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How do you know which hearing aids to choose?

If you have hearing loss, your hearing professional may have recommended that you wear hearing aids. Your journey with hearing aids starts with you choosing your devices. But with so many hearing aids out there, especially with over-the-counter devices now available, how do you know which type of hearing aids to pick? Here are a few things to consider as you select your hearing aids.
Hearing Loss
Many people have hearing loss, but no two people have the exact same hearing loss. Your hearing is unique and your hearing aids should be chosen with your specific hearing loss in mind. Talk to your hearing aid professional about your hearing loss and the types of hearing aids they recommend for your individual hearing needs.
One tip to keep in mind: get hearing aids for both ears. Even if you only have hearing loss in one ear or hearing loss is more severe in one ear, you should wear hearing aids in both ears.
The size of your hearing aid will play a role in how easy it is for other people to see your hearing aid. If it’s important to you that your hearing aid is nearly invisible, talk to your hearing professional about getting a smaller device.
The size of your hearing aid might depend on more than personal preference. Size can be determined by factors like the shape of your ear, your type of hearing loss, and how advanced you want your hearing aids to be.
Years ago, most hearing aids came in just one style. However, today’s hearing aids come in a wide variety of styles. This includes different sizes, colors, finishes, features, and more. You can decide whether you’re comfortable with a “traditional” looking hearing aid or if you prefer a more modern style.
Again, modern hearing aids come with a wide range of available features. These include technology features like Bluetooth, phone connectivity (if you have a smartphone like an iPhone, Android, or Google phone), connectivity for your TV or computer, control features from a phone app, and more. Talk to your hearing aid professional about how tech-savvy you are and how technologically advanced you want your hearing aids to be. With such a wide range of options, you’re sure to find one that fits your technology needs.
Do you work? Do you enjoy being active? Do you often participate in outdoor activities? Do you use a cell phone? Do you use a landline? Do you use a radio? All of these factors (and more) should be considered when choosing your hearing aids. Your hearing aid professional will be able to recommend hearing aids that best fit your lifestyle and your specific needs.
This might be the elephant in the room: cost. More advanced hearing aids are more expensive, while more basic ones are less expensive. Thankfully, there are effective solutions for any price range. Be open when talking to your hearing professional about the cost you are comfortable with. Many hearing practices can offer payment plans, so ask about that as well.
The bottom line is that choosing hearing aids should take into account several factors—and in the end, the selection is very personalized. The best way to get the best hearing aids for you is to work with a hearing aid professional who can consider all of your needs and desires to help you make the best choice. For more information and to set up your appointment with our hearing professional, we welcome you to contact our office today.

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Does hearing loss have a connection to diabetes?

The human body is amazing. One of the intriguing aspects of how the body works is that everything is connected—and one part affects all of the other parts. Researchers are still learning new ways that various body systems are connected. One connection you may not know about is that hearing loss and diabetes are linked. Here’s how.
How diabetes can contribute to hearing loss
Researchers believe that high blood glucose levels from untreated or poorly managed diabetes can weaken the ear’s blood vessels, as well as the nerve cells (or “hair cells”) in the inner ear. The hair cells rely on good blood circulation, just like other parts of your body. Once the hair cells are damaged or die, your hearing is permanently affected.
Although most people are not aware of the connection between diabetes and hearing loss, studies make it clear that both conditions are common and often go hand-in-hand. One study by the National Institutes of Health revealed that people with diabetes are more than twice as likely to have mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss than those without diabetes.
This finding was confirmed by researchers who conducted a meta-analysis of 13 studies involving more than 20,000 participants. They found that diabetics are more likely to have hearing loss than those without the disease, regardless of age.
How diabetes and balance are connected
Diabetes can affect your balance as well. This is because diabetes can damage small blood vessels in your inner ear and your vestibular system, which is the part of your ear that helps with balance. As a result, you may be at a greater risk for dizziness and falls.
How to protect your hearing
While you cannot stop the connection between diabetes and hearing loss, you can do your part to manage your diabetes and protect your hearing. Here are a few ways you can do so:

  • Control the ABCs of diabetes. These are three key steps to managing your diabetes that can help to lower your risk for heart attack and stroke. Well-controlled diabetes can also lower your risk for hearing loss.
  • Become educated about diabetes. Learning how to control your blood sugar, how to get healthy exercise, and how to eat right can all be helpful in managing your diabetes and preventing associated conditions like hearing loss.
  • Get your hearing tested annually. This is a good idea even if you do not have diabetes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight makes it more difficult for your heart to effectively pump blood throughout your body and provide good circulation, including to your ears.
  • Get active. Even a moderate amount of daily exercise can help to improve circulation and blood flow. Speak with your doctor about what type of exercise is right for you.
  • Protect your ears from excessive noise. If you are in a loud environment like a concert, working with machinery, doing yardwork, or other places where noise may be excessive, wear protective headphones or earplugs. Turn down the volume of the television, car radio, and personal listening devices.

Taking these steps can help you control your diabetes and lower the risk of hearing loss. For more information about the connection between diabetes and hearing loss, we welcome you to contact our practice today.