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What Your Hearing Care Provider Can Do For You

What prevents individuals from achieving better hearing? There are several answers. For many people, hearing loss seems to just sneak up slowly over time. Many do not even realize they have an issue until it becomes significant. And because it isn’t noticed, it isn’t mentioned at an annual physical, and even more time goes by without seeking help. In fact, on average, it takes a person 7-10 years1 to seek help for hearing loss. By the time a person realizes the full impact of hearing loss, they may just want a quick fix to a complicated problem.

Regrettably, many people with hearing loss are lured into the supposedly “cheaper and easier” methods of correcting it, either through the purchase of hearing aids online, choosing a personal sound amplifier, or by visiting big box stores that are much more concerned with profits than patient care. In spite of the allure of these seemingly simple fixes, the fact is that a professional hearing care provider is your best resource to address your hearing healthcare.

What the big boxes and online hearing aid retailers aren’t telling you

Maybe you’ve heard that you can buy hearing aids similar to those from hearing care professionals from the big box stores for little money. These stores are only successful because they can sell a large volume of low-priced goods, often very cheaply, to gain larger revenue. They focus on efficiency, which is a polite way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as rapidly as possible.” Admittedly, this profit-centric model works well for many purchases, because you probably don’t need professional, personalized care to help choose your t-shirts or soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in to these types of purchases. But purchasing hearing aids is more complicated; you need a professional to guide you. Your ears deserve individual attention from trained professionals.

Looks can be deceiving

Beware of hearing aids from online retailers. They are probably not the same quality of product, even if they come from the same manufacturer. Models may differ slightly, making them eligible for discounted pricing, without the features that hearing care professionals can offer.

Hearing care experts use a customer-centric business model

Our hearing care providers are completely different. We are not obsessed with short-term profits because we focus on customer care. Have we identified your individual needs and found a solution that suits you? Are you willing to return to us for your future care? Would you refer us to your friends and neighbors? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we have been successful in our approach to care.

We thrive on providing quality care, which benefits both the person with hearing loss as well as our team.

In contrast, what will happen if the big box stores can’t deliver quality care and happy customers? They will push more advertising to increase their flow of new customers, offering the same “quick and cheap fix” that lured the original customers.

Because individuals experience hearing differently, it’s important to choose your hearing care provider wisely

Hearing is complex; like our fingerprints, everyone’s hearing is unique. So the frequencies your friend may hear well could be the same ones that you can’t hear. In other words, you can’t just take the surrounding sound, make it all louder, pump it into your ears and expect good results. But this is in essence what personal sound amplifiers and over-the-counter hearing aid models do.

The truth is, the sounds your hearing aids amplify — AND the sounds they don’t — must complement the way you, and only you, hear. Hearing care professionals accomplish this through:

  • Assessing* your hearing to learn the EXACT nature of your hearing loss
  • Understanding the variety of hearing aids and their individual capabilities (as well as what they cannot do)
  • Identifying what works for your needs
  • Fitting and programming your hearing aids to boost the sounds you have difficulty hearing, while identifying and repressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background noise)
  • Providing follow-up care, especially in the first few weeks when the device is new and may need further adjustments

For the hearing care provider, acquiring this knowledge requires a lot of instruction and patient care experience. This is how we can conduct the appropriate assessment* to help patients pick the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids and provide the coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. We don’t cut corners in providing comprehensive hearing care. That is why the results are well worth your time and effort.

Make the right choice for you

Who do you trust with your hearing? Someone who views you only as a transaction, consumer or a means to reaching sales targets? Or do you trust an experienced hearing professional who cares about the same thing you do — attaining the best hearing possible? We think the decision is easy: relationships are the lifeblood of successful hearing care.

Still have questions?

We welcome you to call (631) 993-4719 to make an appointment today. Hearing starts with a conversation. Our friendly team is there for you throughout the process of identifying your needs, finding the right hearing aid (if that’s right for you), fitting, adjusting and following up with you. Your hearing satisfaction is our goal – and we measure our success through your wellness.

Posted by Admin

4 Things You Should Know About Earwax

Earwax is not something we talk about in polite company, right? But it’s something everyone deals with, and it can give you insight into your general well-being, as well as alert you to ailments.

