When it comes to maintaining your hearing aids, you deserve the best care and attention possible. At Hears Hearing & Hearables, we understand the importance of clear communication and the impact of well-functioning hearing aids on your life. Our dedicated services encompass everything you need to keep your hearing aids in top condition with working hearing aid parts. We cover you with hassle-free mail-in repairs, expert advice over the phone or email. Of course, we also have appointments available right here in Hopkins, Minnesota. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the comprehensive hearing aid repair and service options we offer.
At Hears Hearing & Hearables, your convenience is our top priority, and scheduling an appointment with us has never been easier. Whether you’re looking for in-person consultations, telehealth appointments, or curbside care if you’re in Minnesota, we’ve got flexible options to suit your preferences. Simply give us a call or utilize our user-friendly online scheduling platform to book an appointment that fits your schedule seamlessly. Our appointments are budget-friendly, and during your session, our dedicated professionals will assess your hearing aids’ condition and provide you with a tailored and individual plan of action. Whether your hearing aid repair requires an in-person visit, a convenient mail-in option, or a quick drop-off, we’ve got you covered. At Hears Hearing & Hearables, your journey to better hearing begins with a hassle-free appointment process designed with you in mind.
We know that life can get busy, and sometimes it’s not feasible to drop by in person for hearing aid repairs. That’s why we’ve designed a convenient mail-in service that allows you to get your hearing aids serviced without leaving the comfort of your home. We can even send you some parts as we have those available for you. Whether you’re facing issues with volume control, sound quality, noise, static, a dead hearing aid or any other aspect of your hearing aids, our skilled hearing healthcare providers are here to help.
Uncertain about the issues your hearing aids are facing? Fret not. Our team of experienced professionals is just a phone call or email away. We offer personalized consultations to understand the specific problems you’re encountering. This ensures that we can provide accurate guidance and potentially troubleshoot the problem remotely. Our commitment to effective communication is what sets us apart.
We believe that hearing aid repairs shouldn’t break the bank. At Hears Hearing & Hearables, we offer competitive and affordable pricing for all our repair and service options. To cater to different needs, we provide two service plans: a 6-month plan and a 1-year plan. These plans not only include cost-effective repair solutions but also periodic maintenance to keep your hearing aids performing optimally.
In case repairing your current hearing aid isn’t the best option for you, we’ve got an alternative solution. We offer a selection of gently used hearing aids that have been thoroughly inspected and restored to their best condition. These hearing aids are available for resale at affordable prices. While they usually don’t come with warranties, we do offer the option to purchase a warranty from us, our repair lab, to ensure your peace of mind.
Experience You Can Trust
With almost 30 years of experience in the industry, Kim Fishman and Hears Hearing & Hearables is a name you can trust for all your hearing aid needs. Our skilled technicians also have a deep understanding of various hearing aid models and their intricacies. When you choose us for repairs and services, you’re choosing a team that is dedicated to improving your hearing experience.
Your hearing aids are essential tools that contribute significantly to your quality of life. At Hears Hearing & Hearables, we’re committed to ensuring that your hearing aids remain in excellent working condition. Whether you opt for our mail-in service, schedule an appointment, seek advice over the phone or email, or explore our selection of gently used hearing aids, we’re here to serve you. Affordable pricing, expert knowledge, and a customer-centric approach are what define our services. Experience the difference for yourself – contact us today for all your hearing aid repair and service needs.
Cheers to You!
Rechargeable lithium-ion hearing aids have gained popularity in recent years due to their convenience and environmental benefits. However, like any technology, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider. Hears Hearing & Hearables presents an overview of the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of rechargeable lithium-ion hearing aids.
1. Convenience: Rechargeable hearing aids eliminate the need to regularly replace disposable zinc air batteries. Instead, they can be easily recharged overnight, saving you time and money in the long run.
