Oticon and iOS 11


If you are an iPhone user and have recently upgraded to the latest operating system, iOS 11, you may need to make some adjustments in order for your phone to work the best with your Oticon hearing device.

First you will need to unpair your hearing aids from your phone.

2. GENERAL - Make sure Bluetooth is on.
5. Click on the screen where it says their NAME & DEVICE NAME

To Re-pair your devices:

7. Press the back arrow to HEARING DEVICES. Turn HDs on/off. Wait until they turn back on and once again click on HEARING DEVICES. 
8. When a pop-up that asks if you want to pair the hearing device, click PAIR. It should happen twice if you are pairing two devices. 

A checkmark should appear next to your hearing aids if you are connected.

Click here for additional information. 

If you have questions or would like assistance, please contact our office or stop by during our walk-in hours over the lunch hour.

How to Encourage Someone to Have Their Hearing Tested


If you have someone in your life who has shown signs of experiencing hearing loss, it's a good idea to get their hearing tested. Symptoms of hearing loss can be signs of additional undiagnosed medical conditions. The challenges are that people do not often realize that they are experiencing hearing issues. The first people to notice hearing challenges are their family members and close friends. The question then, of course, becomes how to encourage someone to get their hearing tested. Here are a few things to say to someone to encourage them to take that first step.

1. Annual hearing tests are for everyone. 

Hearing exams are no different than eye exams. Knowing your baseline is a great way to measure whether or not you experience changes. Hearing loss can often times happen gradually, and you may not notice changes. That is something an audiologist can monitor and stay on top of.

Maybe even schedule an appointment for yourself. Going with a friend always takes some of the pressure off and can make the person feel less anxious.

2. If you don't do it now, it will only get worse.

While hearing loss can't be reversed, in some instances it can be stopped or slowed with proper diagnosis and treatment. The longer someone goes without treatment, the degree of the hearing loss can worsen and cause further issues like isolation and depression.

3. Let them know how the hearing issues have been affecting you.

Many times people don't realize what an impact their untreated hearing loss has on the other people in their lives. If they realize that sometimes it's frustrating to have to repeat yourself over and over, or that not being understood is having an impact on your relationship, they may be more apt to get tested. 

4. Sometimes hearing aids aren't always the answer.

Some people who have been experience the signs of hearing loss or who struggle in certain situations actually have excess wax or other issues that do not require a hearing aid. Only your audiologist can determine what exactly is causing the hearing issues and can recommend the right treatment.

5. But if hearing loss is present, today's hearing aids are worlds apart from what they used to be.

Today's hearing devices come in many different sizes and styles depending on the patient's needs. Some are rechargeable devices that do not use traditional batteries. Some can connect with your smartphone and TV. Others are virtually invisible and aren't detectable at all. Hearing aids also come in many price ranges. With many financing plans available, there are options for everyone.

The key is getting people to get tested in the first place. We hope that the stigma of hearing loss and hearing aids can be eliminated as we start realizing how much hearing is a part of our overall health. We get our vision checked when we can't see. It's important that we treat our sense of hearing the same.

Coffee and Conversation


At Complete Hearing, we want to make sure that you are as informed as possible about your hearing and your overall hearing health. Introducing, Coffee and Conversation, a monthly opportunity for you to find out more about educational topics concerning your hearing, hearing devices and how your hearing can affect your health and wellbeing.

Sessions will be held at Complete Hearing on the first Thursday of every month at 9:30 a.m. Because space is limited, we do ask that you make a reservation by calling us at 402.489.4418 or emailing hello@complete-hearing.com

We look forward to sharing with you and welcoming you to the conversation!

10/5: Dementia, Depression, and Hearing Loss

11/2: 10 Things to Know Before Buying a Hearing Aid

12/7: Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids: Is This a Good Solution?

