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Invisible. Powerful. SoundLens.

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South Suburban Hearing_invisible hearing aids_Starkey_SoundLens Synergy

We know that taking the next step and purchasing hearing aids can be daunting. And with so many options in technology and product styles, it can be hard to choose one that not only meets your hearing needs but also satisfies your personal preferences and style.

Starkey Hearing Technologies has long been the industry pioneer in custom, invisible hearing products. Now, we’re excited to announce that our most popular invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aid, SoundLens, is available in a wireless option and powered by brand new technology.

Invisible. Powerful. And now wireless.

Built on our new Synergy platform and Acuity OS operating system, SoundLens Synergy is powered by 900sync technology to provide patients all the benefits of a Starkey invisible hearing solution and the flexibility and personalization of wireless connectivity.

SoundLens Synergy provides you with:

  • Exceptional processing power in a tiny, invisible package
  • High-quality audio with exceptional comfort for a personalized listening experience
  • Wind, noise, whistling and feedback management for optimal speech accuracy
  • Wireless functionality and connectivity with SurfLink accessories
  • Customizable tinnitus relief with our Multiflex Tinnitus Technology integrated into the hearing aids
  • Simultaneous processing of multiple sounds for a comprehensive listening experience that makes speech crisp and clear while keeping ambient noise natural
  • Clearer and easier conversations with precise speech audibility and accurate speech detection in difficult listening situations

SurfLink Connectivity

SoundLens seamlessly connects with all of our SurfLink accessories to provide remote hearing aid control capabilities, enhanced conversational abilities in difficult environments, and the ability to stream TV, music and phone calls directly to SoundLens hearing aids.

SurfLink accessories include SurfLink Mobile 2, SurfLink Remote, and the all new SurfLink Media 2 and SurfLink Remote Microphone.

Check out our SurfLink accessories by clicking here!

Give South Suburban Hearing Heath Center a call today and learn more about SoundLens Synergy!


Diabetes: A Risk Factor for Hearing Loss

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south suburban hearing hearing aids orland park

There has been a link between diabetes and hearing loss since the 1960s, but no real pinpoint to a possible cause was found until just a few years ago.

In 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a study that showed hearing loss is about twice as common in adults with diabetes than with those who do not have the disease. After testing over 4,700 participants’ ability to hear a range of frequencies in both ears, there was a strong correlation found between diabetes and hearing loss across all frequencies, especially in the high-frequency range. Of the participants with diabetes, 54 percent reported a hearing loss for high-frequency sounds. Of the participants without diabetes 32 percent reported a hearing loss for high-frequency sounds.

So why is it that diabetes affects hearing loss risk?

Some researchers suggest that hearing loss in diabetics is due to poor circulation. Elevated blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels thereby reducing blood flow to certain areas and subsequently cause damages to the structures of the inner ear which are highly vascularized and do not have a backup supply of blood flow. Thus, hearing loss could be the result of permanent damages to the blood vessels in the inner ear. The American Diabetes Association theorizes that a person with a higher percentage of glycated hemoglobin, or A1c, possesses a greater risk of developing hearing loss in the future. A recent Japanese study presents evidence that hearing loss may be related to A1c levels.

The current global prevalence of diabetes is estimated to be 9 percent among adults and is estimated to affect nearly one third of the world’s population by the year 2050. Diabetes is becoming an extremely common disease, making it a larger contributor to hearing loss. Because of the relationship between hearing loss risk and diabetes, it is a good idea for people with diabetes to get their hearing tested annually to watch for drops in hearing ability.

You can lower your risk of developing diabetes by exercising regularly and maintaining a balanced nutritional diet. Doing so will keep your A1c levels lower and within the recommended ranges. Also, avoid tobacco use, as smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, which can further compound your risk for hearing damage. If diabetes is already present, moderate your blood glucose levels with insulin or oral medication, whichever is required based on the type of diabetes. Reducing diabetic-related health complications can minimize the risk of developing other health problems, including hearing loss.

Want to learn more about hearing loss and A1c? Contact South Suburban Hearing Health Center and speak with one of our experts in the field today!

 


Multiflex Tinnitus Technology

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South Suburban Hearing Hearing aidsThere is currently no cure for tinnitus but many treatment options exist. Our Multiflex Tinnitus Technology has helped many patients relieve the burden of their tinnitus and enable better hearing.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, an estimated 45 million Americans experience some form of tinnitus, with about 20 million experiencing chronic tinnitus and 2 million suffering from extreme, debilitating cases. Commonly referred to as “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus can manifest itself in many ways including buzzing, ringing, whistling, hissing, swooshing, clicking and even in some cases musical tones.

