HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG FOR A HEARING TEST?

Though REM recommends annual hearing tests for anyone over the age of 55, hearing problems can occur at anytime, in any age.

Should I get a hearing test if I have no symptoms?

Though the obvious symptoms (such as problems hearing speech in noise, or a decreasing ability to retain spoken or audible information) are often what send people to the audiologist, those who hear fine but fall into certain risk categories should still get their hearing tested.

Exposure to continual noise (whether occupational or recreational), a family history of hearing loss, even certain illnesses and medications can all cause hearing loss down the line.

 

Experiencing Symptoms

If you do find yourself struggling with speech in noise and intelligibility, it’s really time to get tested.

Hearing impairment can either be temporary or permanent, and either one requires the attendance of an audiologist. If temporary, the audiologist will walk you through sound dampening options and lifestyle changes so your hearing doesn’t permanently disappear. If permanent, hearing aids or assistive listening devices will be discussed so you’ll be able to accurately maintain and manage your hearing.

No matter what type of loss you have, there’s no reason to assume you won’t be able to participate normally in your every day activities.

 

No Symptoms, No Risk Factors

Hearing screenings are often encouraged for younger children. According to patient.info, “Hearing loss is not confined to those with risk factors – approximately 40% of all children ultimately identified with sensorineural hearing loss do not have an established risk factor; therefore, universal screening is recommended.”

Hearing tests like these can often be carried out when the child is young, even before release from the hospital a few days after birth, but another hearing screening should also be conducted when the child is a little bit older.

The American Speech-Language Hearing Association says, “School-age hearing screenings are an integral tool in identifying children with hearing loss who were not identified at birth, lost to follow-up, or who developed hearing loss later. Without mandated routine hearing screenings in schools, students with unilateral, less severe or late onset hearing loss may not be identified or will be misdiagnosed and managed.”

 

Hearing is Important

Your hearing is important, so if you have symptoms, find yourself in several risk categories, or have a child who has never had a hearing screening, we at REM encourage you to come in for a hearing test. It’s always better to test and know than to wonder and worry about a possible hearing loss.

CAN EXERCISE HELP RELIEVE TINNITUS?

“Reaction to tinnitus sound is connected to a personal’s emotional processing system.” So says Dr. Fatima Husain in an article included in this month’s Hearing Journal. People afflicted with tinnitus often complain of it’s disruptive effects, going so far as to say it’s presence can affect their day to day life as well as their mental health.

Fatima says, however: “In one fMRI study, we investigated the differences in emotional processing between participants with mild tinnitus and those who rated their tinnitus as being more bothersome… Notably, the participants also had different physical activity levels.”

Exercise, physical activity, might have an effect on not only tinnitus, but on a person’s ability to deal with its symptoms.

Other Types of Exercise

Though physical exercise is often helpful, certain relaxation techniques might be just as beneficial.

According to Widex, exercises ranging from deep breathing to progressive muscle relaxation to guided imagery can have a positive effect on your tinnitus symptoms and their manifestations. They outline the different approaches on their website.

Tinnitus.org.uk also has a whole self help list which includes (in addition to regular exercise) meditation, diet, and personal contact. “If your mind is occupied with something absorbing, it is easier to forget about the tinnitus.”

Retraining and Management

Tinnitus can be disruptive and hard to deal with, especially when you take into account the amount of work that can go into brain retraining, but there’s no doubt that with a few lifestyle changes, its treatment might become a little more manageable than you would initially imagine.

HEARING AID BATTERIES AT REM

How long should hearing aid batteries last?

One of the questions audiologists at REM get asked the most is “how long should my hearing aid batteries last?” The answer is — it depends. Your battery life is dependent on multiple variables, such as degree of hearing loss, if your battery is powering other devices (such as Bluetooth streamers or FM receivers), and hours worn daily.

Usually, though, it’s safe to say hearing aid batteries last from 7 – 10 days. But if your use is heavy, that time could be significantly lower.

How do I know when it’s time to change batteries?

From the Starkey website: “Change your batteries if the sound becomes distorted or if you have to turn the volume up more than usual.”

Some hearing aids will beep or give a warning sound every 30 to 60 minutes before the battery needs to be changed, but older model hearing aids will simply shut off when the battery dies.

What type of batteries should I use?

Batteries are designated by a number such as 10, 312, 13, or 675. You must use the number that goes with your particular hearing aid. Generally speaking, the smallest aids run on a 10 battery while the behind the ear aids are either a 13 or 675 battery.

Battery Tips:

All batteries on the market are mercury free.

You should look for the 1.45 volt.

Make sure that once the sticker is taken off, the battery is exposed for 30 seconds before inserting in the hearing aid. The battery needs to be activated by air before insertion.

If the battery has 1.4 volts, do not purchase (1.4 is an older battery with less than efficient function).

What batteries and battery programs does REM provide?

At REM, batteries are supplied 5 years after purchase of a hearing aid under our complete hearing healthcare program. If you bought your aid elsewhere, you can ask about our comprehensive service plans, a great arrangement that could save you money in the long run.

Batteries can also be purchased in individual packs — $6.00 for a 6 pack of batteries.

If you’re not yet a patient and call for a hearing aid cleaning, you can also get a pack of batteries on us!