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How to connect Your iPhone To Your Hearing Aids

Talking on the phone or video chatting is a core part of everyday life, from conference calls to Zoom reunions. However, for those with hearing loss a phone call can bring undue stress and anxiety.

To help make the seamless transition from hearing devices to mobile device, Apple products, including the popular iPhone, have built in features that make this an easy process. If you are hoping to face fewer challenges while talking on the phone with your hearing aid in place, you can easily connect your hearing devices to iPhone devices using Bluetooth connectivity. By doing so, calls and video chats will transform from struggles into hassle-free experiences – and that is not all.  Direct connectivity can also help you better hear music, videos, podcasts, and audiobooks by streaming them directly into your hearing devices.

At I Love Hearing, we are happy to assist you with this process – simply give us a call or click on over to make an appointment and we will take it from there.

If you prefer to try it yourself, here are some tips to help you navigate the process.

1.    Confirm that your hearing aids are compatible with iPhone

Before you pair your hearing aids with your iPhone, first check to make sure if the two devices are compatible. For successful pairing, you must have an iPhone 5 or later and check to see if Apple supports your hearing aids. If you’re still unsure after checking this list, contact I Love Hearing and ask about your specific hearing aid and iPhone models.

2.    Make sure Bluetooth is turned on

To connect your hearing aids to your iPhone Bluetooth needs to be on. You can check whether your Bluetooth is on in your iPhone settings, where you can toggle the Bluetooth switch to the “on” position if it is not already set.

3.    Put your hearing aids into Pairing Mode

Your hearing aids can only connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth when you put them into pairing mode.

For battery operated hearing devices, simply open the battery doors and place your hearing devices next to your iphone.

For rechargeable hearing devices- put them in the off position or place them in their charging dock until you are ready to start the pairing process.

4.    Begin the pairing process

Now that you’ve prepared your hearing aid and your iPhone to connect to each other, it’s time to start the pairing process. Complete the below steps to begin using your hearing aids as an extension of your iPhone:

  • On your iPhone, open the Settings app.
  • Next, click on Accessibility.
  • Scroll down until you see Hearing Devices and click on that option.
  • On the next screen you will see MFI Hearing Devices on the top and a searching wheel will be spinning while your phone looks for your hearing devices.
  • Now it is time to turn your hearing devices on by either closing the battery doors (which turns them on) or removing the devices from the charging dock.
  • Wait for you devices to appear with both R & L symbols-although at this point it will say not connected.
  • Click on your named devices and another screen will appear which will have two windows pop up on the screen, tap “Pair.” Note that two hearing devices will require you to tap the word “Pair” twice.
  • Allow up to 1 minute for the pairing process to finish. When done, a checkmark will appear next to the device name.

5.    Adjust the settings as needed

Congratulations – you have successfully paired your hearing devices to your iPhone! Now you can personalize some settings based on your preferences in your Accessibility window.  Below is a list of settings you can adjust:

  • Volume adjustments independent or simultaneous.
  • Ringtones played through your hearing device.
  • Audio routing (your choice of default audio playback device).
  • Audio handoff between Apple devices (seamless switching from iPhone to iPad).
  • Customize preset volume levels (also possible via lock screen or Control Center).

If you need more help with your hearing device settings or just prefer to come in for assistance with pairing your hearing devices, I Love Hearing is just a call or a click away.

You’ll always feel connected to others with I Love Hearing   

Whether you are unsure about the compatibility of your hearing devices and your iPhone or need more help successfully pairing your devices, I Love Hearing is here to assist you. Our leadership team has in-depth experience working hands-on with almost all hearing devices, so we can address all your questions and concerns. We want you to feel comfortable and confident when using your hearing devices – and we have the knowledge to make it happen.

At I Love Hearing, we will also practice a phone call with you before you walk out the door with your hearing devices.  We can teach you some of the best at-home maintenance and cleaning practices.

Properly caring for, using, and Bluetooth-connecting your hearing devices can be challenging, you can visit our Hearing Aids FAQ page if you still have questions. Better yet, contact I Love Hearing to speak with a specialist, book an appointment, and start your jour journey to better hearing!

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Hearing aids for tinnitus: Do they help or hurt?

Tinnitus is a common complaint among people who visit audiologists: nearly 50 million Americans — or up to 20 percent of the population — have some form of the condition. For some tinnitus cases, an audiologist may recommend hearing aids, but some people might balk at this potential solution. Hearing aids are often associated with someone who lost their hearing due to old age, and those with tinnitus may be reluctant to give them a shot. How do these devices so strongly associated with hearing loss help tinnitus?

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a symptom, rather than a cause, of an underlying condition that impacts the ears. These symptoms include incessant ringing, clicking, buzzing, or other harsh perceived sounds in your ear. These sounds may come and go, or they may be a permanent part of your everyday hearing. No matter how frequent or infrequent they are, these distracting sounds make hearing considerably more challenging.

