Blog

News and Events

Hear in Pink

Posted by Admin |

Hearing Aids

How to Keep Your Ears Clean

Posted by Admin |

Hearing Loss

Tinnitus: what you need to know

Posted by Admin |

Hear in Pink

Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer that affects American women. This is an important statistic to Oticon, and to us. Because we care so much about this particular topic, we want to join with Oticon to help raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. Last year, they were able to raise $100,000 to support non-profit breast cancer organizations. This year, they are donating funds raised to the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC).

For the months of September and October, Oticon is once again donating proceeds from a portion of all sales of the special edition pink Oticon Opn™ and all Oticon Opn hearing aids to NBCC to help find a cure.

This is exciting because you have the opportunity to upgrade your device and raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness all at the same time.

But why switch to Oticon Opn anyway?

Oticon Opn is a revolutionary device that lets you hear everything around you. Traditional hearing devices only focus on the sounds right in front of you. So, if you aren’t looking in the right direction, you will be missing something.

Additionally, Oticon Opn processes sounds faster, gives you better speech understanding and makes it generally easier to listen. Without the extra effort to actually hear what’s going on, your brain has more of a chance to actually remember what you heard.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a new device, why not now?

Give us a call and schedule an assessment.  Any Oticon Opn device you choose will help the cause.

We can’t wait to help you gain a better hearing lifestyle.  Here at Treasure Valley Hearing & Balance,  we are committed to better hearing and committed to you! Contact us today and schedule an appointment.

Posted by Admin

How to Keep Your Ears Clean

What is earwax – and how can I safely clean it?

First of all, earwax is natural and necessary – our ears evolved that way for a reason.

Earwax acts as a natural lubricant that protects the sensitive skin in the ear canal. It also creates a natural barrier that prevents dirt and foreign objects from reaching the eardrum.

What’s more, earwax is a key component of the ear’s self-cleaning mechanism. As skin inside the ear canal grows outwards, it carries earwax with it. During this process earwax captures dirt and dead skin, this all naturally exits the ear together with the wax.

If you find it annoying, chewing and yawning also help to move the wax outwards along your ear canal.

Tips on cleaning ears safely

Remember—we need earwax as protection for the eardrum. So, you shouldn’t clean it too much. It just isn’t necessary. It is safe to wipe away visible excess earwax using a wet cloth. But do not use swabs to remove wax (or anything else) from your ears.

Do you know the saying, “don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear?” It’s true. You shouldn’t stick anything in your ear canal. While many people may think are safe to clean your ear, Q-tips™ or Cotton Buds™ are definitely a bad idea for wax removal! Why not?

  • They can scratch and inflame the sensitive skin inside the ear canal, leaving it open to infections.
  • They also can push debris farther in the ear canal, rather than drawing it outward.
  • Swabs are not suitable to remove anything from the ear.

If you think you have a blockage in your ear canal, have a foreign object in the ear or think you are experiencing excessive wax, consult a hearing care expert for specialist cleaning.

How should I clean my children’s ears?

The same way you clean your own ears: minimally and without sticking anything into the ear. Although some companies market cotton swabs for children’s use, or even designed not to go far into the ear canal, these are still abrasive, so we don’t recommend them. Our professionals recommend you use a wet cloth to wipe out earwax only from the outer part of the ear.

Can wax block your ears?

Ironically, yes. Often when people try to clean their ears by sticking things in them to clean them, they actually push the wax inwards and create a blockage. Pushing the wax too far in the canal can force it beyond where the skin grows outwards, so it gets stuck. Eventually, this wax can become compacted, leading to hearing loss.

Addressing excessive earwax

In general, our ears produce the appropriate amount of wax to stay clean. However, some people do experience excessive earwax. Over-cleaning can cause this, as the ear produces more wax that it needs in an effort to re-establish an appropriate amount. Sometimes, however, medical conditions can cause the ear to produce too much wax. If you feel you have too much wax, please come see us and we will assess them and help you clean them.

Earwax and hearing aids

Sometimes, hearing aids may contribute to the perception that people have too much earwax, as they sit in the ear canal and prevent it coming out naturally. Most hearing aids have wax filters for this purpose which need to be changed regularly.

Get a professional’s help

At Treasure Valley Hearing & Balance Clinic, Inc. we can teach you safe methods for handling earwax in the ear and on your hearing device. We serve people across the region. To schedule an appointment, call 208.549.5431.

Posted by Admin

Tinnitus: what you need to know

Keys to understanding that ringing, hissing, chirping and whooshing.

Often referred to as ‘ringing in the ears’, tinnitus can be many different types of sound such as hissing, chirping or whooshing. This is because it is a symptom of damage or dysfunction inside the hearing system. There are many possible causes, one of which is exposure to loud noise.

