When NOT to wear your hearing aids


I love how comfortable my hearing aids are, but sometimes I forget they are there. And while this is a wonderful thing — and there is little I can’t do while wearing hearing aids — there are a few times when remembering you have incredibly advanced technology in-or-on your ears is important.

We all have “oops!” moments though. 

And when “oops!” moments happen, the best thing to do is call one of our Audibel hearing professionals for what to do next. Every “oops!” moment is different, and they are always happy to help!

This blog originally appeared as a fun, personal story on www.starkey.com.  

Simple steps to enhancing hearing aid performance

We put our hearing aids through a lot — earwax, sweat, dust, oil and sometimes water. While daily cleaning and regular service can help retain optimal hearing conditions and extend the life of your hearing aids, sometimes hearing aid repair is necessary. But before sending your hearing aids off for repair, check these common troubleshooting errors and solutions.

My hearing instrument is “dead”
A “dead” hearing aid is most often the result of a dead hearing aid battery or a blocked receiver tube. Try inserting fresh hearing aid batteries or cleaning the receiver tube of any earwax or other debris. If the problem persists, then the hearing aid could be damaged or defective and might require professional hearing aid service.

My hearing instrument is not loud enough
As you adjust to your hearing aids, you will begin to notice when changes in volume occur. First, check to ensure the hearing aids are free of any debris or blockage. Second, check your batteries. A low battery can also result in fluctuating performance. If neither of these are the cause of the perceived change in volume, it is possible that your hearing has changed and you need to schedule an appointment with your hearing professional.

My hearing aids aren’t performing consistently
When your hearing aids seem to be inconsistent in sound quality or volume, it’s important to check your battery life. A hearing aid battery running low can result in inconsistent performance. Simply replace the battery with a fresh one to fix the issue.

The sound is distorted or unclear in my hearing aids
When sound becomes distorted or unclear, it may be the result of a low battery, or something may have damaged the device. It is key to see your hearing professional as soon as possible if a new battery doesn’t fix a sound quality issue.

For other hearing aid care and maintenance tips contact one of our Audibel professionals today!

5 Tips for Dating with Hearing Loss

Dating is already complicated. You have to pick a restaurant, an outfit, and you have to plan what do if you don’t like your date. And if you have hearing loss, chances are you are planning other things too. Making sure the restaurant has enough lighting. How you’re going to talk about your hearing loss with a new person. What to do if the person speaks softly or covers his or her mouth when talking.

Thus, with all that in mind, here are five helpful dating tips to keep in mind!

1. Plan your location carefully! Take the time to scope out potential spots ahead of time with lighting, background noise and overall ambience as main considerations. And, even if it’s a first date, don’t be afraid to recommend something besides a restaurant or to take control of choosing the location.

2. Make up a fun, creative date. With gorgeous summer weather, there are an abundance of outside summer date ideas. Have a picnic in the park or go see a baseball game. If you live somewhere where the weather is too hot, grab  your favorite films and snacks and have a movie marathon!

3. Early arrival at a restaurant means better choices. When you get to the location early, you have a better chance at choosing a spot in the restaurant that you know you’ll enjoy.

4. Do I have to tell them I have hearing loss? It’s up to you! While hearing loss is nothing to be ashamed, we totally understand that it’s a personal decision. Often times though, being upfront about it from the start leads to a better date because your partner knows how he or she can best help you keep the conversation flowing and not miss out on any of the fun!

5. Communicate between date nights! We live in a digital age where smartphones and tablets are all the rage. Take advantage of technology by texting, emailing, or using things like Skype or FaceTime to chat when you’re not physically with each other. This keeps your relationship growing and offers you a way to communicate easier!

Got some tips to share? Simply follow us on Facebook and share!

11 Reasons You Should Go Get a Hearing Test

Hearing loss happens. It’s the third most common health problem in the U.S., according to WebMD. Hearing loss is also very treatable – even more so when detected early. If you suspect you have hearing loss, why not find out for sure?

  1. It’s free, painless and takes less than an hour.
  2. Hearing loss has been known to foreshadow cardiovascular events.
  3. When it comes back negative for hearing loss, you can tell your friends to get off your back.
  4. The Mayo Clinic recommends every adult get a baseline hearing test.
  5. Untreated hearing loss is known to contribute to dementia.
  6. People with untreated hearing loss are more likely to fall.
  7. Most hearing clinics serve free cookies and coffee.
  8. Treating hearing loss by wearing 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.

Think you may have hearing loss? Find out for sure by scheduling a hearing test with us today. You’ve got nothing to lose and your quality of life to gain.



