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April Ears to You Newsletter

April, 2015                                                                                                                                                                               Volume 10, Issue 1

Editor- Trish Kaminski

(574) 243-7766

 

Notes from the Editor

Spring has sprung! I know I’ve said it before but there is nothing better than seeing flowers bloom, green grass growing, to hearbirds chirping and even hearing that annoying neighbor who seems to think that he has to mow his yard every other day! I’m just so happy to see Winter go away. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting our new Audiology Assistant – please extend a warm welcome to Donna Pangburn. Donna joined our little family February 3rd and we are so glad to have her here!

Don’t forget to keep wearing those earplugs while mowing! And for you hunters out there – we have ear protection for you too!

 

A thoughtful gift…..

For those of you with hearing instruments or have family or friends with hearing instruments… a Dry & Store is the absolute perfect gift to assist in keeping those hearing instruments working at their best.   We have them in stock!

 

Diary of a Mad Hearing Aid User

Chuck’s note: The following ‘diary’ entries are excerpts from a national hearing healthcare magazine article. It is my hope that my 1st time hearing instrument users fair better than this individual. Nonetheless, a lot of this is amusing. Enjoy!

Today was D-Day, or maybe I should say it was HA-Day, the day I got my first hearing aids. Or maybe even HA-HA-Day, because I have one for each ear – and because it still feels like a big joke, me wearing hearing aids at 53 years old. Yeah, very funny. Who knew I was missing so much? My husband says he knew.

Ok, Doc. I’m doing what you suggested. I’m writing down notes and questions for our next visit. I kept a diary all through my teens, so you might get more than you expected.

DAY 1

11am. Just got home. Don’t know if I should admit this, but I left your office, drove about two miles and I pulled over. It was all too much – these ear intruders, the cost, the noise! I didn’t want to drive while sobbing. I took the hearing aids out. I’ll put them in at home.

1pm. Still haven’t put them back in. Sitting at my kitchen table, staring at them with a magnifying glass. Sheesh, they’re small. How could something so small cost me so much?

2pm. OK. I put them back in. Actually I put the left one in twice, because it dropped out the first time. I was nervous or I put in it in wrong. But now, I’m committed to wearing these babies until I go to bed!

7pm. Bedtime. It’s been quite the day and these last 5 hours have been loud. LOUD! Have to clean them now, like I’m supposed to. First I had to decide where to keep the cleaning kit, a place where I’m sure to see it every night. Decided on the wine rack.

7:20pm. Boy, am I tired, but this cleaning procedure took some time. Couldn’t figure out all the teensy black instruments. I mean, why a little brush? It’s not like the hearing aid has fur. And the long thing, the eeny-weeny riding whip? Do I stick it inside the hearing aid? Hang on, I’ll check the instruction book.7:30pm. Finally done, although they weren’t too dirty. I am so totally exhausted. Now, off to bed.

 

DAY 2

9am. I slept in . To be honest, I just didn’t want to get up and put those things back in.   Period.

10am. They’re in. Finally. I had my morning coffee and then a shower and then waited a half-hour for my ear canals to dry… I’m sure I read somewhere you’re supposed to do that.

Noon. I don’t think I can handle all this noise. At lunch with my husband, the knives and forks sounded like a sword fight. And there’s just too much information! His nose whistles. I can hear myself chewing and swallowing. I think I’d rather be deaf.

2pm. Have serious concerns about how these look. The pulley things stick out at right angles from my head. I cannot go out in public looking like a Martian. I need to take them out and lie down to think about all of this.

3pm. Whoa, that ding-dongy hello hearing aid user chime thing is getting on my nerves. Is it supposed to remind me that I’m putting hearing aids in my ears? Seriously, what else would it be?

11pm. Made it to my normal bedtime. Put the wine away, cleaned my hearing aids and put them in the dry aid. Feeling better about all of this.

Midnight. Husband woke me up. He heard a sound coming from the dry aid. Crap! I forgot to open the battery door and one of them was making feedback noise. I hope nothing was damaged. Or maybe I do?

DAY 3

7am. Dropped one again. The cat and I both pounced for it, but I won. Wasn’t worried about the hearing aid, but the cat might choke.

6pm. I wore them all day. All painful day. My ears hurt – not sure if it’s from the noise or from these foreign bodies in my ears.

