<![CDATA[A Advanced Hearing Care (321) 722-2894 - Articles]]>Mon, 05 Mar 2018 18:18:01 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Volume vs. Loudness & Why it Matters]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 09:13:36 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/volume-vs-loudness-why-it-mattersIn this short video Dan explains the differences between Volume, and Loudness and why it is critical to understanding when fitting a hearing aid.
<![CDATA[Hitting a Moving Target]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:47:34 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/hitting-a-moving-targetIn this short, Dan explains why we have to hit a moving target when we are fitting hearing aids to someone for the first time, and why having the right equipment can make that process so much easier for everyone.
<![CDATA[Amplification Vs. Signal Processing in Hearing Aids]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:31:03 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/amplification-vs-signal-processing-in-hearing-aids
Understanding the differences between simple amplification and advanced Signal Processing is critical to getting the right gear for the right purpose.

Watch the video and Dan will explain why it is important if you are shopping for hearing help for yourself, or a loved one.
<![CDATA[Not Crazy!  Just Having Fun Chasing Lower Hearing Aid Prices]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 18:04:43 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/not-crazy-just-having-fun-chasing-lower-hearing-aid-prices
In this short minute and a half video Dan has a bit of fun chasing down lower prices for you and your loved ones on hearing aids and hearing care.

For any hearing care question just give us a call at:  321-722-2894.  No matter where you are, we are on a mission to help more people to help more people hear better.  So give us a call.

If, you like the entertaining and informative format, don't forget to hit that subscribe button and leave us a comment, question, or idea for any hearing related topic.

Let Dan put his thirty-five years of dispensing, and industry insider information, and heretic's viewpoint to work for you to get the very most out of your hearing healthcare dollar.
<![CDATA[Are You Shrinking Your Own Brain??]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 17:41:31 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/are-you-shrinking-your-own-brain
Your Shrinking Brain Explained Video
In this short video Dan explains the science and physiology behind how your brain shrinks from an unattended to hearing loss over time, in plain, easy to understand language.

For links to the actual scientific studies just follow this link to an earlier blog post I wrote that includes the documentation.

Oh, and if you like the video, and easy to follow, and entertaining video format, please be sure to hit that subscribe button, and leave us a question, comment, or idea for a future topic you'd like us to cover.

Oh, and regardless, thanks for stopping by.

To schedule a free no obligation check of your hearing thresholds, or to enjoy an equally free no obligation demonstration and trial of equipment so good that it can give you better than normal hearing, even in the noisiest of environments, no matter where you live just give us a call at:  321-722-2894.  If, we aren't in, leave us a message and you have my word someone will get back with you ASAP.

Again, thanks for stopping by and helping us to help more people to help more people to hear better,

<![CDATA[Containing Hearing Aid Costs]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 18:06:12 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/containing-hearing-aid-costs
Containing Hearing Aid Costs

Click to learn how you can save thousands on hearing aids

In this video Dan explains what to watch for when shopping for hearing help, and give tips on how to spot and avoid being baited in and switched to something entirely different from what's being advertised.
<![CDATA[Hearing Aids Aren't Dangerous]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 09:37:40 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/hearing-aids-arent-dangerous
To the Video
With all the changes in Federal regulations regarding hearing aids, and the crumbling of state licensing requirements to enter the industry and sell hearing aids, there is still a great deal of smoke being blown by both the industry and profession about the risks associated with getting a hearing aid outside of our traditional, orthodox delivery system.

In this short video segment, Dan uses the peer reviewed scientific surveys from the nation's largest Health Insurer, Unitedhealthcare, as well as the National Science Foundation's own peer reviewed scientific study of the real risks associated with bypassing the orthodoxy and getting help on your own.

The NSF report, known as the PCAST report on hearing aids is available for you to read for yourself at this link.  

Our entire series is designed to give you, the searching public the true risks, and pitfalls of trying to get hearing help for yourself, even if you do decide to try it on your own, Dan will be providing help, insights and what to look for, and avoid when you shop for hearing help for yourself, or a loved one.

So, don't forget to hit that Subscribe button, leave a message, question, comment, or complaint, and we'll do our best to answer it in a future segment.

Thanks for stopping by, and the very next topic Dan will be covering on The Hearing Aid Heretic's channel is how we can all help in Containing the Costs of Hearing Aids.

Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to leave those comments, or questions,


<![CDATA[The Hearing Aid Heretic Channel]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 08:58:51 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/the-hearing-aid-heretic-channelPart of our Mission, at both Mission Hearing, and A Advanced Hearing Care is to educate the public about hearing loss, hearing help, and hearing aids in general.

Given the current state of our industry and profession, and in light of the scores of articles I've written taking the consumer's, rather than the industry, or professional viewpoint some of my colleagues stuck me with the nick name, "The Hearing Aid Heretic".

In "The Hearing Aid Heretic" series we will be covering hearing aid and hearing healthcare topics that you won't hear from the industry, or profession, as Dan uses his thirty-five years of insider experience to help you potentially save thousands of dollars, untold hours and headaches when you go to purchase hearing aids, or hearing help for yourself, or a loved one.

Each segment will cover a specific topic, and they will all be kept short, with most under five minutes.  We'll be announcing each segment here on our A Advanced Hearing Care website, as well as on our Mission Hearing site, Twitter, and FaceBook.

Our intent is to build not just a library of useful, informative videos for consumers and colleagues with viewpoints contrary to the orthodox, but to build a community of curious consumers and colleagues who engage us with their questions, and contrary views, so stay tuned, and don't forget to not only Hit that Subscribe button, but leave us a comment, complaint, contrary view, or question, and we will be sure to include it in a future segment.

Our very first segment uses the actual science to reveal just how small the risks to consumers really is if they decide to get hearing help outside of our traditional Orthodox delivery system.  Check it out, as the real risks of harm, to anything except your wallet, or pocketbook will surprise you at:  Hearing Aids Aren't Dangerous.

And, thanks for stopping by.

<![CDATA[The Wisdom of Early Intervention]]>Mon, 23 Nov 2015 11:06:05 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/the-wisdom-of-early-intervention
Marcela Mika isn't about to let even an early hearing loss keep her from getting the very most out of life.
When it comes to our health, and healthcare we get lots of mixed messages.  Sometimes this is due to old misconceptions of how our bodies work being replaced by new science.  At other times it comes from a reinterpretation of previously acquired data.  At still other times it comes from looking at things from a different perspective.

Perspective is everything.  How we frame our questions, or what we are looking for, or at, or thinking about, has everything to do with how we form our very realities.  So, when our Ms. November, Marcela Mika came in with complaints of missing conversations, punch lines, and having trouble following all of the conversations in her very active lifestyle, I expected to find a serious drop in her hearing thresholds, and obvious need for hearing aids.
What we found instead was what we, in the hearing care field have been taught to classify as a mild, or early loss.  Not a whole lot of decrease in the sensitivity of Marcela’s ears overall.  But, the effect it was having on her ability to communicate easily while doing the things she enjoyed doing was becoming significant, and she was looking for relief.

No matter where it fell on the chart, even this early loss was noticeable to Marcela, and she was interested in seeing if there was any help for her condition.

Now, I’ve got to tell you that in years past when confronted with a patient presenting the same complaints, and conditions, I have often councilled a watch, and wait position.  After all the amount of gain we would be delivering would be minimal, even none at some frequencies. 

On top of that, the sounds Marcela showed elevation in thresholds for still indicated that all of the key components of speech would be present in normal, quiet environments, excepting for those softest of voices, or sounds.

Using traditional methods, equipment and assessments, watch and wait would have been the conservative approach. 

But, it would have left my patient with the same difficulties, and complaints about her hearing abilities that she had come in with.  Still not doing anything would be the approach taken by many in our industry.  And, based upon the old tools, and protocols we had in the past for helping patients like Marcela it would have been the thing to do.

However, like many things having to do with healthcare in general, and hearing healthcare in particular, things have greatly changed.  New data, and the reinterpretation of old data in light of new findings is changing how we look at these ‘early’, or mild losses. 

When taken together with the huge advances in the quality of the equipment we have to amplify both the very softest of sounds cleanly, and accurately, along with advanced beam forming, sound classification, and noise control systems for help with the upward spread of masking in those noisiest of environments, and we can now regularly help folks we used to turn away with a watch and wait recommendation.