Here are four things we want you to know about earwax:

Earwax actually has a purpose.

Much like other bodily secretions, there is a reason our ears produce cerumen (that’s the technical term for earwax).

“Earwax is a natural barrier which prevents dirt and bacteria from entering the innermost parts of your ears. Because it is sticky, it collects microscopic debris which finds its way into your ear canal, much like flypaper traps insects. Without this defensive barrier, your inner ear would be at risk.”  (https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52679-What-you-need-to-know-about-earwax)

The color, scent  and texture indicate a few things.

There are two varieties of earwax, “wet” and “dry”. Generally speaking, dry earwax is limited to people of Asian descent and the elderly. If you have always had wet earwax, but it’s suddenly dry and flaky, it’s probably because you are getting older. But you should still schedule an assessment with a hearing care professional to be sure.

When it comes to color, it’s not quite as telling as snot – but if it’s green, or yellowish and watery, you might have an infection. You should definitely schedule an appointment.

If the earwax your ears secrete has a distinct, unpleasant smell, please schedule an assessment sooner, rather than later.  It’s a sign of a serious infection called “Chronic Otitis Media”, and it can cause other problems with your balance and hearing.

There ARE times when earwax should be removed – but cleaning your ears regularly is unnecessary.

That’s because earwax is actually doing the job of cleaning your ears.

“The cells inside the ear canal are unique in the human body – they migrate. “You could put an ink dot on the eardrum and watch it move over a few weeks and it would be ‘carried out’ by the movement of the cells.” according to Prof Shakeel Saeed at London’s Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear hospital.

If this didn’t happen the mini cul-de-sac of the ear canal would soon fill up with dead cells created by the natural process of skin shedding.

This movement also propels the wax – produced by the modified sweat glands which line the ear canal – towards the outside. It’s thought that normal movements of the jaw – through eating and talking – assist with this movement.” (http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26527266)

But, as we said, there are times when earwax DOES need to be removed. You can try a DIY kit from a pharmacy, but if that doesn’t work, you can schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional to remove it for you.

During the winter, earwax can sometimes harden, causing a condition that forces the ear to grow an extra bone in an attempt to protect itself from the cold weather.

“This new bone growth constricts the ear canal, creating challenges for earwax to naturally leave the ear canal and thus, contributing to excessive earwax buildup.” (http://info.earwaxmd.com/blog/5-things-to-know-about-earwax-and-cold-weather)

The best way to prevent something like that happening to you is regular checkups with a hearing care professional to make sure neither phenomenon is happening for you.

Earwax isn’t an appetizing topic, but it’s an important function of the ear, and it’s one that people tend to worry about.

To find out if you need hearing aids, we can do an assessment and help you build a strategy that works best for you.

We can’t wait to help you gain a better hearing lifestyle. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are committed to better hearing and committed to you! Contact Smithtown Sayville Hearing Services at (631) 993-4719 today to set up an appointment.

Posted by Admin

Do Men and Women “Hear” Differently?

It’s been a long-standing joke for years…women just assume men aren’t listening. But studies prove that’s not necessarily the case. They just hear differently.

Research conducted at the Indiana University School of Medicine may help resolve an age-old dilemma between the sexes. Men listen with only one side of their brains, while women use both.

So, technically speaking, the answer is yes. They DO hear differently.

 

This was proven when twenty men and twenty women had MRI’s done while listening to an excerpt from a John Grisham novel. The imaging showed that the left hemisphere of the brain was alight for the men, but for the women, both hemispheres lit up.

“A majority of the men showed exclusive activity on the left side of the brain, in the temporal lobe, which is classically associated with listening and speech. The majority of women showed activity in the temporal lobe on both sides of the brain, although predominantly on the left. The right side of the brain traditionally is associated with performing music and understanding spatial relationships, rather than listening.”

Another interesting study demonstrated men’s reactions versus women’s reactions to a crying infant.

They were asked to empty their minds while listening to a white noise machine, with sounds of a crying infant interspersed throughout while an MRI mapped their responses.

