Give Yourself The Gift of Better Hearing with Hearing Aids

If you’re in need of hearing help, consider selecting hearing aids with the help of Heroes of Hearing in Tucson, Arizona, it could be the best decision you make all year.

Ways Hearing Aids Improve Your Hearing

Hearing aids can be pricey even when partially covered by insurance. But the ways that hearing aids improve your hearing far outweighs any cost. Some of the top ways hearing aids can help are:

  • Follow conversations more easily – Hearing loss can leave you feeling cut off from those around you, as it can sound like people are constantly mumbling or speaking too quietly. With hearing aids, you can capture the nuance of the conversations you have been missing.
  • Correct high-frequency hearing loss – When dealing with sensorineural hearing loss, losing the ability to hear higher frequencies is a common side effect. This type of hearing loss can make hearing people and sounds in that are in the upper sound registry difficult. With hearing aids programmed by our hearing instrument specialist, you can have your high-frequency hearing loss corrected.
  • Improve reaction times – Our hearing can affect not only our interpersonal reactions but also our reaction times to sounds which help us navigate the world around us. With hearing aids, you can catch the sounds of traffic movement and react appropriately, or hear when something may not be right in the kitchen in time to fix things.  
  • Help prevent cognitive decline – A serious side effect is its link to increased cognitive decline. As hearing loss damaged the auditory nerve, which in turn damages the part of the brain which processes sound and accesses memory, cognitive decline rates are increased in those who have untreated hearing loss. With hearing aids, you can help protect yourself from dementia and other cognitive issues.

Also, depending on the hearing aids you select, you can stream audio media directly to your hearing aids to improve your listening experience! Enjoy hands-free phone calls to your favorite audiobook when you use hearing aids with Bluetooth connectivity.

Why Work With Heroes Of Hearing To Find Your Perfect Hearing Aids

As hearing loss is a highly individualized experience, it is critical that you work with a hearing specialist who will focus on your hearing needs. Here at Heroes of Hearing, we offer individually-tailored hearing assistance to each of our patients. Our hearing instrument specialist takes your hearing needs, lifestyle and other concerns under consideration to provide you with the best care possible.

So, if you would like to work with a hearing instrument specialist who will put you and your hearing needs first, contact us to set up an appointment today. We look forward to seeing you!

Can I Use My FSA or HSA To Purchase Hearing Aids?

While hearing aids may not always be covered by insurance, there are other ways you can purchase hearing aids that don’t have to impact your budget. Namely, by using a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) or a Health Spending Account (HSA).

We work with most types of health savings here at Heroes of Hearing, so if you have one of these accounts and have been putting off purchasing hearing aids, you may not need to delay any longer.

Using FSA And Other Health Savings To Pay For Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are one of the medical devices which are considered a qualified medical expense when it comes to the various health savings plans. However, which plan you have will affect your ability to purchase hearing aids.

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – Eligible
  • Limited Care FSA (LCFSA) – Not Eligible
  • Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) – Not Eligible
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) – Eligible
  • Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) – Eligible

If you have been delaying purchasing hearing aids, you may waste some of the funds available to you. While an HSA will rollover with all your funds to the next year, an FSA will not.

Depending on the plan your employer has selected, you will either have a 2.5 month grace period where you can spend the funds or only have $500 carried into the new year. So, before the end of the year, it just makes sense to take the plunge and invest in a set of hearing aids.

Also, if you have hearing aids or are going to work with our hearing instrument specialist to purchase a pair, you can also stock up on hearing aid batteries. As hearing aids require battery changes often, it would be a good idea to use your FSA or HSA to stock up on them; however, if you have an LCFSA or DCFSA, you are also not eligible to purchase hearing aid batteries with those funds.

Buying Hearing Aids With FSA Or HSA And Your Taxes

As FSA and HSA accounts are generally contributed to directly from your payroll, there is no tax attached to that portion of your income. If you were to withdraw the money, it would become subject to tax. But if you are buying hearing aids or hearing aid batteries and either paying with the funds directly or requesting reimbursement, you will not be taxed.