1/4: Louder Isn't Always Better

2/1: That Sound Inside My Head: Ringing, Buzzing, and Tinnitus

3/1: Hearing Protection

4/5: Caring for Those With Hearing Loss

5/3: Managing Wax Build Up Without Q-Tips

6/7: Summer Care For Your Hearing Aids

7/5: Healthy Habits to Fight Hearing Loss

8/2: Are Hearing Aids Right For Me?

Autumn Decibel Levels


Rustling leaves, the cracking of  bonfires ... the sounds of autumn are what make the season so enchanting. Fall is also a time for very loud sounds and noises that can impact your hearing. 

Noise induced hearing loss occurs when listening to loud sounds over 85 decibels over an extended period of time. The louder the decibel level the less time you can listen safely. Listening to anything over 85 decibels will begin to damage your hearing after listening for eight hours. 100 decibels will cause damage after 15 minutes. Anything over 115 decibels will cause immediate damage.

Here are some of the sounds of fall and their decibel levels to be aware of.

Football game: 80-90 decibels (We bet it gets a bit louder in Memorial Stadium.)
Leaf Blower: 102 decibels
Chainsaws/woodchippers: 100-110 decibels
Rifle hunting: 150 decibels - can cause immediate damage to your hearing.

Noise induced hearing loss is cumulative. A little bit here. A little bit there. Over time, it can make a difference. Once hearing loss is present, permanent damage has likely occurred. 

The good news is that there is hearing protection that can be worn to prevent some of this damage from happening. Inexpensive foam ear plugs will reduce some of the damage. Custom ear protection, however, will do a more efficient job and allow you to hear conversation and other sounds that you want to hear. 

Talk to your audiologist about ways to protect your hearing and what products are right for you and your lifestyle. Protect yourself, protect your hearing, and protect the sounds of fall.

Hearing Loss in the Workplace


Good communication skills are imperative to everyday life. This is especially true in the workplace. When you can't communicate properly, balls get dropped, messages get missed, details can be overlooked, and people can misinterpret motives or attitudes.

For people with untreated hearing loss, this can make life very difficult and affect job performance and earning potential.

Here are a few ways that hearing loss can affect you at work:

1. Reduced confidence and feelings of incompetence.
Miscommunication can result in projects not getting completed accurately or on time. When expectations are not met, frustration can take place. Not feeling like you're "on top of your game" can have an affect on your confidence level in the work place. If you don't feel that you are doing your best work, it can affect the morale of the entire team. Confidence is one of the key indicators for promotion, salary increases, and overall job success. Studies have shown that individuals with untreated, severe hearing loss make an average of $14,000 less than those who have normal hearing.*

2. Strained working relationships. 
When you don't get the entire message, it's easy to just make something up and misinterpret the original message. This type of miscommunication can lead to friction even in people with normal hearing, but for a person with untreated hearing loss, it can happen more frequently. We spend a large part of our day with the people we work with; it's important to communicate as effectively as possible.  

3. Overall mental fatigue
Did you know that you hear with your brain, not your ears? When you have hearing difficulty, your brain has to work overtime in order to make sense of the speech and environmental sounds around you. Having to repeat project details or fix mistakes from miscommunication can take a toll on your energy level. This strain can result in added fatigue by the end of the day.  

The good news is that hearing difficulties can be treated. With proper diagnosis and treatment, your audiologist can suggest techniques for maximizing communication in the workplace and overcoming hearing obstacles. 

If you find yourself struggling in the office or noticing feelings of inadequacy, please call our office at 402.489.4418. We can do a simple hearing test and help you find a solution.



Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss in Others


Most types of hearing loss happen gradually over time. Many times the person experiencing the hearing loss may not even know they are experiencing difficulty. Because hearing loss has such an impact on our personal relationships, it is most often noticed by the people closest to us. 

If you suspect someone in your life maybe experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, here are a few things to look for.

