Teach grandkids about hearing loss

Teach Your Grandkids About Hearing Loss

You love being a grandparent and you love your grandchildren. You especially love their inquisitive nature and all of the interesting questions they ask you – “Why is the sky blue?” or “What happened to the dinosaurs?” If you’re wearing hearing aids they may even ask you, “What are those things in your ears?” When the time comes, here are few pointers to teach your grandkids about hearing loss.

Explaining Hearing Loss

The first thing to do when teaching your grandchildren about hearing loss is letting them know you have it. In fact, telling your loved ones – including your grandkids – can help make living with hearing loss easier for everyone. For younger children, a simple explanation of “My ears do not work as well as they used to like when I was your age,” can be enough to satiate their curiosity. However, older grandchildren may inquire further and be interested in learning more about hearing loss.

If your older grandkids are showing curiosity about your hearing aids, there’s no need to shy away from explaining it to them. Let them know there is a problem with one or more parts of your ear and that your hearing is not working as well as it should. You can even explain that it is an age-related hearing loss, or that it is caused by another reason affecting the inner ear, middle ear, or outer ear.

This is also a good time to remind your grandchildren of the importance of protecting your ears throughout your life!

Show and Tell

Again, there’s no need to hide your hearing loss if your grandkids are curious. Conduct a mini show-and-tell with your grandchildren. Show them your hearing aid and explain to them how this device helps you hear better. Although it may look small, it is wearable technology, like a second set of ears!

Additionally, remind your grandchildren your hearing aids are only for you and are not to be worn by anyone else — including them. Everyone’s ears and hearing levels are different so your hearing aids are just for you! You may even tell them trying to wear your hearing aids would be like trying to wear someone else’s eyeglasses — everyone sees differently and it’s the same thing with hearing aids.

Teach Them How You Can Best Hear

Explain to your grandchildren it is much easier for you to hear them, and all of the exciting things they have to share, when they get your attention first. Remind them how difficult it can be to hear their Mom or Dad calling for them when they are busy playing or outside having fun with friends, but when their parents get their attention first it’s much easier to hear them. It’s the same thing with grandma or grandpa. Remind your grandchildren if you cannot see them, then you may not be able to hear them clearly.

Enlist their Help

Now that your grandchildren know you experience hearing loss, you can ask them to help you hear better when you are out together. Whether you are grocery shopping for a big family dinner or taking a car trip to the local zoo, enlist their help to “hear better,” with any announcements or updates that are made while you are out together.

Model Good Hearing Health

Teach your grandchildren the importance of practicing good hearing health throughout their lives. Keep the television volume low and the car radio at a normal volume, even if they ask you to turn it up and sing their favorite song. Explain the importance of taking care of their ears and their hearing health – and that the ability to hear is a gift.

Having hearing loss doesn’t mean you need to miss out on family fun, especially with your grandchildren. If you think you need a hearing aid, Tim Harmon at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah can help.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah.  You can reach us by phone at (270) 558-3996, stop by our office located at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY or CLICK HERE to contact us.

Five Reasons Your Hearing Aids May Be Whistling

Hearing aids whistle sometimes, just like your phone sometimes does when it’s too close to the radio. If you wear hearing aids, you’re going to experience whistling at some point. It can happen through something as simple as putting on a scarf. The whistling is called hearing aid feedback. Here’s what causes it and what you can do about it.

How does hearing aid feedback occur?

Hearing aid feedback occurs when sound that was supposed to go into your ear canal leaves your ear and jumps back into the hearing aid microphone. The sound then gets reamplified, and this causes your hearing aids to whistle.

This feedback can happen in different contexts, like when you put your hearing aids on in the morning and take them off in the evening, or when someone hugs you. This is perfectly normal because the hearing aids are reacting to the sound bouncing back from your surroundings.

Hearing aid feedback could also be a sign that something could be wrong with your hearing aids, or they need to be cleaned. In that case, give us a call at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah.

What causes my hearing aids to whistle and what can I do about it?

Many hearing aids come with feedback cancellation, but this doesn’t completely safeguard you from feedback.

A number of things can cause your hearing aids to whistle. Here are the most common reasons for feedback and how to resolve them.

A poor fit: Just like the rest of your body, your ears change over time. They may even change shape. If they do, the earmolds can become loose and do not seal properly. This means the sound gets away from your ear and back into your hearing aids’ microphones, and that causes feedback. To fix it, get new earmolds fitted to your ear. Weight gain or weight loss can also affect your ears and the fit of the earmolds.

In general, if your hearing aids are not put properly in your ear, it gives the sound a chance to escape and re-enter the hearing aid microphone, so make sure they are sitting nice and tight in your ear. You can always ask someone to check if it looks correct or see your hearing care professional.