2. Environmental Impact: Rechargeable batteries help reduce the amount of electronic waste generated by disposable zinc batteries, making them a more environmentally friendly choice.
3. Improved Battery Life: Lithium-ion hearing aid batteries generally offer longer battery life compared to disposable zinc-air batteries. This means you can go longer periods between charges, providing a more consistent and reliable hearing experience.
4. User-Friendly: Rechargeable lithium-ion hearing aids often come with user-friendly charging options such as docking stations or portable charging cases, making it simple to charge and store your devices.
5. Helps with Dexterity: People who have dexterity issues do not have to worry about putting the tiny little zinc-air battery fitting into the battery door.
6. Lower Vision: As we age, let’s face it, it is harder to see tiny pieces. Clearly, it is much easier to not have to place the tiny zinc-air battery the right way into the battery compartment. And dropping a battery on the floor is a frustrating adventure for those of us with vision loss. With a recharging lithium-ion battery, this is no longer a worry. It is easy to place a rechargeable lithium ion hearing aid into its charger.
1. Initial Cost: Rechargeable hearing aids can be more expensive upfront compared to traditional hearing aids that use disposable batteries. However, this cost may be offset by the long-term savings from not having to buy replacement zinc-air batteries.
2. Battery Degradation: Like all rechargeable batteries, lithium-ion batteries degrade over time and lose their maximum capacity. This means that over the lifespan of the hearing aid, you may experience reduced battery performance and shorter overall battery life. Hears to U reminds their patients about warranties so people can send in their hearing aid for replacement parts.
1. Limited Availability: While rechargeable hearing aids are becoming more popular, not all hearing aid models offer a rechargeable option. Since Covid-19, more people are wanting in-the-ear hearing aid with a recharging feature. Your choices may be limited depending on the specific features and technologies you require.
2. Charging Infrastructure: Rechargeable hearing aids require access to a power source or charging station. If you frequently find yourself in situations without easy access to electricity, it may be challenging to keep your hearing aids charged.
3. Forgotten charge left behind: Hears to U has realized that people forget their chargers when traveling. Please remember to bring a charger and it doesn’t hurt to have a backup lithium-ion charger for your device to keep in your suitcase.
4. Broken charger: Chargers like other products break. Not only does the charger malfunction on occasion, but Hears to U finds that more than likely the cord goes back. Having some backup cords and a charger is a great idea so you do not end up with out a charged-up hearing aid.
It’s important to consider your lifestyle, preferences, and specific hearing needs when deciding between rechargeable and disposable battery hearing aids. Consulting with an audiologist can help you make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances. Hears to U is happy to help you with this decision.
Do you or a loved one have hearing issues and need an effective, comfortable, and stylish solution? Signia hear/product-category/hearing-aids/ing aids could be the answer you’re looking for. This article gives you a thorough look at these fantastic devices, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed choice. Let’s dive in.
Signia hearing aids are premium devices crafted with precision and designed to enhance your hearing experience. Known globally, the Signia brand is a front-runner in the world of audiology. These hearing aids are user-friendly and come in a variety of styles, making them a suitable choice for most people. The key lies in their innovative technology that ensures your hearing audibility health is taken care of.
Embracing Signia as a brand offers numerous benefits. They not only improve your ability to communicate but also bring back the joy of hearing everyday sounds. Here’s how:
With advanced technology features, Signia stands out from the crowd. Here’s what you should look for when shopping:
Signia hearing aids are designed with both functionality and style in mind. They come in various models and colors to fit your individual taste. They’re also lightweight and ergonomically designed, providing ultimate comfort for daily wear. Your hearing care professional can guide you to a style that best suits your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.
Getting the best price on Signia hearing aids involves some comparison shopping. Here are some tips:
To keep your Signia hearing aids functioning at their best, you need to maintain them properly. Here’s how:
So there you have it – a comprehensive guide to Signia hearing aids. If you’re looking for a solution that offers advanced technology, stylish designs, and optimal sound quality, then consider the Signia brand as one of your options. Remember, your hearing health is crucial. Always seek advice from a hearing care professional before making your final choice. Happy hearing!
