Archive for the ‘Regarding hearing aids’ category

A New Online Guide to Hearing Aids

October 20th, 2009

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new Web site that will benefit current and potential users of hearing aids.

FDA regulates hearing aids, which it defines as sound-amplifying devices designed to aid people who have impaired hearing.

“People who already use a hearing aid know that selecting the right one is not a simple process,” says Eric Mann, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of FDA’s Division of Ophthalmic, Neurological, and Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices. “There are many issues to consider. Also, current users of hearing aids want to know about the latest types and technology, and how to properly maintain the ones they already have.”

While more than 35 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, a 2004 survey conducted by the National Hearing Institute found that slightly more than 11 million hearing instruments were being used nationwide.

An Array of Topics

Mann says the new Web site will cover the different types and styles of hearing aids, how to obtain one, and steps to remember and consider before purchasing a hearing aid.

It has information on hearing aid safety, using cell phones while wearing a hearing aid, and on other products and procedures available to people who want to improve their hearing. It also stresses the difference between hearing aids, which FDA regulates as medical devices in order to assure their safety and effectiveness, and personal sound amplification products, which are not subject to this type of regulation.

Mann says the new Web site is not intended to provide medical advice. “If you have questions about your hearing, the best source of information is your hearing health care professional,” he says.

You can visit the new Web site, which was launched on October 20, 2009, at Hearing Aids

This article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

Helping a Family Member

October 19th, 2009

Source: Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (2007-2009)

What Can You Do If Someone You Care About Has
Difficulty Hearing?

If someone you know suffers from hearing loss, you already know it’s a challenging time for everyone close to that person including family, friends, colleagues and coworkers.
Sometimes, the change can be so gradual or subtle that you’re not sure whether it’s actually a hearing loss. Unlike many conditions, hearing loss is often hard to detect in its early stages.

Common Signs of Hearing Loss

Some of the most common indicators of hearing loss include:
turning up the volume of the TV or radio
problems hearing the doorbell or the telephone ringing
difficulty hearing people calling and talking from behind or in another room
asking people to repeat themselves or saying “what?” frequently
misunderstanding or “forgetting” what has been said or agreed upon
often cupping hands behind the ears

How You Can Help
If you believe a family member, friend or colleague is suffering from undiagnosed hearing loss, encourage him or her to contact an audiologist and request a test to check for a hearing problem.

In most cases, the hearing test will detect a hearing loss if one is present, as well as determine the type of loss. Based on the hearing test, the hearing professional can recommend the use of a hearing device or other treatment.

Your Hearing: What to expect (from hearing aids).

October 14th, 2009

Adjust to a Better Life with Your New Hearing Device

It will take some time and patience to adapt to the way your hearing instrument delivers sound. This period of adjustment is completely normal. But before long you’ll start hearing the sounds you’ve been missing—as well as many you didn’t even realize were gone.

Relearning to Hear

When you use your instruments for the first time, you’ll notice that the hearing process feels different. That’s because your brain actually has to relearn how to hear sounds—especially the complex range of frequencies in human speech.

Research suggests that speech comprehension increases over a period of several months after first using a hearing instrument. The longer you wear the device, the clearer and more natural these sounds will become.

The following are observations made by first-time hearing aid wearers:

  • It takes time to adjust to wearing hearing instruments.
  • Your voice may sound different at first.
  • Hearing in situations with background noise should improve, but probably not as much as hearing in quiet places.
  • You might begin to notice sounds you haven’t heard for some time, such as the hum of household appliances, or the chirping of a cricket.

Patient Counseling Offers Improved Results

Starkey understands that choosing a hearing device is just the beginning of the journey to better hearing. We’ll help you transition to new sounds and guide you through the process of cleaning, maintaining and operating your instrument to make your period of adjustment as smooth as possible.