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4 Common Mistakes Made by Hearing Aid Users

If you have hearing loss, your hearing specialist might recommend hearing aids. Hearing aids are devices that help you hear speech and other sounds that you otherwise could not hear clearly. While the idea of using hearing aids might seem straightforward, there are several common mistakes people make when using hearing aids. This is especially true for new hearing aid users. Do you make any of these common hearing aid mistakes?
Hearing Aid Mistake #1: Putting in your hearing aids without checking the features and settings.
It might seem like a great idea to put in your new hearing aids right away once you receive them. However, it can be very worthwhile to check the features and settings first. Many modern hearing aids come with advanced features that can improve your quality of life and make using your hearing aids easier. If you simply put in your hearing aids without learning how these features work, you might be short-changing yourself and your hearing.
Furthermore, it’s important to make sure the settings are all set correctly before you start using your hearing aids. If the settings are not correct, you may not like wearing your hearing aids or you might not use them to their full extent. We recommend that you ask your hearing specialist to show you the features and settings on your new hearing aids and explore them yourself before you start wearing your devices.
Hearing Aid Mistake #2: Not having your hearing aids professionally fitted.
Now that over-the-counter hearing aids are becoming available, it is possible to get a hearing aid and start wearing it without it being professionally fitted. While this might seem like an easier option, it can cost you in the long run. One important benefit of having your hearing aids professionally fitted is that they will be as comfortable as possible. This is crucial since you will want to wear your hearing aids often (likely every day!) and will want to maximize comfort.
Hearing Aid Mistake #3: Not expecting a period of adjustment.
When you buy new shoes, you expect a period of “breaking them in,” when you will get used to wearing your new shoes. The same is true if you started wearing glasses; you would expect a period of adjusting to wearing lenses. Similarly, you should expect a period of adjustment for your new hearing aids.
One thing you can expect to adjust to is that your hearing with hearing aids is not exactly the same as normal hearing before hearing loss. It will be a little different, and it will also feel different from how you have become accustomed to hearing things with hearing loss. As long as you expect a period of adjustment, you will likely find it not too frustrating. If you need any help during this period, be sure to reach out to your hearing specialist. We want to make sure your transition to using hearing aids is as seamless as possible.
Hearing Aid Mistake #4: Not cleaning your hearing aids.
You want your hearing aids to last as long as possible, and one important factor in helping your devices last is cleaning them properly. It is essential that you clean your hearing aids on a regular basis—ideally every night when you take your hearing aids out before going to bed. Your hearing aids can collect dust and dirt that need to be cleaned off regularly. In addition, be sure to empty and clean the wax deposits every night. Failing to do so can prevent your hearing aids from working properly.
Avoiding these four mistakes can go a long way in helping your hearing aids last and ensuring that you get the most out of your devices. To learn more about the best way to use your hearing aids, we invite you to contact our hearing practice today.

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God, May I Please Live Longer for my Son?

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By: Dr. Michelle Saltarrelli, AuD, CCC, A/SLP

I just completed another ARD within the Pearland Independent School District (ISD), I have been a part of these for years now. I am not walking in as a professional audiologist or speech pathologist, I am the parent. Now I can share that I know what it is like to be in both roles within these ARDs. My son is a fifth grader and now needs special education, life skills 100% of his school day. In the past, he was in half day regular education and half day life skills within the Pearland ISD system. What does the future hold for my son? This is the most haunting question I have being his mother. How will he manage as a man, without me? Dear Lord, I can never leave my son alone in this world! Please allow me to live longer!

I realize I am not the only parent out there with these questions and impossible requests. I also realize that my son is unique, but still perfect in my eyes. I meet parents on a daily basis at Autumn Oak Speech, Voice, and Hearing who fear for their child’s future. However, I still feel alone and scared. I try my very best to squelch those fears in the other parents I meet who have children with hearing loss, speech disorders, or both due to an underlying syndrome or disorder. I know how they feel, because unfortunately we are on life’s journey in that same proverbial “boat”. I would rather not share my boat with others, because it can be at times a very painful and scary ride. However, I can promise this, every person who walks in my doors for help, I can completely empathize. I am right there with you seeking out specialists who can help my son too.

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Dementia and the Connection to Hearing Loss

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By: Dr. Carrie Raz, AuD, CCC-A, Audiologist

In a recent study completed by the Lancet Commission found that hearing loss is one of the largest modifiable factors for dementia. You really hear with your brain. Your ears are the tools that bring the information in, but the brain is the processor that translates and gives the sound meaning. It has been proven that untreated hearing loss has several side effects such as depression, isolation, and cognitive decline. If you don’t keep the brain activated by hearing, then portions of the brain that reacts to sound will slowly decline. It is best for your overall health to have routine hearing test and treat hearing loss when it is discovered. 