What causes tinnitus?

Although tinnitus doesn’t cause or exaggerate hearing loss, it can certainly be a symptom of hearing loss. Instead, exposure to loud or harsh noise, whether as an occupational hazard or via frequent attendance of high-volume concerts and events, is one of the leading causes of tinnitus.

Other conditions not related to hearing loss may cause tinnitus. These conditions include:

  • An ear blockage due to infection, wax, or tumor
  • Cochlear degeneration due to aging
  • High blood pressure
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Jaw and neck issues
  • Circulatory issues
  • A head or neck injury

Is there a cure for tinnitus?

There is no currently known cure for tinnitus. Instead, hearing professionals recommend tinnitus therapy which can help manage the condition. These therapies are focused on managing the perceived sounds in your ears, helping you minimize the effects of tinnitus on your hearing and overall well-being.

What are the common forms of tinnitus therapy?

The two most common forms of tinnitus therapy are hearing aids and maskers. According to a survey of audiologists and other hearing loss specialists, 60 percent of tinnitus patients said that their hearing aids help them experience at least some relief, and another 22 percent of respondents said that their hearing aids help them experience significant relief. Other people with tinnitus prefer maskers since they emit sounds that disguise ringing, clicking, and buzzing instead of amplifying sound like hearing aids do.

Masking is one of four common sound therapies that can help address tinnitus. Masking introduces the ear to white noise of a louder volume than tinnitus ringing, and in doing so, masking distracts the ear from processing tinnitus sounds while not altering the rest of what the ear hears. Distraction, unlike masking, depends on directing the ear toward an external sound such as white noise that can help the brain to reorient its focus away from tinnitus sounds.

Another sound therapy known as habituation trains the brain to reclassify tinnitus sounds as too unimportant to register and can sometimes be achieved with notched-music and modified sound devices. The fourth common sound therapy, called neuromodulation, targets neural hyperactivity that might be the anatomical cause of tinnitus by emitting specialized sounds that minimize this phenomenon. Many combination devices are available that use more than one of these sound therapy methods to address tinnitus.

Hearing aids vs. maskers

Although hearing aids and maskers are the two most common forms of tinnitus therapy, they use completely different approaches to address tinnitus. To understand the difference between these devices, it may be helpful to know that maskers cannot address the hearing loss that often underlies tinnitus, whereas hearing aids can.

A masker works by emitting sounds that cover up annoying tinnitus sounds such as ringing, clicking, and buzzing. These sounds, which are often white noise, can at once provide a background into which tinnitus sounds blend and cover tinnitus sounds without muffling the rest of your hearing. In no way do maskers amplify noise that enters the ear.

Hearing aids, on the other hand, are primarily designed to amplify noise that enters the ear. In doing so, hearing aids may make up for the sounds that you can’t hear over your tinnitus. An audiologist is best qualified to determine whether hearing aids or maskers are the better devices for combating your tinnitus.

How can hearing aids help tinnitus?

Hearing aids can help tinnitus patients find relief by amplifying the volume of sound that enters the ear so strongly that the brain struggles to perceive the ringing, clicking, and buzzing sounds caused by tinnitus. To explain this concept more clearly, many hearing aid specialists compare tinnitus to a cricket chirping and a tinnitus patient wearing hearing aids to a waterfall, because against the sounds of the latter, you won’t hear the former. For some newer hearing aid models, the waterfall analogy is literal: some smartphone-compatible hearing aids will mask tinnitus with white noise and other sounds played from the connected device.

Hearing aid wearers additionally tend to experience lessened tinnitus symptoms due to hearing aids amplifying sounds aimed directly at them, such as conversational remarks. With hearing aids, your brain will prioritize processing the sounds aimed directly at you instead of your tinnitus sounds, helping to mitigate your symptoms.

Pros and cons of hearing aids for tinnitus

As with any health-based decision, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to determining whether you should buy hearing aids to address your tinnitus. Consider the following pros and cons of hearing aids for tinnitus as you make your choice, in addition to following the advice provided by a hearing professional.

Pros of hearing aids for tinnitus

  • Minimize annoying sounds. When you use hearing aids to address your tinnitus, you may experience fewer – or, sometimes, none – of the annoying ringing, clicking, and buzzing sounds you associate with tinnitus.
  • Non-invasive. You don’t need invasive procedures or bulky, unwieldy items to combat your tinnitus. Hearing aids are compact and often lie out of sight in or behind your ear. Fitting a hearing aid to your ear is a hassle-free experience that any qualified hearing aid specialist can offer you.

Cons of hearing aids for tinnitus

  • Price. Hearing aids, like any piece of cutting edge technology can have a significant price spread and are not always covered by insurance. Although you can find some hearing aids that run under $1,000 for a pair, some hearing aids can cost over $3,000 each. This is why it is crucial to consult with a trained audiology professional before making your choice.

