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Hearing Aids

Is a Hearing Aid Going to Help Me?

Hearing aids can help your daily life in many different ways.

Hearing is an essential part of our daily lives. We hear our loved ones talking to us. We hear our favorite shows playing on the TV. We hear cars nearing us as we walk down the street. Often, we are not the first to realize that our hearing has changed but rather those family and friends who pick up on the fact that we are missing what they are saying.

Benefits of hearing aids

Do you notice that you often say “what” when your spouse is speaking to you from another room? Do you feel like your favorite TV show isn’t as clear as it should be, so you have to raise the volume in order to hear it?  Is it frustrating to hear the conversation when you go out to dinner with friends because it is just too noisy? If this is you, hearing aids will improve your daily life.

Enhanced communication success

A properly fit hearing aid will give you back the sounds that your ears are missing. Do you often find yourself talking to someone and end up just laughing, hoping they said something funny because they have already repeated themself three times? Now imagine what it would be like to just laugh at that funny joke? Hearing aids will remove the stress from having a conversation, so you never miss the punchline again.

Safety

Hearing aids also keep you safe and alert. Have you ever realized your turn signal was on for the last mile because you did not hear the clicking sound it makes? Not being able to hear is a safety issue and one that must be addressed. 

The Secret to Success

Are you ready to finally stop saying “what”?

Studies show that if you are motivated and ready to hear clearly again, you will do much better with your new hearing aids. Hearing aids are an investment in your health and staying connected with family and friends. One of the most common things people say when they are fit is “I can’t believe that I waited this long to get hearing aids now that I know how much I was actually missing!” Think about it, you don’t know what you are missing because you are missing it!

If you are ready to take the next step towards better hearing, download our Free Guide on “The 7 Insider Secrets and Lies on Buying the Right Hearing Aid” immediately.

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Hearing Challenges

Your Hearing Loss Hospital Kit

Hearing loss can impact every aspect of your life. The problem can be especially difficult when entering a situation where you need to stay in the hospital. This environment can leave you feeling isolated without the support of friends and family to help you communicate, and the use of masks doesn’t make that any better. In order to make the situation easier for yourself, it’s helpful to prepare by building your own hospital kit.

Keep Your Hearing Aids Safe

In order to give yourself the best ability to hear and communicate, it’s important that you keep your hearing aids safe and functional. This can mean that you bring a container that is specifically designed to hold your hearing aids. You may also find a plastic container or box works for you. It will be very helpful to label this with your name on it so that doctors know who it belongs to.

It will also be beneficial to bring along extra batteries for your hearing aids. These can be stored inside the same container you plan to keep your hearing aids in, which will ensure they don’t get lost. Additionally, if you are having trouble with getting your hearing aids to work, bringing along a battery tester for them will allow staff to troubleshoot the device. It could be that they simply need a new battery in order to start working again.

Visual Reminders

It’s always a good idea to indicate that you are suffering from hearing loss to a medical professional. This will help them to accommodate your needs and understand how to best help you. Signs or buttons that indicate your situation can help to communicate nonverbally before starting a conversation. These can state lines such as, “I am hard of hearing!” or “please speak louder, clearly and face me” so that the doctor knows how to proceed with the interaction. These signs can be downloaded here or ordered online.

Communication Tip Sheets

Another helpful visual aid can be a communication tip sheet. You can create your own, or use an already existing template to print out and bring copies for your hospital kit. The CHHA’s “How to Help Our Communication” tip sheet is a great example. The sheet includes a list of the following:

  • Get my attention before talking
  • Face me — I need to see your face to lipread
  • Speak clearly — don’t over emphasize or shout
  • If possible, turn off background noise
  • Don’t cover your mouth
  • Rephrase if misunderstood
  • Write down important information
  • Ask me to repeat vital facts to be sure I understand correctly

You may also want to include a pen and notebook or a portable whiteboard in your kit as a backup. There are also speech-to-text apps that can be added to your phone to help translate for you.

Personalize Your Kit

As mentioned before, labeling your hearing aid container with your name will help prevent you from misplacing or losing it. This also applies to everything else in your kit. Adding your personal information, such as name and phone number, will help anyone who finds these items return them back to you.