Wireless Hearing Aids and SurfLink Accessories Let You Live Life the Way You Want

Our newest wireless hearing aids — A4 and Invisibel [Synergy] — are our most advanced hearing aids ever. Thanks to an all-new operating system and updated technology, they’re designed to make music sound more natural than ever, and speech sound crisp and clear no matter how crowded or how loud the environment that you’re in is.

But to really enjoy all the benefits of our wireless hearing aids, be sure to pair them to one, or all, of our SurfLink accessories.

SurfLink accessories are small and compact. Designed to fit in your pocket or plug into your TV, they provide everything you need to enjoy TV, music, media, and more when paired to your A4 or Invisibel [Synergy] hearing aids.

Here are some of the cool things you can do with our SurfLink accessories:

  1. Enjoy ear-to-ear phone streaming: Your hearing aids become the phone microphone and receiver when used with SurfLink Mobile 2. So once you answer the call, go ahead and talk to your spouse while lifting weights — you don’t need your hands after all.
  1. Watch your favorite show in surround sound: Missed out on the epic season six of Game of Thrones? No worries. Watch new episodes and old with SurfLink Media 2. It plugs into your TV or stereo and streams the audio directly to both your hearing aids so you can hear every sword fight, sound effect and line of dialogue as if you are wearing headphones.
  1. Listen to the football game while your wife naps on the couch next to you: Because SurfLink Media 2 streams TV audio directly to your hearing aids, you can decide the volume you want to listen to whatever you’re watching — while actually muting the sound for the rest of the room, or at least playing it at a volume they find comfortable.
  1. Let everyone choose their own settings: Have more than one person with wireless hearing aids? No problem! Multiple people can connect to a single SurfLink Media 2 device at the same time and choose the volume they each prefer!
  1. Quickly, easily change volume and hearing aid memories without touching your ears: The SurfLink Remote fits in the palm of your hand and lets you change memories, adjust volume and more without lifting a finger to your devices.
  1. Nail that dream job interview: You can use SurfLink Mobile 2 as a lightweight, discreet microphone that can be worn by your conversation partner to help one-on-one conversations be the best they can be.

Want to check out all the SurfLink accessories? Click here!


This blog originally appeared on www.starkey.com.

How To Properly Clean Your Ears

Q: What do your ears and your oven have in common?

A: They are both self-cleaning

It’s true! Your ears can clean themselves with the help of cerumen. Cerumen, the medical term for earwax, forms in the outer one-third of your ear canal, naturally migrating out of your ear with jaw movements, such as talking or chewing, to naturally clean your ears.

Earwax is also thought to have protective, antibacterial and lubricant properties. Wax protects the ear by keeping debris away from the eardrum. Inserting ear cleaning or wax-removal tools can potentially push the wax further down the canal, thereby causing harm to the wall of your ear canal or eardrum. Removing ear wax can also make your ear canal feel dry and itchy because of the natural lubrication it provides.

Is it ever okay to clean your ears?

Despite the wide array of removal tools sold over the counter, the American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) believes that under ideal circumstances your ears will never need to be cleaned: “Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that earwax should be routinely removed for personal hygiene. This is not so. In fact, attempting to remove ear wax with cotton-tipped swabs, bobby pins, or other probing devices can result in damage to the ear including trauma, impaction of the earwax, and changes in hearing. These objects only push wax in deeper, and can block the ear canal entirely.”

How to help avoid earwax build up:

If your ears tend to produce a great deal of earwax, you can help prevent build up and impaction by using a softening agent once a week. Drops like Debrox and Murine are sold over the counter and can soften wax by allowing it to come out on its own more easily. If you feel most comfortable leaving removal to the professionals, you can schedule wax removal every 6 to 12 months with your doctor or hearing professional.

NOTE: If you have tubes in your ears, a hole in your ear, diabetes, or a weakened immune system you should contact your physician before attempting to remove wax on your own.

Signs of an impaction (earwax buildup):

An excess build-up of earwax can lead to impaction and other unpleasant symptoms including pain, infection, decrease in hearing, itching and more.

  • If you notice pain, fullness, or a plugged sensation in your ear you should see a professional to rule out wax impaction.
  • If wax blocks your ear canal you may notice a decrease in hearing, ringing, itching, odor, or an increase in coughing.

A professional trained in earwax extraction can use suction, a curette, microscope or irrigation for removal. Manual removal may be used if the ear canal is narrow, the eardrum has a hole in it, or there is a tube in the ear drum. Individuals with diabetes or weakened immune systems should be especially careful about wax removal.

Hearing aids and earwax

Earwax can wreak havoc on hearing aids. Some hearing aid wearers report an increase in earwax production when they begin wearing hearing aids. Hearing aids can stimulate the glands in the ear canal to produce more wax and block the normal migration of wax from the ear canal. More importantly, earwax can clog a hearing aid’s microphones and receivers, impairing quality and performance. This is why cleaning and maintaining your hearing aids is so important. Your hearing care professional will demonstrate how to properly clean and maintain your hearing aids.



