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Have Hearing Aids, HAVE PRIDE!!

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Do you remember when glasses were thought to be “bad”? Once upon a time, eyeglasses came with their own negative stigma, and wearing them often resulted in being called “four eyes,” “brainiac” or “dork.” Bifocals were considered the glasses of the elderly, and for younger teens, glasses often unfairly got you branded as “bookworm” or “weakling.” You were picked last for sports and you were thought to know everything in class.

Fast forward to today, and eyeglasses are a sought-after fashion accessory! People who don’t need glasses buy them anyway, and if you want the best example of how far glasses have come, look no further than the Warby Parker website!

Now, hearing aids are undergoing the same transformation glasses went through. Once thought to indicate “old age” or an “inability,” hearing aids are now looked at as sleek, technologically advanced hearables that can not only help our health but provide us with entertainment capabilities as well.

South Suburban Hearing Aid Center’s Halo 2 Made for iPhone hearing aids, which were just named one of “The 7 Most Brilliant Product Designs of 2016” by Inc. Magazine, fit discreetly behind one’s ears, offer better hearing in multiple environments, and sync with iPhone to provide direct streaming of calls, media, music, social notifications and more. Or, conversely, check out SoundLens Synergy — our “invisible” hearing aid, providing improved hearing in a tiny package that goes inside your ear!

Hearing aids no longer signify old age or weakness, but instead, they are indicative of courage, respect, health awareness and the innovative power of technology. And with the revolutionary advances already made, hearing aids have become “hearables.”

Call us today to get information on the newest technology available, as well as to set up a hearing consultation!


8 Benefits of Muse for First Time Wearers

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South Suburban Hearing, Burr ridge, ear specialist, ear doctor, hearing aid batteries, audiologist, hearing protection hearing devices, starkey hearing aidsThe features inside hearing aids are pretty incredible. Hearing aids can identify noisy environments and make adjustments automatically to maximize speech and reduce noise levels — helping you stay comfortable and relaxed even in the most challenging listening environments.

Muse, our brand-new family of 900sync technology hearing aids offer a lot of benefits for patients who want variety, flexibility and personalization.

Here are the top eight benefits of Muse:

  1. Hear sound naturally again: High-definition audio and ear-to-ear communication preserves speech audibility to make conversations clear and enjoyable in multiple settings. Noisy restaurants, parties and sporting events — take these challenges on!
  2. Hear better anywhere: Muse hearing aids are engineered to handle multiple listening sounds simultaneously to help preserve the speech you want to hear along with the natural ambient sounds you still want to enjoy.
  3. Music is music again: With a unique music memory programmed into your Muse hearing aids, enjoy music like it’s supposed to sound. Want a more personal musical experience? Use SurfLink Media to stream music directly to your Muse hearing aids. Watch the video below to see how Muse has changed a musician’s life!
  4. Call friends and family again: Ear-to-ear phone streaming via SurfLink Mobile 2 means phone calls are once again possible. Wireless technology helps stream audio directly to your hearing aids for an easier, hands-free conversation with your friends and family.
  5. Don’t worry about the whistling: Concerned about that pesky whistling sound some hearing aids produce? Muse hearing aids protect you from annoying feedback with WhistleFree Feedback Cancellation technology so you never have to worry about your hearing aids interrupting you.
  6. Stream TV, music and more: While SurfLink Mobile 2 offers you the ability to stream your phone calls directly to your hearing aids, other SurfLink devices enable streaming of music and media (SurfLink Media 2), remote hearing aid control (SurfLink Remote) and enhanced audio of a conversation partner (SurfLink Remote Microphone). No more arguing with your spouse over the TV volume!
  7. Single-sided hearing loss: Within the Muse family line are CROS and BiCROS systems designed to help specifically with single-sided hearing loss. For those struggling with hearing loss that is single-sided or uneven, Muse offers a revolutionary hearing solution.
  8. Tinnitus: Finally, if you suffer from tinnitus, a hissing, ringing or clicking sound in your ears, Muse utilizes tinnitus sound management technology to help provide many users with tinnitus relief.