If you are ready to invest in hearing aids, contact us. You can receive a hearing test, hearing aid fitting, and demo different hearing aids as you work with our hearing instrument specialist to find the perfect hearing aids for your needs.

6 Ways To Finance Your Hearing Aids

While they are a necessary investment in your overall wellbeing, hearing aids can be quite expensive, especially if you are paying for them out-of-pocket.

Here at Heroes of Hearing, we have helped many people determine their hearing aid financing options and wanted to share what other patients have done to cover the cost of their hearing devices.

1. Contact Your Insurance Provider

While hearing aids are sometimes not covered by insurance, it is worth checking with your insurance to check if your need for hearing aids would qualify you. We can help you by running a precheck on your insurance during your hearing test consultation with our hearing instrument specialist.

2. Heroes Of Hearing Offers Financing Options

We offer several financing options at our hearing clinic to help you afford your hearing aids. Along with accepting credit cards, we also work with these health financing organizations:

  • Care Credit
  • Wells Fargo Health Advantage
  • AllWell

With payment plans ranging from month-to-month, with 6-12 month plans which are interest-free, you are sure to find a financing plan to suit your needs.

3. Consider A Personal Loan

If you prefer to secure your own financing, a personal loan from your bank or credit union is also a good option to help you finance your hearing aids. Depending on your credit score and length of time you’ve worked with them, you may be able to receive a better offer.

4. Work With A Hearing-Centered Charity

There are a variety of hearing-related charities, though much of their efforts are focused on underdeveloped nations. But there are two charities in particular that Heroes of Hearing admires, which are:

  • Starkey Hearing Foundation – The Starkey Hearing Foundation has helped many people receive free or low-cost hearing aids and work on a global scale. You can contact them for assistance with financing your hearing aids.
  • Hometown Hero Project – We have partnered with the Hometown Hero Project to provide military veterans with a discount on the hearing services they need, ranging from tinnitus assistance to discounted hearing devices.

5. Check FSA or HSA Accounts

If you have a medical flexible spending account (FSA) or health spending account (HSA), needing hearing aids can be an approved reason to dip into these savings accounts without paying taxes.

6. Reach Out To Others Through Crowdfunding

For those who have a spread out support system, reaching out through crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and others is a great way to allow others to offer financial assistance. Also, you never know when a kind stranger may help you finance your hearing aids.

Our hearing specialist is committed to helping as many people as possible overcome their hearing difficulties. If you want to work with a professional who will always put your needs first, contact us to consult with our hearing specialist.

Reasons You Don’t Wear Your Hearing Aids (And Why You Should)

When someone makes an investment in hearing aids, it can be a real epiphany. Once they’ve adjusted to the cafeteria of sounds the world has to offer and their sheer volume, it can feel like they’ve been given a new lease on life. So it may come as a surprise to hear that many people end up leaving their hearing aids unused in a drawer.

At Heroes of Hearing, we’re all-too-familiar with the many reasons people become disenchanted with their hearing aids. While the various rationales may be valid, each has a simple solution.

Your Hearing Aids Aren’t Comfortable

One of the main reasons people don’t wear their hearing aids is they find them uncomfortable. If this is the reason your hearing aids are lying unused, it’s likely they weren’t fitted properly. Or, you may be wearing an older model that lacks the comfort of sleeker new hearing aids.

Often, finding the most comfortable fit starts with settling on the right style of hearing aids. The following options, all of which rest snugly in the ear, are all custom-shaped:

  • Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) hearing aids (mild-to-moderate hearing loss)
  • Completely-In-Canal (CIC) hearing aids (mild-to-moderate hearing loss)
  • In-The-Canal (ITC) hearing aids ( mild-to-severe hearing loss)

Behind-The-Ear hearing aids can also be quite comfortable. You just want the tube that extends down to your ear canal to end in a custom-fitted earmold. At Heroes of Hearing, we will work with you until you find the perfect fit.

Your Hearing Aids Are No Longer Effective

Our hearing changes over time, whether due to noise-related damage or aging. Did you get fitted with hearing aids that once worked well for you, only to find the world now sounds muffled and muted when you wear them?