“The researchers found that when participants listened to the typical infant cries, the brain activity of men and women differed. When hearing a hungry infant cry, women’s brains were more likely to disengage from the default mode, indicating that they focused their attention on the crying. In contrast, the men’s brains tended to remain in default mode during the infant crying sounds. The brain patterns did not vary between parents and nonparents.”

Isn’t that interesting? All those times you thought your spouse was just ignoring the baby – they in fact might not have even registered the sound!

The studies are not conclusive – because it’s not known whether this is a nature vs nurture situation. Do women listen differently because they are raised to? Or are they just born that way?

No one is really sure. But you can be sure that studies will continue.

There are still instances of both men AND women needing hearing aids because their hearing deficiencies are damage related.

To find out if you need hearing aids, we can do an assessment and help you build a strategy that works best for you.

We can’t wait to help you gain a better hearing lifestyle. Here at Smithtown Hearing Services we are committed to better hearing and committed to you! Contact Smithtown Sayville Hearing Services at (631) 993-4719 today to set up an appointment.

Posted by Admin

The World Health Organization’s Message for World Hearing Day 2018

Hear the future and prepare for it” is the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) message for World Hearing Day 2018. To that end, Smithtown Sayville Hearing Services advises everyone to take care of their hearing health.

Take action for hearing health on World Hearing Day

On World Hearing Day, March 3rd, 2018, Smithtown Sayville Hearing Services hopes to encourage more people to be mindful of their hearing health.1 Based on statistical projections, the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that the prevalence of hearing loss is set to increase globally, and this World Hearing Day discusses how preventative measures could help curb the rise. With more than 5% of the global population already affected by disabling hearing loss2, now is the time to raise awareness and address why people do not recognize the signs when they are affected.

Causes of hearing loss

Many things can cause hearing loss – both in and out of our control. The most common include:

  • Exposure to excessive noise
  • Genetic causes
  • Complications at birth
  • Certain infectious diseases
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Certain medications
  • Aging2

Approximately 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.2 Although not all hearing loss can be prevented, we can take action to take better care of our ears, such as wearing ear protection when working with loud machinery. More importantly, we can pay more attention to our hearing and seek advice from an expert if we have any concerns.

Hearing loss can be a slow process, so it can be difficult to read the signs of deterioration, and in many cases, is easily ignored. In comparison to loss of sight, hearing loss is not always noticeable. Many people have a vision test annually to maintain eye health. Unfortunately, many people don’t take the same precautions for their ears, because hearing is as important as sight.

Knowing the signs of hearing loss

One key element to maintaining hearing health is paying attention to the early signs of hearing loss, such as:

  • Having the television or radio consistently at a loud volume
  • Struggling to follow conversations (especially in noisy environments such as restaurants)
  • Asking people to repeat themselves often
  • Withdrawal and isolation to avoid tough listening situations
  • Repositioning to point your ears toward sound
  • Not hearing the phone ring, the doorbell or sirens

Untreated hearing loss can be detrimental

Our professionals urge you to address the symptoms of hearing loss. We advise you begin with a professional hearing assessment* to eliminate guesswork. Untreated hearing loss can cause serious long-term conditions, especially later in life, so we implore everyone to maintain their hearing care now.

Hearing loss has a number of side effects. Untreated, hearing loss can cause people to withdraw from socializing and lead to feelings of isolation and depression. Several studies have concluded that hearing loss contributes to the early onset of dementia, including the recent study authored by the Lancet Commissions on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care.3 Addressing hearing loss is key to remaining cognitive and socially active.

Hearing loss is widespread – and growing

According to the WHO, approximately one third of people over 65 years of age are affected by disabling hearing loss2 and are potentially at risk of affecting their overall health if untreated. With the number of people aged 65 and above predicted to have doubled in 2050 compared to today4, age-related hearing loss is almost certainly a contributing factor to the increasing prevalence of hearing loss. That’s partially why the WHO’s slogan for 2018 is “Hear the future and prepare for it.” Now is the best time to act.

How can you take action on World Hearing Day?

Just by reading this to educate yourself, you are taking an important step. If you have concerns about your hearing, or have someone in your life who shows signs of hearing loss, make an appointment for a free, no-obligation hearing assessment* so you can learn more about your individual needs. Call (631) 993-4719 for more information.

Posted by Admin

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