To read the article, click here!

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My Greatest Challenge Raising a Child with Special Needs

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By: Dr. Michelle Saltarrelli, AuD, CCC, A/SLP

This is beyond the financial, emotional, and physical stresses that parents have when raising a child with special needs (SN). This is actually my own personal struggle, but I see others struggle with this too at my practice. I often joke with other parents of children with SN. I tell them they should come to my house and talk with my husband, Wes Murdock! I am always happy to share his wisdom. That man has read more parenting books than I have.

So as a parent one of our several responsibilities is to teach our children to navigate life independently. One day (we are all praying) they will become contributing members within our society. When you have a child with SN we still desire the same for our children. In business and raising children, I shoot for the stars!!! No harm in it right? Let’s see how far they will go!! (How Far I’ll Go Song by Auli’I Cravalho from Moana playing in background)

My challenge is that I tend to do everything for my son with SN. To the point that I didn’t even notice that I did it!!! My husband had to point this out to me actually. With this graceful, sanitary question, “Do you still wipe his behind, Michelle?” “Of course not! He’s 13, he doesn’t even like to walk around with his shirt off. I don’t do EVERYTHING for him!” I retorted surprised he even asked me the question. However, when I started to notice myself and all that I did for my son, I too was surprised he didn’t call me upstairs to the bathroom for the number 2 clean-up job!! I had those damn rose colored/ shaded glasses on again. OMG, change was needed!!

When I ask my son with SN to do something, he will do it, but he’s perfectly fine with me doing everything for him. My other sons have this innate drive for independence. Not my guy with SN! So unfair!! So, if I don’t watch myself, I just naturally do it for him. Instead, I should take a step (or several steps as he gets older) back and allow him to order food for himself, figure out the solutions, figure out locations of household items, etc….. Essentially, allow my son to figure out the basics of life!!! I was just providing him with the answer each and every time. In no way was I helping him or teaching. I was only enabling him to be dependent on someone else. I had no idea I was doing this until my husband pointed it out. Awareness is key! Willingness to learn and quickly adapt enables change. I had to change!!!!


Thank you, Wes for asking me if I still wipe his behind. Profound question!

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Can Treating Hearing Loss Reduce Stress? You May Be Surprised By The Answer

When you think about factors in your life that cause stress, you might think of some of the obvious answers: your job, family responsibilities, or current events. However, did you know that hearing loss can cause stress too? Here is how hearing loss and stress are connected.
The Connection between Hearing Loss and Stress
Untreated hearing loss can lead to increased stress levels. This is because people with untreated hearing loss often experience what is known as listening fatigue. Listening fatigue is what happens when you constantly need to concentrate on speech, social cues, or lipreading to try to understand what is being said to you. Untreated hearing loss can cause you to feel exhausted without doing extra physical work because of the mental work required.
Listening fatigue is common among both children and adults with untreated hearing loss. It can result in increased stress due to the strain of trying to understand speech and other sounds. Thankfully, there is good news: you can reduce both listening fatigue and stress by wearing hearing aids.
The Link between Tinnitus and Stress
Yes, tinnitus can cause stress as well. Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, has an interesting relationship with stress. As you might expect, a constant ringing in the ears can make you feel stressed or on edge. In addition, stress can make tinnitus worse.
People with tinnitus often report that their tinnitus worsens during times of increased stress. One study that polled people with tinnitus found that 53.6 percent of respondents said that their tinnitus began during a stressful time of their life. Furthermore, 52.8 percent of people polled reported that their tinnitus increased during a stressful period.
As with hearing loss, using hearing aids can reduce tinnitus. A study conducted among hearing professionals found that approximately 60 percent of patients reported mild to major relief from tinnitus when wearing hearing aids. About 20 percent of hearing professionals said their patients reported major relief from tinnitus thanks to hearing aids. Hearing aids can be an effective treatment for both hearing loss and tinnitus, which can in turn reduce your stress levels.
The Importance of Managing Stress
Why is it important to manage your stress levels? Overall, stress can have detrimental effects on your body. High stress levels can contribute to serious health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Stress can also cause headaches, jaw pain, poor sleep, trouble concentrating, changes in appetite, frequent mood swings, and feeling overwhelmed. Treating your hearing loss or tinnitus can be one step in managing your stress levels and taking care of your health.
Some other effective ways to manage stress include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Making time to enjoy your hobbies
  • Using breathing exercises
  • Managing your time and prioritizing your responsibilities
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs
  • Eating well
  • Talking to friends, family, or a counselor about what is stressing you

To learn more about how you can manage stress and to set up an appointment with our hearing healthcare specialist, we welcome you to contact our practice today.