  • Relief isn’t guaranteed. Out of the approximately 50 million cases of tinnitus in the U.S., 20 million of them are chronic, and about 2 million of them are debilitating. Sometimes, these difficult cases cannot be addressed with hearing aids. This is another reason why working with a professional is critical, and self-care can be costly.

Can I keep my tinnitus from getting worse?

Tinnitus therapy is only one part of managing your tinnitus. You also need to take extra care to not worsen your tinnitus. You can avoid exacerbating your tinnitus by steering clear of loud settings and forgoing alcohol and smoking. If your work requires you to be around loud noise, use earplugs, earmuffs, noise-canceling headphones, or other hearing protection devices to shield your ears.

You can also address your tinnitus by being upfront about it with people. If you’re struggling to hear someone over your tinnitus because the person isn’t facing you directly, kindly ask them to do so. You can also ask people to speak more loudly and clearly.

Hearing aids for tinnitus: Am I a candidate?

You might be a candidate for hearing aids for tinnitus if the volume of the clicking, ringing, and buzzing decisions in your ear is preventing you from focusing during conversations with others or completing your usual everyday tasks. That said, merely having tinnitus doesn’t mean that your case requires hearing aids to address – only audiologists have the level of knowledge about all things hearing that will allow you to decide. You may benefit from a different type of sound therapy or from a masker, depending on your specific case of tinnitus.

At I Love Hearing, our hearing professionals and audiologists have decades of experience working in tinnitus therapy using both hearing aids and maskers. We make visiting us easy – we operate multiple offices in Manhattan, Nassau County, and the greater New York metro so that you don’t have to travel far out of your way to get vital help addressing your tinnitus.

If you do want to try hearing aids to help combat tinnitus, I Love Hearing uniquely offers nearly every major hearing aid brand offered on the market in the U.S. This means you can choose from a massive array of models, designs, and features.

We know that any decisions you make toward combating your hearing loss can be deeply personal and challenging. At I Love Hearing, we believe in educating our patients so they fully understand their options, so they feel empowered to choose the best solution for them. Contact us today to book an appointment to discuss managing tinnitus symptoms with one of our specialists.

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Six Tips for Using Hearing Aids For Family Zoom Gatherings

This year, Thanksgiving and the winter holidays will be like none before. With the COVID-19 pandemic still a prominent part of everyday American life, many holiday celebrations will take place not in person as usual, but over videoconference. While this can be sad for the average person, it can be actively challenging for people with hearing loss.

For starters, device speakers usually distort sound and speech, making videoconferencing conversations harder to follow for people with hearing loss. Then there are the inevitable audio and video transmission lags – needless to say, a safe family gathering can come at the cost of accessibility. However, if you have hearing loss, you can more easily enjoy your holiday videoconference celebrations by following the below six tips.

1. Ask videoconference participants to speak differently

Since videoconference sessions can make it difficult to properly hear and follow conversations, ask your friends and family to speak slowly, enunciate clearly, and introduce the topic to be discussed before the conversation begins. For example, if your cousin is telling you about their new baby, have them slowly and clearly say, “I’m telling everyone about my baby now” before actually doing so. With this background information and slow, clear speech, you’ll have an easier time deciphering words and filling in blanks.

2. Sit near your WiFi router

Audiovisual disruptions that make it harder to understand videoconferencing conversations, such as lagging video or audio, may occur less frequently if you sit near your WiFi router. The closer you are to your router, the more stable your device’s connection to your video call. This stability means fewer instances of slowed, distorted speech, plus clearer visuals for easier lip reading.

3. Louder isn’t always better

If you’re struggling to hear the people speaking on your videoconference, you might be tempted to raise your device’s volume. This is often a mistake. Increasing the volume can further distort speech, so instead of loud, clear audio, you might get loud, distorted audio – and that will only prove worse for your hearing.

4. Use your hearing aid’s Bluetooth connectivity

If your hearing aid has Bluetooth® capabilities, you can connect it directly to smartphones, laptops, and other devices. With this connection, you’ll have your videoconference’s audio transmitted directly into your ear, increasing the chances that you’ll hear everything clearly. And it’s not just about your hearing aid: Your video device likely includes accessibility features that can help improve your comprehension as well.

5. If you don’t have Bluetooth, optimize your location

Not all hearing aids are equipped with Bluetooth. If that’s the case for your hearing aids, choosing an appropriate room for your call – and a proper location within that room – can make hearing easier. Choose a quiet room lacking background noise like a TV or a fan, and make space for yourself in a corner to improve your acoustics. Since walls and ceilings guide sound waves to corners, you may hear better seated in your room’s corner than in its center or along an edge.