It’s likely you’re wearing outdated hearing aids. You may need new ones or your existing hearing aids may need to be reprogrammed to reflect your current level of hearing loss. If you suspect this is the case, we encourage you to come to Heroes of Hearing for an exam. It’ll help us ensure your hearing devices are up to date.

You’re Tired Of Changing Your Hearing Aid Batteries

Some people feel overwhelmed with the ongoing need to change out their hearing aid batteries.
You need to keep new hearing batteries on hand. And if you have a smaller hearing aid style, it can be difficult fiddling with tiny devices and even tinier batteries.

If battery care is leaving you drained, you might want to consider getting a larger style of hearing aid. Or, you can see about getting fitted with a rechargeable hearing aid model like Widex Beyond Z receiver-in-canal style hearing aids.

You’re Embarrassed To Wear Your Hearing Aids

Not only are some people embarrassed to wear their hearing aids, they’re embarrassed that they’re embarrassed to wear their hearing aids. Talk about a double-whammy!

We all want to think that once we’re out of high school, we’ve evolved to become less self-conscious. The truth is that we all retain certain areas of vanity. Some people view wearing hearing aids as a signal to the world that they’re old and “out of it” when, in fact, by correcting hearing impairment they’re actually remaining in the mix of our ever-changing society.

Other people, especially if they wear the behind-the-ear style, don’t want their hearing aid to detract from a glam look like upswept hair.

If you feel your large hearing aids are cramping your style, you might want to consider one of the more discreet models. For instance, Invisible-in-Canal Hearing Aids are, as the name implies, virtually invisible.

Why You Should Wear Your Hearing Aids

It’s crucial to wear your hearing aids and not just because they allow you to hear the speech and ambient sounds all around you. Wearing hearing aids can help keep your hearing from deteriorating further. This is because if you deprive yourself from sound input, it can cause the auditory nerve that processes speech to atrophy. Further, untreated hearing loss has been linked with a greater risk of dementia.

While there are many reasons people don’t wear their hearing aids, there are more reasons why you should. If you’re one of the many people shelving your hearing aids, contact us today for an appointment. We’ll help you overcome any hurdles keeping you from what everyone deserves: to hear loud and clear.

You Heard It From The Hearing Specialist: The Best Hearing Aids on the Market

When it comes to enhancing something as precious as your hearing, it’s important to invest in the best possible devices. It can be hard, though, to navigate the slew of available hearing aids to find the ones that are right for you.

At Heroes of Hearing, we carry all major brands of hearing aids. There are a few, however, that have particularly impressed our hearing instrument specialist and patients alike. Here’s a brief overview of 4 the best hearing aid brands on the market.

Oticon

Oticon is a Danish-based company that’s more than a century old. Along with creating some of the most innovative hearing aid tech, Oticon dedicates resources to the Oticon Hearing Foundation. The nonprofit helps underserved people across the globe get the hearing aids they need. Unitron models include:

  • Opn (Behind-The-Ear or BTE and Receiver-In-Canal or RIC)
  • Alta2 (BTE, RIC, In-the-Ear or ITE)
  • Dynamo (BTE)

Starkey

Starkey is an American hearing aid company that’s more than a half-century old. They focus on making quality hearing products and ensuring customers have access to the latest hearing aid tech. The company also operates a charitable arm, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, that’s helped underprivileged people in more than 100 countries get the hearing aids they need. Starkey models include:

  • Muse (micro-RIC, mini-BTE, ITE, In-The-Canal or ITC or Completely-In-The-Canal)
  • Halo (RIC)
  • SoundLens (Invisible-In-The-Canal or IIC)
  • Synergy (IIC)

All of Starkey hearing aid models can be equipped with a tinnitus management tool called Multiflex Tinnitus Technology (MTT). MTT streams a sound stimulus right into your hearing aids that can help ease the distressing effects of persistent phantom sound.