11pm. Watched TV tonight with husband who said how nice it was not to have the volume so loud. I think he meant to be encouraging, but I started to cry. So did he.

DAY 4

Day 4 was ok, except for having to ask everyone to lower their voices. My friend said she was already whispering and couldn’t go any lower. I said thank you for the support, that’s not funny. She said, yes it was and to lighten up. I said wait till you lose your hearing, you insensitive cow. Then we both started to laugh- it sounded good!

Today was a better day. My husband enjoys telling me what sounds I’m hearing. Seriously, I didn’t know our mattress creaks so loudly. Husband said it wasn’t that bad when the kids lived at home. Not sure if I believe him. I’ll have to figure out how to ask my son about this when he comes to visit.

Here are some questions for tomorrow’s appointment:

  1. How long do hearing aid batteries last?
  2. I’m worried that the hearing aid is loud enough to cause more hearing loss.
  3. Tell me more about this telecoil thing.
  4. How do I tell people about my hearing loss?
  5. Fix the Martian thing!

Not bad for the first week of the rest of my life with hearing aids, hey Doc?

 

Things NOT to do with your Hearing Aids

Hearing aids should NEVER be put loose in your pocket for any reason. Pockets can have holes or the hearing aids get forgotten and then washed! If you need to take your hearing instruments out – put them in the little pouch provided to you first. It’s also a bad idea to wrap them up in tissue for ‘safekeeping’. They just may end up getting thrown away. Don’t leave your hearing aids out where small children or pets can get to them. They can get swallowed or damaged.

 

Warm Weather + Hearing Aids

Summer will be here soon. Yippee! The downside of this is that hearing aids don’t mix with water/sweat. Take care to protect your hearing aids.

  1. Protect or remove your hearing aids if you get caught out in the rain.
  2. Ensure that your hair and ears are dry before you put your hearing aids on each day.
  3. If you sweat excessively, invest in some sweat bands for your hearing aids.

If your hearing aids do get wet, it’s so very important that you take them off immediately and open the battery door and allow them to dry out. If you have a dry aid kit, put them in and let them run for a cycle.

You should also be careful that you do not put your hearing aids somewhere wherein they can be exposed to high temperatures. This can damage them.

 

Oh, My!

Two elderly ladies were sitting at their favorite restaurant for morning for coffee. One lady looked at the other and said, “Do you know that you have a suppository sticking out of your left ear?” The other lady pulled it out of her ear and stared at it for a moment. The she quietly said, “thank you. Now I know where my left hearing aid is.”

 

Humor and Hearing Loss

Very little is written about the value of humor when dealing with hearing loss and the way it can contribute to communication breakdown. A sense of humor can serve as an invaluable antidote to the inevitable stress, frustrations and anxiety that come with the territory.

People who live successfully with hearing loss must develop the ability to laugh at their mistakes. This helps to make family, friends and co-workers feel more at ease. Using self-deprecating humor to relieve tension and laughing at others is an expression of kinship or social bonding.

Some side-splitting humor can be found in the book “Do You Hear Me?” by Matthew Schneider, a delightful, laugh-filled book of humor for the hard of hearing.

Schneider said he dedicated this little gem of a book to the millions of Americans who are hard of hearing, “because their pursuit of happiness is made much more difficult due to their disability.”

Here are a few humorous “positive aspects of hearing loss:”

-You find you don’t hear what you used to pretend you didn’t hear.

-Your friends will trust you with a secret. But, you probably didn’t hear it in the first place.

-You can’t hear your partner snoring anymore.

-If your home is under the flight path of an airport – no problem!

-If the teenager next door listens to hard rock with 18 inch speakers – no problem!

 

Some Valuable Tips

These are mainly for first time hearing instrument users but might prove useful for everyone.

  1. Read aloud to yourself and learn to correct the volume of your own voice.
  2. Talk to different people and learn how to distinguish between different sound patterns.
  3. Wear your hearing aids for as many hours a day as you can – and for a little longer each day.
  4. Make your hearing aids a part of your everyday life and be patient with yourself.
  5. Always carry a pair of spare batteries with you.

 

Did You Know?

While losing some of those unwanted pounds may be a good thing – losing as little as five to eight pounds can cause your hearing aids to fit looser and whistle or feedback. Most people lose weight in their face (ears) first. Make sure to let your Audiologist know if you have experienced some weight loss so that they can make some adjustments for you.

 

 

 

 

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