You’ve been wearing your hearing aids and enjoying the birds chirping, the bells ringing, and participating in conversations with those you love when suddenly all those wonderful sounds are gone. Your hearing aids have stopped working and you’re left feeling like you are missing out on the world around you. Before panic sets in that your “ears” are gone, let’s talk about some common issues that are likely to occur and how to do some hearing aid troubleshooting!
Okay, this one might seem obvious, but we’ve all had those moments where we frantically search for a complex solution, only to find out that the simplest answer is the right one.
First things first, make sure your hearing aids are turned on! If you have traditional batteries, try popping in a new one just to make sure. If you wear rechargeable aids and are near your charger, stick them in the charger for a couple minutes.
Be aware that sometimes the charger can be the issue in that it doesn’t work. Make sure the charging lights on your aids and on the charger are turning on and not flashing red!
Our ears are fantastic self-cleaning machines, but sometimes they can produce a little too much wax or wax that gets in the way of your hearing aid. If you’re experiencing muffled or distorted sound, it’s worth examining your hearing aid for plugged wax build-up. One of the most common issues we see at Hears to U, Hearing & Hearables is a plugged wax trap. Sometimes called a wax guard, wax filter, or wax trap. These little white plugs are designed to catch any excess wax and be changed out over time or when they are plugged.
If your wax guard is doing its job catching all that wax, the trap can become completely plugged. Once it’s plugged no sound can pass through and you can’t hear! So always make sure to check under your rubber ear tip or at the end of your custom earmold to see if the little white donut-looking wax trap is full. Even if it doesn’t look full and you don’t see “wax”, there still may be some as it is so small. Better to change the guard before you move on to the next step.
There are many different kinds of wax traps that vary based on the brand and model of hearing aid. We carry a large selection you can check out here! If you are not sure which one will work with your hearing aid please reach out to us and we can help make sure you get the wax guard you need 🙂
Although hearing aids that go behind the ear are built to be quite durable, they are still prone to issues. Sometimes the microphones can get filled with debris, causing amplification to be weak, distorted, or gone altogether. If you’re having any issue with your hearing aid it is always good to give it a thorough cleaning. Using a little hard-bristled brush you can brush out the microphones on your hearing aid to remove any debris. It is important to clean your microphones from time to time regardless of if you are having issues so that debris doesn’t build up. When you aren’t hearing well this is another important hearing aid troubleshooting step to follow before you worry!
Most hearing aids come with a cleaning brush and kit, but if you don’t have one we recommend this easy to use Hearing Aid Cleaning Kit.
Hearing aids and their components don’t like moisture. Moisture can accumulate inside hearing aids due to factors like humidity, sweat, or accidental exposure to water. This moisture can damage the delicate electronics of the hearing aid and affect its functionality. Some of the behind-the-ear style hearing aids are “waterproof”. However, we have seen “waterproof” hearing aids get wonky and not work due to moisture. The best way to deal with this natural exposure to moisture is a dehumidifier!
Do you own a dehumidifier? There are different kinds of dehumidifiers, but the most commonly used are either jar style dry-aid kits or electronic active drying.
Dry-aid kits are compact and portable options for removing moisture from hearing aids. These kits usually include a drying container or jar with a desiccant, as well as other accessories like cleaning tools. Users can place their hearing aids inside the container overnight to dry them.
For these type of Dry-aid kits we recommend Audiologist’s Choice or the Zephyr Dry and Store.
Electric dehumidifiers use heat or a low-power electric fan to remove moisture from the hearing aids. The devices are usually small and portable, allowing users to place their hearing aids inside the dehumidifier overnight for drying. Sometimes these kinds of dehumidifiers also include a UV light to sanitize while they dry.
