For decades, the hearing assistance of any kind has been seen as something meant for our grandparents, but the fact is hearing loss affects people of all ages starting as early as early 20’s. Because of this, many believe eventually everyone will be wearing some sort of hearing device in the near future. Hearing devices can both improve our ability to hear sounds and with new technology continuously being developed, they can be discreet and comfortable.
Recently, Hearing Aids have made their way to the forefront of the news. Like with all news, when loads of information become available it can sometimes become hard to sift through the information to understand. Because of this, we’ve sifted through and have trimmed down the important information to provide you with the basics when it comes to deciding whether going down the Hearing Aid trail or if you could get away with an OTC Hearing Aid.
Noted in a recent blog titled, “The Hearing Gap: Accessibility and the Consequences of Hearing Loss,” one of the many reasons people who needed hearing assistance did not get help was because often hearing loss was not a priority for policymakers. For years, hearing loss straddled the lines between being a healthcare issue, a public health concern, and a lifestyle issues.
Luckily, our Senators were listening and became aware of the difficulties associated with hearing loss and the undeniable benefits surrounding making OTC Hearing Aids accessible. Last summer the Senate’s near-constant gridlock came to a rare agreement giving Senator, Elizabeth Warren, a bipartisan legislative win. The Senate voted 94 to 1 to pass a broad Food and Drug Administration bill, the “Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act. The act contained a measure written by the Massachusetts Democrat specifically designed to provide greater public accessibility and affordability with over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. The OTC Hearing Aid Act enables adults with the detected mild-to-moderate hearing loss to access OTC hearing aids without visiting or being seen by a hearing care professional.
While the FDA continues to regulate hearing aids it does not consider OTC Hearing Aids to be medical devices when labeled for recreational or any other use by individuals with normal hearing. Yet, specific safety regulations related to sound output levels apply to these products. It is important to note, per the FDA’s website there are currently no products that can claim to address hearing loss that are or claim to be OTC hearing aids within the meaning of section 520(q) of the FD&C Act as amended by FDARA.
Currently, hearing aids continue to be restricted [medical] devices, for which sales must follow applicable federal and state requirements overseen by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) including monitoring by a medical professional.
It is important to note, while the OTC Hearing Aid Act is wonderful news and will provide those with mild hearing issues some assistance, it is not meant for someone with any significant hearing loss. If you suspect you suffer from any form of hearing loss, please visit our website to take advantage of your FREE hearing exam near you today. It is always best to lean on the safe side and have your hearing tested.
Should you need a hearing aid, our Lucid Certified Hearing Specialists will be able to help you identify and give practical advice on what hearing aids are available to you. Our specialists will provide you with recommendations on particular models, so you can be confident you’re making the right choice. To keep them working effectively and safely, you need a proper diagnosis from a licensed professional, and regular visits for follow-up and maintenance. Hearing care professionals ensure you are fit properly. This can save you thousands of dollars in future medical costs you’re risking by self-diagnosing and choosing over-the-counter hearing aids that provide more amplification than you need and can result in further hearing damage.
In closing, it is important to note TWO FACTS should you suspect hearing loss.
#1 According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders only 1 of 5 people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wear one.
#2. The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found in a 12-year study conducted by their neurology department that untreated hearing loss increased the risk for dementia.
THE FINE DETAILS:
Below are the details of The OTC Hearing Aid Act provided by Congress.gov.
The bill amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to categorize certain hearing aids as over-the-counter hearing aids and issue regulations regarding those hearing aids.
The regulations for over-the-counter hearing aids must: (1) provide reasonable assurances of safety and efficacy; (2) establish output limits and labeling requirements; and (3) describe requirements for the sale of hearing aids in-person, by mail, or online, without a prescription.
State and local governments may not establish or continue in effect requirements specifically applicable to hearing products that are not identical to FDA requirements and that restrict or interfere with the servicing or sale of over-the-counter hearing aids.
To date, tinnitus continues to be one of the most common otologic problems with agonizing and debilitating physical effects. Tinnitus is the medical term for the sensation of hearing sounds (usually noise or ringing) in your ears when no external sound is present. According to the American Tinnitus Association, 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus. Even more surprising, only approximately 12 million actually seek medical help. With this information, it is our hope to shed some light on some of the facts and symptoms surrounding this common hearing disorder we know as tinnitus.
Before we start it is important to note, tinnitus is not derived from one cause. Unfortunately, there are numerous causes that lead to tinnitus including, but not limited to, excessive noise exposure, head and neck injury, ear infection and most surprising stress! According to the website, RestoredHearing.com, many people who suffer from panic attacks, anxiety disorder, depression, or high-stress levels are prone to ear ringing caused by tinnitus. Although tinnitus is more common among seniors, it is often found in people of all ages, including children. Because of this shocking information, raising awareness surrounding the facts and prevention of tinnitus is important to spread for all ages.