It is one of the most common health conditions in the United States, but it is not a disease itself. Tinnitus is a symptom, most often the result of hearing loss and may present as subjective or objective. Subjective tinnitus involves noises that only the patient can perceive, and according to theAmerican Tinnitus Association, 99 percent of tinnitus cases are reported as being subjective. Objective tinnitus on the other hand involves noises that are audible to not only the person suffering from tinnitus but also those around him or her. Usually these sounds stem from internal body functions involving blood blow or musculo-skeletal movements. ATA states objective tinnitus is rare, involving only one percent of all reported cases.

Tinnitus has no current cure but treatment options exist. Our Multiflex Tinnitus Technology is one such treatment option and it is included in our Z Series hearing aids. Multiflex Tinnitus Technology is a software function that generates sound, which is programmed into a patient’s hearing aid to help manage tinnitus.

How does it work?

Multiflex Tinnitus Technology generates a broadband white noise signal with varying frequency and amplitude that plays through the hearing aid.

But, will it work for me?

The tinnitus stimulus is programmed based on the patient’s hearing loss. It is set up for a patient’s individual tinnitus needs, creating a customized sound treatment plan so he or she is set up with variations of the tinnitus stimulus to account for ongoing changes.

What if my tinnitus changes?

Tinnitus may not always manifest itself at the same volume each time, so Multiflex allows a patient the ability to use his or her personalized tinnitus stimulus program and manually adjust as needed. Also, as a patient’s hearing loss and tinnitus needs change, it’s easy for a hearing professional to adjust the hearing aid’s programs as needed.

Want to learn more about treating tinnitus? Contact South Suburban Hearing Health Center and make an appointment with one of our experts today!

 


Treating Hearing Loss

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What to do about your hearing lossSo you have hearing loss. What next?

If you think you or someone you know has hearing loss, you’re probably wondering what the next step should be. That’s easy — see a hearing healthcare professional.

Whether you consult with an audiologist, an ENT doctor or a hearing aid specialist, it’s important to see someone who specializes in hearing issues — not just your family doctor — to get a comprehensive evaluation and begin treatment and rehabilitation as soon as possible.

Treatment makes a difference

Research by the non-profit National Council on Aging (NCOA) concluded that hearing loss treatment is shown to improve1:

  • Earning power

  • Communication in relationships

  • Intimacy and warmth in family relationships

  • Ease in communication

  • Emotional stability

  • Sense of control over life events

  • Physical health

See a professional

Just as every person is unique, every hearing loss and hearing need is unique, too. That’s why it’s always recommended that you consult with a hearing healthcare professional. They are trained experts who have the experience and technology needed to precisely diagnose and measure your degree of hearing loss, prescribe and administer a solution personalized for you, then provide critical support and ongoing care.

Get the right solution

Today, more than ever, the best solution for hearing loss is hearing aids. Like all high-tech devices, hearing aids have improved significantly over just the past several years in terms of performance and appearance.

From “invisible” solutions that fit deep inside your ear and are virtually undetectable when worn to wireless options that stream audio directly from your TV, radio and phone, today’s hearing aids sound better, fit more comfortably and perform more reliably than ever before.

Help is just a click away

The best way to treat your hearing loss or help someone suffering from hearing loss is to take the first step and make an appointment for a hearing examination. At South Suburban Hearing Center we offer complimentary examinations and consultations. Simply request an appointment today – visit our Contact Us page.


Common Ear Diseases

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Healthy earsCommon Ear Diseases

The human ear is an amazing organ. Responsible for one of our most important senses — hearing — it consists of not just what you see on the outside of your head, but also extends inward, connecting to your brain.

But like all parts of the human body, ears are susceptible to injury and disease. In this blog post, we’ll identify a few of the most common ones — so you can proactively stay on top of your hearing health and take steps to prevent hearing loss.

The outer ear

External Otitis (Swimmer’s Ear)
External otitis is an infection of the ear canal, typically by bacteria. Symptoms include itching, pain, and discharge. Diagnosis is based on inspection. Treatment is with topical drugs, including antibiotics, corticosteroids, and acetic acid or a combination.

Seborrheic Dermatitis
Dermatitis of the ear canal involves itching and skin changes that are caused by exposure to allergens (like earrings or beauty products) or are spontaneous occurrences. Can lead to infections.

The middle ear

Otitis Media
One of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor,Otitis media is a bacterial or viral infection of the middle ear, usually accompanying an upper respiratory infection. Symptoms include an earache, often with fever, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea, especially in the very young. Diagnosis is based on otoscopy. Treatment is with analgesics and sometimes antibiotics.

Cholesteatoma
Cholesteatoma is a type of skin cyst located in the middle ear. It can be a birth defect, but more commonly occurs as a complication of chronic ear infection. The cyst may get bigger and break down some of the middle ear bones or other structures of the ear, affecting hearing, balance, and possibly function of the facial muscles. Usually requires surgery to remove cyst.

Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis is an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear and is the most frequent cause of middle-ear hearing loss in young adults. Its cause is unknown, however, there is evidence that it may be passed down through families. Symptoms include hearing loss, dizziness and/or tinnitus. Treatment may require surgery.

The inner ear

Labyrinthitis
Labyrinthitis is a bacterial infection known to cause deafness and loss of balance. It can occur after an ear infection (otitis media) or an upper respiratory infection, and may also occur after an allergy, cholesteatoma, or taking certain drugs that are dangerous to the inner ear. A complete physical and nervous system exam should be done, as an ear examination may not reveal any problems.

Proactively stay on top of your hearing health by visiting us for a free examination and consultation. Simply call us at 708-966-4724 or submit your information on our Contact Us page and we’ll get back to you.


What If …

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South Suburban Hearing Health Center_Homer Glen IL_Hearing Aids“What If …”

Life can be filled with a multitude of ”What if …” questions:

“What if I fail?”

“What if people notice?”

“What if I’m afraid?”

These questions and uncertainties may go through your mind when contemplating the purchase of hearing aids. It may seem like a significant life change, and you don’t know how it will impact you. However, have you ever asked yourself the question, “What if this could change my life for the better?”

A big part of understanding hearing loss and taking the initial step toward purchasing hearing aids is that you don’t necessarily know what you are missing. Taking the first step and scheduling an appointment with South Suburban Hearing Health Center can help bring clarity to many of these questions.

Sometimes it is helpful to hear from others who have personally experienced a similar situation. Below are some testimonials of patients whose lives have been positively impacted because of the decision to improve their hearing with hearing aids.

“What service! Even though the Oak Forest office is still in transition, Jonathan met me there just to pick up my hearing aid and took it back to the Homer Glen office to service it.  Customer for life!  Thanks”  –Angeline B.

“This is a place where service is golden!”  –John L.

“I’ll never go anywhere else! You’ve changed my life and I mean it!” –Harry F.

“I can’t believe it! It’s like I’m living in a completely different world!  I can even watch tv again!”  –Ken U.

Want to learn more. Read even more testimonials here!

You are not alone on this journey toward better hearing! Stop asking yourself “What if …” and start asking yourself “Why not?” Please contact our hearing professionals at South Suburban Hearing Health Center in Homer Glen at 708-966-4724 to schedule a free hearing consultation.


What To Expect From Hearing Aids

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Today's hearing aidsWhat to expect from hearing aids

Most people new to hearing aids don’t know what to expect from them. Misperceptions and second-hand stories of bulky, whistling, old-fashioned analog devices continue to influence the way people think about all hearing aids.

But hearing aids have changed dramatically from a generation ago — from outward appearance to internal technology — making them vastly more appealing and effective.

Today’s hearing aids are like mini computers

The best of today’s digital and wireless hearing aids—when properly fit by a trained hearing professional—will make a noticeable difference in how your world sounds.

  • Your ability to hear and understand others should be improved

  • Other people’s voices shouldn’t sound distorted, harsh, tinny, sharp, booming or muffled

  • The sound of your own voice should be “normal,” not sound like you’re in a barrel

  • The intensity and quality of familiar sounds should be sharp, bright and clear—not dull or irritating

  • In a crowded room with many people talking at once, sound should be loud but not deafening

  • When wearing hearing aids in both ears, they should help you identify the location of a sound or voice.

  • Hearing and communicating in quiet environments (home, work, doctor’s office) should be improved

  • Your ability to hear and understand speech in environments with background noise (restaurants, dinner parties, environments with fans or A/C running) should be improved

  • Your hearing aids should help you understand speech in larger environments where there is reverberation (lecture halls, worship spaces, movie theaters)

  • Loud sounds (sirens, traffic, construction sounds) should not be uncomfortable but you should hear them clearly

Change your perception of hearing aids — and change your life for the better

At South Suburban Hearing Center we understand that the rapid advancements in hearing aid technology may make identifying which hearing aids are right for you. We want to ensure that every patient gets the right hearing aids to best meet their hearing loss and lifestyle needs. To start this process, we recommend a complimentary hearing evaluation and hearing aid demonstration. Set up an appointment for you or a loved one by calling us at 708-966-4724 or visiting our Contact Us page today.


“I Have Hearing Aids-Now What?”

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I Have Hearing Aids-Now What?”

South Suburban Hearing Health Center_Orland Park IL_Hearing AidsCongratulations, you have officially taken that next step to improve the way you hear by purchasing hearing aids! Prior to wearing hearing aids, you may not have heard the beautiful sounds surrounding you, but now you are clearly hearing them. In your journey to better hearing, are you still thinking, “Now what?”