1. Increased volume of the TV
Many times this can be an indicator that a person is having hearing difficulty. It's easy to turn the TV up just a little bit more to try to catch converations or dialogue on a program. But if the volume level becomes too loud for everyone else in the room, or is louder than normal conversation, it could be a sign that there is a problem.

2. Requests for repetition in conversation
If someone in your life is consistently asking you to repeat yourself or accuses you of mumbling, this could be a sign of hearing loss. While there are different types of hearing loss, some make it difficult for the brain to differentiate sounds. As an example, the differences between the "s" sound and the "th" sound. The ears can hear what is being said, but the brain has a difficult time distinguishing between the sounds. The listener may ask for repetition to really understand what is being said.

3. Strange responses to questions
When conversation becomes difficult, sometimes people will pretend to hear things when they haven't actually understood what was said. They become tired of asking people to repeat themselves or they interpret what was said in a completely different way. This is a common phenomenon of hearing loss and can lead to frustration and miscommunication.  

4. Isolation
We are social creatures, and isolation is one of the biggest problems associated with hearing loss. If you notice someone avoiding social get togethers, dinners or meetings in noisier places, they may be experiencing hearing loss. Time with other people boosts the chemicals in our brain that make us feel better, but when we have difficulty understanding others, hearing loss can make us want to withdraw and spend time alone. 

If someone in your life seems to be experiencing these symptoms, consider bringing them into our office to have their hearing tested. If they seem hesitant, you can call our office for tips on how to talk with them about your concerns. Scheduling an exam for yourself along with theirs might be a way to eliminate some of the fear and show them that taking charge of your hearing is an important part of taking care of your overall health.

3 Things to Look for in a Hearing Device


Besides how your hearing aid looks and how much it costs, there are many other features to consider when choosing a hearing aid. Do you struggle hearing at church? Do conversations in the board room frustrate you? Or do you simply want to be able to watch TV without having the volume up too loud? What do you want your hearing aid to do? There are many things today's devices can do that you may not be aware of.

Here are three things to look for in a hearing device:

1. Optimization
While older technology in hearing aids just amplified sound, today's digital models are much more sophisticated and can be programmed to adjust to your environment and tuned to your specific hearing loss. Your audiologist can pre-program your devices so that you don't miss sounds at the frequencies at which you struggle. And while no device can completely eliminate background noise, your audiologist can do her best to adjust your settings so that it is minimized.

2. Directionality
Hearing aids are made of a speaker, a processor, and a microphone or several microphones to register and amplify sound at different frequencies. The more sophisticated microphones help differentiate the directionality of sound. This will particularly help you understand speech or other sounds in crowded environments or when multiple people are speaking at the same time. This directionality helps your brain to not have to work as hard to process what your ears hear and can reduce fatigue and frustration. 

3. Connectivity
Today's hearing aids are virtually tiny computers in your ears. They have the ability to be synced with your cell phone, your TV, your computer, and many other devices. You could stream music directly into your ears. With some technology, you may even be able to attend public events like concerts or sermons and have the audio fed directly to your devices without depending upon amplification. You also have the ability to make adjustments to your devices from your smartphone and change your settings depending upon your environment.

These are just a few things to look for in a hearing device that you may might not have been aware of. Your audiologist will ask you questions about your lifestyle, your budget and your hearing goals to make sure that you are getting the right device for you.

You should be able to receive the most benefits you can from your investment in your devices. Hearing aids will do more than just help you hear better. They will change your life.

The Benefits of Oticon Opn™

Technology is always changing in the medical world, and these advancements are designed to make our lives easier and better.

While traditional old-school hearing aids were designed to amplify sound, they weren't always able to help the user determine where the sounds were coming from. And in certain models, all noises were amplified so loudly that sometimes it could make the situation even more confusing.

With the new Opn™ from Oticon, that all changes. Opn offers a 360 degree soundscape which allows the ear to differentiate between noise and speech. The super fast technology lowers the processing on the noise while allowing your brain to receive the information from multiple speakers. In fact, certain studies have shown that Oticon Opn improves your ability to understand speech by up to 30%.