Not only can we help these folks presenting today with a ‘mild’, or ‘early’ loss, as professionals, when we take into account the growing body of evidence that indicates that if left untreated, even a mild to moderate hearing loss can have a cascading effect upon both the central auditory processing centers of our brains, but result in actual loss of brain mass, along with significant loss in associated higher reasoning skills.

Yes, not treating a hearing loss isn’t just dumb, it can actually shrink your brain and make you dumber.

Marcela had read about some of these effects, and was having none of it.  As soon as we had measured her hearing thresholds, we had moved immediately to correct for her loss, using the very same Widex instruments we’d used to measure her hearing.

We had moved from measuring Marcela’s hearing loss using a method known as in Situ audiometry.  Using Widex’s on board measurement, and programing screens we are able to move directly from measuring her hearing thresholds into the called for correction seamlessly, all while being able to easily explain what we are doing, while we are doing it with all of our patients.

After all, it is our patients hearing loss we are dealing with, and it is their fitting. 

If, done properly we are only professional facilitators.  Experience has demonstrated time, and again that the more our patients are involved in the process from the beginning, the better the results we can achieve together with them, in getting the right gear, and getting it fit right to them. 

Direct patient involvement in the process is one of the reasons we have such a high success rate with our fittings, and the best patients in the known universe.  It is what we mean by being Patient Centered, and Results Oriented.

In less than twenty minutes were fine tuning the instruments for Marcela’s personal preferences. 

By fitting gear with the widest dynamic range in our industry, we knew that Marcela would once again be able to hear even those very softest of sounds, as the input floor on the equipment we use is just 5 dB.  An incredibly soft sound, akin to a pin dropping on a tabletop. 

Yet, the same gear is capable of handling input sounds as loud as 113dB cleanly and without distortion.  The highest, and lowest operational input ranges in our entire industry.

This means that whether Marcela is trying to hear what the gals two tables over are saying, or having to deal with a crowded party with the music blaring, the sounds she gets will be clean, clear and undistorted.

The results for Marcela were real, and from her perspective not only well worth her investment, but tickled her so much that she agreed to be our Ms. November, letting us share her experiences, and how important early intervention is.

“I’m not going to let my brain, or anything else waste away if I can help it.  I want to live life to the fullest.”

Marcela is right folks.   A brain is a terrible thing to waste.  And, if you’re like me, you don’t have any extra.  So, if you have a hearing loss, don’t risk shrinking yours, or degrading any of those higher level processing functions, get some help. 

Take care of your hearing and you too can live life large, and to the fullest.  Neglect it at your own risk, and live in a smaller and smaller circle of life, the evidence has never been clearer, or the gear better.

We have hearing help for every lifestyle and budget.  Come see us, you and those you love will be glad you did.
<![CDATA[Widex Unique Product Review]]>Sat, 21 Nov 2015 13:53:22 GMThttp://aadvancedhearingcare.com/articles/widex-unique-product-review
Each year around this time I find myself having to sort, and sift through all sorts of extraordinary claims of hearing aid performance for any real evolutions that may truly make a difference to the folks I actually serve, my patients, and not the hearing aid companies, who are all introducing their latest products, and all touting just how great they are.  

So, when Widex came out with their latest chipset evolution, their new Unique, I reserved judgement.  I wanted to see just how much of a difference this latest chip had evolved from their old Dream offering into the new Unique series there is, for the typical user.
Now, honestly folks we don’t have any ‘typical’ users.  They are each and every one individuals, and we treat them that way, but we’ve got to have someone to be the ‘guinea pig’ so to speak, and as I simply won’t expose our patient base to anything that I can’t pass on personally as living up to it’s hype, that ‘guinea pig’ always turns out to be me. 

Each year I do my best to listen to as many of the major manufacturers products as possible, always looking for that best balance between price, performance, and benefits.

First you’ll need a little background on this particular guinea pig.  I’ve a severe to profound, bilateral, ski slope loss with near normal hearing below 1K Hz, and no response at 85dB HTL above 6K Hz, due to noise exposure as a young man.

I can fool you when in a quiet environment, but as soon as the background noise elevates in any environment, I get real dumb real quick. 

Typically, as with so many others, I can hear, I just can’t understand the words, as the vowels of speech come through somewhat, but all of those consonants simply get lost in the upward spread of masking with my hearing loss.

