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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.

Ringing In The Ears? Learn More About Tinnitus

Millions of people can hear a sound which no one else can hear. Sometimes this sound is described as a ringing sound, other people hearing it expressed as a roaring, hissing, buzzing, or clicking sound. Those who are struggling with hearing continual background noise are people who have tinnitus.

Tinnitus Can Be Permanent

For some people, tinnitus can be a temporary sound in their ears which lasts anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days. Those people who experience temporary tinnitus likely have exposed them to some kind of noise damage. This kind of damage can occur from attending an energetic music concert without earplugs or even something as simple as mowing the lawn without hearing protection. This is why tinnitus is often linked with a certain amount of hearing loss, but sometimes our hearing specialist finds that there is no hearing loss present.

Many permanent tinnitus sufferers started out with temporary tinnitus until one day their tinnitus refused to go away. If you have noticed you have been experiencing temporary tinnitus, take it as a warning sign. You should start taking steps to protect your hearing, such as keeping a pair of earplugs on you and keeping the volume of your media below 60% max volume.

Ways To Treat Tinnitus

Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus. However, there are a variety of ways you can manage and treat your tinnitus.

  • Hearing aids – As tinnitus is often accompanied by hearing loss, it makes sense to use hearing aids to solve two problems at once. Not only will the hearing aids correct the hearing loss but it can help the hearer listen to things beyond their tinnitus.
  • Reduce noise exposure – While you may already struggle with tinnitus, you don’t want to do anything to increase your tinnitus symptoms. Loud noise exposure can heighten your tinnitus symptoms. For those with tinnitus which comes and goes, noise exposure can trigger a round of tinnitus symptoms.
  • Relaxation techniques – Stress can often increase tinnitus symptoms, and the increased symptoms can cause more stress. To cut through this negative cycle, develop some relaxation techniques, such as mediation, practice yoga, and positive visualization.

Depending on your specific tinnitus needs, our hearing specialist will be able to recommend specific tinnitus treatment and management tools. The Heroes of Hearing are dedicating to helping you with your hearing-related needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment and start taking care of your hearing needs today.

5 Things To Avoid This Summer For Better Hearing Health

Summer tends to encourage a carefree attitude bordering on careless when it comes to our hearing health. We blast off fireworks at close range, skip our annual hearing exam, and generally take risks which we wouldn’t at other times of the year.

This summer, to help you protect and preserve your hearing health, try your best to avoid these five hearing mistakes.

1. Don’t Forget Your Earplugs For The Pool

Here in Tuscon, Arizona, it is almost impossible to make it through a summer without a dip in a pool or a run through a splash pad. But if you aren’t wearing waterproof earplugs, you may be putting your hearing in danger.

Most of us have had to shake water out of our ears. But sometimes that water can become trapped in the ear canal. Considering that water shared by hundreds of people is not the most sanitary, the trapped water in the ear canal can begin to breed bacteria. This bacteria has the ability to cause a painful ear infection. Repeated ear infections have been known to damage the eardrum and other areas in the ear, causing hearing loss.

To avoid this possibility, you will need to find earplugs which have been designed for water usage. Regular earplugs that you pick up from a hardware store are usually a flexible, porous foam which will not keep out water. Drugstore and large chain stores like Walmart will often carry waterproof earplugs in the summer.

2. Refrain From Procrasting Your Hearing Exam

We make time for vacations, parties, and other occasions during the summer, but often at the expense of the things we should be doing, like going in for an annual hearing exam.

By going in for a once-a-year hearing checkup, you can save yourself from serious hearing trouble down the road. Unless an accident occurs, hearing loss is a slow process. Our bodies do their best to adapt to the loss of hearing, so we may not notice until our hearing loss begins to severely affect our hearing. Yet, if your hearing loss is caught in its early stages, you:

  • Won’t have to struggle with suddenly recognizing severe hearing loss.
  • Can use lower-powered hearing aids to correct your hearing loss, rather than requiring the strongest hearing devices.
  • Will avoid damaging your auditory nerve. If the auditory nerve does become damaged, it can cause permenate incomprehesion of some spoken communication.

3. Skip Residential Fireworks

Plenty of people enjoy lighting off fireworks far after the Fourth of July. As roadside booths and grocery stores continue to sell them throughout the summer, people will continue to find time to set off fireworks.

Fireworks packed for residential use don’t have the same explosive power of commercial fireworks but they can damage your hearing all the same. The decibel level when hearing damage starts to occur is 80 dB and residential fireworks range from 120-150 dB.

Do your hearing a favor and skip the home fireworks and just watch a good firework show instead.