For more information about Muse visit www.southsuburbanhearing.com today!


Hearing Loss is Common

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If you’ve got hearing loss or know someone who does, welcome to the (growing) club. Hearing loss is the third most common medical condition for adults, after arthritis and heart disease, and affects an estimated 765 million adults globally, according to the World Health Organization. For anyone dealing with hearing loss — you are definitely not alone.

The good news? According to the Better Hearing Institute, for 90-95 percent of people with hearing loss, hearing aids are an option.

If you’re ready to learn more about hearing aids click here.

If you’re ready to speak to a hearing care professional, click here to contact us today!


Finding Better Hearing with Halo 2: Chris’ Story

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assistive listening, device assistive, listening devices, audiologist, audiologist burr ridge, audiologist burr ridge il, audiology burr ridge, audiology burr ridge il, digital hearing aids, ear doctor, ear doctor, burr ridge, ear doctor, burr ridge il, ear specialist, ear specialist, burr ridge ear specialist, burr ridge il, get fitted for a hearing aid, get fitted for hearing, aid hearing, aid hearing, aid batteries, hearing aid battery, hearing aid fitting, hearing aid fittings, hearing aid products, hearing aid repair, hearing aid repairs, hearing aid test, hearing aid testing, hearing aid tests, hearing aids burr ridge, hearing devices, hearing doctor, hearing doctor burr ridge hearing doctor burr ridge il, hearing protection, hearing specialist, hearing specialist burr ridge, hearing specialist burr ridge il, programmable hearing aids, starkey hearing aid, starkey hearing aids, starky hearing aid, starky hearing aidsHearing loss can be hard to identify at times, but for film producer and avid outdoorsman Christopher Free, 41, he’s known for a while that hearing aids would be in his future. Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Chris estimates his hearing loss began over 20 years ago. This March, he decided to pursue hearing aids and has already seen incredible benefits.

“I’ve had a few tests over the last 15 years and have been borderline needing hearing aids,” he said.” “In 2012, when my mother, Joyce Free, received her last hearing aids, the audiologist said I would be needing them in three to five years. I received a test last year and was told I needed hearing aids.”

As a gas station cashier and established film producer, hearing conversations and environmental sounds is important. Christopher has produced over six feature films as well as music videos but also works on other films or at concerts doing camera work, lighting, special effects, casting and sound work. But, with a mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing loss, Christopher experienced challenges both at home and at work.

“Over the last couple of years, I have done sound on three feature films. I typically wear headphones that are hooked into a sound recorder or camera. I always had to adjust the sound levels and turn the volume up,” he said. At the gas station, Christopher noted further difficulties. “I often have to ask people to repeat what they said, or I will repeat back to them to make sure what I thought I heard them say was correct. I have at times thought I heard something else. I usually would hear a voice but understanding them would be a problem.”

Additionally, Christopher noted his hearing loss caused difficulties with enjoying media and having phone conversations. “I would turn the TV volume up and would have a hard time understanding people on the phone,” Christopher said. “I would playback the voicemail, or the answering machine, because I couldn’t understand someone. I would sometimes speak louder to compensate for my hearing loss, without knowing, and I often found myself hearing certain types of sounds better than others.”

In early March, Christopher was fit with Halo 2 hearing aids by Dr. Emily Gaines of Eye Centers of Tennessee. These are his first set of hearing aids but he’s already experienced numerous benefits!

“I love them,” Christopher said. “I actually get to enjoy listening to nature outside much better again. Sounds I normally am unable to hear or barely hear, I am now hearing. I don’t have to turn the TV up as loud and can hear voices much better. I am able to hear others without asking them to repeat as often, and I am constantly using the streaming features for the iPhone! I really love that I can stream all my phone calls from iPhone 5S into my hearing aid.”