Tinnitus often accompanies hearing loss

More than 80% of people with tinnitus also experience some degree of hearing loss. However, many sufferers are often unaware that they likely have issues with their hearing, even if they notice symptoms such as buzzing. Fortunately, experts can treat both conditions.

Why do our brains ‘invent’ noises that aren’t there?

Experts don’t know exactly what causes us to hear sound these phantom sounds. Many suspect that it happens when the auditory system reacts to damage by trying to compensate for missing signals. However, some people who experience tinnitus don’t have hearing loss indicating additional causes of tinnitus.

Although there is no known cure for tinnitus, these tips can bring relief:

  • Ensure auditory stimulation—Make sure you can hear well by adopting hearing aids if necessary. This can help to minimize the appearance of your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Get quality sleep—If you don’t get enough sleep, your blood circulation can be reduced, which affects both hearing loss and tinnitus. In addition, using an extra pillow to keep your head raised can reduce congestion, which can help.
  • Eat and drink healthily—Alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, and artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame) may all negatively contribute to hearing loss.

Importantly, how you feel has a big effect on how annoying you find tinnitus. Reducing the impact is therefore often about reducing how much you notice it.

The best first step you can take is to visit a hearing care expert.

Get effective tinnitus treatment

There are several ways to reduce your symptoms, although there is no actual cure. Some people play white noise (sound that has no discernible features) as a first step toward relief. This background noise helps to mask the phantom sounds, helping distract the brain while they fall asleep.

Increasingly, hearing aids are incorporating such technologies. Hearing care experts can program newer models to match your tinnitus symptoms, giving you a range of relief sounds to choose from whenever you need them.

Talking with experts: How can I explain my symptoms?

We know, it’s not easy to describe noises that only you can hear. But before you visit to your primary care physician or even an an expert in hearing care, it might help you to think about:

  • How long have you experienced tinnitus? Have you noticed problems hearing, too?
  • What does it sound like? High- or low-pitched? Is it loud or soft?
  • Does the sound change throughout the day? Does it get worse at certain times of day or locations?
  • Does it worsen after drinking coffee or alcohol, or being in a noisy environment?
  • Is it in both ears?

How does this happen?

The most common cause of tinnitus is damage to the sensory cells in the cochlea. This is the snail shell-like organ in the inner ear where sounds are converted into electrical signals. Damage to the hair cells here causes tinnitus and hearing loss.

However, middle ear infection, earwax build-up, inflamed blood vessels around the ear, medications and other drugs, and anxiety and stress can all cause symptoms.

Recent research suggests that there may also be a genetic basis, especially in men who have it in both ears.

Can I prevent it?

As with hearing loss, protecting your ears from noise damage is the best way to prevent tinnitus. If you are exposed to excessive noise, try to limit the length of time or move away from the source.

Posted by Admin

Untreated hearing loss and its consequences

Your hearing is important. So, what are you waiting for?

The sooner you take action on hearing loss, the sooner you begin to regain sharpness, confidence and control. Now is the time to end the negative effects of the hearing loss, such as:

  • Dulling of the senses—When you can’t hear what’s going on around you, you lose mental agility. Due to this reduction in aural stimulation over time, your brain’s ability to process sound and recognize speech is impaired. Therefore, the brain doesn’t get the practice that it needs.
  • Mental decline—Research consistently demonstrates the considerable effects that hearing loss has on social, psychological and cognitive performance. Also, it can lead to cognitive decline and dementia.
  • Social isolation—Because conversations are taxing when you struggle to hear, an untreated hearing loss results in a decline in socializing. This can lead to isolation and depression.

The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you feel the improvement

You don’t need to struggle with your hearing. Especially if you or a loved one is experiencing these effects:

  • Insecurity because you can’t hear where sounds come from
  • Loneliness and depression
  • Fatigue and needing to rest after work or social functions
  • Challenges remembering what people say in meetings or social gatherings
  • Difficulties picking out individual conversations when at gatherings with several other people
  • Decreased quality of life

Remember: Hearing loss affects not only the sufferer but also the sufferer’s family, colleagues and friends. That’s why it’s important to seek help if you notice signs of hearing loss in yourself or in a loved one.

Our hearing care experts stand ready to help

If your vision were bothering you, wouldn’t you see the optician? If you had a tooth problem, you would go to the dentist. Don’t let misunderstandings about your hearing prevent you from seeing a hearing care specialist. The team at Treasure Valley Hearing & Balance is happy to walk you through the process to regaining control and improving your quality of life. So make an appointment* today.

Posted by Admin

Recharge Your Hearing!

Extraordinary sound quality meets
ZPower™ rechargeable convenience.

Get details

Schedule an appointment

Free hearing assessment

Request Appointment

Convenient, low monthly payments

Do you have concerns about your hearing? We have options for financing.

Learn more

Live life without limits

You deserve solutions tailored to your lifestyle. Whether you are an athlete or a bookworm – you can achieve optimal hearing.

Get started