Unitron

With more than 50 years in the hearing aid industry, the Canadian-based company Unitron prides itself on helping users be an active part of the conversation. Unitron hearing aids can help wearers perceive speech from all directions, even in challenging environments like noisy venues or crowds with multiple speakers. Unitron models include:

  • Flex (RIC)
  • Insera (ITE)
  • Max (BTE)
  • Moxi (RIC)
  • Stride (RIC and BTE)

Widex

Headquartered in Denmark, the Widex company is more than 60 years old. Among the 6th biggest hearing aid manufacturers worldwide, Widex aims to equip all of its hearing aids with the most natural sound. Innovation in the area of hearing tech is another priority. Widex hearing aid models include:

  • Evoke (all hearing aid styles)
  • Beyond (RIC)
  • Beyond Z (RIC)
  • Custom (ITE)
  • Unique (all hearing aid styles)

Every Hearing Aid User Has Different Needs And Priorities

Rather than pushing certain models on customers, our hearing aid specialist works to fit you with hearing aids that match your budget as well as your hearing needs. Factors in determining which hearing aids are right for you include what style you want—from BTE to virtually invisible options—and whether you want relatively bare-bones devices or those equipped with tech like Bluetooth-enabled wireless streaming.

If you’re ready to upgrade your hearing aids or get fitted with hearing aids for the first time, our hearing instrument specialist is ready to help you find your best solution. Contact us to make an appointment for top-notch care, from a comprehensive hearing exam to a review of your hearing and tech needs to an expert fitting.

Common Hearing Aid Questions Answered By Russell Broadhead, HIS

It can be tough to think of all the hearing aid questions you have while at our hearing clinic. To help you find reliable answers, our hearing instrument specialist, Russell Broadhead, has provided answers to some of the most common hearing aid questions.

How long will my hearing aid last?

On average, hearing aids will last for 3-5 years. With excellent maintenance, they can last longer. Also, some hearing aids are built with greater care, which helps them last longer than average.

Even if your hearing aids last beyond the average lifespan, you should still come in for your yearly hearing test. If your hearing loss has progressed, it is crucial to fit you with the proper hearing aids to prevent further loss.

Can I wear my hearing aids as I sleep?

Hearing aids can become damaged as you sleep if you wear them to bed. Most people move in their sleep, and this movement can jar your hearing aids, causing them to fall out or become caught and damaged. So, be sure to take them out every night.

Where should I keep my hearing aids when I’m not using them?

When you are not using your hearing aids, be sure to place them inside of the hard-shelled case you received with your hearing aids. This case will keep them safe from accidents and help you locate your hearing aids more easily.

Also, make sure you open your hearing aid battery doors when your hearing devices are not in use. This step will help prolong your battery life and hearing aids.

Is there a special way to dispose of hearing aid batteries?

Batteries of any kind can be corrosive, so it is essential to dispose of them properly. Hearing aid batteries should be kept separate from your regular trash. You should be able to find a place for hearing aid battery recycling at most electronic stores.

Why is my hearing aid making a strange sound?

Hearing aids are sensitive devices that need a good deal of care to operate properly. Check your hearing aid settings to ensure your volume levels are correct and the telecoil setting is off. If you hear a squealing sound, take out your hearing aids and place them back in, as they will often squeal if not placed correctly.

How often should I clean my hearing aid?

Depending on what you are cleaning, some parts of your hearing aids will need to be cleaned daily. Be sure to wipe them down with a soft cloth every day after using them and clean all the openings once a week.

You should also bring your hearing aids into our hearing office at Heroes of Hearing every 3 months for a professional cleaning. This level of cleaning will keep your hearing aids in top condition and help extend their lifespan.

Are my hearing aids waterproof?

While some of the higher-end hearing aids are water-resistant, no hearing aids should be immersed in water. Before you go to do any activity with water, take out your hearing aids to keep them safe.

If you have more hearing aid questions or other hearing-related concerns, contact us. Our hearing instrument specialist will be glad to help you.

Fine Tune Your Hearing Aids For The Tucson Regional Ballet

Here in Tucson, Arizona, we are lucky to have the Tucson Regional Ballet. If you have been thinking about catching a performance, either because you know a performer or just love ballet, you should make sure your hearing aids are in good working order or your show may be spoiled.