6. Prepare your hearing aids and software

Both your videoconferencing device and, if Bluetooth-equipped, your hearing aid may need software updates. Check whether this is the case a few days before your call, and update your devices as needed. You can seek assistance from a professional if you have questions.

You can also get professional assistance with another two important pre-videoconferencing tasks for your hearing aids: cleaning and adjusting. Check whether your hearing aids are in warranty, and then contact your audiologist or hearing aid specialist – such as us here at I Love Hearing – to book an appointment.

Prepare for your holiday videoconferences with I Love Hearing

Even if your hearing aids are NOT in warranty, you can make an appointment with I Love Hearing to update your device software and clean and adjust your hearing aids – and that’s not all. We can also set your hearing aids to better equip you to understand speech impeded by a mask, and we’re offering risk-free take home trials on new hearing aids as well.

If you’re interested in starting your trial before your holiday videoconferences, visit I Love Hearing for an initial appointment, fitting, and tuning. Try your new hearing aids in different situations, and then, after your trial run, return to our offices to tell us how your trial went and make additional adjustments. Book your appointment now at the I Love Hearing location most convenient for you – whether East Meadow, New Hyde Park, Port Washington, or Manhattan’s Upper East Side – to ensure a crystal-clear, memorable holiday season.

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Things you should never do when cleaning your hearing aids

Cleaning hearing aids

A brush and a wax pick can help to clean your hearing aids, but these items aren’t household staples that you’ll readily have on hand. It might be tempting to forgo your specialized hearing aid cleaning tools in favor of cotton swabs, pen caps, and other similarly-slender objects, but doing so is ill-advised.

Since moisture can damage many hearing aids, be sure to never use rubbing alcohol or any other cleaning solutions unless instructed to do so by your hearing aid specialist. Even liquids that specify hearing aid compatibility are not necessary and should be avoided, as you can easily clear your hearing aid with the help of solid objects such as your wax pick and brush. Some hearing aids, CAN tolerate water, but it’s always best to confirm with a professional before doing so.

When gently wiping your hearing aids free of any blockage, only use a cleaning cloth designated for hearing aids, or a tissue with no additives such as lotions or aloe. You should also take care to avoid wiping debris and blockage into your hearing aids’ microphone parts from another region of the hearing aids.

How to care for your hearing aids after you clean them

Cleaning your hearing aids is vital for making sure that you hear well, but it’s only effective if you care for your hearing aids after you clean them (and before, too). Your primary concern should be avoiding moisture contact, so remember to remove your hearing aids before you shower or wash your face. You should also remove them when using hair and skin sprays and gels that could potentially come in contact with your ears.

Moisture avoidance doesn’t necessarily end with preventing direct water contact. If you live in a humid environment, sweat often, or walk through a rainstorm without an umbrella or a hat, your hearing aids can easily be exposed to excess moisture. Hearing aid dehumidifiers such as desiccant jars and dry & store units can help you continue to care for your hearing aids after you clean them.

You should also store your hearing aids properly when not in use. Keep them out of reach of children or pets when airing them out overnight after cleaning, as the batteries can be poisonous if swallowed.

When leaving hearing aids unused overnight, remove the batteries and keep the battery compartment open overnight to dry. If your hearing aid uses rechargeable batteries, follow your manufacturer’s instructions for docking and recharging.

We hope you enjoyed reading this series on properly cleaning your hearing aids. If you missed any of the previous posts, you can find them here:

How Do You Clean Hearing Aids?

Step By Step Instructions For Cleaning Hearing Aids

How To Clean Popular Hearing Aid Brands

Learn more about hearing aid care with I Love Hearing

Cleaning your hearing aids is only a small part of ensuring that your devices are working properly and will last for years. At I Love Hearing, our leadership team has in-depth experience working hands-on with all major hearing aid brands, so we can advise you on cleaning and maintenance best practices.

Unlike many hearing aid providers that only sell and repair one brand, we carry and repair nearly every hearing aid brand available in the U.S., and particularly in New York City and Long Island. We offer hearing aid fitting, hearing aid repair, ear wax management, and other services that can help you to keep your hearing aids working like they’re brand new year after year. Our team of licensed audiologists and hearing aid specialists operates from offices located throughout the greater New York metro area: in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and throughout Long Island, including Port Washington, New Hyde Park, East Meadow, and Great Neck.

If you have more questions about hearing aid fitting or hearing aid repair, visit the I Love Hearing FAQ page about hearing aids. And if you still have questions, we’d love to help you:  Contact us to book an appointment and start your hearing aid journey.

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How to clean popular hearing aid brands

Chart of popular hearing aid brands

Each hearing aid model and brand differs. Instructions for cleaning may change from brand to brand. Always consult the owner’s manual of your particular style, brand, and model before cleaning. Below are the recommended hearing aid cleaning instructions from several popular hearing aid brands.