Some great electric options are the PerfectDry Lux or PerfectClean.
Although both options help combat moisture, we recommend using electric active dehumidifiers as we believe they are the best at fully drying out hearing aids in-between wears.
Some brands even make chargers that include a dehumidifer, like the Widex Charge N Clean or the Signia Dry&Clean Charger.
You have done all the above and your hearing aid still isn’t working… now what? From here we want to break it down to the style and type of hearing aid you wear, such as a behind-the-ear style or an in-the-ear style. Please find your style and read for more hearing aid troubleshooting tips and tricks. If you don’t know your style feel free to reach out to us, show us a picture of your hearing aid and we will guide you.
If you wear receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids, the next most likely issue is that your receiver has gone bad. The little wire (called the receiver) connects the behind-the-ear portion of your hearing aid to the in-the-ear portion. This wire is what receives sound from the microphone on top of the hearing aid and sends it to the speaker that sits in your ear. These little wires are prone to damage from moisture and wear over time, but luckily are easy to replace. This can be done in the clinic.
Call up your hearing healthcare provider to see if they can change your receiver for you. We also sell replacement receivers for most hearing aids on our online store. If you aren’t sure what you need, you can always reach out to us for help!
Custom and ITE hearing aids can be the most finicky. Since all the components are in the ear, they are especially prone to issues from moisture. We recommend to all our patients that if they wear an ITE they should get an electric dryer or dry-aid kit to put their hearing aids in each night.
This type of hearing aid is also susceptible to wax and debris issues. Like we mentioned above, it is worth having a hearing aid cleaning kit with different brushes to brush the mics frequently. There are also hearing aid vacuum cleaners that can really deep clean out those microphones!
When all else fails, these custom-in-the-ear models of hearing aids probably need to go into the clinic.
Although standard Behind-the-Ear hearing aids with tubing are usually the most durable of the hearing aid types, they can still have some issues. The tubing on these hearing aids will become hard overtime. When the tubing gets hard the sound doesn’t pass through as efficiently and you might not get any sound at all. Hearing healthcare professionals typically perform tubing replacements in a clinic, so it is advisable to schedule an appointment to see them.
Another common issue with BTE style hearing aids is the hook going bad. The hook is what connects the behind the ear portion of the aid to the tubing and helps transmit the sound. Sometimes the hook can get debris in it, or it may become lose or fall off completely. Luckily, a hook replacement is an easy fix in the clinic as well!
Dealing with hearing aid troubles can be frustrating, but remember, you’re not alone! By following these simple troubleshooting steps, you’ll hopefully be well on your way to restoring all those soft sounds you’ve learned to enjoy 😊
If these steps don’t fix the issue, please call us in Hopkins, Minnesota and we will try and help you figure out what to do next.
Thank you for reading,
Most of these rechargeable hearing aids utilize lithium-ion batteries and once charged, usually last 16 hours or more. They are easy, convenient, and you don’t have to throw away a battery every couple of days!
As this rechargeable technology has advanced, we are also seeing manufacturers such as Signia, Rexton, Oticon, Phonak, Resound, and Starkey brands come out with portable chargers that charge your hearing aids on the go, without needing to be plugged into a power source, as well as super-fast charging options. One of the options is using the new C cord.
1. There is not a universal charger
The first and maybe most important thing to note is that each hearing aid manufacturer has their own chargers, and for the most part each new line of hearing aids from that manufacturer has its own corresponding charger.
2. Your Charger can go bad on a Trip
We sell a lot of chargers to people who are traveling, have a charger on the fritz, or maybe just want a backup. The most important thing to know when ordering a charger is the make and model of your hearing aids. We have received many returns from those who think a charger will work with their style of aid, but once they receive it to realize it is not compatible! Save yourself some time and money by making sure you know what you need
3. New chargers for newer technology in the same brand
There are so many examples of a hearing aid brand like Phonak putting out a new hearing aid and then changing up the charger. Another brand that does this is Signia and Rexton which also carry now multiple different lines of hearing aids. The Phonak Hearing Aid Audeo Lumity has different models and two of the models use different chargers. How confusing is that? If we get confused, I can only imagine you do too.