Without quality amplification, I live in a rather quiet environment, or I’m simply not able to communicate, or socialize effectively.  An unacceptable, and isolating experience without my aids.

Even with some of the industry’s top gear, I have still had trouble in the same places that my patients do, noisy crowded parties, social events, and restaurants.   Anywhere that the ambient noise, particularly if it consists of lots of other people talking, can be a real problem for me, and millions of others.

Now, before I go any further I want everyone to know that all of the major manufacturers are building some truly amazing gear.  All of them can do a good job helping a wide variety of hard of hearing folks, in a wide variety of environments.

Some just do a much better job in the worst of environments than others.

For those folks outside of our industry who are reading this; there are three major goals for every fitting we make as follows:

The First goal of each and every fitting is to achieve audibility.

That means that we have to amplify all of the appropriate sound signals to a level where they are above where their hearing starts, or above their thresholds.  You simply cannot process a sound that never gets sent to your brain, so our first job is to make sure all of the appropriate sounds are present at a level that allows them to be detected in the first place.  Very simply, all of the right sounds have to be loud enough to hear.

The Second goal of each and every fitting is to achieve a comfortable fit.

By comfortable fit, we mean both the physical fit, and feel of the gear as it is being worn, as well as the comfort of the acoustic environment it is providing to our patients.  No matter the sound environment, our patients should never feel the need to remove their hearing aids in order to be more comfortable. 

We strive to make each and every fitting ‘transparent’.  By that I mean we want our patients to forget that they are wearing hearing aids, and just get on with living their lives.

The best compliment we can get is when a client tells us that they forget that they are wearing their aids, and did something like just jump in the pool, or shower without even thinking of their hearing aids.
The Third primary goal of all of our fittings is to improve the signal to noise ratio for speech in noise.

We want to improve the understanding of speech for our patients, so that they can hear the voices that they want to hear, no matter the sound environment that they find themselves in. 

As I explain to all of my patients, this is the most difficult of our three primary goals.

Improving the understanding of speech embedded in noise is the goal requiring the most processing of the sound environment, and where the particular approaches taken by the various manufacturers vary the most.

It is also where there is the largest difference in performance between companies.

If, you live in a relatively quiet environment, and aren’t interested in being able to follow speech in those complex sound environments like parties, or noisy restaurants, even the simpler circuitry of another era may be adequate for your needs. 

But, being able to narrow a beam of amplification to the front of the person you are trying to help, and enhance the speech contained within that beam, while attenuating the other noises, or even other speech coming from different directions takes some very advanced processing, and the chips to run these programs in real time.

Not every manufacturer has proven as adept as others in accomplishing this very complicated task.

Having given you the background of what we are trying to accomplish overall with every fitting, my hearing history, and the loss I cope with, and a bit of the challenges we face in fitting others, I am going to move on to a discussion of my experiences with the new Widex Unique 440 series hearing aids that I am wearing, and how their performance differs from their preceding chip series, the Dream.

I’ll also share some of my experience with how the Widex products compare in other areas to products currently available from the other major manufacturers in our industry.

The first difference I noticed between the Widex Dream 440s and the new Uniques was how much quieter the Uniques seemed in the lab when I first fit them. 

The low level noise filters are superb.  The cooling fan in my lab computer that had been quite noticeable in the Dreams was still their, but at a much lower level.  Yet when my office manager picked up the phone at her front desk, I could hear her quite clearly even from the lab, about thirty feet from where she was, and around a corner, out of site.

The next big difference I noticed was when I walked outside.  The traffic on New Haven was pretty busy that close to lunch, there were lots of cars, truck and motorcycles going by, yet all was comfortable and I was able to hear the conversation of the folks walking in front of me on the sidewalk, as I went to my truck for the ride home.

In the vehicle I noticed a marked improvement in the way the Unique series handled the noises associated with traveling in a car.  While I had no one next to me to talk with, the radio was crystal clear, and the outside noises were at a minimum.

When I got home I noticed something both exciting and reassuring.  Lots of my patients are golfers, boaters, or active outdoors types.  Wind noise across their microphones has been a perennial problem.  Not with the Unique circuit.  While it was a breezy afternoon, when I exited the truck at home, I could hear the breeze clearly rustling the leaves of the mango tree beside my drive, but none of the typical wind noise.