4. Avoid Unprotected Concert Attendance

Summer is also when many musical groups go on tour and perform around the country. Casino Del Sol is hosting a variety of talent this summer, as are other entertainment venues. But after you book a show, be sure you have your earplugs ready to go. Many famous musicians struggle with hearing loss and tinnitus, so protect yourself at your next concert!

5. Don’t Leave Hearing Aid Accessories At Home

If you already own hearing aids, you should take some extra care steps this summer to ensure they stay in top condition.

  • Make sure to pack their travel case when you go on vacation. This case will help you store them safely no matter where you go.
  • Invest in a water-resistant cover for your hearing aids. While these covers will not allow the hearing aids to be submerged, it will keep them safer from an accidental splash.
  • Keep a soft cloth on you to wipe down your hearing aids. Whether you accidently wet them or sweat falls on them, drying your hearing aids quickly will help protect them.
  • Bring extra batteries with you as you go on trips. High heat can sometimes drain batteries, and you don’t want to deal with dead hearing aids while on vacation.

Summer can be a fun season which doesn’t have to affect your hearing health, if you remember to follow our five pieces of advice. If you find you do need help with your hearing this summer, contact us for an appointment. Our hearing specialist will be able to help you back onto the road towards healthy hearing.

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.

5 Signs Suggesting You May Need Hearing Aids

Hearing loss is usually difficult for us to recognize, as it usually happens over a long period of time. That’s why it can be tough to know just when you may need to take a hearing test so you can receive properly adjusted hearing aids.

If you are unsure if you need to have your hearing checked, read through these six signs of hearing loss which may suggest that you may need hearing aids.

1. Conversations Are Difficult To Follow

A key indicator of hearing loss which many of our patients mention is that conversations become harder for them to follow. This can occur either in one-on-one conversations as well as conversations held in groups.

If you notice that you have to ask people to repeat themselves or you need to face the person you are speaking to so you can hear them, then these are indicators that you are struggling with conversations.

2. Difficulty Hearing Certain Frequencies

Hearing loss often affects the frequency range at which a person can hear. Generally, the higher frequency ranges are lost first, which is fairly normal as the hair cells in our inner ears lose their sensitivity to high-frequency sounds.

By the time the loss of high-frequency hearing needs to be corrected with hearing aids, you may notices that you struggle to hear those with higher-pitched voices as well as sounds such as bird calls, whistles, and the letters S, F or K.

3. Devices All Set To High Volume Levels

It is not uncommon for those struggling with hearing loss to have all their personal devices set to high volume. This can be very disruptive to other members of the household and can even affect the neighbors.

For those without hearing loss, volume settings should not go above 60% of the max and should be less if using earbuds. If you notice you consistently above this volume level, you may need a hearing checkup.

4. Struggle To Hear In Noisy Environments

Noisy environments can make discerning separate sounds incredibly difficult when you have hearing loss. This can be most noticeable when out at restaurants, then trying to hold conversations with your companions.

Another way to tell that it may be your hearing and not just the noise level, look around to see if everyone else is able to converse while you can’t hear the conversation. So, if you have noticed that you struggle in noisy environments, it can definitely be a sign you may need hearing aids which can help with directional hearing.

5. Tinnitus Symptoms Becoming Stronger

Many people suffer from tinnitus symptoms without realizing the continuous background sound only they hear is a sign of hearing loss. But, as hearing loss progresses, tinnitus symptoms can grow stronger and drown out the sounds you want to hear.

There are specific tinnitus treatment hearing aids which can help lessen the symptoms and help you hear the sounds you want to be hearing.

If you find you are struggling with one or more of these signs of hearing loss, contact us for a hearing test today. Catching hearing loss early is important to preserve your hearing ability and the Heroes of Hearing can help you every step of the way.

You Heard It From The Hearing Specialist: Can Surgery Correct Hearing Loss?

There are several types of hearing loss and there are accordingly a few hearing-restoring surgeries available which can help those who struggle with hearing loss. If you have been wondering if hearing loss can be corrected with surgery, the answer is — perhaps.

Conductive Hearing Loss Surgeries

Conductive hearing loss is when sound is obstructed from reaching the inner ear. Depending on the reason behind the obstruction, there are two kinds of surgery which may be applied to clear up the majority of the hearing loss.