When it comes to having a charger on the fritz there are a couple of things to check before you panic.
The most common issue with all these chargers is usually not the actual charger at all, but the cord. If you find yourself with a charger that is not charging, try switching out the cord first. Most chargers use either a USB-C or Micro-USB cord and hopefully you have an extra one lying around your house as they are pretty typical cords for other kinds of devices as well.
If after all this your charger is still not working, then your charger is probably on the fritz. The good news is that most manufacturers warranty their chargers for 1 to 3 years. So, if yours is fairly new, it’s worth reaching out to where you got your charger from to check the warranty and hopefully have it sent in for repair.
If you are looking for a more convenient option, you can always purchase a new charger or a backup charger from us! We are happy to help you figure out what you need and let you know what options work with your particular hearing aids.
If you forgot your charger when you travel, we are happy to help you find the charger you need. Some companies don’t want their products sold online but it doesn’t hurt to call around or call us as we might be able to help you.
Shopping for hearing aids is very different than shopping for glasses or most any other medical aid. With glasses, your eye doctor creates a prescription for your lenses. You can then have that exact prescription created in lenses ordered from their office or any other eyewear provider. The supplier you choose to order your eyewear from generally provides you a multitude of choices – several different brands, dozens of styles, and additional added features for your lenses. The selection is wide and varied. You won’t find this true with most hearing aid providers. There are several reasons behind this.
Hearing aid manufacturers work hard to control the market to their advantage. There’s nothing illegal or even unethical about trying to promote your products over those of your competitors. What many people don’t realize is the tactics being used by manufacturers, in collusion with insurers, can limit your selection of hearing aid devices.
When selecting a hearing aid provider, many consumers will automatically choose a provider from their health insurance’s approved provider list. Insurance companies don’t always choose approved providers based on the quality of care or the range of treatment options available, especially when it comes to hearing aids. Providers who limit their customers to devices made by one manufacturer (which can include multiple brand names) may get discounted pricing from the manufacturer, not available to competitors who offer devices from multiple manufacturers.
Hearing loss is extremely personalized. Sounds come to us with variations in pitch and volume. Your hearing loss may be at a totally different range than your neighbors. That’s why your hearing aids need to be adjusted to what works best for you, not just a standard setting. Different hearing aids work better for some hearing issues than others.
Generic medications are basically the same as their brand equivalent. Nevertheless, some people have different results from a brand name medication than they do from the generic form. The same is true with hearing aids developed from different manufacturers. What works fine for one person may not be the best choice for another.
If your audiologist or hearing aid provider is under contract with a specific manufacturer, how can you be sure you are getting the best solution for your hearing needs? What is the value of gaining a greater range of hearing clarity, and being able to hear well in crowds as well as at home? We often seek second opinions from physicians and surgeons, so why not shop for the best care for your hearing needs?
Hears to U, Audiology is an independent service provider. We recommend different brands for different needs and are not owned by any hearing aid manufacturer. Fitting our patients with the best device for their needs is our only motivation. We encourage you to come in and talk to us. Let us show you why our patients choose us for their hearing care.
I recently had the opportunity to listen to a variety of hearing aids and to be honest, there is a difference. I will not use brand names
because I want to remain objective and not have any of my unknown biases interfere with what I want to convey. For me to notice a difference I had to
first try more than one. After trying a couple, I was able to tell a few things I liked about one over the other. Hearing aids come in many different styles
and with many different technology levels. This is a really great thing as it gives the wearer choice and the ability to find a hearing aid that is personal
Purchasing a hearing aid should be just that, a personal decision. Similar to when it comes to buying a car or an ice cream bar, you
don’t get one that fits your friend you get one that’s right for you. One that comes with the bells and whistles you want to ring and blow. These hearing
aids have evolved in such a way that you can get one that fits your daily lifestyle. When it comes to technology the different brands work pretty much
the same. The lower the technology, the fewer gimmicks that come with that hearing aid. If you are less active you may gravitate towards a hearing aid with lower
technologies and if you are active and spend lots of time outside the home, you may want something with a few more tricks.
