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Our Personal Hearing Heroes: The American Tinnitus Association

At Heroes of Hearing, one of our main areas of expertise is helping people manage tinnitus.

We understand how distressing the persistent phantom sounds of tinnitus can be, so we consider finding ways to treat and cure this condition to be of paramount importance. That’s why we’ve chosen the American Tinnitus Association as one of our personal heroes.

The Trouble With Tinnitus

A staggering 45 million Americans are affected by tinnitus, with the constant din in their ears ranging from ringing to roaring and from buzzing to clicking.

Tinnitus can have some pretty troubling side effects, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Concentration problems
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Stress

The Mission of the American Tinnitus Association

Enter the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), a nonprofit organization that promotes relief for people suffering from tinnitus and advocates for its prevention. The ATA also works to bring attention and scientific focus to this disorder, with its efforts including the funding of target research projects.

Prevention

One of the ways the ATA works to silence the sound of tinnitus is by educating people about prevention. Here at Heroes of Hearing, we agree that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

One of the main causes of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise. We advise our patients—particularly those who are regularly exposed to loud noise—to get fitted with custom earplugs. Ear protection is especially important for:

  • Construction workers
  • Concert or sporting event aficionados
  • Musicians
  • Swimmers

Relief

The ATA also works to educate tinnitus sufferers and their allies on the latest tinnitus management tools.

At Heroes of Hearing, we stay up-to-date on effective tinnitus treatments so we can help alleviate our patients’ symptoms. These include:

  • Sound therapy
  • Hearing aids with built-in tinnitus management tools
  • Counseling

Finding a Cure

Over the last 35 years, the American Tinnitus Association has contributed nearly $6 million in grants to scientists working toward a cure. The ATA seeks to share any scientific breakthroughs with people suffering from tinnitus and the hearing professionals that treat them.

This component of the ATA’s mission is hugely important for people living with tinnitus because the lack of a cure is one of the most dispiriting aspects of this condition.

Community

Despite the large number of people who have tinnitus, those with this disorder can feel very alone. Without help and guidance, they may experience a sense of hopelessness and despair.

With this in mind, the American Tinnitus Association has a vigorous outreach program that provides a sense of community to people with tinnitus.

The ATA sponsors a regular “Conversations in Tinnitus” podcast and also provides resources for people interested in forming a tinnitus support group in their area. These groups let tinnitus sufferers gather face-to-face, sharing advice and support and receiving education from local hearing professionals.

The ATA also helps coordinate the efforts of people who have volunteered to communicate with fellow tinnitus sufferers through telephone and email. Help Network volunteers provide compassion and support to their correspondents, often by simply by sharing their own experiences and perspectives.

If you or a loved one is plagued by tinnitus, contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our tinnitus experts at Heroes of Hearing.

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.

Find More Laughs at Laffs Tucson With The Help Of Improved Hearing

There are few activities more therapeutic than having a good laugh, one of the reasons many people enjoy heading out to a comedy club.

If you’re suffering from untreated hearing loss, however, a public entertainment like a stand-up routine can feel more like torture. It’s exhausting straining to hear what the comic is saying and figure out why everyone around you is “rolling in the aisles.”

Where To Catch Comedy In Tucson

One possible destination for quality comedy shows in Tucson is Laffs Comedy Caffe, southern Arizona’s comedy headquarters. The club has been around since 1988 and played host to luminaries like Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Damon Wayans, Maria Bamford, and late comedy legend Robin Williams.

The comedians hitting the stage at places like Laffs Comedy Caffe, the first and only comedy club in Tucson, have a knack for pointing out the lighter side of life. They give audiences some much-needed perspective in a stressful and stressed-out world.

When you have trouble making out what public speakers are saying, from your pastor at church to the jokester on the stage, there’s some irony at play. If you’re living with hearing loss, you’re more in need of words of wisdom or a good chuckle than ever, because untreated hearing loss can lead to depression and anxiety.

