Most of the patients with hearing loss that present to our clinic are helped quite successfully with hearing aids. Sometimes, however, a patient may present with such severe or profound hearing loss that even the most powerful hearing aids on the market today may not provide sufficient benefit.
Although hearing aids (HAs) and cochlear implants (CIs) both provide better hearing, there is a significant difference between them. HAs are programmed to provide amplification of sound at different frequencies based on the hearing loss at each frequency. Sound is still delivered to the damaged hair cells of the inner ear and/or the damaged auditory nerve. In the case of severe or profound hearing loss, the damage to the inner ear is so significant that even with powerful amplification, sound is distorted and of limited benefit. Consequently, the person with severe-to-profound hearing loss may not hear very much even with hearing aids, and becomes tired easily due to the great effort required to make sense of sound.
A cochlear implant bypasses the damaged hair cells of the inner ear by delivering electrical current directly to the cochlear, or auditory, nerve. A cochlear implant presents a wide range of frequencies, regardless of the pre-implantation hearing loss. For individuals with better low-frequency hearing but profound mid-or high-frequency hearing loss, a hybrid CI combining acoustic amplification for the low-frequencies with electric stimulation for the high-frequencies may provide the best result.
Adults must meet the following criteria to be considered for CI surgery:
Register with the Disability Support Services at your university. You will be assigned an advisor who will ensure that you receive the accommodations you need in order to have equal access in the classroom.
Available accommodations may include priority registration, note taking services, the use of an FM system, CART (which stands for Communication Access Real-Time Translation), closed captioning on all videos that are shown during class and priority seating in the classroom.
4. Get to Know Your Professors
You may want to schedule an appointment with each professor during their office hours, or e-mail each professor in writing to let them know about your hearing loss and what accommodations you will be using. If you will be using an FM system, take the time to teach the professor about how to use the microphone transmitter that he/she will be using Individual professors may be more or less educated about hearing loss, and you can help make them more familiar with how to maximize your ability to hear them in the classroom.
5. Choose Your Seat Wisely
Plan to arrive early to class in order to choose a seat that will optimize your ability to hear. Most individuals with hearing loss rely on speechreading to help fill in the gaps of what they can't hear, and a seat toward the front will allow you to do that more easily. Avoid seats near the classroom door, windows, or near noisy fans or heating/cooling vents, as background noise can be distracting and/or can drown out the professor's voice.
6. Help Your Classmates Help You
Many people have no experience communicating with someone who has a hearing loss, and they may feel nervous about how to interact with you. Taking the time to explain to your close classmates a little bit about your hearing loss, and communication strategies that they can use to help you, will put them at ease, and open the door to good communication. For example, you can say, "I understand what you say much better if you face me when you speak, and when you don't cover your mouth when you speak," or, "It helps me a lot if you articulate your words and don't drop your voice at the end of a sentence."
Advocating for yourself throughout your college years will help you gain the most you can out of these formative years, and will help you set yourself up for greater success in your future career. We are also here to help advocate for you anytime you need us throughout your college years and beyond.
The entire Center for Audiology staff wishes you the best of luck in your studies!
As more hearing aids are developed with direct-to-iPhone or iPad Bluetooth connectivity, more hearing aid users are realizing the wonderful benefits of hearing aids that also serve as wireless headsets for music and audio-book streaming, as well as Bluetooth headsets for phone conversations. Amy and Liz are two patients seen in our Houston office this week. Both could finally carry on a phone conversation with no difficulty for the first time in years, via Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. It was amazing to see the joy on both their faces as a new world opened up to them.
In addition, the iPhone can serve as the remote control for the hearing aid, and users can adjust various features from overall volume to frequency response to background noise suppression, all through handy apps on the iPhone.
This is all wonderful when everything works! Occasionally, the iPhone will drop the hearing aid connection, or something gets "hung" or "stuck" in the iPhone that prevents a good connection. Should that happen to you, follow the instructions below that walk you through re-pairing the hearing aids to your iPhone.