#1 Tinnitus is very common; about 10% – 15% of adults experience tinnitus.
#2 Certain medications can cause or worsen tinnitus. Particularly in large doses, aspirin can cause of ringing in your ears. As well, some antibiotics can cause tinnitus as well as, hundreds of medications.
#3 Tinnitus is not just for seniors. 1 in 5 teenagers suffers from permanent tinnitus.
#4 Tinnitus is a non-auditory, internal sound, can be intermittent or continuous, in one or both ears, and either low or high pitched.
#5 Currently, there is no cure for tinnitus. However, there are numerous treatments to manage life with tinnitus. Sound therapy by wearing a Lucid Hearing Hearing Aid is a common type of treatment. They amplify environmental sounds and redirect attention to those noises instead of the Tinnitus.
It is important to note tinnitus is not a disease and in most cases, is not serious. If you have noticed a buzzing, ringing, or clicking sound (mild or loud) in one or both ears only you can hear that does not go away, you may have tinnitus. With this information, you should always yield on the safe side and seek the help of a medical professional.
The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and you know what that means! Fireworks! The Fourth of July is a day for celebration and community, and nearly every celebration ends with the tradition of watching a magnificent display of fireworks.
Where did the tradition of fireworks on the Fourth of July come from?
Reportedly, on July 8, 1776, the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence were held in Independence Square (in Philadelphia). A year later, Philadelphia recognized Independence Day including fireworks, bonfires, and bells in their celebrations. The tradition continued to spread to other areas and the custom of having a firework display on the Fourth of July continues today!
Fireworks are a special part of our country’s history, but it’s important to protect your hearing from these exuberant explosions!
Fireworks often exceed 150 decibels (though they aren’t as loud when heard from the ground). The sound output from fireworks can lead to hearing damage. In fact, exposure to loud sounds, including the loud bang that accompanies fireworks, can lead to things like tinnitus (ringing in your ears), temporary threshold shift (a slight and temporary decrease in hearing), or permanent hearing loss.
Protecting your ears from the loud sounds that accompany fireworks is important, and Lucid Hearing has your back (and your ears)! Lucid Hearing’s custom ear plugs are an ideal solution for high quality, long lasting, comfortable hearing protection. Lucid Hearing designs these ear plugs to precisely fit the unique contours of your ears. Ear plugs are available in a wide range of colors and are handcrafted by master technicians. They are durable and have a long life with proper care. These earplugs come in a variety of forms, with options for discrete handles and cords. Ear plugs are warranted for comfort, fit, and feedback for 90 days. Check them out here.
Enjoy your Fourth of July and remember to celebrate in style and safety with custom ear plugs from Lucid Hearing!
It’s summertime, so it’s time to hop into the pool or hit the waves at the beach! But not so fast! What’s your plan for keeping your ear canals dry??
Your ear canal runs from your eardrum to the outside of your head, and when water remains in your ear after you swim, the moist environment inside your ear can spur bacterial growth. This bacterial growth can create an infection in your ear, which is called “swimmer’s ear.”
Lucid Hearing’s custom swim plugs can help protect your ears by keeping your ear canals dry while you swim!
These custom swim plugs are great for all ages and for all ear shapes! They are shaped precisely to the unique contours of your ear, making for a much better fit than standard plugs. These swim plugs are just what you need for swimming this summer! They are handcrafted by master technicians and are warranted for comfort, fit, and feedback for 90 days! Swim plugs are extremely durable and have a long life with proper care. They are made from floatable silicone, so you won’t lose them at the bottom of the pool! And there’s the option of using hypoallergenic materials to craft your swim plugs, in case you are allergic to any materials.
You’ll feel at ease the next time you jump into a pool, ocean, or lake this summer with your swim plugs fitted snugly in your ears! Swimming this summer will be more fun and relaxing knowing that your ears are protected from water that might enter them!
Enjoy swimming this summer, both when you’re in the water and after you get out!
Learn more about swim plugs here!
For some inspiring individuals, success is not out of reach even when challenged by damaged hearing. It is often only when your ability to hear begins to fade that we realize how vital and special the gift of hearing truly is.
With advances in modern technology, some hearing aids are now producing natural sound quality, allowing you to hear more of what you want, less of what you don’t. Even better, with nano-coating for sweat protection and new smaller flexible sizes, hearing aids can even be worn when playing sports including basketball and football.
Derrick Coleman, current fullback for the Atlanta Falcons, says that wearing a hearing aid has helped him in many situations, specifically in a loud stadium. He had the ability to tune things out by adjusting his hearing aid, allowing him to focus on the job at hand.
“Being deaf, being hard of hearing is who I am, so I’m not going to let someone else come in here and say ‘Oh, you’re deaf,’” – “That’s who I am. It made me who I am today” said Coleman in an interview with Michael Hartzell.