Other benefits Christopher has experienced so far with his Halo 2 hearing aids are improved management of his tinnitus (he experiences a constant ringing without his hearing aids in) and listening comfort in various environments.

Learn more about Halo 2 hearing aids today by contacting us today!


Regular Hearing Screenings

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But what about our ears? How do we keep them healthy and stay in front of—or catch early—any abnormalities, especially as we get older?

Annual hearing tests are the best way to keep track of your hearing and to catch any sudden or gradual changes. Over 360 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, and one in three adults aged 65 and older have some degree of hearing loss. Yet despite these numbers, surprisingly few people test their hearing on a regular basis.

If you’re proactive about your health and want to be able to always live life to the fullest, getting your hearing tested on regular basis is an easy step you can take.

If you don’t have hearing loss, it sets a good baseline for future tests. And if you do, catching and treating it early could have profoundly impact your quality of life.

Not sure who to see? Call South Suburban Hearing Aid Center in Burr Ridge or Homer Glen to schedule an appointment today.


Spending a Day as Someone with Hearing Loss

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Having a hearing loss can be difficult. But trying to explain it to someone who has normal hearing can be even harder. For example, try explaining the difference between “hearing” and “understanding” to someone with normal hearing. It can take hours.

To help provide a better understanding of what it’s like to really live with hearing loss, we ask hearing professionals in the Starkey Greenhouse Class each fall to participate in an experiment. They are asked to wear earplugs for six hours straight and then journal their experiences as part of their training in this special class.

Below are excerpts from last year’s class. They show how just one day with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss can impact someone’s life at home, at work, alone and in social settings.

Hearing loss can increase stress, worry and cause frustration and embarrassment

Christy B. chose to wear her earplugs at work. What she experiences is what someone with untreated hearing loss often goes through every day in many professional environments:

“I felt very stressed and tense. I spent the whole time concentrating, and more than once, felt the need to take [the earplugs] out because it was interfering with my work. I felt insecure as if I had to stay on my toes to not miss anything. I caught myself repeating what coworkers said for confirmation. I wouldn’t take my eyes off them because I didn’t want to miss anything, and it was embarrassing to ask them to keep repeating things. Nothing was as clear as I felt it should be and that was frustrating.”

At home, Christy described the following: “I was exhausted. I spent most of the day living in a slightly different world and just subtle changes I didn’t notice throughout the experiment started to present. My neck and back hurt. I had a headache. To be quite honest, I was a little moody. It’s amazing to me how exhausting, physically and emotionally, it was to have a little of my hearing altered.”

Hearing loss can be exhausting, negatively impact work, and isolate you from friends and family

Joe S. wore his earplugs at lunch and at the office afterwards. He noticed immediate difficulty hearing in the noisy restaurant and relied on lip reading and context clues to follow his friend’s conversation. At the office, Joe notes the abrupt struggle in performing his job and, with his newfound hearing loss, he lost the ability to multitask. When he returns home, he notes not only the desire to isolate himself, but also his family’s frustration with him.

“Right off the bat I noticed I was having trouble with my job. It was very difficult to understand what people were saying. I also spoke louder than necessary. I was unable to hear the bell when patients would walk in. It was very difficult to complete each task within a normal timeframe. I was not able to work and listen to someone else. Cleaning the hearing aids while also speaking to an associate became impossible. Hearing loss definitely has a major impact on your work and your ability to perform your job functions.”

Afterward, Joe noted just how thankful he was for his hearing. “We take so much for granted and our hearing is definitely one. My mind and body were tired from straining to hear and understand all day. My brain was fatigued from working so hard to decipher sentences and phrases from a jumbled mess. Communication became very difficult and frustration ran high. I didn’t want to be around people as much as I normally do because of the trouble I had hearing and understanding. Also, my family was becoming frustrated with me because I couldn’t hear them when they needed me.”