Oticon

Oticon advises that you clean its hearing aids daily using a soft, dry cloth. Be sure your hands are dry before cleaning. Oticon advises against using water or other substances to clean its hearing aids. Additionally, Oticon suggests clearing its hearing aids above a soft surface such as a towel so damage is avoided if you accidentally drop your hearing aids while cleaning. Oticon recommends that its customers clean their hearing aids using a multi-tool.

Starkey

Whereas many hearing loss professionals recommend nighttime cleaning and overnight airing, Starkey suggests cleaning your hearing aids every morning. Starkey advises morning cleanings using a cleaning cloth because earwax dries overnight and can thus be easier to remove in the morning. Starkey also stresses that hearing aid users should take care not to wipe microphone port debris into other openings and vice versa.

Many Starkey hearing aids include a thin tube or earmold. In this case, Starkey says that users should use the cleaning tool provided for these parts regularly so that wax buildup is minimized.

Widex

Widex hearing aids come with a tool that assists with cleaning the sound outlet, vent, and microphone opening. This tool should be used in combination with a soft, dry cloth to clean your hearing aids. Like Starkey, Widex suggests leaving earwax to dry overnight so that you can remove it more easily with your brush.

For ITE hearing aids (Widex uses the abbreviation CIC or “Completely In Canal”) that have a vent tube, Widex offers detailed cleaning instructions. Widex hearing aid users should remove the battery and insert a specialized ball-tip tool into the vent to remove wax buildup from the opening.

Phonak

Phonak emphasizes washing and drying your hands before you clean your hearing aids so that you don’t introduce any moisture or debris. If your hearing aids do come into contact with moisture, Phonak recommends drying them immediately with a soft, dry cloth.

Phonak recommends checking your hearing aids daily for earwax deposits and clear them using the appropriate brush. If you notice a consistent decrease in volume, your earwax filter may be blocked, and though you can replace this filter yourself, it is recommended that you visit a hearing aid specialist such as I Love Hearing for professional assistance and repair.

For its BTE hearing aids, Phonak recommends that users separate the earpiece from the hearing aid prior to cleaning. Only the earpiece can come in contact with water, and this tube should be dried using only an air puffer that your hearing loss professional gives you.

In the last post in this series, we’ll talk about what you should NEVER do when cleaning your hearing aids.

Learn more about hearing aid care with I Love Hearing

Cleaning your hearing aids is only a small part of ensuring that your devices are working properly and will last for years. At I Love Hearing, our leadership team has in-depth experience working hands-on with all major hearing aid brands, so we can advise you on cleaning and maintenance best practices.

Unlike many hearing aid providers that only sell and repair one brand, we carry and repair nearly every hearing aid brand available in the U.S., and particularly in New York City and Long Island. We offer hearing aid fitting, hearing aid repair, ear wax management, and other services that can help you to keep your hearing aids working like they’re brand new year after year. Our team of licensed audiologists and hearing aid specialists operates from offices located throughout the greater New York metro area: in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and throughout Long Island, including Port Washington, New Hyde Park, East Meadow, and Great Neck.

If you have more questions about hearing aid fitting or hearing aid repair, visit the I Love Hearing FAQ page about hearing aids. And if you still have questions, we’d love to help you:  Contact us to book an appointment and start your hearing aid journey.

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Step by step instructions for cleaning hearing aids

Instructions for how to clean hearing aids

With these step by step instructions for cleaning hearing aids, you’ll be prepared to safely clean your hearing aids, no matter which type of hearing aid model you wear. The instructions differ depending on whether you wear ITE (in-the-ear) hearing aids or BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids. Read on to learn how to clean either hearing aid type.

Steps for cleaning your ITE hearing aids

1. Remove your hearing aids and place them on a paper towel, paper plate, or other surface that can catch debris.

2. Using your brush, clear your hearing aids’ openings, including the microphone port, of earwax and other blockages. You should hold the opening that you’re cleaning facing downward so that, as you brush your hearing aid, the blockage falls out instead of getting further lodged in.

3. After you brush your hearing aids, examine the openings you’ve attempted to clear for any remaining wax or blockages. If you find any remaining debris, use your wax pick to gently wrestle this blockage free from your hearing aids.

4. Complete your hearing aid cleaning by wiping your hearing aid with an approved cloth. Make sure the cloth is dry so that you don’t expose your hearing aid to damaging moisture.

Steps for cleaning your BTE hearing aids

1. Remove your hearing aids and place them on a paper towel, paper plate, or other surface that can catch debris.

2. Remove your BTE hearing aid’s earmold from its hook to clean both pieces separately.

3. Begin cleaning your BTE hearing aids with a gentle cloth wipe-down.

4. Use an approved brush to remove wax.

5. Unlike with ITE hearing aids, a BTE earmold can handle warm, soapy water once per week. Soak your BTE hearing aids’ earmolds in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. (Never use rubbing alcohol or other household cleaning solutions on your hearing aids.)