Opn™ also connects with your iPhone to allow you to use your hearing devices in a whole new way. Connect wirelessly to talk on the phone. Stream music directly to your devices. You can also control your hearing aids through an app on your phone, making adjustments literally at your fingertips.

With technology constantly changing and making life easier, we are proud to be able to offer the Oticon Opn for patients to demo. Call our office at 402.489.4418 to find out about more of the benefits and how you can experience the difference for yourself.

Getting Along Without It


One of the most common reasons that people don't get the hearing help they need is because they feel as though they have gotten along just fine without it.

Unfortunately, they are not aware of all that they are really missing.

People who struggle to hear may experience:

1. Feelings of being left out. 
When hearing loss is present, a person doesn't always hear pieces of conversation, especially in restaurants or meetings. Communication can get drowned out by other sounds. This can result in fellings of being left out of the group, leading to isolation and withdrawal.

2. Feeling that they're always the last to know something. 
Because they miss pieces of conversation, people who struggle to hear also feel as if they are the last to know about activities or situations. This can inadvertently make the person feel as if they are not valued or information is intentionally being kept from them.

3. Misunderstanding intent.
Some forms of hearing loss make differentiating sound and understanding speech difficult. When a person hears mumbling instead of clear conversation, they may misinterpret this communication as being rude and draw the conclusion that someone may be angry with them or that the person doesn't care about the situation.

4. Feeling anxious.
When people struggle to hear, they may experience a general feeling of anxiety or a sense of loss and confusion. Many times they feel as if they should be more on top of the situation and don't know why they're struggling. Because they are missing some of the audio cues of their situation, they aren't getting the whole picture. 

We hear with our brains, not just our ears. So when we're not hearing correctly, our brains aren't being utilized the right way. While we think we may be able to adjust to not being able to hear and "get by without it," we don't realize how much the ability to hear and communicate affects our mood and sense of well-being.

If you or someone you know has been experiencing feelings of anxiety, isolation, or uncharacteristic negativity, there's a possibility it could be hearing related. A quick and easy hearing exam will help us determine if you have hearing difficulties.  

Taking care of your hearing will allow you to take care of both your mental and physical well-being.

What to Look for in a Hearing Professional

When looking for someone to help you with your hearing concerns, the question might become "Who to trust?" There are different professionals out there who can help you with your hearing needs: an audiologist or a hearing instrument specialist.

An audiologist has a doctorate degree in audiology which includes eight years of study of anatomy and physiology of the ear, acoustics and sound properties, foundations of speech and language, amplification, and psychoacoustics. They must pass several exams and become licensed and certified. Doctors of Audiology typically have a minimum of 1150 hours of patient contact which means they have extensive experience working with patients with a wide range of hearing conditions.

To become a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) there is minimum requirement of a high school diploma and a passing score on a single credentialing exam. They are able to test your hearing and dispense hearing aids. They have basic knowledge of acoustics and sound properties and knowledge of the anatomy of the ear. The scope of practice for an HIS does not allow for removal cerumen/wax, the treating tinnitus or the evaluation of the balance system. 

Questions to ask yourself while selecting an Audiologist:

  • What is their philosophy when it comes to treating hearing loss?
  • What types of patients do they typically see? What are their areas of expertise?
  • Are they experienced in helping patients similar to yourself?
  • How committed are they to the community?
  • What is their level of communication and how experienced are they?
  • What do their reviews say? 

The main thing to look for when researching an audiologist is to make sure you feel comfortable in their care. You need to be able to share your hearing concerns with your specialist and know that they are able to look out for your entire hearing health and not just sell you a device. 

If you have any questions about the audiologists at Complete Hearing, we encourage you to call or send us an email. We'd be happy to answer any questions you have about our experience, our patient philosophy, and our commitment to care.