Hearing loss can impact your independence and ability to communicate effectively

Zvi H., noted feeling frustrated, depressed and even started using a common coping mechanism.

“Conversing with people was very difficult. I constantly had to say “what” and ask people to speak louder. At times I just shook my head and made believe I heard what people said, just to avoid embarrassment. It became very frustrating, and I even began to feel depressed that I couldn’t communicate normally. Speaking on the phone wasn’t possible … I kept on worrying that I wouldn’t hear people when they were going to speak to me.

When I was standing by the take-out counter ordering food, I was worried that my speech sounded strange and that I wouldn’t hear the man behind the counter if he had a question for me. I was sitting with some friends and they couldn’t stop laughing about how loud I was talking. My wife and kids were getting frustrated because I kept saying ‘What’ and ‘Please repeat yourself louder.’ I really got a sense of how difficult communication can be for someone who has a hearing loss. Communication, which is something that should be easy and natural, became a stressful activity when I was occluded which caused me stress and embarrassment. Not only was I affected tremendously but so were the people around me.”

Your hearing loss affects those close to you and the way you experience life

For S. Temby, she experienced numerous problems with family and friends. After removing the earplugs at the end of six hours, she also noted that the experience helped her understand her grandmother’s behavior better in the past.

“I had to strain to hear people speak to me. I could not understand what my grandchildren said to me. I found myself watching their actions and faces trying to figure out what they were talking about. Talking to my husband about what I could make him for lunch (from the kitchen to the office) was absolutely maddening. After asking my friends ‘huh?’ a few times [at dinner later that evening], it was just easier to eat and let them talk. They would look at me like I was an idiot for asking them to repeat. Everything was dulled down and muddled.”

“I was relieved when I took out the plugs. I instantly felt calmer and at ease … it was quite an experience. It makes me see more clearly why my paternal grandmother did some of the things that she did. The TV was always turned up so loud that you couldn’t think straight. She was asking me to repeat often. She chose to stay closeted in her home because she said it was just too hard to be out in public. Did we offer her hearing aids? Yes, we did. She would have none of it. She said that she didn’t need it if she just stayed home. The last 8 years of her life were like this.”

Untreated hearing loss has a profound impact on a person’s life and overall wellness. It can result in negative emotions and consequences both at home and at work. More than that, it affects not just the person with hearing loss but everyone in their lives, as well.

Everyone’s hearing loss is different, but it’s important to help our friends, families and coworkers better understand what we go through each day with our hearing loss so that we can work together for better communication.

If you are experiencing problems with your hearing, consider contacting us today to talk about your options. Visit the South Suburban Hearing Aid Center in Burr Ridge and Homer Glen!


8 Tips for Caring for Your Hearing Aids

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Simple At Home Hearing Aid Maintenance Tips_South Suburban Hearing Aid Center_Burr Ridge_Orland Park_Illinois_Hearing Loss_Hearing Aid RepairDid you know that moisture and debris can cause your hearing aids to malfunction? That is why caring for your hearing aids is so important. Following a few easy steps will keep you connected to your world by ensuring optimal hearing aid performance.

Here are a few easy things you can do at home to keep your hearing aids in tip top shape:

  1. Always handle your hearing aids with care.
  2. Wash your hands before handling your hearing aids.
  3. Store your hearing aids in a safe, dry place away from children and pets.
  4. Turn off your hearing aids when you are not using them.
  5. Periodically clean the battery contacts and remove any visible earwax or debris with a clean cloth.
  6. Change filters or wax guards to remove wax and dirt that may deter sound quality.
  7. Schedule routine checkups with your hearing professional for professional cleanings.
  8. Don’t wear your hearing aids in the shower, while swimming or while using a hair dryer or hair spray.