Schedule a Consultation

If you would like to find more tips and suggestions for creating your own hearing loss hospital kit, schedule an appointment with Hearing Doctors of New Jersey. Call our Livingston office at (973) 577-4100 or request your appointment online.

Click here now to receive your FREE insider’s guide to learn how to make an informed and intelligent decision when purchasing a hearing aid!

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Hearing Aids

Why Real Ear Measurements are so Important

When treating hearing loss, it is crucial that your hearing aids properly fit and are tailored to meet your needs. One of the most important parts of this process is performing real ear measurements, which allows your audiologist to program your new hearing aids to best suit your needs. While this should be a commonplace practice, only 30% of hearing aid practices perform real ear measurements. To get the best possible results, it is important to visit an experienced audiologist who will take this step to improve your hearing.

What are Real Ear Measurements?

Real ear measurements ensure that your hearing aids are properly programmed according to your prescription for your hearing loss. By taking real ear measurements, your audiologist adjusts the programming of your hearing aids from the manufacturer so that it matches your hearing needs.

Why are Real Ear Measurements Necessary?

Hearing aids are programmed by the manufacturer to meet hearing needs as closely as possible, but the unique shape and size of each patients’ ears affects hearing as well. Real ear measurements allow your audiologist to adjust the frequency and intensity of the hearing aids according to your unique size and shape of your ear, creating a more custom fit for your hearing loss.

You can think of this process like a vision test. Rather than offering several glasses and asking you to pick the best one, your optometrist carefully adjusts your prescription and asks for your feedback before arriving at a solution specified for your needs. By taking real ear measurements, your audiologist similarly creates a customized, accurate fit for your hearing aids.

How are Real Ear Measurements Taken?

During real-ear measurements, a thin probe microphone is inserted into the ear canal alongside the hearing aid. The audiologist obtains readings of the exact sound levels the user is receiving from the hearing aid while listening to various recorded speech samples.  Using specialized software, the audiologist is able to adjust the hearing aid settings to ensure a customized, accurate fit and guarantee that all speech sounds are now audible.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are frustrated that you have to say “what” often or feel that your current hearing aids are not working properly, you should schedule an appointment with Hearing Doctors of New Jersey. Call our Livingston office at (973) 577-4100 or request your appointment online.

Click here now to receive your FREE insider’s guide to learn how to make an informed and intelligent decision when purchasing a hearing aid!

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Hearing Aids Hearing Challenges

How Hearing Aids Can Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

There are a number of reasons that hearing aids can help— they can improve your quality of life, help you maintain your relationships, and even improve your mental health. But did you know that hearing aids can also help prevent some health concerns later in life? Most people who experience hearing loss wait as many as ten years before opting for treatment with hearing aids. By this time, you can experience irreversible problems with your physical and mental health, so it’s important to act early. Here are some ways hearing aids can help your health and your cognitive function as you discuss your best options with your Doctor of Audiology.

The link between hearing loss and dementia

One recent study, which followed almost 3,800 people for 25 years, found that elderly people who experienced hearing loss but did not use hearing aids were at a higher risk for dementia. It also found that using hearing aids eliminated this heightened risk. This can be attributed to the fact that hearing loss prevents you from participating in activities that can help slow cognitive decline. This is exciting news that confirms the link between your brain’s health and your hearing— and means you can take tangible steps in preventing the development of dementia early on.

What causes dementia?

We have a lot to learn about what exactly causes dementia— what we do know is that it’s a catch-all term for abnormal changes to the brain’s cells. This affects your ability to think, function, and have healthy behaviors, feelings, and relationships. There are many different types of dementia and they are most often progressive, meaning it worsens over time. We also know that there are many different factors that can contribute to the progression of dementia and that there are some ways to help prevent it.

How can hearing aids help?

The biggest benefit that comes with hearing aids is staying cognitively and mentally fit. Because hearing loss can negatively affect so many different aspects of your life, hearing aids can help improve many different aspects of your life. Hearing loss can affect your ability to participate in social interactions, your favorite activities, and relationships that are important to you. When these things suffer, it can negatively affect your mental health and cognitive function over the long term. It can also affect your physical health when it is difficult to lead an active lifestyle, leading to certain types of dementia. When your brain stays active, it can better maintain its function, which is integral to preventing cognitive decline.

