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Tinnitus Tips and Tricks

Do you ever hear ringing or buzzing in your ears? You might have something called tinnitus, a symptom characterized by the perception of sound where there is none. It can be very annoying or distracting, and unfortunately, there is no cure. But there are ways to make it easier to handle.

 

  • Noise Suppression: While there’s no way to stop the ringing completely, it can be helpful to coverit up, especially if your tinnitus is at its worst in a quiet room. White noise machines, soft music, fans, and humidifiers are all great options to mask the sound and distract your brain. Many hearing aids also include tinnitus masking technology.
  • Stress Management: Stress and anxiety can make your tinnitus worse, so it’s important to mitigate those effects as much as possible. Stress reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help you relax and alleviate your tinnitus. Plus, regular exercise improves overall wellness and some of the conditions related to hearing loss!
  • Avoid Triggers: While the science is inconclusive, some people report a link between their diet and tinnitus symptoms. Consuming nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and high-sugar foods may aggravate tinnitus. If you suspect that one or more of these substances impacts your tinnitus, try removing it from your diet for one week. Document your symptoms, and make adjustments accordingly.

 

A version of this article appeared in an issue of the Hear Clear Newsletter. Want more? Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or give us a call at (725) 333-4327 to find out how to get on our exclusive mailing list.

What’s the Difference Between Different Styles of Hearing Aids?

There are so many styles of hearing aids to choose from, but do you know which one is right for you? We’re here to take the guesswork out of buying a hearing aid! In this post, we’ll cover the differences between the styles and teach you what all those letters mean.

Let’s start with the basics. Hearing aids come in two basic types: ITE (In the Ear) and BTE (Behind the Ear).

 

ITE hearing aids are designed to be discreet; they sit right in the ear canal and may be partially visible or almost completely invisible from the outside of the ear. Your provider will need to take an impression of your ear to ensure the best fit. Because they’re made to blend in, ITE aids are often flesh-toned. ITE devices do have some downsides; because of their small size, they may not support smartphone connectivity, and they’re prone to ear wax and moisture damage.

 

BTE hearing aids sit behind the ear and direct sound into the ear with tubing that goes into the ear canal. They can be any color, and they are customizable to fit the wearer’s personal style. BTE aids pack a bit more punch than ITE aids because of their size, but they are more noticeable. Many styles are still quite small, however!

 

Within these two broad categories, you’ll find a variety of styles that fit different hearing and lifestyle needs. Let’s take a look at some of the most common styles you’ll find when you come in for an appointment at our Henderson or Boulder City offices.

 

In the Ear Styles

  • IIC (Invisible in Canal) and CIC (Completely in Canal): These tiny hearing aids sit all the way or almost all the way inside your ear canal. They’re ideal for people with mild to moderate hearing loss who want their aids to be invisible.
  • ITC (In the Canal): These slightly larger hearing aids sit in the outer ear bowl instead of all the way inside the canal. They’re more comfortable and more powerful due to their size, so they can also fit more features like manual controls on the outside of the aid.

 

Behind the Ear Styles

  • RIC (Receiver in Canal): This is the most common style of hearing aid we fit, and for good reason! RICs have a case which sits behind the ear and houses the microphone and processor as well as any external controls. The speaker sits in the ear canal, and is connected to the body of the hearing aid by a thin wire. They’re typically lightweight and ideal for fun features like music, TV, and call streaming. They’re also easy to repair and can be programmed and fit immediately after your hearing test.
  • BTE (Behind the Ear): These hearing aids are the largest style, and therefore most powerful, suitable for any amount of hearing loss from mild to profound. The body of the hearing aid sits behind the ear, and a tube connects it to a custom earmold that sits in the outer bowl of the ear. They’re strong and durable, as well as less susceptible to ear wax and moisture damage. However, their size makes them difficult to wear with glasses and face masks.

 

Remember, it’s always best to talk with your provider before selecting a hearing aid. We want you to walk away with a device that fits your lifestyle, so don’t hesitate to ask questions or try different styles!

How To: Dress Up Your Hearing Aids for the Holidays

Want to add a little holiday flair to your hearing aids? We’ve compiled our favorite tips and tricks to make your aids sparkle! Whether you like to go big and bold or keep it subtle and classy, we’ve got ideas to help you stand out from the crowd.

Materials: Inspiration is everywhere! You can use a variety of materials to decorate your hearing aids, including holiday themed nail stickers, scrap-booking stickers, and adhesive rhinestones. Washi tape is also a popular choice; this thin, inexpensive tape comes in a variety of colors and patterns and can be removed easily without damaging your hearing aids. You can also experiment with charms, chains, and other jewelry making supplies to really customize your look. 

 

Precautions: We strongly recommend that you only use self-adhering, easy to remove materials to avoid damaging your hearing aids. Never use loose glitter directly on your aids, as it can get stuck inside the aid and damage it. Never apply decorations to the microphone, buttons, or battery door, as this could diminish the functionality of your aids. Using washi tape as a base can help make other decorations easier to remove, since its adhesive is often weaker than that of regular stickers. Simply cut a piece of tape to fit your hearing aid, attach it to the area you want to decorate, and stick the decorations to the tape.

 

Pre-Made Options: If you don’t want to fuss with designing your own decorations, there are a variety of sellers on websites like Etsy that offer custom-made stickers, charms, and tube decorations for every occasion!

 

Are you going to decorate your hearing aids this holiday season? Drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! And if you need a new pair of hearing aids, make an appointment with one of our specialists by calling (725) 333-4327.