Russian Olympic skier Elena Yakovishina has been deaf since she was eight. Yakovishina has been skiing since her parents first took her to the top of a mountain when she was only three years old. Being diagnosed as deaf five years later did not stop her from skiing and competing at an international level. Yakovishina has said that skiing with hearing aids makes you “hear things differently: the wind, your skis, everything.” While Yakovishina could still ski without her hearing aids, she feels the quality of her hearing affects the quality of her skiing.
University of Oklahoma senior Rylee Reinertson suffers from severe hearing loss and has worn a hearing aid for 16 years. With hearing aids, he is able to do all the things other college kids enjoy. Plus, he is one of the stars of Oklahoma’s golf team and ranks as one the best collegiate golf players in the nation.
For athletes, professional or a weekend warrior, hearing is a key in knowing what to do, how competition is preparing and being in tune with your environment. Whether on the field or in the stands, the way to win is always bringing your best game, including having your hearing tested and protecting your ears when the crowd explodes in applause at the next touchdown.
At Lucid Hearing, we aim to Help People Hear Better. We do that by offering free hearing exams at 500+ Lucid Hearing centers nationwide and providing state-of the-art Powered by Lucid hearing solutions.
What To Consider Before Giving Hearing Aids As Gifts
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions that can affect older adults. According to data gathered by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), nearly 25% of seniors aged 65 to 74 have disabling hearing loss, while 50% of older adults who are 75 years and above are suffering from the same condition. For some seniors, being able to talk and hear is essential for a happy life, which is why younger people may think that getting an elderly relative some hearing aids as a holiday present this year could be just the thing to make him or her smile. However, there are several things that you should consider before giving hearing aids as gifts to your senior relative, so keep these in mind before purchasing hearing aids for your loved one.
Some elderly people refuse to wear hearing aids
According to experts, of the 26.7 million people over 50 with a hearing impairment, only 14% choose to wear hearing aids. It has been said that the primary refusal for wearing a hearing aid is denial, as many older adults refuse to admit that they have a hearing problem. Some also think that it’s normal to lose hearing ability as they age. Vanity can also be a huge factor why some older people refuse to be seen wearing devices in their ears and they would rather spend money on unnecessary purchases instead. Moreover, some adults who have worn poor quality hearing aids in the past may have been unimpressed with these devices and refused to wear them ever since. So how do you convince your loved one to give hearing aids or other hearing solutions another try? Try being calm, reasonable, and let your relative know the advantages of wearing a hearing aid.
It enables your elderly relative to have more fun in life
Wearing a hearing aid makes it easier for your elderly relative to have more fun in life, especially when engaging in outdoor activities for seniors. Watching a play, going to an outdoor concert at the park, or exercising with friends is more enjoyable when one is able to fully appreciate the sights and sounds of one’s surroundings. Tell your loved one how much fun he or she can have while listening to his or her favorite songs on the radio or watching a new movie with the family.
It keeps your loved one safe from harm
If your elderly relative is living alone, remind him that wearing a hearing aid allows him to be safe as he can hear if an intruder is trying to break into his home. Being able to hear well gives one enough time to call for help before it’s too late.
It can prevent loneliness and social isolation
Not being able to hear and communicate well can cause a senior to become lonely and socially isolated, which presents various health risks such as dementia and may even increase the risk of early death. Good hearing enables one to communicate and understand other people better, which can help to prevent social isolation.
Lastly, remind your elderly loved one that hearing aids now available in different styles and sizes and come with advanced technology for added clarity and better sound quality. Once your senior relative agrees to wear a hearing aid, let him take a free hearing exam and have him try several hearing aid styles to see what suits him best. The gift of hearing may be the best gift that you can give to your loved one this Christmas, so keep these pointers in mind before making a purchase.
Written by: Sally Writes
Did you just make the jump to get hearing aids? If so, congratulations!
Hearing loss is a natural part of the aging process and this step in getting hearing aids will help improve your ability to communicate. But with everything in the world, nothing is absolutely perfect.
First, there is going to be an adjustment period. You might hear sounds that you haven’t heard in some time, especially if you waited to get your hearing tested. Hearing aids can only amplify the sounds. So understand that some sounds may sound slightly different than they did before. Many hearing professionals say that it will take 30 to 90 days for you to get used to the hearing aid. Stick with it! Most people do not wear their hearing aids because of unrealistic expectations. So be patient with yourself and the device.
When you first wear your hearing aids, expect there to be some discomfort. Make sure that the fit is comfortable before you leave the office, but understand they’re like a new pair of shoes and may just need some getting used to. If this persists, contact your audiologist to make sure the fit is correct.