Here are some tips to keep moving forward:

  • Train Your Brain: Due to the minimal number of signals your brain previously had to interpret, it gradually lost its ability to process speech and sound. Even if it feels overwhelming, it is extremely important to wear your hearing aids as long as you can each day to help familiarize your brain with the new noises surrounding you.

 

  • Start Simple: After wearing your new hearing aids, sit in a quiet room and absorb the simple sounds surrounding you such as the ticking of a clock or the squeak of the floor. Introducing yourself to simple listening situations will help make all these sounds seem less overwhelming and also educate your brain to focus on the new sounds it is now interpreting. Eventually you will graduate to places with more sounds like restaurants and group gatherings.

 

  • Talk to Yourself: Do you feel like you are now talking too loud? You may not have been able to clearly hear the sound of your own voice before hearing aids. Practice talking to yourself to get a feel for the correct and appropriate volume for speaking. Also try speaking to many different people to understand the varying sound patterns and volumes.

 

  • Take Notes:  If you discover certain situations or noises that irritate your ears when you are wearing your new hearing aids, make sure to inform your hearing professional so you can work together to modify the hearing aid setting so it is comfortable for you.

 

  • Be patient: You may feel overwhelmed by all the new sounds around you, but if you gradually continue to introduce yourself to new situations and sounds every day, you will adapt to hearing with your new aids.

 

It is important to understand your hearing aids and how they can benefit you. If you have any follow-up questions, please email or call South Suburban Hearing Health Center in Orland Park at (708) 966-4724. We are happy to help you continue on your way to better hearing!

 


How Hearing Works

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Just how DOES hearing work?How hearing works

Hearing is one of the human body’s most extraordinary processes. A complex system of delicate and synchronous parts, it’s easy to take this vital sense for granted. To better understand why hearing loss happens, it’s important to first know how hearing works.

It begins with sound

Sound begins with a vibration in the atmosphere. When something vibrates (whether it’s wind, a bell or a voice), it moves the air particles around it. Those air particles in turn move the air particles around them, carrying the pulse of the vibration through the air as a sound wave. That’s where your ear comes in.

Turning waves into words

Sound waves are collected by the outer ear and directed along the ear canal to the eardrum. When the sound waves hit the eardrum, the impact creates vibrations, which, in turn, cause the three bones of the middle ear to move. The smallest of these bones, the stirrup, fits into the oval window between the middle and inner ear.

When the oval window vibrates, fluid in the inner ear transmits the vibrations into a delicate, snail-shaped structure called the cochlea.

In the inner ear, thousands of microscopic hair cells are bent by the wave-like action of the fluid inside the cochlea. The bending of these hairs sets off nerve impulses. Which are then passed through the auditory nerve to the hearing center of the brain. This center translates the impulses into sounds the brain can recognize, like words, music or laughter, for instance.

If any part of this delicate system breaks down, hearing loss can be the result.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about signs of hearing loss and treatment, or to arrange for a free hearing consultation, contact us to schedule your free consultation.


Talking with a Loved One

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Talking to a loved one about hearing lossTalking to a loved on about hearing loss

Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person who has it. It also affects spouses, family members and friends. From frustration with having to repeat things over and over to heartbreak at seeing someone you care about isolate themselves from the people and activities they love, the negative effects of hearing loss cast a wide net.

Do’s and don’ts when approaching this important subject

Left untreated, hearing loss can affect a person’s quality of life in many ways. Yet without even realizing it, you may be making it easier for someone not to seek help.

Well-intentioned efforts such as repeating yourself or “translating” what others are saying may be preventing your loved one from realizing how much communication they fail to understand or miss completely.

How to help

  • Gently remind them of their loss every time you “translate” or repeat something for them

  • Share hearing information you find on websites like this site or hearing-aid.com

  • Offer to schedule and attend a hearing consultation with them

  • Remind them they have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain by seeing a hearing professional

Don’t be surprised if you get resistance

Unlike eyesight, when hearing goes, people are in less of a hurry to do something about it — with many waiting 5-7 years before finally seeking treatment. Be prepared for pushback with these responses.

  • My family doctor would have told me if I have hearing loss.
    Not true — less than 20% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during physicals

  • Wearing a hearing aid will make my hearing loss obvious.
    Today’s hearing aids are sleek and stylish and less noticeable than if you constantly ask people to repeat themselves, inappropriately respond to them, or don’t respond at all

  • A little hearing loss is no big deal.
    The fact is, studies have linked untreated hearing loss to big deals like stress, depression, social rejection, increased risk to personal safety, reduced earning power and more.

A hearing test is the best first step

If you know someone who could benefit from help, suggest they get a hearing test. At South Suburban Hearing Center, our hearing tests are performed on advanced, precision testing equipment. Best of all, they’re completely free. Visit our Contact Us page to find out more.