The Unique chip uses an analysis of the sounds as they are created between the front and back microphones of each aid.  The turbulence created by by the wind hitting each microphone is random, and different from actual environmental sounds, like the leaves and speech.  The wind noise program in the Uniques is able to compare the two and simply subtract out the wind noise, from the sound of the leaves, birds, or voices delivering a clear, clean and undistorted sound even in a stiff breeze.

As I spend a lot of time out back in our garden, I noticed immediately that I was hearing more bird calls, as well as the buzzing of the bees working the flowers above my head, yet with none of the associated microphone, or circuit noises that are normally associated with low level sound amplification.

The other thing I noticed was that even the very loud bird calls, and even speech had become cleaner in all sorts of environments.   The widest dynamic range in the industry means that these instruments are bringing me sounds as soft as 5 dB SPL, yet remain clear, and clean all the way up to 113 dB without distortion

This wide performance range makes a huge difference in both being able to hear those whispered sweet nothings, whether they occur at home in the quiet of the bedroom, or even across the table at your favorite restaurant. 

Of all of the major manufacturers, Widex has the widest dynamic range of them all.

This means that even in the noisiest of environments, the input signal of these hearing aids is delivering a clean signal to the processors to start with.  Once the input circuits reach their saturation, everything the instruments do with the signal from then on is distorted. 

You just can’t get around the garbage in, garbage out truth of it.  If, your microphones, or their analog to digital converters can’t handle the sounds coming in without distorting their output, then the entire system’s output is compromised, and all of it’s output distorted as well.

This improved range became very clear a few days ago, when I took a patient who had been experiencing nothing but frustration with the attempts of another manufacturer to fit her loss into Meg O'malley's, one of our local pubs, after just fitting her with a new set of Uniques.

We were both able to converse normally across a table with each other, even in a terrible sound environment. 

She was hearing so much better in fact that my patient’s unsolicited comment was, “Wow, I’m hearing better with these hearing aids, and your fitting than I did with the others after over six months of them trying.” 

She has agreed to be our ‘Miss December’ so look for her experiences in a coming set of articles.
Our "Miss December" Linda Brown.
If, all Widex had done was to improve the features that they had, they would have had a great product, and one that honestly sets the standards for performance for the rest of the industry, but they did more.

They also completely redesigned their wireless dongle, the Com Dex.  They made it much smaller, lighter, simpler and easier to use.  I found no problem in pairing it with my iPhone, and iPad.  I really enjoy the hands free, stereo streaming of my music, phone calls and ebooks. 

You simply have to try it to understand just how great music can sound when the left and right channels are actually separated, corrected for your hearing loss, and streamed directly into your ears. 

The only thing that comes remotely close, is the experience created with a HyperSound system.

Oh, and you can either have your microphone system active, while controlling the input of your music, or phone stream with the phone, or, iPad’s volume control, enjoying the outside environment, as well as your private stream.  Or, you can entirely mute the hearing aid microphones in those very noisy environments when you want to take that cell phone call.  This allows the cell call, or stream to be presented directly to both ears without any interfering outside noises.  All with the touch of a button on the side of the Com Dex.

They even have an application that lets you control your aids from your smartphone if you want, or check the status of your dongle’s battery.  Complete with help videos this app will even find the nearest authorized Widex dispenser for you, should you be traveling and need service.

When you add in the industry’s best, and only fractal tone tinnitus management system, there isn’t much that Widex has forgotten.

They’ve even upped the moisture resistance rating on their system making it not waterproof, but very moisture proof, as I can personally attest, as they are so transparent in their operation, and so comfortable to wear that I’ve already caught myself a half a dozen times in the shower with them.

When it comes to defining the very best that our industry has to offer, from sound quality in the widest range of environments, to the greatest dynamic range in the industry, with great wireless performance, all in a small attractive package that can take Florida’s heat, humidity, and more, you simply cannot beat the Widex Unique series. 

Our Widex Uniques make conversations easy, even in a stiff breeze in a crowed restaurant, or outside cafe like one of our favorites, Matt's Casbah.
Click the link to check out some of the cool waterscapes Brad has done.