In the beginning, the amplification can seem overwhelming. Your own voice may sound different and things around you may seem too loud. Many hearing professionals suggest wearing the hearing aids slowly for shorter periods of time in a quieter environment to get used to them. Then gradually start to work up to noisy places and environments. Your brain will eventually learn to understand the amplified sound that the hearing aids are producing and it will not seem as loud.
Remember that not everything will be perfectly clear with the hearing aids and you may still miss some parts of the conversation. But in the end, the hearing aids will help to amplify the sound for you to hear better.
Consequences of Hearing Loss
At first, hearing loss may seem like it primarily has physical consequences–hearing loss just means one’s ears can’t hear well, right? In actuality, the consequences of hearing loss are quite wide-ranging. There are physical, cognitive, psychological, and psychosocial consequences of hearing loss. While hearing loss is very common, it often goes untreated.
In fact, according to an article titled “The Connection Between Hearing Loss and Healthy Aging,” 9 out of 10 people with mild hearing loss do not have hearing aids and 6 out of 10 people with moderate to severe hearing loss do not have hearing aids.
Hearing loss is an invisible ailment. You can’t tell just by looking at someone that they have hearing loss. This can prevent discrimination, but it can also delay treatment, since there isn’t anything outwardly different about a person with hearing loss.
When you can’t hear well, you can’t communicate well, which has implications in many different aspects of life. One important aspect of life that is affected by hearing loss is the ability to work. Hearing loss can interfere with a person’s work, preventing them from answering the phone, interacting with clients or colleagues, and participating actively in meetings. A lack of access to hearing aids can affect people’s vocations and livelihoods.
Aiding with Hearing Aids
There are many reasons why people who need hearing aids do not purchase them. According to a study conducted by the National Council on Aging in 1999 on the consequences of hearing loss in older adults, the vast majority of respondents reported that they did not believe their hearing loss was severe enough to require a hearing aid. However, these respondents were still reporting difficulty hearing.
In addition, one in five people in the 1999 survey reported that wearing a hearing aid would make them feel “old or embarrassed.” The irony, however, is that hearing loss leaves people in situations where they are unable to respond appropriately and are unable to communicate correctly. This creates its own set of embarrassing situations.
Another reason people who need hearing aids do not wear hearing aids is because often hearing loss is not a priority for policy makers. Hearing loss straddles the line between a health care issue, a public health concern, and a lifestyle issue. Creating awareness of the difficulties associated with hearing loss can help make hearing aids more accessible to those who need them.
Hearing aids can change the day-to-day functioning and happiness in a person’s life. Along with enriching the small moments that might be missed without hearing aids, hearing aids can also help people stay on the job for longer as they age, and continue engaging in the hobbies they’ve always enjoyed.
If you’d like to learn more about hearing loss solutions for you, drop into a Lucid Hearing Center at your local Sam’s Club today!
6 Months with Lucid Hearing
David H. has been a Hearing Instrument Specialist at Lucid Hearing for just over 6 months now. Though he hasn’t been on the team for long, he is already helping people hear better every single day.
David’s favorite part about working at Lucid is “interacting with so many people every day.” When asked about his best days, David answered: “My best days are when I get to help someone hear better.” David is lucky because his best days are every day. On average, David assists approximately 2 new people with hearing better every single day.
Hearing Tests can Change Lives
According to David, people often come in to the hearing center for a hearing test just to make their spouses happy. Loved ones are often the first to notice when someone is experiencing hearing loss because they find themselves repeating sentences and noticing that the volume is turned up higher than it used to. For this reason, spouses and other loved ones are usually the ones encouraging a person experiencing hearing loss to get their hearing tested. David enjoys seeing when a person comes in for a hearing test just to make their spouse happy, and then leave with new hearing aids and completely forget they were there just to make their spouse happy! One hearing test can really change a person’s life, and gentle nudges made by spouses and loved ones can improve the quality of one’s life!
Trained in Excellence
David is grateful for his job because of the license required to be a Hearing Instrument Specialist. The licensing process involved rigorous training that gave David unique skills and education that he will have with him forever. He enjoys using what he’s learned to help others. Though David considers himself an introvert, he loves interacting with people through his work at Lucid Hearing. He is truly passionate about helping people Hear Better.
A Wearer of Lucid’s Hearing Aids
As someone who wears Lucid hearing aids, David is confident that Lucid’s hearing aids stand apart from the rest. He has noticed that the technology in Lucid’s hearing aids sounds different from other manufacturers and truly helps him hear better. He has also noticed that people appreciate Lucid’s hearing aids most if they are a current wearer of hearing aids and can compare Lucid’s hearing aids directly to the ones they currently wear; the difference between Lucid hearing aids and others is easily noticeable! Those who are “power junkies” or especially knowledgeable about technology also tend to appreciate Lucid’s hearing aids more, noted David.
We’re glad to have David on the team with us and we look forward to continue hearing stories of how he is helping people hear better throughout his career!