6. Dry your earmolds completely overnight.

7. Use a bulb blower to push water out of your BTE hearing aid’s tubing. Let the tubing dry overnight.

8. Once all components are dry, reassemble your hearing aids.

NOTE: Before using water or any liquid-based cleaner, you should check with a hearing aid professional or audiologist.

In our next post, we’ll talk about some of the most popular hearing aid brands and some tips for cleaning them.

Learn more about hearing aid care with I Love Hearing

Cleaning your hearing aids is only a small part of ensuring that your devices are working properly and will last for years. At I Love Hearing, our leadership team has in-depth experience working hands-on with all major hearing aid brands, so we can advise you on cleaning and maintenance best practices.

Unlike many hearing aid providers that only sell and repair one brand, we carry and repair nearly every hearing aid brand available in the U.S., and particularly in New York City and Long Island. We offer hearing aid fitting, hearing aid repair, ear wax management, and other services that can help you to keep your hearing aids working like they’re brand new year after year. Our team of licensed audiologists and hearing aid specialists operates from offices located throughout the greater New York metro area: in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and throughout Long Island, including Port Washington, New Hyde Park, East Meadow, and Great Neck. If you have more questions about hearing aid fitting or hearing aid repair, visit the I Love Hearing FAQ page about hearing aids. And if you still have questions, we’d love to help you:  Contact us to book an appointment and start your hearing aid journey.

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How do you clean hearing aids?

Cleaning a hearing aid

Hearing aids have given countless people their hearing back, but they’re not foolproof instruments. They need to be maintained properly to function properly, and regular cleaning is a key part of that process. Thankfully, cleaning hearing aids is a process you can do safely at home. Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning hearing aids.

Why do hearing aids need to be cleaned?

Inevitably, your hearing aids will encounter earwax and moisture from your ear canal, and these substances can interfere with your hearing aids’ functioning. Moisture buildup can be easier to avoid if you remove your hearing aids while showering, washing your face, or using hair sprays, gels, or other products, but earwax buildup is all but guaranteed.

Earwax tends to accumulate in places on your hearing aid that must remain unobstructed, such as from where sounds emerge. Earwax buildup can lead to muffling or distortion. Earwax that sits in these spaces for long periods without being cleaned can permanently damage your hearing aids, so regular cleaning is vital for the health of the device.

How often should I clean my hearing aids?

You may be surprised to learn that your hearing aids benefit greatly from daily cleaning. Cleaning your hearing aids before you go to sleep each night is key to clear hearing. Nighttime cleaning ensures that your hearing aids have the proper time to dry before reinserting them the next morning.

Do you need special tools to clean your hearing aids?

It is recommended that you use tools designed for the purpose of cleaning hearing aids. Hearing aid cleaning kits are available for purchase online. Some hearing aids come with cleaning tools. These specialized hearing aid cleaning tools include a wax pick and a brush to gently clear the hearing aids of wax. Some hearing aid manufacturers also recommend buying a multi-tool for cleaning your hearing aids.

Additionally, the type of tool needed may vary depending on the hearing aid model. For example, if you use BTE (behind the ear) hearing aids, you’ll need a bulb blower to clean your hearing aids. With ITE (in-the-ear) hearing aids, you will want to keep them as far away from moisture as possible.

In our next post on this topic we’ll talk about how to clean these different types of hearing aids.

Learn more about hearing aid care with I Love Hearing

Cleaning your hearing aids is only a small part of ensuring that your devices are working properly and will last for years. At I Love Hearing, our leadership team has in-depth experience working hands-on with all major hearing aid brands, so we can advise you on cleaning and maintenance best practices.

Unlike many hearing aid providers that only sell and repair one brand, we carry and repair nearly every hearing aid brand available in the U.S., and particularly in New York City and Long Island. We offer hearing aid fitting, hearing aid repair, ear wax management, and other services that can help you to keep your hearing aids working like they’re brand new year after year. Our team of licensed audiologists and hearing aid specialists operates from offices located throughout the greater New York metro area: in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and throughout Long Island, including Port Washington, New Hyde Park, East Meadow, and Great Neck.

If you have more questions about hearing aid fitting or hearing aid repair, visit the I Love Hearing FAQ page about hearing aids. And if you still have questions, we’d love to help you:  Contact us to book an appointment and start your hearing aid journey.

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Covid-19 Safety Protocols

We are committed to keeping our patients healthy and continue to monitor the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation daily.  The safety of our patients and staff has always been, and will always be, our number one priority.

Even before this outbreak it has been our practice to wipe down all surfaces and equipment between patients and clean our office and sanitize our tools regularly. Now, we are adding the following changes to our clinic sanitation plan:

– Per company policy, masks are REQUIRED upon entry – we have disposable masks available if you do not have one.