Some of the technologically advanced aids include voice processing or the ability for the aid to recognize your voice and sound more
natural, pick up more sounds from your surroundings, or stream wirelessly from your phone to your hearing aids. You can literally watch your movies or listen
to your music and hear it coming directly through your ears via your hearing aids. The higher the technology you choose the more you get. With each brand,
there are different levels of ascension.
Each hearing aid I have tried has a specific phone app that goes along with the aid and allows for even greater personalization. You can
use the app to control the volume of your aids or utilize a spatial configurator which allows you to personalize which direction you desire to
listen. You can literally hear more of what is happening in the backseat of the car or simply shut out surrounding noise so that you can listen more to that
important person talking to you from the other side of the dinner table. At Hears to U, Audiology, it’s almost
a smorgasbord of hearing aids with many functionalities to fit just about anyone desiring to hear better in background noise, to that special someone, or
just hear the birds sing songs you have long forgotten.
There are options for most hearing aids for the operator to use batteries or chargers. The different hearing aids that I have tried have
all fit in such a way that they have literally gone unnoticed by most people. Why do you feel you want to try some new cool hearing aids? What is it that you
need your hearing aid to do? Where do you need your hearing aid to do it? These are simple questions that when answered can yield massive results when it comes to choosing the right style and technology just right for you. Try one like I did, or heck try them all, just like me!
It can be a difficult topic to discuss. Some who need them do not “hear” about it. Why? The reasons are as varied as the person. Some believe it will make them look and/or feel old, or they think they are too expensive, still others believe their hearing loss is minor and no treatment is required. For these patients, moving away from a paternalistic mode of care, making it a collaboration between patient and provider is more successful.
To address this, the Ida Institute developed an online Telecare platform to help people living with hearing loss better prepare for their audiology appointments. One of the included tools is “Why Improve my Hearing?” (WIMH) which aims to promote readiness to address hearing loss and hearing aid self-efficacy before the first appointment. Studies have shown that first-time hearing aids users who used the motivation tools at the initial assessment appointment reported greater self-efficacy (refers to one’s belief in the ability to execute a particular course of action.), reduced anxiety levels, and higher levels of shared decision-making. The purpose of this study was to examine the benefits of the WIMH (why improve my hearing) Tool in adults with hearing loss who have not yet received hearing healthcare.
All participants in the study were adults with a good understand of English who had not previously worn hearing aids. Exclusion criteria included those unable to access the internet and email or unable to complete questionnaires due to age-related problems (including cognitive decline or dementia). Of 461 individuals assessed for eligibility, 57 were eligible and willing to participate. These were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the intervention group received the WIMH (why improve my hearing) Tool plus standard clinical care, while the control group received standard clinical care only.
Overall, the study found that when used prior to a hearing assessment appointment, the Why Improve My Hearing Tool did not improve hearing aids self-efficacy, or hearing aid outcomes up to 10-weeks post-fitting.
The study authors posit several reasons why this study did not show improved outcomes, while others studies have. First of all this study did have a relatively small sample size. Previous studies also used three separate tools; not just the WIMH Tool. Also, all the study participants had the necessary skills and knowledge to use digital technologies, given that this was a prerequisite to taking part in the trial.
Despite the fact that the study did not find a positive improvement in self-efficacy, the Tool does appear to have the potential to improve patient readiness. Meaning it can help patients who are ambivalent or reluctant to accept that they have hearing difficulties that require intervention and/or present with lower readiness to change. For anyone who has tried to get a friend or family member to seek audiological assistance, this could be a great help.
If you have any questions or would like to read the full article, please contact us at Hears Hearing & Hearables or our audiology clinic in Minnesota.
See you in a telehealth meeting!
Reviewed by Karen
When you are watching a movie, your brain is “hearing” a lot of things. Talking, music in the background or maybe other types of background noises, like people walking or rain on the rooftop. There is a lot to process. When the sound engineer wants the audience to focus on the dialogue, they will add contrast to the speech track to draw your attention to it. Now, new hearing technology can achieve the same effect for those wearing hearing aids.
If you wear a hearing aid, you know there are many challenges. One of the biggest is hearing what you want to hear when there is noise in the background. It is hard to hear across the table in a noisy restaurant, or hear the specials from the waiter when he comes up behind you. It is exhausting; so much so that some decide it is not worth the trouble and they isolate themselves.
Hearing aid manufacturers tried to address this by using full audio transfer between aids and multiple types of digital noise reduction, all in the same aid. That can work, but it has limitations. When the typical hearing aid is used in noisy situations, all the sound is processed, amplified, or attenuated, in the same way at the same time. Noise reduction is applied to the entire sound system.
Have you ever seen a TV show or a movie that has someone in a sound booth; a singer or a band taping a new song perhaps? Then you see a sound engineer sitting in front a board with a dizzying number of lights, buttons, and switches that move up and down. Once each band member has played his or her part, the sound engineer takes each track and puts it all together. In that process, he or she adds gain to one part or decreases another part until the song “sounds” the way they want it to sound. This is split processing.
In a hearing aid, once the sound is detected it is split into two distinct audio streams. One from the directional microphone for sounds coming from the front of the wearer (usually speech or focused sound), and another for sounds coming primarily from behind the wearer (usually background or surrounding sound). The sound then enters its own processor for analysis and is then recombined into a single stream.
This split processing can do more than noise reduction. Go back to the sound booth, the sound engineer, and the big board. Now in the booth is not a singer or a band, but an actor reading a script.
That same audio engineer can make the speech clearer, crisper, and more detailed. In the hearing aid, less compression and noise reduction are given to the speaker and more to the background sounds. That means the wearer, while he or she can still hear the sound of the restaurant, that sound is more distant, making the focused speech clearer.
At our clinic Hears to U and at Hears Hearing & Hearables, we often hear people complain about the sound of the hearing aids. It doesn’t sound natural. They cannot hear what they want to hear when they want to hear it. With split-processing technology in the Signia AX device, compression and noise reduction are not applied to all that is being “heard”. This allows the wearer to better hear speech in noise, reduce fatigue, increase their connection to the world, decrease isolation and ultimately, increase their quality of life.
At Hears to U Audiology and Hears Hearing & Hearables, we believe that all who are interested in hearing health should know about the latest technological advances. If you have questions or want to read the full article, contact us at any time.
Professional musicians are almost four times as likely to develop Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) compared to the general public. They are also 57% more likely to develop tinnitus as reported by the British Medical Journal.
As we have mentioned in other articles. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur from a single event, an explosion, or can develop gradually as a result of repeated exposure to loud noise. This repeated exposure causes damage to the small hair cells of the inner ear, which send sound to the brain.
hearing loss resulting from exposure to high levels of music over prolonged periods of time. This is a common problem among those who frequently listen to or play music. Musicians come from a variety of backgrounds. They do not have to be rock musicians; classical musicians are also at risk. One study found that 52% of classical musicians and 30% of rock musicians were found to have some degree of permanent hearing loss. Eighty percent of musicians immediately following their performance also had temporary Music-induced hearing loss. Brass, woodwind, and percussion players are particularly susceptible to Music-induced hearing loss because of high volume levels and high frequencies; daily practice; also riskier placement in the ensemble, such as in front of the brass or percussion sections. (think of the poor clarinet section when the trumpets and trombones stand up to play their “big” section of Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. My ears were ringing for hours. At least those high piccolos were in front us!:)
Yes, hearing protection is a good idea; even if you already have a diagnosis of hearing loss or tinnitus. Please do protect what hearing you have left. How many musicians use it? If you have a musician in your life, by all means, talk to them about hearing protection. What do you do if you suspect a loss?