Too high volume: It can sometimes be tempting to turn up the volume on your hearing aids. But turning it up too loud can force the sound to re-enter your hearing aids, which causes whistling. Turn down your hearing aid volume and avoid the point where the sound gets so loud that it creates feedback.

Broken tubing: For some hearing aids, the tube that connects to the earmold can harden and shrink. Sometimes the tubing then starts to pull the earmold, so that it doesn’t have the right fit anymore. That means it’s time to get a new tube.

Too much earwax: Your hearing aids help you hear because they deliver sounds to your ear canal. But if the ear canal is blocked by too much earwax, the sound can’t get through. So, it bounces back into your hearing aids – and they start to whistle.

If you’ve got excessive earwax, it can also block your ear canal and – in addition to causing problems with your hearing aids – give you earaches or damage your hearing.

Dislodged microphones: Hearing aid feedback can also be caused by loose or displaced microphones. We can help you resolve this issue at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah.

If you continue to experience problems with hearing aid feedback and can’t figure out the reason, contact us at Purchase Ear Technology.  You can reach us by phone at (270) 558-3996, visit our office located at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY or CLICK HERE to contact us.  At Purchase Ear Technology, you are more than a patient.  You are FAMILY!

Spring Cleaning For Your Hearing Aids

Spring cleaning is more than an activity — it’s a mindset. Beyond the dusting, de-cobwebbing, and cleaning behind furniture, what else could benefit from a deep dive? Your hearing technology!

The holidays and long winter months can throw even the best of us off our routines. Use that spring-cleaning urge to your advantage and include your hearing technology in your yearly cleaning binge. Here are five ways to get started.

Replace the Wax Filter

Your wax filter can only work well for so long. Eventually it develops a buildup of wax and debris. Once that happens, sound quality starts to suffer, and it’s time to replace the filter. Every style of hearing device is a little different; check out the instructions for yours (and the tools that came with it), check for buildup, and, if needed, replace the filter.

Replace the Dome and Tubing on RIC Devices

Receiver-in-Canal devices not only have wax filters, they also have a dome and tube that can develop wax or debris buildup. As with the wax filter, once buildup develops in the dome or tube, sound quality suffers. Get the tools that came with your devices, check your instructions for how to clean the dome and tubing, and, if necessary, replace them.

Check Your Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is a cleaning system for your hearing devices. The most basic models remove moisture and dry out wax; other models also disinfect and deodorize your devices.

If you have a dehumidifier that uses a desiccant — a liner, pebble, disc, or brick that absorbs moisture — it also has an expiration or best-by date, beyond which it no longer has sufficient drying power. Check the date, replace the desiccant if needed, and jot down the nearest expiration date somewhere you’re sure to see it.

If you aren’t using a dehumidifier, you should be, especially if you live in a particularly humid environment. Your hearing devices — which are basically small computers — sit in or on your ear all day collecting oils, moisture, and wax. Like all electronic devices, moisture can corrode or degrade the components in your hearing devices. Dehumidifiers remove all that harmful moisture while you sleep!

Update Your Routine

The best way to make hearing aid spring cleaning quick and easy is by keeping up a daily cleaning routine year-round.

When you take your devices out for the night, wipe them free of moisture, oils, and earwax with a soft, dry cloth — don’t use water or cleaning agents such as alcohol. Be sure not to deposit debris into, for example, the microphone ports. Then use the brush that came with your devices to remove debris from the ports and openings, taking care not to insert the bristles into the sound outlet — you could damage the microphone.

Once a month, clean the battery contacts with a dry cotton swab, taking care not to bend the battery contacts. Also check the wax filter to make sure it’s still in good shape. 

Clean & Check

No matter how diligent you are about cleaning your devices, the small ports and tubing will eventually trap wax and debris, leading to poor sound quality. At Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah, we want to help keep your devices working as well as possible for as long as possible.

Whether you are looking for new hearing aids or just need assistance with the ones you have, we are here to help.  For more information, you can give us a call at (270) 558-3996, stop by our office at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY 42001 or CLICK HERE to contact us.  At Purchase Ear Technology, you are more than a customer.  You are FAMILY!

Hearing Aids

5 Tips For New Hearing Aid Users

Unlike eyeglasses, which, when put on, provide immediate, positive results, hearing aids typically require a short transition period before benefits are fully realized. Most people need a month or two to get used to how the hearing aids sound and feel, and it can be frustrating at first as new sounds are heard or older sounds are crisper, stronger and seem, at first, abnormal. When you make the move from having hearing loss with no hearing aids to actually wearing them, you are essentially altering the way your ears interpret sounds. The longer a hearing loss is present, the longer the brain has adjusted to hearing sounds incorrectly. Thus, the transition period with new hearing aids is simply your brain re-learning how to understand and hear certain sounds.