This blog originally appeared on www.starkey.com by Dr. Beth McCormick.


14 Great Reasons to Wear Hearing Aids

Got hearing loss but don’t want to wear hearing aids? Today’s hearing aids have a lot more upside than just looking significantly more stylish than their predecessors.

You can hear again

Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss.

Your spouse will be relieved

They’ll be grateful they won’t need to be your interpreter anymore.

Your grandkids will stop looking at you quizzically

OK, no guarantees on that. But at least they’ll stop wondering why you say “what?” all the time, never answer their questions, or answer off topic.

You can enjoy music again

Starkey Muse hearing aids are the first hearing aids specifically engineered to enhance the enjoyment of music.

You can watch TV without blasting the volume

Starkey’s wireless hearing aids can stream sound directly from your TV to your hearing aids. You control the volume. No one else has to hear it if you don’t want them to.

You’ll be a positive role model to friends and family

You proactively did something about your hearing loss. Who doesn’t admire a take-charge person?

You’ll boost your confidence

When you can hear clearly, you’ll be more self-assured in restaurants, on the job, and in social and public settings.

You could positively impact your earning power

Studies show people who treat their hearing loss earn higher incomes than peers who don’t.

You’ll get tired less quickly

The harder it is to hear, the more energy your brain uses to listen, the quicker you get mentally exhausted. Hearing aids help negate that.

You’ll enjoy going out to noisy places like restaurants again

Loud environments are the most challenging for hearing loss sufferers. Today’s best hearing aids help, thanks to technology that detects and isolates speech and reduces background noise.

Your brain will thank you

Your brain is a like muscle, and processing sounds is one of its favorite exercises. Sound deprivation can accelerate atrophy.

You’ll minimize potentially embarrassing moments

Hearing information incorrectly or answering questions inappropriately (or not at all) could lead to an unnecessary and regretful faux pas.

You could improve your safety and those under your charge

There’s less chance you’ll miss warning sounds, important instructions, or calls for help.

Did we already say your spouse will be relieved?

Not just them, but friends and family, too. They won’t have to repeat things, or shout things, or tolerate the TV being so loud. Or worry about you as much.

If you’re one of the millions of adults who haven’t sought help for your hearing loss, you’re missing out on plenty. Contact us today to discover even more great reasons to wear hearing aids.


This blog originally appeared on www.starkey.com.

Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aid Batteries

Batteries are one of the most important things when it comes to hearing aids. Hearing aids need a steady source of power from a quality hearing aid battery in order to run effectively and properly. A low battery or defective battery can significantly impair the performance of a hearing aid.

Here are four things you should know about hearing aid batteries:

How Long Batteries Last: Standard hearing aid batteries last anywhere from 3 to 22 days, depending on the type of hearing aid, the battery type and capacity and how often the hearing aid is used.

Changing Batteries: Depending on how often you use your hearing aids, you may need to change batteries once a week or twice a month. You should change your batteries if any of the below occur:

  • Sound becomes distorted or you have to turn up the volume on your hearing aid more than normal.
  • The “low-battery” beep or voice sound comes on, indicating that the battery is getting low and should be changed. Switch to a new set of batteries as soon as you can when you hear this sound.

NOTE: Dead batteries should be removed immediately so they don’t swell and become difficult to remove later.

Protective Seals: You might have noticed a small, sticky tab in orange or another color on each battery in a package. These protective seals keep the battery from discharging power, so never remove the seal unless you’re about to use the battery. Additionally, never buy unopened battery packages as the batteries are most likely compromised.

Wait Five Seconds: Last year a Rochester, Minnesota student discovered how to help extend battery life of hearing aid batteries by waiting after removing the protective seal! See how here!

Minimize Battery Drain: Once you remove the protective seal from a battery it begins to discharge power; however, there are three things you can do to help minimize battery drainage.

  • When not wearing your hearing aid, turn it off or open the battery door. Note, you should always open the battery door at night to allow moisture to escape and to help keep the battery from corroding.
  • If you won’t be using the hearing aid for an extended period of time, take the battery out completely. You can store it in the protective case for your hearing aids.
  • Avoid storing batteries and hearing aids in extreme temperatures, hot and cold, as they can quickly drain battery power and shorten a battery’s lifespan.

TIP 1: Batteries can suddenly lose power, so be sure to carry an extra set with you at all times. Keep an extra package in your purse, car, briefcase or desk at work.

TIP 2: Keep backup batteries away from coins, keys and other metal objects so as to avoid accidentally discharging the batteries before use.