Musician or no, if you suspect you have a hearing loss, go to an audiologist. Have an audiogram done. The audiologist will go over the test results with you and recommend a treatment plan. For the sake of the rest of this piece, let us say that you do have a loss and need a hearing aid. Now, the real work begins. Now you and the audiologist need to find a hearing aid that is right for you. If you are reading this, you probably care about hearing health care. Perhaps you wear a hearing aid. You remember the process to choose the hearing aid that would appropriately treat your loss and help you hear where, or in what situations, you needed help.
Musicians present with different needs. I always thought music majors were a little different. It turns out I was right; you are. Your brains process sounds differently. You have trained your brain to “hear” things within a sound that non-musicians do not hear; things like pitch, timbre, and tone quality. We did a review of research recently on the enhanced auditory processing of musicians. It is quite impressive. You are welcome to review that blog. Click here to Read it.
Most hearing aid users have speech understanding as their top priority. Therefore it has been the top priority of hearing aid manufacturers and designers. Speech enhancers, directional microphones, and feedback cancellation are standard in most hearing aids and help the user hear speech, even in noisy environments. Those are helpful for speech, but not for music. Speech lies in a fairly well-defined area of pitch and loudness. Music does not. That makes reproducing those sounds a challenge. Plus a musician needs to hear every note. When you are listening to speech, you may not need to hear every word. You may be able to follow a conversation without hearing everything; in fact, your brain may “insert” words when you fail to hear something. A musician cannot do that. Speech has redundancies and information on the lips that also make it easier to follow.
You and your audiologist will need to work together to determine your needs. This is going to be a process; patience on both sides will help immensely. Just like with a non-musician, your audiologist needs to know where you need to hear better, what instrument you play, and what frequencies you need to hear and cannot currently hear. It is possible that you may need different solutions for listening settings. Perhaps different tips on the aids for different situations. Ask your audiologist for a mute button, and volume control, disable the feedback manager and see what happens if you disable the directional microphone, and lower the compression rate. These are all options you and your audiologist can explore together. It is a process for all new hearing aid users; musicians in particular. Please be patient with your audiologist and with yourself. You likely did not lose your hearing overnight. You will not get to your best hearing overnight either.
Hearing aid companies recognize the unique needs of musicians and have created music programs. In addition, your audiologist can adjust the volume and gain on the aid itself. Accessories like an FM system or covering the microphone can help. Maybe not wearing the hearing aid during a loud rehearsal or concert could be an option. Discuss these options with your hearing care professional.
All is not lost. For everyone, hearing loss can be frightening. For a musician, it is their worst nightmare. It does not have to be. There are things that can be done to help you reach your new best hearing.
We at Hears to U and Hears Hearing & Hearables want to keep you up to date. If you are interested in learning more contact us. If you would like to read any of the articles cited for this report, please give us a call. Happy Hearing!
The following were used to write this report:
April 30, 2014 T. Schink, g. Kreutz, V. Busch, I Pigeot, W. Ahrens. Incidence and relative risk of hearing disorders in professional musicians. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2014;
Music-Induced Hearing Loss: Loud Concerts, Musicians and Hearing Loss Information for Audiologists University of Iowa Health Care 1/12/2022
Hearing Aids for Music Newsletter. Hearing Aids for Music, School of Music, University of Leeds, Leeds UK
Programming Hearing Aids for Listening and Playing Music, Presented in Partnership with the Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss (AAMHL). Marshall Chasin, Aud. 9/15/2014