It can also be difficult at first to get in the routine of wearing your hearing aids everyday. Your ears are not accustomed to having a foreign object on or in them, but independent research shows that once your ears become accustomed to the hearing aids, that hearing aid usage can have a positive effect on such things as earning power, relationships and physical health.

Tim Harmon at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah recommends the following five tips to help yourself start hearing better with hearing aids:

1 – Wear them, even when you don’t want to — It’s important that you wear your hearing aids every day so you’ll be comfortable with them in all situations and every environment. Some environments are adjust to with hearing aids, but this just makes it all the more important for you to wear your hearing aids all the time. Allowing your brain and ears to learn how to work together again will only be possible if they have consistent exposure. Wearing your hearing aids infrequently will keep your ears and brain from connecting correctly again, make adjusting to sounds harder and will slow down your ability to focus and adjust to multiple voices and sounds.

2 – Open mind, positive outlook — You’ll get much more out of your hearing aids when you go into them with an open mind and a positive focus. Try to keep in mind all the quality-of-life benefits they provide when adjustments get hard and keep your mind open to the fact that nothing is perfect and adjustments might need to be made.

3 – Learn all you can about your hearing loss — The more you know about your limits, the easier it is to surpass them.

4 – Set realistic expectations — Nothing cures hearing loss, hoever hearing aids can truly help you regain much of what you’re currently missing. Be sure to set yourself realistic expectations such as hearing better in one-on-one conversations, understanding speech better in noisy environments and other reasonable goals.

5 – Be patient — Like riding a bike, hearing aids take time to master. But once you do, wearing your hearing will be second nature.

Get started now!   If you are in the Paducah, KY region, we hope you will contact us at Purchase Ear Technology when the time comes to check into better hearing for yourself or a loved one.  Purchase Ear Technology is located at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY.  You can reach us by phone at (270) 558-3996 or CLICK HERE to contact us.

At-Home Troubleshooting Tips For Your Hearing Aids

Like any high-tech device, hearing aids may occasionally become fussy. Not to worry – most issues can be solved easily and at home. Below are some of the most common problems we see and the simple troubleshooting tips you can do to fix them from the safety of your home.

If you experience one of these issues,

  • Loss of sound
  • Weak or intermittent amplification
  • Internal noises or distorted/garbled sound

Then ask yourself these three questions to troubleshoot:

  1. Is my hearing aid on?

If you aren’t getting any sound from your hearing aid, ensure the hearing aid battery door is completely closed and the hearing aid is turned on. If you have a volume control, be sure the volume is not set on mute or on the minimum setting.

  1. Is there a problem with the battery?

The battery needs to sit in the hearing aid in a specific way for it to work (refer to your instruction manual for information on proper placement). Like other batteries, hearing aid batteries are polarized and have both “+” and “-” markings. The flat side of the hearing aid battery is the positive pole. Check for proper placement of the battery in your hearing aid. If the battery is upside down, your hearing aid won’t be able to draw power.

Next, make sure you aren’t working with a dead or weak battery. Remove a fresh battery from the package and remove the sticker/tab from the battery. We recommend you wait 3-5 minutes after removing the sticker before using the battery. This time allows the battery to completely charge before being ready for use.  Insert the new battery into the hearing aid. If you have a battery tester, you can use it to check the power level of the hearing aid battery as well.

  1. Is the hearing aid clogged?

Earwax, moisture, oils and other foreign materials can build up in the microphone(s), sound port, and tubing of the hearing aid, which can negatively impact its function.

  • Wipe hearing aid with a clean, dry cloth or tissue.
  • If your hearing professional provided you with a cleaning tool or brush, use it to clean debris from the hearing aid’s components.
  • Clean or replace wax guard/protection.

If you have tried all of these tips and are still experiencing problems, give us a call at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah.  You can reach us by phone at (270) 558-3996 or CLICK HERE to contact us.  Our office is conveniently located at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY  42001.

Hearing Aids Paducah KY Purchase Ear

When Will My Hearing Aids Need Repair?

It is not uncommon for hearing aids to require some degree of service each year.  But just how often each person’s hearing aids will need repair is difficult to predict.

That’s because variables like usage, care, and even your lifestyle come into play. Are you active? Do you work in an office, or at a job that’s outside or is physically demanding? Do you live in a warm, wet or humid climate? Do you store your hearing aids in their case every night? Use a drying case? Throw them in the bottom of your purse when you aren’t wearing them? Diligently remove them before every shower or when you go out in the pouring rain? You get the idea.