Treat Your Hearing Loss and Rejoin The Social Whirl

If impaired hearing makes a night on the town cause for worry rather than celebration, it’s time you scheduled an appointment with Heroes of Hearing. Our hearing specialist can offer you:

  • Hearing evaluation – With a comprehensive hearing evaluation, our hearing instrument specialist will be able to pinpoint the source of your hearing loss. Once your hearing loss is identified, whether it is due to impacted cerumen (earwax) or sensorineural hearing loss, our hearing specialist will be able to help you.
  • Hearing aids – Our hearing instrument specialist can fit you with customized hearing aids and work to address any additional issues like tinnitus. With the right hearing aids, you can enjoy outings again.
  • Ear protection – If you are going to be in particularly noisy environments, it is important to have ear protection like earplugs. Our hearing specialist can offer custom earplugs for concert-goers, musicians, hunters, and others who may need high-quality earplugs.

    Your return to hearing will leave you ready to move from self-imposed social isolation to a night on the town. So, if you’re ready to raise your hearing level as well as your spirits, contact us for an appointment with our hearing specialist.

    Keep Your Memory Sharp By Maintaining Healthy Hearing

    It’s a foregone conclusion that hearing aids can help you hear better. Did you know, however, that treating hearing loss can help keep your memory sharp?

    A 2001 study at Johns Hopkins University established a clear connection between hearing loss and dementia. Researchers followed nearly 2,000 older Americans over the course of six years. Some participants had hearing loss and others could hear well, but started out with healthy cognitive skills.

    At the conclusion of the study, scientists found those in the cohort with mild hearing loss were twice as likely to have developed dementia as the subjects with normal hearing. Participants with moderate and severe hearing loss had three and five times, respectively, more chance of having dementia than those who heard well.  

    Researchers had some hypotheses to explain these results. One is that straining to hear on an ongoing basis can tax your brain, leaving you vulnerable to cognitive decline. Another theory points to the isolation associated with untreated hearing loss; loneliness is a risk factor for developing cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Whatever the cause, your ability to hear sound can help keep you sound of mind. If you suspect you may be losing your hearing, it’s time to make an appointment with  Heroes of Hearing.

    Untreated Hearing Loss Is Widespread

    People wait an average of 10 years after their initial diagnosis to be fitted with hearing aids.

    This lengthy lag, paired with the high number of people experiencing hearing loss—17 percent of adult Americans and nearly half of those 75 and older—prompted the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to declare that untreated hearing loss is a national epidemic.

    Some people put off treatment because the progression of their hearing loss is so slow as to be insidious, or because they experience hearing loss in only one ear. They may not notice how much effort it takes to compensate.

    Others avoid being fitted with hearing aids because they don’t want to face the fact that they need them. In our youth-centric society, there may be a stigma that hearing aids are for “old people.” Others, remembering the sizeable devices that were once commonly used, fear hearing aids will be unsightly.

    The truth is people of all ages experience hearing loss. And with new technological developments,  hearing aids can be smaller and more discreet than ever.

    It’s Time To Address Your Hearing Loss

    Some 48 million Americans have hearing loss. If people in this group considered the link between declining hearing and declining brain function, they might be more likely to stop procrastinating and seek treatment. Other problems associated with untreated hearing loss include:

    • Depression and anxiety
    • Irritability
    • Fatigue
    • Social withdrawal
    • Reduced alertness

    It’s to time ask for aid with your hearing loss, looking out for your mind as well as your ears.  Along with hearing tests and hearing aids, Heroes of Hearing offers:

    • Hearing aid repair
    • Hearing aid accessories
    • Tinnitus treatment and counseling
    • Preventative devices like ear-protecting headphones

    Our hearing aid specialist and his qualified staff are ready to help you hear, and think, better. Contact us today to make your appointment.

     

     

    Our Personal Hearing Heroes: Sertoma SAFEEars!

    Most of the people who come to see our hearing instrument specialist at the Heroes of Hearing are older individuals. Many of them express regret for not caring better for their hearing when they were younger.

    But for many people, they were never made aware of how loud noise exposure can damage their hearing, which is why we are so impressed by Sertoma and the efforts made with their SAFEEars program.