  • Stapedectomy – When the stirrup bone (also known as stapes) hardness and refuses to vibrate to transmit sound, a stapedectomy can be performed to correct hearing loss. The stapedectomy bypasses the hardened bone and sends the sound onward to the inner ear to be processed and transmitted to the brain.
  • Pressure equalization tubes – For those who struggle with chronic ear infections, the hearing loss which can occur from repeated infections can be corrected with pressure equalization tubes. These tubes are placed in the eardrum to help alleviate the pressure which builds during the infection and allow for greater hearing.

There are other types of hardening of the middle ear bone tissue, properly called otosclerosis, which surgery cannot correct. While the Heroes of Hearing do not offer hearing surgeries, we can help you identify where your hearing issues may lay and refer you to talented specialists.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss Corrective Surgery

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the hairs in the inner ear. These hairs vibrate to transmit sound, and when they are damaged, hearing loss is permanent with intervention.

A way to partially restore hearing to those with sensorineural hearing loss is to have a cochlear implant surgically placed by an ENT professional. The implant bypasses the inner ear hairs and sends captured sounds directly to the person’s cochlea so a certain amount of hearing can be restored.

Non-Surgical Hearing Loss Correction Options

Many of those who struggle with hearing loss are not able to be candidates for hearing loss correction surgery and others do not want surgical intervention. The Heroes of Hearing offer hearing services which can help correct hearing loss without any surgery.

  • Hearing Exams
  • Hearing Aid Supplier
  • Hearing Aid Maintenance And Repair
  • Tinnitus Treatment

To help you assess your level of hearing loss and potential options to correct any detected hearing loss, schedule an appointment with us today. We will help you determine what you need and help you recover your hearing to the best of our ability.

Better Hearing Month

Better Hearing and Speech Month was created by President Ronald Regan on May 21, 1986. His own struggles with hearing loss led him to designate the month of May as Better Hearing and Speech Month to bring greater visibility to the struggles of dealing with hearing loss and hearing-related struggles.

Here at the Heroes of Hearing, we do our best to support those who struggle with hearing loss and resultant struggles. So, in honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month, we wanted to clarify the link between hearing loss and speech as well as provide solutions for those who are struggling with hearing loss and speech issues.  

Hearing Loss Can Impact Hearing As Well As Speech

Not all cases of hearing loss will impact speech patterns. Mild-to-moderate cases of hearing loss do not usually have associated speech problems, though softer words with s-sh-h-th sounds may be difficult to hear.

For those with more severe cases of hearing loss, speech can become noticeably impaired. More sounds are missed, making hearing any spoken communication difficult and replying also hard, as the person with hearing loss may not know how to form the appropriate sounds as they haven’t heard the sounds properly.  

The effects of hearing loss in children can have an even more severe impact on their speech skills. Research has shown that hearing loss intervention is necessary for children to master speech and create healthy attachments.

Ways You Can Manage Hearing Loss And Related Issues

There are multiple ways to you can approach hearing loss management and the related issues. We offer the suggested hearing services at our office and can help you develop hearing strategies.

  • Extensive hearing test – You may have experienced a hearing screening as a child in school. However, this form of testing is not as precise as you will need if you have hearing loss which will require hearing aids. Our hearing expert can offer an extensive hearing evaluation to determine the exact extent of your hearing loss.  
  • Speech testing and therapy – A speech therapist is necessary to perform speech testing and to offer therapy. However, the pure tone testing which comes part of our hearing evaluation can help identify if you are not receiving certain sound ranges.
  • Hearing aid fitting – Hearing aids are a key way to regain lost hearing and it is important that the hearing aids are properly fitted to ensure comfort as well as better hearing. We perform real ear measurement to make sure the hearing aid is properly seated in your ear.
  • Develop strategies – Part of our hearing services is that we work with you to devise strategies to hear better. From using the directional microphones in your hearing aids or basic things to do, we can help you decide on several strategies to improve your ability to hear and converse.

Our hearing expert at Heroes of Hearing can provide an in-depth hearing evaluation, real ear measurement for hearing aid fitting, and a wide variety of hearing aids. Schedule an appointment today and allow us to help you back into this sound-filled world.  

5 Reasons To Correcting Hearing Loss with Hearing Aids Sooner Rather Than Later

At the Heroes of Hearing office, we often see older adults come in for hearing services but not as many younger people. However, hearing loss does not solely affect our senior citizens and the more severe effects of hearing loss many are experiencing could have been prevented if they were to use hearing aids sooner.

Hearing Aids Help Prevent Auditory Nerve Death

Early detection of hearing loss is key to preserving your auditory nerve. The longer a person goes without taking care of their hearing loss, the more damaged the auditory nerve can become, to the point where your brain will not be able to understand some of the sounds it receives from the auditory nerve. While receiving hearing aids can stop the progression of auditory nerves damage, it cannot reverse the effects.