How can Hearing Doctors of New Jersey help?

At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we focus on custom, crafted hearing solutions. Our Doctors of Audiology follow our proprietary H.E.A.R. Method™ in hearing aid selection, verification, and fitting so that you never miss another word – guaranteed.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are frustrated that you have to say “what” often or feel that your current hearing aids are not working properly, you should schedule an appointment with Hearing Doctors of New Jersey. To get started, we invite you to contact our Livingston office by calling or filling out our online form.

Click here now to receive your FREE insider’s guide to learn how to make an informed and intelligent decision when purchasing a hearing aid!

Sources

https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/fulltext/2019/09000/hearing_loss_and_dementia__breakthrough_research.1.aspx

Categories
Hearing Challenges

“What did you say?” Face masks, hearing loss, and reading lips.

It goes without saying that over the past few months, everyone’s lives have changed dramatically.  Our social interactions have become much more limited. But hearing and being heard is still incredibly critical to our well-being.  People want to see other people and are finding innovative ways to do so. FaceTime and Zoom calls with family and friends have become commonplace. But I cannot help but think about those family and friends who struggle to hear. Communication is challenging when you miss part of what is being said.

Resuming to a “New Normal”

Now that the world is slowly beginning to “open up” and life is resuming to a “new normal”, I cannot help but think about those who have difficulty hearing. To be around others, we now have to remain 6 feet apart and wear face masks. Those who have hearing difficulty have unique challenges today.  When you cover your mouth, it is harder to hear and understand what is being said.  I’ve seen wonderful posts online of people wearing pins that explain they have hearing loss and face masks that have a plastic panel to help people read lips (we just ordered some for our office!!).  These simple measures can help others so much to hear and be heard.

If you know someone who is struggling to hear during these times, please consider encouraging them to get the help they need now.  One of the most common things patients say when they finally get hearing aids is, “I can’t believe that I waited this long to get the help I need. It really wasn’t a big deal and now I can finally hear!” Communication struggles are real, especially now.

Customized Hearing Solutions for You

At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey we strive to find customized solutions for you, your family and friends so they can hear to their fullest potential. Call us today to schedule your appointment.  Do not put off what you can do today to live your fullest life and remain connected to others around you. Hear and be heard.

Click here now to receive your FREE insider’s guide to learn how to make an informed and intelligent decision when purchasing a hearing aid!

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Hearing Loss

Don’t Ignore Hearing Loss.

Don’t let hearing loss hurt your relationships

It’s frustrating when you can’t hear everything being said to you — and not just for you.

Not hearing well may make it hard to keep up with friends and family. After a while, you might start feeling excluded from conversations because you have trouble hearing what’s being said.

That may make you feel alone. But you’re not alone. About 1 in 3 people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Aging. That number climbs with older age.

If people don’t know you’re having a hard time hearing, they may assume you’re uninterested, confused, or irritable. That may create problems in your relationships and leave you and others feeling angry or frustrated.

That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about hearing loss. In many cases, a hearing aid may help. Or there may be other reasons for your hearing loss — reasons that could be treated.

Hiding hearing loss from the ones who love you is never a good idea. Instead, try these tips for staying in the conversation:

  • Let people know you have a hearing problem.
  • Ask them to face you and speak clearly and slowly.
  • Let them know if you didn’t catch what they said.
  • Look for quieter places to talk.
  • Pay attention. It’s easier to understand missed words when you know the context of the conversation.

Instead of withdrawing, turn to your loved ones for help if you’re experiencing hearing loss. Chances are, they want to support you through this.

Click here now to receive your FREE insider’s guide to learn how to make an informed and intelligent decision when purchasing a hearing aid!

Sources: American Geriatrics Society; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institute on Aging

Categories
Hearing Aids

Unbundling: The Truth About Why Hearing Aids Are Expensive (But Don’t Have to Be)

When people buy hearing aids, they often have sticker shock with how expensive it can be. At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey we have set out to be honest and transparent about these costs and help you understand what in fact you are paying for. 

Most hearing aids are sold with a “bundled” price structure. 