    SAFEEars Focuses On Protecting Children’s Hearing

    Young children have a greater hearing range than adults, making them even more sensitive to loud noises than teens and adults. Children who are frequently exposed to loud noises are far more likely to develop sensorineural hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is permanent and can only be corrected to a certain extent with the use of hearing aids. Also, this type of hearing loss is the only kind which is avoidable.

    To help children avoid sensorineural hearing loss as they age, SAFEEars has produced a variety of materials. These materials are generally distributed through their Sertoma SAFEEar club. According to the Sertoma club locator, there are two hearing clubs in Tucson, AZ, though we could only find one location.

    Other Sertoma Hearing Projects

    Not only is Sertoma involved with improving the hearing of children but this 501(c)3 charity is also participates in a number of other hearing projects which have impressed us.

    • A Sound Investment – Hearing inside of a building can be difficult for hearing aid users without a looping system in place. With the looping in place, hearing aid users can use the T-coil in their hearing aids to cut out echoes and hear more clearly.
    • Scholarships – Sertoma funds and offers scholarships to students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
    • Celebrate Sound Don’t Walk In Silence – This event is the fundraiser Sertoma hosts which also acts as part of their awareness outreach program.

    For more on their various programs, be sure to check out the Sertoma website.

    Protect Your Hearing With The Right Services

    Not everyone has had the benefit of an organization like Sertoma and have consequently suffered from hearing loss. Here at our hearing clinic, we offer a variety of hearing services to help those who have hearing loss:

    • Hearing tests
    • Hearing aid clean and repair
    • Real ear measurement
    • Tinnitus treatment

    If you are ready to protect your remaining hearing, contact us to work with our hearing specialist.

    Related reading you may be interested in:

    You Heard It From The Hearing Specialist: Untreated Hearing Loss Leads To Cognitive Problems

    It can be difficult to see the link between your hearing and cognition, but constant research has reinforced that there is a strong link between the two.

    At Heroes of Hearing, our hearing specialist stays on top of the latest industry research regarding hearing loss and the advancement of hearing technology. With his insights, we hope to clarify for you how hearing loss and cognitive problems are connected.

    Connection Between Hearing Loss And Dementia

    Hearing loss creates an isolating barrier between a person and the rest of the world. Without the ability to connect with the world of sound around them, many individuals begin to lose their grip on some of their cognitive abilities.

    For example, take a moment and just listen to what you hear. We are constantly bombarded with sound, from background sounds of cars driving by to direct conversations. Our brains prioritize and categorize this information, keeping our minds busily engaged. Hearing loss blocks our brain from engaging, and it is this slip in engagement which causes cognitive issues to begin to take place.

    To overcome this blockage, our hearing specialist recommends the use of hearing aids. When used properly, hearing aids have been proven to reduce cognitive decline and prevent further deterioration as it allows users’ brains to re-engage with the world around them.

    How Untreated Hearing Loss Damages The Cochlear Nerve

    It is best to catch hearing loss early and not only to prevent cognitive issues. If hearing loss is left untreated, a certain amount of damage to your ability to comprehend information can be incurred.

    To help illustrate this information, examine the above image. On the far right of the above image, you will see a small yellow cluster connected to the cochlea. This cluster represents the cochlear nerve, also called the auditory nerve. This nerve cluster is responsible for transmitting the sounds your ear collects to your brain for processing.

    Hearing loss interrupts this smooth transferral of information. If sounds are blocked from reaching the cochlear nerve at any point along the way, the cochlear will begin to die. These dead section will prevent smooth information transferral, and you may no longer be able to understand what some sounds mean.

    Nothing can reverse this damage, though further cochlear nerve damage can be prevented by receiving the correct hearing services.

    Prevent Hearing Loss-Related Cognitive Problems

    Catching hearing loss early is the best way to prevent damage to the cochlear nerve and resulting cognitive problems. We recommend that people begin to come in for hearing exams once a year starting in your late 40s or early 50s. This age range is generally when noise-related hearing damage has begun to take a toll on your hearing.

    To schedule a hearing exam or other hearing services with our hearing specialists, contact us today for an appointment.