It’s not uncommon for hearing aids to require some degree of professional service, which is why hearing aids are often sold with warranties and repair coverage. All hearing aids are exposed to environmental factors that can adversely affect performance including humidity, earwax, moisture, and debris. Invisible-In-the-Canal (IIC) and In-The-Ear (ITE) devices are especially susceptible to wax, and hearing aids worn over the ear are especially exposed to damage from sweat, water and physical debris. Cleaning your hearing aids every day can drastically reduce the number of repairs required during the lifespan of your hearing aids and help keep sound quality high!

For more information on hearing aid care, please contact South Suburban Hearing Aid Center in either Burr Ridge or Homer Glen.

Learning to care for your hearing aids at home and scheduling regular appointments with your hearing professional will ensure that your hearing aids help you hear your very best.


Hearing Loss Prevention & Protection Tips

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Hearing Loss Prevention and Protection Tips_South Suburban Hearing Aid Center_Burr Ridge_Orland Park_IllinoisLife is loud. Spending just an hour cutting your lawn without wearing hearing protection can cause irreversible damage to your hearing. But whether you’re cheering on your favorite sports teams, flying on an airplane, or getting your teeth cleaned at your dentist’s office, remember that you could be exposing your ears to unsafe noise levels.

The good news is that noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. You can avoid damaging your hearing by establishing safe listening levels, understanding how much exposure is safe and by wearing hearing protection.

Listen Carefully recommends following three easy steps to prevent noise induced hearing loss:

(1) Distance yourself from loud sounds

(2) Lower the volume

(3) Protect your ears

So, just how loud is too loud?

Understanding what noise levels are safe and how long you can be exposed to those levels before damage occurs can be confusing. Professionals use a complex formula to calculate risk, but in simpler terms, the chance of hearing loss greatly increases as the sound level and duration of exposure increase.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prolonged exposure to sounds 85dB and above can be hazardous to your hearing. See more here.

Our musical devices and headphones

Unfortunately in today’s world, it is our headphones and personal listening devices that pose the most damage. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that as many as one in five teens in the United States have a hearing loss, which is a 30 percent increase over the last decade. More than 20 percent of teens have measurable hearing loss as a result of noise exposure, and experts believe one in six teens may have permanent hearing loss due to loud sounds.

Personal audio devices bring sound into the ear canal and closer to the eardrum, increasing sound intensity and subsequently the risk of permanent damage. To ensure safe listening levels for personal audio devices, keep volume at or below half of the maximum output. Keep in mind that electronic manufacturers are not required to designate safe listening levels on electronics, therefore parents are encouraged to listen through their children’s headphones to make sure the levels of loudness are comfortable and safe.

Download the SoundCheck app to help identify unsafe noise levels: App Store and Google Play.

The importance of protection:

Healthy listening levels should be established while using personal listening devices, especially for children, and hearing protection should be utilized when attending concerts or other loud events.

Hearing protection is especially important when it comes to occupational and recreational noises such as a construction site, a factory or when out hunting or shooting. Using hearing protection can reduce your risk of noise exposure and can be worn during everyday activities such as riding a motorcycle, mowing the yard or attending a concert.

There are a number of protective options including custom-fit earplugs, SoundGear digital hearing protection or simply foam earplugs you can keep in your car or purse. For those involved heavily with music, consider Tunz, custom headphones and stage monitors.

Custom-fit earplugs: Uniquely designed to preserve sound quality while providing noise protection to ensure healthy listening levels.

Tunz_SL15_P001252_Stage Monitor_Black Blue_Face_South Suburban Hearing Aid Center_Burr Ridge_Orland Park_Hearing Aids_Hearing Loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tunz: Designed with musicians in mind, Tunz are custom-fit, filtered hearing protective devices designed to attenuate equally across all frequencies preserving sound quality. The filters for custom musician hearing protection can be changed by the musician to achieve different levels of attenuation (9, 15, or 25dB).

SoundGear Family_South Suburban Hearing Aid Center_Burr Ridge_Orland Park_Hearing Loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SoundGear: Designed with hunters and shooters in mind, these digital hearing protective devices are designed to enhance environmental awareness while suppressing dangerous sound levels. SoundGear is available in instant-fit, custom and behind-the-ear options for hunters, shooters, industrial and tactical environments.