And because hearing aids sit inside or behind your ear, they are exposed to elements that are not exactly ideal. Humidity, earwax, moisture and debris can each affect hearing aid performance and longevity. By far, the majority of repairs are simply to remove wax and debris.

Hearing aids are built to be worn every day and can handle a lot. But they are small, sophisticated electronic devices, and need to be treated as such. So while it’s impossible to know how often your hearing aids will need to be repaired, we can tell you that regular cleaning, routine maintenance and diligent care will go a long way to keeping them on your ears and out of the repair shop.

Whether you are looking to purchase new hearing aids or you find yourself in need of hearing aid cleaning and repairs, give us a call at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah.  Our office is located at 2008 Kentucky Ave, Paducah, KY 42001.  For more information, give us a call at (270) 558-3996 or CLICK HERE to contact us today!

Good Reasons To Hear Your Best This Easter And ALWAYS!

Are you hearing only half of what people say? Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah, KY can help. If you or someone you know is experiencing hearing loss, call our office today to have your hearing tested and more importantly, see what solutions are available!

Taking care of your hearing health is not only important for you, but for other people as well! Here are 4 reasons why hearing your best should be a priority!

  1. Your Spouse & Family – These are the people you spend most of your time with, and the most important people to connect with! There are so many important memories that are missed for someone with a hearing loss. Whether it’s conversation with your spouse, a piano recital for a grandchild, or a telephone conversation with your sibling that lives in another state, it is so important not to miss these cherished moments! Don’t let hearing loss be the reason you miss out!
  1. Your Friends – Friends are our chosen family. Friendships keep us laughing – they keep us young. They celebrate with us during the good times, and they support us during the tougher times. Friendship is a two-way street, and both parties need to put effort in the friendship to keep it thriving. If you have a hearing loss that can benefit from hearing aids, it is important that you take that into consideration so your friendships aren’t affected by your inability to hear.
  1. Your Employer & Employees – Having a hearing impairment in the work force is hard on everyone. Sometimes employers or employee s don’t know how to address hearing loss, and it can hinder the ability to communicate and cause misunderstanding. Don’t let this happen to you.
  1. Safety –Dangerous situations are often alerted by loud noises to let us know there is something wrong. Alarms, Fire Engines, and Police Car sirens are all things that warn us to be on high alert. The telephone is a main source of communication and there are times when there is something very important that people need to reach us about. Don’t miss an important phone call because you can’t hear it ring! Hearing is an important sense that helps keep us safe in our daily lives whether we realize it or not.

If you have a hearing loss that has a solution to help you hear better, we strongly encourage you to take that step towards better hearing. Call Purchase Ear Technology at (270) 558-3669 to schedule your personalized hearing evaluation.

Social Distancing Can Be Hard On Those With Hearing Loss

Social distancing is impacting everyone, but it can be particularly hard on people who have hearing loss. These tips and resources from Tim Harmon at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah will help you get the most out of your hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Tips for Hearing Loss and Staying Home

  • Use video calls to communicate with your family and practice listening skills.
  • Put on closed captioning for TV and use TV listening devices.
  • If your tinnitus seems worse during this time, use sound therapy or practice relaxation techniques. The American Tinnitus Association has many useful coping tips.
  • If you are working from home or participating in remote classes, be sure all accommodations you may need are provided. Reach out to your employer’s human resources department or your school’s disability office for further help.

Listening Tips for Individuals with Hearing Loss

  • Tell speakers that you have hearing loss. Do not pretend to understand. Give suggestions about how they can help you hear better.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people to repeat, rephrase, or speak louder.
  • Remind people to look at and speak directly to you.
  • Take advantage of visual cues. Watch the speaker and pay attention to their lips, facial expressions, gestures, and body language.
  • Wear your glasses, if you have them.
  • Take advantage of good lighting (light should come from behind you).

At Purchase Ear Technology, we are here to help you.  If you would like additional information on hearing loss, hearing aids or just looking for some additional tips, contact us at Purchase Ear Technology located at 2008 Kentucky Ave, Paducah, KY  42001.  You can reach us by phone at (270) 558-3996 or CLICK HERE to contact us.

Better Hearing Paducah

7 Important Facts About Hearing Aids That Everyone Should Know

Hearing is much more important than you might think, allowing us to not only understand and communicate but also face life with confidence and success.