The Tucson Regional Ballet Engages Your Sight And Hearing

Founded in 1983, the Tucson Regional Ballet has been dedicated to bringing the beauty of ballet to people without the high prices of other ballet companies. Along with their regular low prices, the Tucson Regional Ballet offers school shows for chaperones to come with students and even brings their performances to local nursing homes and senior centers for free.

To catch their December production of “A Southwest Nutcracker,” featuring the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, check out their website and the map below for their location.

How Hearing Loss Affects Ballet Performance Enjoyment

Not only does the Tucson Regional Ballet engage your eyes in a visual feast of acrobatic skill, but the stories they tell with their dancing are conveyed by the sweeping orchestral music. However, if you are struggling with hearing loss, you may miss out on some of the experience of attending a live ballet performance.

Hearing loss often affects the high-frequency range, leaving an individual with hearing loss straining to hear. This loss would be particularly noticeable during poignant moments where only violins or flutes play to indicate the feelings of the dancer. Without the audible clues, it is easy to lose track of the story being conveyed.

Ways To Prepare For A Ballet Show

To avoid missing out on any moment of the ballet, come by the Heroes of Hearing office. Our hearing instrument specialist can help you prepare for the performance in several ways:

  • Hearing aid repair – Hearing aids should be professionally cleaned every 3 months. This cleaning allows our hearing instrument specialist to check for any damage that may be impairing your hearing and help you extend the longevity of your hearing aids.
  • Hearing test – Sometimes your hearing aids are no longer powerful enough to provide you with the level of hearing to match your hearing loss. Our hearing specialist can give you a hearing test to evaluate if your hearing aids are right for you.
  • Earwax removal – Some models of hearing aid are more prone to causing earwax buildup, which can impact your ability to hear. You can have that earwax safely removed by our hearing specialist.

To make an appointment to have your hearing taken care of by our hearing specialist, contact us today.

What’s New In Hearing Aid Tech: Starkey’s Livio AI Smart Hearing Aids

Starkey has rolled out new hearing aid technology that may revolutionize how everyone regards hearing aids. Their new hearing aids are called the Livio AI, and they utilize artificial intelligence to give users a more intuitive listening experience, from translating foreign languages to step tracking.

New Tech In Starkey Livio AI Hearing Aids

It may sound like a space-age dream, but the Livio AI really can provide direct language translation in 27 different languages. As long as you have an internet connection, the Livio AI hearing aids can translate with about a half-second delay between speech and translation.

Other technologies packed into the Livio AI hearing aids are:

  • Thrive app syncing, so you can adjust your hearing aids via your smartphone.
  • Hearing Reality™ tech built-in to allow for enhanced hearing in noisy environments, with a focus on speech clarity.
  • Sensors are incorporated in these hearing aids, allowing them to track how many steps you take, your general activity levels, and how often you talk to others. All this information can be sent to the Thrive app, giving you a clearer picture of your overall health and fitness.
  • Stronger wireless streaming capabilities are included in the Livio AI, allowing you to directly stream phone calls, music, TV, and other types of media to your Livio AI hearing aids.
  • You can tag a specific area via the GPS feature on your smartphone with preset volume control for your hearing aids. So, if you tag your home with quieter volume settings, your Livio AI hearing aids will automatically change when you enter the area you have tagged as home.
  • Customize your tinnitus management through the Thrive app thanks to the Advanced Multiflex Tinnitus Technology built into your Livio AI.

So, if you find out at your next hearing test that you have hearing loss and need hearing aids, you may want to seriously consider these amazing hearing aids.

Where To Find Starkey And Other Hearing Aids

For those living in the Tucson, AZ area who are interested in these revolutionary hearing aids, Heroes of Hearing is the hearing clinic where you can find Starkey products. Along with Starkey hearing products, we carry a variety of other major hearing aid brands, allowing you to have a wide selection.

We also offer other hearing services such as comprehensive hearing tests, earwax removal, hearing aid repairs, tinnitus treatment, and more. To work with our experienced hearing instrument specialist, feel free to schedule an appointment today.

Our Personal Hearing Heroes: The Hearing Aid Project

Here at the Heroes of Hearing, we do our best to spread awareness of hearing loss issues as well as provide top-notch hearing solutions for those who are dealing with hearing loss. But there is only so much our one office can do.