– If you choose not to wear a face covering, we are still offering Curbside Service for you from the safety of your own vehicle.

– Rearranging our office so that social distancing can be maintained throughout your visit.

– Added signage and markers to keep you informed and safe.

– We schedule our appointments to limit the number of patients in the facility at any given time.

– We have removed unnecessary objects and paper products.

– We have Personal Protective Equipment for our staff to keep you and our team safe.

– We utilize curb side services and virtual connections are available when booking an appointment.

We are following local, national and international authorities to stay informed of all applicable guidelines. These authorities include various local governments, the United States Center for Disease Control and  the World Health Organization.  We encourage everyone to take a few simple steps to better avoid the spread of this virus, including:

– Handle your own hearing aids and avoid others touching them as much as possible.

– Sanitize your hearing aids regularly.

– Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water.

– Avoid unnecessary contact with others.

– Practice social distancing.

– Avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth.

– Cleaning all common surfaces including your phone/tablet regularly.

We are proud to serve you and the entire community with better hearing and look forward to continuing the work of helping to connect you to those you love. There has never been a more important time to be able to hear and connect to those around you.

If you would like to schedule an in-person or virtual appointment, please visit our contact page or call the Long Island or Manhattan location that is closest to you.

Upper East Side: 212-433-2723 | Port Washington: 516-588-6471 | New Hyde Park: 516-588-6742 | East Meadow: 516-260-5950

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Hearing Aid Styles, Explained

Hearing aids can help to address hearing loss for almost all people who have it, but they are not all the same. Several hearing aid styles are available to address diverse types of hearing challenges. The hearing aid style best for one person may not be right for another, so how can you know which is best for you? Read on to find out.

What are hearing aids?

Hearing aids are battery-powered or rechargeable devices that combat hearing loss. They amplify sound for the wearer, making it easier to hear and process sounds in a wide range of scenarios. Hearing aids either fit inside the ear canal or lie just outside the ear.

How do hearing aids work?

Hearing aids use a microphone to capture incoming sounds. The microphone then transmits these sounds to the amplifier, which makes them louder before they reach the speaker. Finally, the speaker directs these louder sounds toward your ear for auditory processing.

Common hearing aid features

In addition to amplifying sound, hearing aids may include several state-of-the-art features such as:

Conversion of incoming sounds to digital signals to reduce feedback and background noise

Directional microphones that focus on amplifying sound originating from where you’re facing, which helps with understanding conversations

Multi-channel equalizers that allow you to switch your hearing aid settings depending on your location and the decibel levels around you

Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth™ and telecoil connectivity for use with smartphones, laptops, televisions, and hearing loops in large venues and religious locations

Binaural processing so your two hearing aids can communicate with each other and balance their incoming signals for a more realistic hearing experience

Automatic programming and artificial intelligence that respond to and adjust incoming audio to fit your listening habits

Who uses hearing aids?

Some may assume that hearing aids are exclusively for the elderly, but they can be valuable tools for anyone at any age who experiences hearing loss for a wide range of reasons. Across all ages, one in every eight people experiences at least some amount of hearing loss, and all these people may be candidates for hearing aids. Hearing loss can result from regular exposure to everyday noise such as high-volume headphone usage or sudden exposure to loud noises such as fireworks or jet flyovers. It can also accompany traumatic brain injuries or diseases and illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, influenza, mumps, and rubella. Additionally, people who experience tinnitus may use hearing aids to hear better over the intrusive sounds that tinnitus presents.

Are hearing aids rechargeable?

Although traditional hearing aids are not rechargeable, many newer models contain lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that recharge just like a smartphone or a pair of wireless headphones. Many come with a dedicated case for charging them. Each charge, on average lasts for about one day of use. These batteries cannot be removed without the help of a hearing aid specialist.

Traditional hearing aids may be outfitted with button batteries that are rechargeable. Consult the battery brand’s specifics for more information.

How long do hearing aid batteries last?

Disposable zinc-air button batteries last between three and 20 days. Rechargeable, removable batteries can last six months to one year, and the non-removable batteries inside rechargeable hearing aids can last as long as five years.

How many different hearing aid styles are there?

The two major categories of hearing aid styles are in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. There are four additional subtypes of ITE hearing aids: Invisible in the canal (IIC), completely in the canal (CIC), in-the-canal (ITC), and low-profile. BTE hearing aids have two subtypes too: Receiver in the ear (RITE) and behind the ear with earmold.

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid styles

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid styles sit entirely inside the ear canal. These types of hearing aids are less detectable to others. The subcategories of ITE hearing aids are divided based on how deeply in the ear canal they are placed.

Invisible in the canal (IIC) and completely in the canal (CIC)

IIC and CIC hearing aids are very similar. The only difference separating these styles of devices is that an IIC hearing aid is inserted so deep into the ear canal that it’s all but impossible to see from the outside, whereas CIC hearing aids are inserted a bit closer to the ear canal’s opening and can often be seen — but only slightly.

