Looking Out for Your Hearing Health

Self-Fitting Hearing Aids: Key Reasons to Consult a Hearing Care Professional Instead

Have you heard of self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs)? Can they help if you have a hearing loss? What exactly are they, and how do they differ from traditional hearing devices fitted by a hearing care expert? What’s the best action to take if you need hearing help?

With hearing loss posing a serious public-health challenge worldwide — it’s a chronic problem affecting millions of women, men, and children — technology continues evolving to improve sound clarity, expand compatibility with other smart devices, and increase accessibility to a wider reach of people.

So where do self-fitting hearing aids fit into the equation of better-hearing options? Let’s take a look.  

What Are Self-Fitting Hearing Aids?

Definitions of SFHAs can vary slightly across experts. In the simplest terms, they’re sound-amplifying devices designed to let the user measure their own hearing loss, appropriately install the devices in their ears, and …

Read More
Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?

Self-Treating for Hearing Loss: More Harm Than Good

Have you heard about the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, recently passed by Congress and signed by the president over the summer?

The new law, once fleshed out with Food and Drug Administration regulations, will allow the retail sale of hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss — without the critical involvement of an audiologist or medical doctor.

On its face, the legislation may sound like a good idea. An estimated 48 million Americans or one in five people has some form of hearing loss, according to a Johns Hopkins Study, making access to today’s advanced hearing technology an important part of tackling a growing public-health challenge.

Self-treating for hearing loss, however, can do more harm than good. And with so much at stake — untreated hearing impairment is linked to physical, mental, social, and even financial consequences — you can’t afford to …

Read More
Over-the-Counter Hearing Help

Are You Wasting Cash on Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids?

Learn why self-treating hearing problems with personal sound amplification products might not be a better value after all.

Big-box stores, warehouse clubs, and online retailers have made it easier than ever to buy over-the-counter hearing devices or personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), but… not so fast! For hearing loss, the help of a trained hearing care professional stands head and shoulders above self-treatment, which can cause more harm than good.

What Are Personal Sound Amplification Products?

PSAPs, defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as “wearable electronic products for use by non-hearing impaired individuals to amplify sounds in certain environments,” typically comprise a microphone, an amplifier, and a receiver.

Though potentially helpful in normal hearing to amplify sounds in situations such as watching TV, listening for animals during outdoor recreation, or hearing a presenter who’s speaking some distance away, PSAPs can’t take the place of …

Read More
Healthy Hearing Can Help You Live Longer

4 Surprising Ways Better Hearing Can Help You Live Longer

In the office the other day, we were talking about segment “Today” did back in January on the benefits of working into retirement.

They cited advantages like living longer, keeping your brain fit, reducing isolation and depression, and reinforcing identity.

The more we talked about it, the more we saw parallels between working into retirement and better hearing. It’s probably no surprise to you, but healthy hearing goes hand in hand with being able to do your best at work, too!

Fun fact:

A 2007 study by the Better Hearing Institute found that workers are most affected by hearing loss during phone calls and conversations with co-workers. Conversely, nearly 7 in 10 participants reported improvements in their ability to communicate effectively when they used hearing aids. For jobs where communication is critical, treating hearing loss can pay dividends.

Living Longer

Researchers at …

Read More
Easy Ways to Help Your Hearing

5 Tips to Improve Your Hearing Now

Did you know? About 360 million children and adults — more than 5 percent of the global population — have disabling hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization.

During Better Hearing Month, celebrated in May, we have the exciting opportunity to raise awareness of not only the prevalence of hearing loss, but what you can do about it. While most hearing loss can be treated with state-of-the-art hearing technology, there are simple steps you and your loved ones can take to help prevent some types of hearing impairment altogether. To celebrate 90 years of Better Hearing Month, here are five tips to help you and your loved ones take charge for better hearing every day.

1. Know the Signs

Frequently asking people to repeat themselves, turning up the TV, having difficulty understanding phone conversations, complaining about noise or earaches — these and other signs point to potential …

Read More