Excessive noise exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss. If you are concerned about noise exposure or have hearing concerns, contact the South Suburban Hearing Aid Center in Burr Ridge or Homer Glen today!

 

Sources:


Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

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INFG2695-00-EE-SG_02-CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS_InfographicsNoise-induced hearing loss is becoming an epidemic in the United States! . WHO analyzed listening habits of 12-to-35-year-olds in various countries and found nearly 50 percent listened to personal audio devices at unsafe sound levels and about 40 percent are exposed to damaging volumes of music and noise at entertainment venues.

(See the article here: “A billion at risk for hearing loss from exposure to loud music”)

But what is noise-induced hearing loss and why could smartphones and audio players be so dangerous?

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is simply hearing loss caused by either a one-time exposure to an intense pulse of sound (i.e. an explosion) or ongoing exposure to unsafe sounds and volume levels (i.e. repeated attendance at musical concerts without hearing protection or working in an industrial or construction environment without earplugs). NIHL can also be temporary or permanent.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately “26 million Americans have hearing loss that may have been caused by exposure to noise at work or in leisure activities.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also found in a 2010 study that as many as 16 percent of teens have reported some degree of hearing loss that could’ve been caused by loud noise.

Sounds that result in noise-induced hearing loss include any noise at or above 85dB. The louder the sound, the less time it takes for hearing damage to occur. Additionally, the distance from the source of the sound to your ears and the length of time you are exposed to it all factor in to determining the amount of damage that occurs.

An MP3 player at maximum volume is around 105dB. Considering most audio players work with headphones that focus sound directly around or into ears, this already harmful decibel level is compounded. If headphones funnel sound close to the eardrum (headphones that are designed to insert deeper into the ear canal) risk of hearing damage is even greater as distance from the sound is almost nonexistent. Finally, assume one enjoys listening to music for 30 minutes or maybe even an hour.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health lists the following standards for recommended permissible exposure time to certain noise levels.

  • 85dB—8 hours
  • 97dB—30 minutes
  • 100dB—15 minutes
  • 103dB—7.5 minutes

 

Depending on the volume at which one listens to music, hearing damage can happen quickly based on the above list of exposure times. Fortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable.

Here are some tips for protecting hearing:

  • Use hearing protection at loud sporting and musical events
  • Wear earplugs or other form of hearing protection if working in noisy environments
  • Limit the maximum volume level on audio device
  • Get annual hearing screenings

To learn more contact South Suburban Hearing Aid Center in Burr Ridge or Homer Glen, today!


11 Reasons You Should Get Your Hearing Tested

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South Suburban Hearing Aid Centers_Reasons to get a hearing testHearing loss happens. It’s the third most common health problem in the U.S., according to WebMD. Hearing loss is also very treatable – and more successful when started early. If you suspect you have hearing loss, why not find out for sure?

Hearing Test Needed

    1. A hearing test is painless and takes less than an hour.
    2. Hearing loss may be an early warning sign or red flag for other health conditions including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
    3. If your hearing test shows your hearing is normal, you can tell your friends to get off your back.
    4. The Mayo Clinic recommends baseline hearing tests for adults.
    5. Untreated hearing loss increases your chance of developing dementia.
    6. Most hearing clinics serve free cookies and coffee.
    7. Untreated hearing loss increases your chances of falling.
    8. Treating hearing loss with hearing aids is proven to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
    9. Untreated hearing loss is known to contribute to depression and social isolation.
    10. Hearing loss treatment has been shown to improve earning power.
    11. Because you’re proactive about your health and care about your quality of life.

 

Hearing Loss Hurts Salary

Think you may have hearing loss? Find out for sure by scheduling a hearing test with a nearby hearing professional today. You’ve got nothing to lose and possibly tons to gain.