Both IIC and CIC hearing aids are supremely discreet and have high sound quality due to their proximity to the inner ear. However, their small size can prove challenging for people with dexterity issues, as these tiny devices are removed by gently tugging on a small string that is left outside the ear canal. The small size and in-ear location of these devices can also pose challenges for Bluetooth connectivity and avoiding ear wax and moisture exposure.

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

Whereas IIC and CIC hearing aids are placed deep in the ear canal, ITC hearing aids are placed closer to the outer ear but are still in the canal. ITC hearing aids are thus larger than their IIC and CIC counterparts and somewhat less discreet, though they’re still discreet compared to many other hearing aid styles.

Since ITC hearing aids are larger than IIC and CIC hearing aids, they tend to have longer battery life and additional features including manual controls and directional microphones. ITC, IIC, and CIC hearing aids may all struggle with Bluetooth connectivity and ear wax and moisture exposure, but only ITC hearing aids may cause their wearers to feel plugged up.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid styles

Whereas ITE hearing aid styles sit inside the ear canal, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids extend from the ear canal to a portion of the device that’s placed behind the ear. There are two major subcategories of BTE hearing aids.

Receiver in the ear (RITE)

Receiver in the ear (RITE) hearing aids, also known as receiver in canal (RIC) hearing aids, are open-fit models with the speaker located in the ear and the microphone and processor behind the ear. The speaker sits in the ear canal via an insertable ear dome that can be as discreet as IIC and CIC hearing aids. A thin wire connects the speaker to the behind-ear microphone and processor.

A major advantage of RITE hearing aids is that they comprise the vast majority of rechargeable hearing aid styles. RITE hearing aids also tend to excel at Bluetooth and phone connectivity, with telecoil options common in these models. Additionally, your hearing aid specialist can often replace or repair the speaker portion of an RITE hearing aid at their office instead of shipping it to the manufacturer. However, RITE hearing aids may experience similar moisture, ear wax, and dexterity issues to IIC and CIC hearing aids, and the behind-the-ear portion of RITE hearing aids are more conspicuous.

Behind the ear with earmold

Behind the ear with earmold hearing aid styles include the most adaptable, versatile models on the market. The custom-fitted earmold occupies a large portion of the outer ear, and as with RITE hearing aids, a large, visible portion of the hearing aid sits behind the ear.

Behind the ear with earmold hearing aids can be used to address all degrees of hearing loss and are less prone to earwax and moisture damage. Their large size allows for easy wireless connectivity to external devices. Perhaps most importantly, the earmold can easily be replaced and modified to accommodate changes in hearing loss.

As with RITE hearing aids, behind the ear with earmold hearing aids aren’t as discreet as ITE styles since part of the hearing aid lies outside the ear. Like ITC hearing aids, they can make users feel plugged up. And unlike RITE hearing aids, the behind-the-ear portion of behind the ear with earmold hearing aids can limit the space behind the ear available for glasses arms.

Low profile hearing aid styles

Low profile hearing aids both sit in the ear canal and are large enough for uncomplicated insertion and removal. There are two subcategories of low profile hearing aid styles: half-shell models occupy half the bowl (the non-cartilage, non-earlobe part) of the outer ear, whereas full-shell models occupy nearly the entire bowl. 

Whether half-shell or full-shell, low-profile hearing aids are uncomplicated to insert and remove compared to other ITE styles. Their larger size also allows for more features such as Bluetooth connectivity and enhanced user controls. As with larger hearing aids, low profile styles aren’t discreet and can make users feel plugged up.

Open-fit hearing aid styles

Open-fit hearing aid styles include any hearing aids that do not completely block the ear canal. RITE hearing aids are the largest subcategory of open-fit hearing aid styles.

Some hearing aid users may prefer open-fit styles to other options since open fits don’t entirely block the ear canal, so the sensation of being plugged up or perceiving one’s own voice as though from underwater may be minimized. Open-fit hearing aid styles can also perform better when it comes to producing localized sound near the ear and eliminating feedback. They also tend to be discreet. However, open-fit hearing aid styles may struggle to accommodate directional microphones and noise-reducing and audio compression technologies.

How do you know which model is right for you?

You can’t know which model is right for you until speaking with a hearing aid specialist and trying the hearing aid in question. 

Whereas many hearing aid specialists sell a limited number of hearing aid brands, at I Love Hearing, we sell almost any brand you can name. At our practice, you can always try your hearing aids before you buy them. Once you’ve decided which hearing aid is right for you, we’ll fit your hearing aid and send you on your way. And if you ever have hearing aid concerns or need repairs, we’re happy to see you again and fix your hearing aids on-site. Contact us today to book an appointment – with five offices in Manhattan and the Long Island area, we’re easy to reach.