TIP 3: Store batteries at normal room temperatures and do NOT refrigerate or expose to extreme hot or cold temperatures.

TIP 4: Wash your hands before changing batteries. Grease and dirt residue on batteries could damage the hearing aid.

Need more hearing aid care and maintenance tips? Contact us today for product information, care tips and more!

Is Noise Tolerance a Problem?

We have all experienced discomfort in noise. Sometimes it’s too loud, like a motorcycle or large speaker system; sometimes it’s annoying, like fingernails on a chalkboard. Either way, noise takes many forms and impacts each of us differently.

For instance, take the rumbling of a motorcycle engine. While some find it a nuisance, the motorcycle owner may have purchased that exact brand for the sound that it makes while cruising down the highway.  

Most patients will respond to noise differently. Some are tolerant of noise, while others exhibit high sensitivity to noise. These patients who appear sensitive to noise are the ones that cringe at sharp impulsive sounds or feel the need to remove their hearing aids when driving in the car. It’s this particular, noise-sensitive, patient that has motivated some recent research efforts.

There is a research-based agreement that people who are more accepting of background noise (or “noise-tolerant”) tend to be more successful with their hearing aids while those who are “noise-sensitive” are less likely to find success1. This thought has led clinical audiologist to develop research projects that are focused on understanding if the benefit that one person receives from their hearing aids is linked to their individual noise tolerance.

Many have started to answer this question, in part by asking research participants about their willingness to tolerate background noise with a variety of noise-reducing technologies. Early findings suggest that noise-tolerant patients report mild benefits from the reduction of noise while noise-sensitive patients report the greatest benefits. Recall that these noise-sensitive patients are the ones that may be challenged to succeed with hearing aids.

Today, the best guidance for supporting the noise-sensitive patient would be through the selection of advance noise-reducing technologies (e.g., digital noise reduction or directional microphones) and the inclusion of a volume control either on the hearing aid or through a remote control.

Guided by ongoing research, tomorrow’s options may be different. If one could diagnose patients as noise-tolerant or noise-sensitive, it would be possible to identify patients that benefit most from aggressive strategies for improving noise acceptance. Once identified, a research-derived prescription would be selected, presenting a unique combination of hearing aid settings that assist the noise-sensitive patient toward a successful experience with hearing aids.

There’s no doubt that listening in noise is an immense challenge. For anyone with sensitivity to noise, this challenge may become an impasse to their acceptance of hearing aids. This opportunity to significantly improve a patient’s noise tolerance means their path to success could be one that’s short and easily navigated.


Nabelek, A.K., Freyaldenhoven, M.C., Tampas, J.W., Burchfield, S.B., & Muenchen, R.A. (2006). Acceptable noise level as a predictor of hearing aid use. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 17, 626-639.

5 Tips to be a Great Advocate

Being an advocate is hard, and when you’re an advocate for someone with hearing loss, it can be even more challenging. Hearing loss is connected to the misleading belief that only the elderly has it and that hearing aids aren’t for the “young.” In reality, hearing loss affects children and adults of all ages, and according to the World Health Organization, over a billion teens and young adults are at risk for hearing loss as of 2015. That being said, it is very difficult to encourage someone with hearing loss to get the help they need without alienating them or actually causing them to wait even longer.

Being an advocate for someone with hearing loss is hard because you aren’t trying to get someone else to help them but are trying to get them to help themselves. Here are five tips to be a great advocate for a friend or loved one with hearing loss.

  1. Let them come to you: Instead of constantly pushing them to get help or overwhelming them with hearing aid pamphlets and articles on hearing loss, let them come to you when they are ready. Everyone eventually reaches a point at which help is the only option left, so give them time to come to terms with their hearing loss and be ready to help when they ask for it.
  2. “With” not “at”: Don’t talk at them about hearing loss. Talk with them. Let them know you are there to listen and encourage them to be open about difficulties they may be facing.
  3. Sometimes, not all the time: When you notice them blaming their hearing issues on other things (people mumble, it’s windy, it’s loud, etc.), politely suggest that they should have their hearing checked just in case. If they get defensive and say no, let it go and try again at a later time. Be patient and pick your moments wisely. It’s better to mention their loss every now and then instead of all the time.
  4. Two minds think alike: If you have other friends who have hearing loss or wear hearing aids, consider introducing them to each other. Sometimes it takes someone else with hearing loss to help a person see how much he or she is really struggling and how much getting help could improve their life.
  5. Be patient: Try not to get frustrated or impatient when communicating difficulties arise and you have to repeat yourself multiple times. Getting angry or annoyed will only make you less trustworthy as an advocate and may make the person with hearing loss feel like you don’t support them anymore and consequently avoid interacting with you.