    What’s New In Hearing Aid Tech: Find Relief From Tinnitus With Today’s Hearing Aid Tech

    For those suffering from tinnitus, it can sometimes seem like nothing can bring you relief from the constant sound. This line of thinking feeds into the tinnitus symptoms as stress is known to exacerbate tinnitus, creating a cycle of hopelessness.

    Thanks to constant innovation by the hearing aid manufacturer Starkey, tinnitus sufferers can try new hearing aid technology and potentially break that cycle of despair.

    Starkey’s Multiflex Tinnitus Technology

    Starkey has a new, patent-pending tinnitus management tool called Multiflex Tinnitus Technology. This tinnitus technology is built into their hearing aids and is designed to create a sound stimulus which will ease tinnitus.

    To ensure that it meets the needs of the individual tinnitus sufferers, the sound which is created can be customized by our hearing instrument specialist. Also, all of Starkey’s styles of hearing aids can be equipped with the Multiflex Tinnitus Technology.

    What It Means For Tinnitus Sufferers

    Instead of having your life continually interrupted by tinnitus, the Multiflex Tinnitus Technology can allow you to refocus on what it really important to you. This refocusing is due to the custom sound which our hearing specialist will program with your input. Once you approve of the customized sound, it will be programmed into your Starkey hearing aids so it can be emitted. Over time as you use your Multiflex Tinnitus Technology-enabled hearing aids, your awareness of your tinnitus will lessen.

    If this technology interests you, our hearing specialist will perform a hearing test on you. By doing so, any hearing loss you may have can be addressed along with your tinnitus. To top all those benefits off, the Multiflex Tinnitus Technology comes with a 30-day risk-free trial to ensure that you are satisfied with how the technology works for you.

    Where To Find Starkey Hearing Aids

    If you are living in the Tuscon, Arizona, area, then your top provider of Starkey hearing aids is the Heroes of Hearing. We pride ourselves on providing top-quality care to everyone who enters our hearing clinic, and we will not rest until we find a solution for your hearing needs. So, if the Multiflex Tinnitus Technology does not fulfill all your needs, we will continue to work with you to find what will help.

    To work with our hearing specialist and take control of your tinnitus, schedule an appointment today.

    Our Personal Hearing Heroes: The Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss

    Many people hope to make a difference in the world and helping someone regain their hearing is one of the greatest ways to impact a life. That is why the Heroes of Hearing has chosen to recognize the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss as our personal hearing heroes.

    Childhood Hearing Loss In Underdeveloped Nations

    In underdeveloped nations where the daily struggle to survive is great, medical needs such as hearing loss often go unaddressed. Paige Stringer, founder and executive director the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss, saw this lack and was deeply affected. As someone who was born with profound hearing loss which was treated when she was a child, she wanted to provide hearing assistance to less privileged children living in underdeveloped countries.

    This organization’s focuses on three key elements to fulfill their mission of providing hearing assistance to children in developing countries:

    • Early identification of hearing loss so treatment can be provided
    • Access to necessary hearing technology
    • Support and training for local professionals

    Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss Projects

    Since their founding in 2009, the Global Foundation For Children With Hearing Loss has engaged in a number of projects in Vietnam and Mongolia. Some of these projects have been:

    • Providing high-quality hearing aids to support children’s hearing needs.
    • Training programs which cover such topics as speech pathology, pediatric audiology, early hearing intervention, and auditory-verbal practice.
    • Developed hearing health and educational program so newborn and childhood hearing loss can be identified.
    • Consulting with local professionals via video conference.
    • Developing regional hearing education centers where children with hearing loss can be supported and learn.

    This organization also works to raise awareness in the countries it operates in, as hearing loss is not often recognized in young children in time for a timely intervention. Their work has been recognized by many notables in the hearing services community, such as Oticon, Hear The World Foundation, ReSound, Alexander Graham Bell Association, Phonak, and more.

    Local Hearing Specialist For Tucson, AZ

    We greatly admire hearing pioneers who have dedicated their lives to providing hearing resources to those who need them. In our corner of the world, our hearing specialist has dedicated himself to his local community.

    By staying educated on the latest hearing advancements, the Heroes of Hearing can provide the best hearing services for those struggling with hearing loss. Contact us to make an appointment and allow us to help you take control of your hearing again.