What that actually means is that the hearing aids are marked up, and you’re told that “all services are included”. The price that you pay is a one-time amount that is often 300% over the wholesale cost of that device. 

If you read between the lines, what they don’t always share is what those exact services are, how much the hearing aids are marked up, or what the services would cost if you bought them separately.

Unbundling can help you answer many of these questions!

We use an unbundled model to separate the costs of diagnostics and services from the cost of our hearing aids. We do this to be honest and transparent with our patients, to reduce out-of-pocket costs for our patients, and to ensure that our patients receive the services that they actually need. Our audiologists are contracted with several insurance companies and we will bill your insurance for those diagnostics and services when possible to reduce your out-of-pocket expense.  You can then decide to pay for services at each visit or opt to purchase one of our annual unlimited service plans.

So how exactly does unbundling affect hearing aid cost?

Let’s take a look at an example. Let’s say the wholesale cost for a pair of premium hearing aids is $2,250 when you include parts and shipping. With a bundled model a typical markup is about 300% making your cost for that pair of hearing aids $6750.

At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, since our prices are unbundled, the cost of that same hearing aid is much less.  You can then decide to pay for the services you need at each visit or opt to purchase one of our annual hearing aid care plans.

Here’s a helpful example of an unbundled model versus bundled practices.

Not only is your cost lower with an unbundled hearing aid pricing, but some of the services listed in the unbundled model may be billable to your insurance plan. Meaning, your out-of-pocket costs may be even less than the price listed above. If you have any questions or are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our Doctors of Audiology, please give us a call at 973-577-3166

Click here now to receive your FREE insider’s guide to learn how to make an informed and intelligent decision when purchasing a hearing aid!

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Hearing Aids

What to Know About Hearing Aid Costs— and How to Pay for Them

If you or a loved one have been exploring your options for hearing aids, it’s normal to be totally blown away by the price of hearing aids. Even though hearing aids are the single best way to preserve your hearing and treat hearing loss, many people are put off by the cost and wind up going without hearing aids for years after getting a diagnosis from their Doctor of Audiology. It’s extremely important to know that there are many different ways to afford hearing aids! Here’s what to know about hearing aid costs and how you can work them into your budget.

How much do hearing aids cost?

It’s important to keep in mind that hearing aid costs will vary drastically based on what level of technology you choose. At Hearing Doctors of New Jersey, we base our pricing on your lifestyle— if you live a bustling and busy lifestyle, it’s likely you’ll need a hearing aid that can adjust to the high noise levels you commonly experience. Conversely, if you live a quiet lifestyle and rarely encounter loud environments, your hearing aids won’t need certain functions. This means that the cost of your hearing aids reflects the level of technology, meaning you can expect to pay less if you’re content without the latest features. But, once you start to incorporate things like Bluetooth connectivity and direct streaming capability, your price will go up.

What’s included in the cost of hearing aids?

We offer an unbundled pricing model to separate the costs of diagnostics and services from the cost of our hearing aids. We do this to be honest and transparent with our patients, to reduce out-of-pocket costs for our patients, and to ensure that our patients receive all of the services that they should.  What that means is that you only pay for what you need. When you purchase your hearing aids with us, you’ll receive 3 follow-up appointments within the 45-day trial period along with a warranty from the manufacturer that covers repairs and loss replacement.

How can I pay for hearing aids?

This is the most common question when it comes to looking at your hearing aid options. Although it can seem daunting to pay that much up front, you don’t need to. There are plenty of options for purchasing hearing aids with financing like CareCredit or certain programs and organizations that help with hearing aid costs for those who need it. You can even use your Health Spending Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to purchase hearing aids and associated costs, and your insurance provider may even cover some aspects of treatment. The important thing to know is that you have options and our expert team can help you maximize your benefits and find the payment plan that works best for you.

Schedule an Appointment

Hearing aids remain one of the best ways to improve your quality of life when it comes to hearing loss, so we’re invested in helping you get the treatment you need. To learn more about your options for paying for hearing aids, we invite you to contact our Livingston office by calling or filling out our online form.

Click here now to receive your FREE insider’s guide to learn how to make an informed and intelligent decision when purchasing a hearing aid!

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