How to Pair your Hearing Aids with
1. Re-boot your iPhone
2. Take your hearing aids out of your ears and open the battery doors
3. Go to Settings on your iPhone
4. Go to General
5. Go to Accessibility
6. Go to Hearing Aids
7. Close your battery doors (your phone will start searching for the devices)
8. Your name and the hearing aids will pop up under devices
9. If you wear 2 hearing aids you will see L + R
10. If you only wear 1 you will see either L or R depending on which side you wear your aid
11. Click on the box with your aids labeled
12. You will then get a pop up box to PAIR your aids with your phone click PAIR
13. If you wear 2 aids this box will pop up 2 times and you have to hit PAIR a second time.
14. Your aids are now paired with your iPhone. Enjoy!
Hearing aids available with direct-to-iPhone Bluetooth capability include Oticon Opn, Resound Linx, Starkey Halo, and Widex Beyond. Coming soon-- Phonak Direct which will have direct to iPhone and Android phone Bluetooth connectivity. All these and more available at The Center for Audiology-Houston, and The Center for Audiology-Pearland. Call today at 713-255-0035 to schedule a free demo and 2 week trial of made-for-iPhone hearing aids!
Fireworks, firecrackers and concerts may be Fourth of July traditions and are beautiful to watch, but they also make the holiday one of the noisiest and most likely to cause hearing loss. With sound levels from exploding fireworks reaching as high as 155 decibels, here are steps recommended by ASHA that you can take to minimize damage to your hearing:
It’s summer time in Houston! Humidity is up, and that means increased chance of moisture buildup in hearing aids. You may also notice that your ears are sweatier due to hearing aid use. What are best summertime do’s and don’ts when it comes to hearing aids?
DO : Store your hearing aids and hearing aid batteries in a cool, dry place.
Don’t : Leave your hearing aids in direct sunlight or in extreme heat, like inside your car.
DO: Use a hearing aid dehumidifier to dry out hearing aids.
Don’t : Get your hearing aids wet. Be careful to remove daily-wear hearing aids before showering or swimming.
Do: Pack back-up supplies, like batteries, vent cleaners, wax filters. Clean your hearing aids regularly, including the air vent if applicable, which will allow your ear to “breathe” while wearing the hearing aids.
Don’t : Ruin vacation by forgetting one of these important accessories. If you do, call us! We can mail you supplies if needed.
Do: Keep them on for important announcements from airport officials
Don’t : Take your hearing aid out while going through airport security or while in flight. The airport is not the best place to lose a hearing aid. Hearing aids do not have to be removed for security.
The summer season doesn't have to be hard on your hearing technology! If you do your due diligence to protect your hearing aid from the sun and heat, and make sure to plan ahead and pack a hearing aid travel kit before leaving home, you can ensure a non-working hearing aid won’t get in the way of your summer fun. If your hearing aid does break down due to moisture buildup, The Center for Audiology is here to help with fast, efficient, and friendly service in both our Houston, TX and Pearland, TX locations.
Life happens. Every year, as summertime water activities ramp up, we experience an increase in calls from panicked patients who accidentally jumped into a pool or the ocean while wearing their hearing aids. As much as electronics and water typically don't go well together, all is not lost if your hearing aids do get a soaking!
5 tips that can get your waterlogged hearing aid(s) working again:
What not to do:
Note: Many hearing aid models now carry IP67 or IP68 ratings (IP is the Ingress Protection or International Protection rating system, which is a classification system showing the degrees of protection from solid objects and liquids.) The first number 6 is the level of dust protection which is dust proof. The second number, 7 or 8, is the level of water or moisture protection. This means it is water resistant to a level that it could withstand up to 30 min in 3 feet of water before it must go into the company for repair due to water damage.
If you are in the market for new hearing aids and tend to perspire heavily or are frequently around water, ask your audiologist for a hearing aid that carries a high IP rating for maximum water resistance.
Teens are more likely to engage in risky hearing behaviors, including listening to loud music and using lawn and power tools with no hearing protection. The findings also revealed that teens are aware of the risks, yet still choose not to protect their hearing.
Slight hearing damage in teenage years puts teenagers at risk for accelerated hearing loss later in life. Educating children from an early age about the risks of unsafe listening practices can save them from significant, permanent hearing loss later in life. The good news is that with these few simple steps, teenagers (and everyone else) can modify their listening behavior and protect their hearing: