Why Don’t More People Check Their Hearing on a Regular Basis?

We are always surprised that there are so many people out there who don’t hear well, but also don’t do anything about it. We are curious, why don’t more people get their hearing checked regularly? Is this supposed to be almost a duplicate paragraph of the first one?

We had to investigate:

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that there are 28 million people in the United States who are deaf or hard of hearing.

They also estimate that only about 6 million of those people wear hearing aids. That leaves approximately 22 million people who suffer from hearing loss, but aren’t doing anything about it.

It is entirely possible that they don’t even realize that they aren’t hearing well anymore, and it goes without saying that they obviously are not having their hearing checked regularly, or even at all.

Why? They have to know that they aren’t hearing everything, don’t they?

Actually, they might not. That’s the number one reason that people don’t have their hearing checked; they haven’t yet come to the realization that there is a problem. They aren’t actively refusing – they just legitimately don’t know.

Which brings us to the next reason…active denial.

These folks realize they don’t hear well, but they don’t think it actually affects them or those around them. They may think it’s not bad enough to get checked yet. They may not want to be a burden to their loved ones. They may just be refusing to face facts. In any case, they aren’t quite ready to get checked.

Cost is a large factor for many people.

They don’t think they can afford a hearing assessment and they are worried that the cost of the hearing aids will be more than they can afford. This leads to just ignoring the problem, because what does it matter if you can’t hear if you can’t pay for hearing aids? Additionally, more and more insurance companies are covering part or all of the hearing evaluation – and we do the billing for you!

The good news on this one is that we offer a complimentary initial consultation that includes a free screening.  We will bill your insurance for you. More and more insurance companies are covering part or all of the hearing evaluation.  Last but not least, we offer payment options. We are more than happy to help our clients navigate the entire process, something that not all clinics are able or willing to do.

Vanity is another big factor.

Some people just refuse to wear hearing aids because they imagine the large external devices of the last century. Luckily, there are new devices that are basically undetectable. Come on in, and we can show you just how small they come these days.

For most people, hearing loss is a gradual thing. It starts with needing the television a little louder. Or asking people to repeat themselves.

If you are experiencing this or any other sign that you might not be hearing as well as you used to, please come see us.

We’d love to help you improve your hearing and by extension, your quality of life. Give us a call and schedule a complimentary, initial consultation today.

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

Are Audiobooks Good for the Brain & Your Hearing?

With the prevalence of book clubs, commutes and workouts – there is an ever-increasing rise in the use of Audiobooks. What we are wondering is, are they good for your brain and your hearing?

Here’s what we found.

As far as your hearing goes, listening to audiobooks is the same as listening to anything else. As long as you keep the volume at a reasonable level and give your ears a rest now and then, there is no harm in listening to an audiobook.

But when it comes to brain function – it’s not only NOT harmful, it’s actually very helpful!

It’s a proven fact that listening to audiobooks helps children develop better listening skills, longer attention spans and increases their capacity to focus.

The truth is, though, that it works no matter what age you are.

Wearing hearing aids while listening to an audiobook is an excellent way to work on listening at your own pace.

Audiobooks allow you to multitask.

Now, we are not suggesting that you listen to an audiobook while you do something that requires extreme focus – like brain surgery – but when you are driving, or going for a brisk stroll, why not fill the time with a story or book that might change the way you look at life?

Some people learn better by listening.

Many people are auditory learners – meaning they learn better when they hear than when they see. For this part of the population, hearing a book works better for them than reading it.

It’s easier to imagine when you are listening than when you are reading.

Whether you are deciphering words, or hearing and imagining a picture – your brain is working, so one isn’t necessarily better than the other as far as actual brain function goes. But when it comes to really experiencing a story, hearing it might actually be better.

A study done in the 80’s showed that your brain uses the same function to decipher words as it does to imagine a picture when hearing. This means that when the visual bits of our brain are busy taking in the written word, there’s less of them available for creating an image of the content.

Our point is – you might actually get a better experience from listening to a book than reading.

Back to our original question – Are Audiobooks good for the brain and/or your hearing?

The short answer is that as long as you keep the volume at an acceptable level, it certainly won’t harm your hearing. And as we saw, it can really help both brain function and listening skills. So if you prefer audiobooks, stick with them.

If you are experiencing signs that you might not be hearing those audiobooks as well as you used to, please come see us.

We’d love to help you improve your hearing and by extension, your quality of life. Give us a call and schedule a complimentary, initial consultation today.

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

The Connection Between Migraines and Hearing Loss

According to Migraine.com more than 37 million Americans suffer from migraine, a neurological disease characterized by episodes known as migraine attacks.

If you suffer with them, you know what we mean…sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, nausea, throbbing pain, vertigo and vomiting are all typical symptoms..

But how does that correlate to hearing loss?

Specifically, in a portion of people with migraines, tiny hair cells in the cochlea that move in response to incoming sound vibrations and send sound signals to the brain behave too sluggishly. Further, testing shows some migraine sufferers have problems processing sound on the way to the brain.

The problem here is that those tiny hairs require good circulation to function properly, and the hypothesis is that circulation is compromised during a migraine attack.

Those tiny hairs functioning abnormally can lead to them dying completely and lead to permanent hearing loss.