Today, hearing aids are an indispensable everyday companion for millions of people in conversations in big and small circles, at work, in the family and in their free time. The versatile hearing assistants are individually adapted by a local hearing aid specialist like Tim Harmon at Purchase Ear Technology and ensure the best possible hearing and understanding. In addition, they promote personal well-being, mental balance and mental fitness. Because only those who hear well can make the most of life.

Here are seven important facts about hearing aids and why we should appreciate and look after our incredibly valuable sense of hearing:

1. People who hear well can communicate better:

Communication means speaking, listening and understanding. In infants, functioning hearing is a prerequisite for language acquisition, and later in life it is responsible for us being able to hear, understand and interpret all meanings and nuances in human communication in a differentiated way.

2. Whoever hears well, has a positive attitude towards life:

Satisfaction and optimism are closely related to how individuals find their way around their personal environment. Good hearing plays a crucial role, because it provides confidence in dealing with other people and prevents misunderstandings.

3. People who hear well are less stressed:

An intact sense of hearing facilitates everyday conversational situations, which are often hampered by background noise and noisy environments. Anyone who does not understand a lot, or misunderstands, frequently has to ask questions, becomes insecure, and ends up in stressful situations that permanently damage their well-being and health. On the other hand, hearing aids help to effectively overcome the problems of hearing and understanding.

4. Whoever hears well, can appear confident:

Recognition and acceptance are closely related to our personal appearance and its effect on people. Functioning hearing provides the necessary security for orientation and successful participation in conversations and thus strengthens self-confidence.

5. People who hear well are more successful:

Our work and private lives today are shaped by communication more than ever. An intact sense of hearing is therefore an absolute must for career development. Private and family relationships also thrive on flawless hearing and listening as well as clear comprehension and understanding.

6. Whoever hears well always has the right orientation:

Because our eyes only reveal what is currently in view, a huge part of human orientation ability is provided by spatial hearing. In difficult visibility or in the dark, the ears even take over our entire orientation.

7. People who hear well are capable:

The ears are active around the clock and monitor many important areas of life without having to be consciously controlled. When hearing deteriorates, a person can no longer detect dangers, orient themselves or understand speech in noise automatically. Focusing on conversation partners or specific sound sources demands attention and energy. The wearing of hearing aids supports continued full hearing performance. 

If you are experiencing hearing loss, Tim Harmon at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah is ready to help you.  Give us a call at (270) 558-3996 for more information.  Our office is located at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY  42001.  At Purchase Ear Technology, you are more than a customer.  You are family!

Hearing Aids Paducah

14 Great Reasons To Wear Hearing Aids

Have hearing loss but don’t want to wear hearing aids? Today’s hearing aids have a lot more upside than just looking significantly more stylish than their predecessors.

  1. You can hear again: Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss.
  2. Your spouse will be relieved: They’ll be grateful they won’t need to be your interpreter anymore.
  3. Your grandkids will stop looking at you quizzically: OK, no guarantees on that. But at least they’ll stop wondering why you say “what?” all the time, never answer their questions, or answer off topic.
  4. You can enjoy music again.
  5. You can watch TV without blasting the volume.
  6. You’ll be a positive role model to friends and family: You proactively did something about your hearing loss. Who doesn’t admire a take-charge person?
  7. You’ll boost your confidence: When you can hear clearly, you’ll be more self-assured in restaurants, on the job, and in social and public settings.
  8. You could positively impact your earning power: Studies show people who treat their hearing loss earn higher incomes than peers who don’t.
  9. You’ll get tired less quickly: The harder it is to hear, the more energy your brain uses to listen, the quicker you get mentally exhausted. Hearing aids help negate that.
  10. You’ll enjoy going out to noisy places like restaurants again: Loud environments are the most challenging for hearing loss sufferers. Today’s best hearing aids help, thanks to technology that detects and isolates speech and reduces background noise.
  11. Your brain will thank you: Your brain is a like muscle, and processing sounds is one of its favorite exercises. Sound deprivation can accelerate atrophy.
  12. You’ll minimize potentially embarrassing moments: Hearing information incorrectly or answering questions inappropriately (or not at all) could lead to an unnecessary and regretful faux pas.
  13. You could improve your safety and those under your charge: There’s less chance you’ll miss warning sounds, important instructions, or calls for help.
  14. Did we already say your spouse will be relieved? Not just them, but friends and family, too. They won’t have to repeat things, or shout things, or tolerate the TV being so loud. Or worry about you as much.

If you’re one of the millions of adults who haven’t sought help for your hearing loss, you’re missing out on plenty.  At Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah, we can help.  Give us a call at (270) 558-3996, stop by our office located at 2008 Broadway, Paducah, KY or CLICK HERE to contact us.  At Purchase Ear Technology, you are more than a customer.  You are FAMILY!