That’s where one of our hearing hero, the Hearing Aid Project, comes into the picture.    

Hearing Aid Project’s Mission

The Hearing Aid Project is a collaborative organization which was developed by the Hearing Charities of America, with the mission to address the growing need for hearing aids among low-income individuals.

This organization focuses their operations on a national scale, so all Americans are potentially eligible for their program. There are other requirements to receive hearing aids from the Hearing Aid Project, but American citizenship is one of the basic requirements.

Why The Hearing Aid Project Is A Hearing Hero

We consider the Hearing Aid Project a hearing hero due to their excellent work in bringing improved hearing to those who would have normally not been able to acquire hearing aids. There are three main parts to the Hearing Aid Project:

  • Bring attention to other national and state resources which can help individuals qualify for hearing aids. Some of these resources are state-specific hearing associations while others are highlighted veterans’ benefits.
  • Accept used hearing aids for refurbishing through their online donation program. This organization also accepts cash donations.
  • Distribute refurbished hearing aids to low-income individuals who qualify.

Their application process is fairly simple, requiring you to provide a copy of your Social Security Card, state-issued ID, your last year’s SSI benefits or tax return, and a copy of a hearing test performed within the last 6 months. Our hearing specialist can perform this hearing test for you.

Also, as the Hearing Aid Project is a 501(c)3 charity, your donation of used hearing aids and/or cash donation is tax-deductible. So, not only can you choose to support this excellent charity but you can enjoy direct benefits from your charitable actions.

Heroes Of Hearing Promotes Improved Hearing

In our small corner of the world here in Tuscon, Arizona, the Heroes of Hearing are doing our best to improve individuals’ hearing. We offer a variety of hearing services, from comprehensive hearing tests to hearing aid repair.

To take control of your hearing and to work with a hearing instrument specialist who truly cares for your hearing, contact us today to set an appointment.  

Enjoy Tuscon’s Summer Jazz Concert Series With Better Hearing

The Friday Night Live Summer Jazz Concert Series in Tuscon is in full swing. Running from now until the last concert on August 10, you can catch live jazz music for free.

Yet, hearing loss can restrict a person’s enjoyment of music, and the effects are even more evident when the music is being performed live and outdoors. To deal with hearing loss, you will need properly selected and fitted hearing aids. These devices can help those with hearing loss regain much of their hearing so they can enjoy the world around them again.

Summer Outdoor Concert Enjoyment Requires Good Hearing

Hearing loss often interferes with spatial hearing, making it difficult to capture sounds coming from a certain direction. More than anything, this lack of directional hearing can alter your enjoyment of concerts. As sounds at a concert are not as controlled and funneled like home devices, those with hearing loss miss out on many of the subtler qualities of live performances.

With hearing aids, many of these issues can be resolved. For concerts held indoors, many public buildings have loop systems, which allow hearing aid users to switch to their telecoil settings. This allows hearing aid uses to eliminate the echo of large buildings as sounds are directly transmitted to the hearing aids.

While there are generally no loop systems in outdoor venues, hearing aids can still help clarify sounds. Many hearing aids have directional hearing programs which will allow you to focus your hearing aids in the direction which you want to capture sound.

Ways The Heroes Of Hearing Can Improve Your Hearing

The Heroes of Hearing are your local hearing instrument specialist for Tuscon, AZ. In that capacity, we are proud to offer a number of solutions to help correct your hearing loss.

  • Comprehensive hearing test – With a full and comprehensive hearing test, we can pinpoint the extent of your hearing loss. This knowledge will allow us to find you the right hearing solutions for your particular hearing loss.
  • Hearing aids – As professional hearing specialists, we are able to provide you with a wide variety of hearing aids. Whether you are looking for basic hearing aids or ones which offer greater control, we can help.
  • Hearing aid repair – Hearing aids need regular home maintenance to remain in top shape. Yet, if you need help replacing batteries, thorough cleaning or need help repairing your hearing aids, we are able to service your hearing aids.

To be on track to enjoy the summer concerts and other sounds of summer, schedule an appointment with us today.