing. If you wish to stay active, that can pose problems.

However, you have options to mitigate the problem of lessened hearing ability while still doing the activities you enjoy with hearing aids. There are several types available.

Here are some types of hearing aids and which type of health activity corresponds best.

Receiver-in-Ear (RIC) Hearing Aids
Receiver-in-ear hearing aids are smaller than behind-the-ear hearing aids. They are more susceptible to earwax. But those are not things you need to worry about when walking, so that might be a good health activity for this type of aid. Conversation while walking also becomes easier because the speakers in this type of hearing aid offers higher voice quality.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

Behind-the-ear hearing aids, the world’s most common, are most appropriate for yoga. This is because you can do it alone, and behind-the-ear hearing aids are not discreet. Also, yoga requires a relatively low amount of active motion.

In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

in-the-ear hearing aids are smaller and more discreet than the two previous types. The Mayo Clinic warns that this type of hearing aid may pick up more wind noise. Tai Chi is practiced indoors in studios without wind noise, making in-the-ear hearing aids well suited for that health activity.

In-the-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
In-the-canal hearing aids may pose problems for people with dexterity issues. Using stationary bicycles requires less dexterity, so it may be useful to choose in-the-canal hearing aids for stationary bicycling.

Completely-in-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids

The second-smallest type of hearing aids, completely-in-canal hearing aids, may be less likely to fall out during the high-impact activity of running. This makes them ideal for an exhilarating run.

Invisible (IIC) Hearing Aids
Invisible hearing aids are the smallest type of hearing aids and the most discreet. They rest in the second bend of your ear canal. They may not accommodate manual volume or memory controls. Zumba classes are high-intensity group activities requiring wide range-of-motion, so invisible hearing aids should stay in even while you get your Zumba on. Plus, the memory control features are more likely to be needed for activities that require going from indoor to outdoor to indoor again than for Zumba classes, where noise level is usually set.

If you are older with hearing issues but still social and active, these recommendations should assist you in choosing what type of hearing aid is best for your health activity of choice.