So, make sure you are regularly tested for hearing loss and have properly fitted hearing aids. That way you can prevent future damage to your auditory nerve.

Enjoy Socialization More When You Can Hear

Losing your hearing can be isolating and most people struggling with hearing loss feel awkward asking people to repeat what they were saying. As they don’t constantly want to ask, this can lead the person with hearing loss to turn down social events where they might be uncomfortable.

With hearing aids, socialization can be enjoyable again. By using hearing aids with directional microphones, you can tune out a noisy restaurant and tune into the conversation you are having with your friends.

Hearing Aids Can Help Prevent Memory Loss

Many of us take for granted the amount at which sound is linked to our memories. Yet, researchers have found a distinct link between hearing loss and dementia. It is not completely clear why these two issues are linked. According to research, the combination of social isolation and depression are common comorbidities when it comes to memory and hearing loss.

Those who have already been struggling with memory loss can help reverse the effects with the use of hearing aids. One study showed how a group of adults in their 50s and 60s experienced significant improvement in their overall cognitive functions after they used hearing aids for the study.  

Improve Environmental Awareness With Hearing Aids

Our perception of our surroundings is often heavily informed by what we hear around us. When our hearing is impaired by hearing loss, we can become more vulnerable to accidents ranging in severity to tripping over things to having a car accident because we couldn’t hear the warning traffic sounds.

This can become even more problematic as adults age. A fall at age 40 will not be as impactful as a fall experienced by a 70-year-old adult. Hearing aids can help provide the necessary environmental feedback to help protect you from these issues.  

Using Hearing Aids Can Alleviate Tinnitus Symptoms

As hearing loss progresses, tinnitus symptoms become worse. This is due to the fact that you are receiving less input from the outside world, leading the tinnitus to fill the sound gap more.

There are hearing aids which come with specific tinnitus relief technology. At Heroes of Hearing, we carry these hearing aids and others, all to help you recapture your hearing and improve your overall quality of life. Schedule an appointment with us today and let us help you correct your hearing sooner rather than later.

Our Personal Hearing Heroes: World Wide Hearing Organization

Millions of people suffer from severe hearing loss, yet many of these millions live in developing countries where they do not have access to hearing services. However, there is an organization which wants to provide better hearing to all these underserved populations.   

World Wide Hearing Mission

World Wide Hearing is an organization based in Canada but has had a world-wide impact.  Their mission is to enable better hearing worldwide by providing affordable hearing aids and hearing-related services. This mission has led them to nine different countries, with 12 different hearing-improvement projects underway.

Why The World Wide Hearing Organization Is Our Hero

Unlike other charitable organizations which just provide items developing countries need, the World Wide Hearing organization works to address the issue of hearing loss at its root. While they could just come and visit a village and provide hearing aids then leave, this does not address the future hearing needs of that population. Instead, the hearing solution they provide is much more in-depth.

  • Traveling hearing loss detection teams – With mobile cutting-edge audiology technology, small teams travel to remote villages and schools to diagnose hearing loss and provide hearing loss solutions when possible.  
  • Train locals to provide hearing support – World Wide Hearing trains locals in a 5-week course to give hearing loss support, from identifying hearing issues to fitting hearing aids.
  • Provide quality hearing aids – This organization does not use secondhand or refurbished hearing aids. Instead, they provide high-quality digital hearing aids at a very low cost.
  • Develop research to garner support – As they provide their charitable support to these populations, World Wide Hearing conducts research. This is done to help persued governments and other charities to support greater efforts in providing hearing services, as the research tracks the impact of improved hearing in developing nations.
  • Partner up for hearing technology development – Thanks to their work in developing nations, World Wide Hearing has been able to give valuable insight to hearing loss needs to hearing technology developers. They continue to partner with hearing tech manufacturers to produce better hearing loss solutions.
  • Global Hearing Loss Database – This organization is in the process of developing a cloud-based repository of hearing loss information, all with open access.

With this in-depth, multi-faceted approach to hearing loss, the World Wide Hearing organization is able to extend their assistance far beyond the physical impact of their work. Instead, they provide hearing loss solutions which can stretch far beyond a single pair of provided hearing aids.

How Heroes Of Hearing Supports Better Hearing

Here at Heroes Of Hearing, we do our best to support local hearing loss needs. As World Wide Hearing does not operate in any developed nation aside from one Inuit population, our hearing expert does his best to fulfill the hearing needs of his community.

If you want to work with a top-quality hearing instrument provider who provides consistent, high-quality care, schedule an appointment today.