As it turns out, migraines are associated with both tinnitus AND sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

Tinnitus is the medical term for ringing in the ears. It is both annoying and often maddening condition where you hear sounds in one or both ears that aren’t actual external sounds. “The sounds might be ringing, chirping, machine-like, buzzing, hissing or roaring that aren’t coming from the environment, but originate from within the ear.” (https://www.listen-2-life.com/blog/do-migraine-headaches-increase-the-risk-for-hearing-loss/)

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) is an unexplained, rapid loss of hearing—usually in one ear—either all at once or over several days. About half of people with SSHL will recover some or all of their hearing spontaneously, usually within one to two weeks from onset (https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/sudden-deafness). Immediate medical attention by an ENT is important if this should happen to you.

That same study out of Taiwan shows that people who suffer from migraines are twice as likely to develop SSHL.

So, is any of this preventable? The migraines and/or the hearing loss?

Maybe. As far as the migraines go, the best answer for that lies in the hands of your health care professional. When it comes to your hearing, a visit to your audiologist or hearing care professional is in order.

If you experience sudden hearing loss, you should seek treatment immediately. It may be migraine related – but it could be something else.

We’d love to help you improve your hearing and by extension, your quality of life. Give us a call and schedule an assessment today!

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

What Your Hearing Care Provider Can Do For You

What prevents individuals from achieving better hearing? There are several answers. For many people, hearing loss seems to just sneak up slowly over time. Many do not even realize they have an issue until it becomes significant. And because it isn’t noticed, it isn’t mentioned at an annual physical, and even more time goes by without seeking help. In fact, on average, it takes a person 7-10 years1 to seek help for hearing loss. By the time a person realizes the full impact of hearing loss, they may just want a quick fix to a complicated problem.

Regrettably, many people with hearing loss are lured into the supposedly “cheaper and easier” methods of correcting it, either through the purchase of hearing aids online, choosing a personal sound amplifier, or by visiting big box stores that are much more concerned with profits than patient care. In spite of the allure of these seemingly simple fixes, the fact is that a professional hearing care provider is your best resource to address your hearing healthcare.

What the big boxes and online hearing aid retailers aren’t telling you

Maybe you’ve heard that you can buy hearing aids similar to those from hearing care professionals from the big box stores for little money. These stores are only successful because they can sell a large volume of low-priced goods, often very cheaply, to gain larger revenue. They focus on efficiency, which is a polite way of saying “get as many people in and out the door as rapidly as possible.” Admittedly, this profit-centric model works well for many purchases, because you probably don’t need professional, personalized care to help choose your t-shirts or soap. Customer service simply doesn’t factor in to these types of purchases. But purchasing hearing aids is more complicated; you need a professional to guide you. Your ears deserve individual attention from trained professionals.

Looks can be deceiving

Beware of hearing aids from online retailers. They are probably not the same quality of product, even if they come from the same manufacturer. Models may differ slightly, making them eligible for discounted pricing, without the features that hearing care professionals can offer.

Hearing care experts use a customer-centric business model

Our hearing care providers are completely different. We are not obsessed with short-term profits because we focus on customer care. Have we identified your individual needs and found a solution that suits you? Are you willing to return to us for your future care? Would you refer us to your friends and neighbors? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we have been successful in our approach to care.

We thrive on providing quality care, which benefits both the person with hearing loss as well as our team.

In contrast, what will happen if the big box stores can’t deliver quality care and happy customers? They will push more advertising to increase their flow of new customers, offering the same “quick and cheap fix” that lured the original customers.

Because individuals experience hearing differently, it’s important to choose your hearing care provider wisely

Hearing is complex; like our fingerprints, everyone’s hearing is unique. So the frequencies your friend may hear well could be the same ones that you can’t hear. In other words, you can’t just take the surrounding sound, make it all louder, pump it into your ears and expect good results. But this is in essence what personal sound amplifiers and over-the-counter hearing aid models do.

The truth is, the sounds your hearing aids amplify — AND the sounds they don’t — must complement the way you, and only you, hear. Hearing care professionals accomplish this through:

  • Assessing* your hearing to learn the EXACT nature of your hearing loss
  • Understanding the variety of hearing aids and their individual capabilities (as well as what they cannot do)
  • Identifying what works for your needs
  • Fitting and programming your hearing aids to boost the sounds you have difficulty hearing, while identifying and repressing the sounds you don’t want to hear (such as low-frequency background noise)
  • Providing follow-up care, especially in the first few weeks when the device is new and may need further adjustments

For the hearing care provider, acquiring this knowledge requires a lot of instruction and patient care experience. This is how we can conduct the appropriate assessment* to help patients pick the right hearing aid, professionally program the hearing aids and provide the coaching and aftercare necessary for optimal hearing. We don’t cut corners in providing comprehensive hearing care. That is why the results are well worth your time and effort.

Make the right choice for you

Who do you trust with your hearing? Someone who views you only as a transaction, consumer or a means to reaching sales targets? Or do you trust an experienced hearing professional who cares about the same thing you do — attaining the best hearing possible? We think the decision is easy: relationships are the lifeblood of successful hearing care.

Still have questions?

We welcome you to call (208) 519-4552 to make an appointment today. Hearing starts with a conversation. Our friendly team is there for you throughout the process of identifying your needs, finding the right hearing aid (if that’s right for you), fitting, adjusting and following up with you. Your hearing satisfaction is our goal – and we measure our success through your wellness.

Posted by Admin

Recharge Your Hearing!

Extraordinary sound quality meets ZPower™ rechargeable convenience

Read more
+See terms for 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