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Earwax Dos & Don’ts. Hint: Hold the Cotton Swabs!

Earwax, that yellowish-brown goo, might inspire an “Ick!” or two, but managing it the right way can make a difference in your hearing health. Here’s a primer on why you have earwax and what to do about it. Why is earwax in your ear? Earwax, or “cerumen,” results from secretions by the ceruminous glands in the outer ear canal. The secretions help lubricate the ear canal and help maintain an acidic environment that curbs harmful bacteria and fungi. Life without earwax would be a ... Read more

Will wearing a hearing aid behind my ear interfere with my glasses?

Question: Will wearing a hearing aid behind my ear interfere with my glasses? Answer: It should not interfere. You may hear your glasses click next to your hearing aids as you put them on or remove them, but they do not interfere. Many people who wear glasses also wear hearing aids with no problems. Wireframe temples on glasses fit nicely with behind-the-ear hearing aids for a less bulky fit. When removing your glasses, always use two hands to pull forward rather than ... Read more

My hearing aid isn’t working. What can I do to fix it?

Question: My hearing aid isn’t working. What can I do to fix it? Answer: A few things you can try are: 1) Insert a fresh battery. Leave the sticker off of it for two minutes before putting it into the hearing aid. 2) Check the sound port of the aid for earwax that might be preventing sound from coming through. Gently remove the wax with your metal wax loop or brush. Or you can replace your wax guard screen with a ... Read more

What does it mean when my hearing aid starts beeping?

Question: What does it mean when my hearing aid starts beeping? Answer: Beeping can mean several things, and the cause depends on how your hearing aids were programmed for you. It could mean that your battery is getting low. When one battery is weak, change the other one at the same time. This keeps them on a schedule so that you’re not changing the batteries too often. We provide complimentary batteries (usually for 3 years) when you’re fitted with new hearing aids. ... Read more

Helping the Community Hear

What do smoking, heart disease, medications, or even hospitalizations have to do with hearing? What really goes on in a hearing test? Our own Dr. Patti Thigpen, audiologist and owner of Thigpen Hearing Center, takes listeners behind the scenes of hearing care — Don’t miss the cool sound booth! — in her recent WGNS Radio interview. And with the season of sharing in full swing, stay tuned on Thigpen Hearing Center’s website, Twitter, and Facebook page to learn the lucky winner of ... Read more

Wouldn’t I know if I had hearing loss?

Question: Wouldn’t I know if I had hearing loss? Answer: Hearing loss symptoms usually come on very slowly, but they also can arise suddenly. Common indications include requiring frequent repetition; having difficulty following conversations; thinking that other people sound muffled as if they are mumbling; having difficulty hearing in noisy situations like conferences, restaurants, malls, or meeting rooms; and having trouble hearing women and children. Other indications are answering or responding inappropriately in conversations, reading lips or intently watching people’s faces when ... Read more

I have kidney disease and hearing loss. Are they connected?

Question: I have kidney disease and hearing loss. Are they connected? Answer: It has been found that older adults with moderate, chronic kidney disease do have an increased chance of developing hearing loss. It is thought that toxins building up in the kidneys may impair the hearing nerves of the inner ear, and there may be tissue similarities between the ear and kidney. Routine hearing examinations by a doctor of audiology are recommended to monitor hearing and communication needs. Detecting ... Read more

How does treating hearing loss help with stress?

Question: How does treating hearing loss help with stress? Answer: Coping with hearing loss is more stressful than you may realize. When you’re straining to hear, you can sometimes watch the face and mouth of the person talking. The struggle is even greater when you look away; you might not understand. You become auditorily fatigued from trying your best to hear and understand, especially in background noise. You become mentally fatigued from the strain of trying to understand words you cannot hear ... Read more

Why do I need to open the battery doors on my hearing aids at night?

Question: Why do I need to open the battery doors on my hearing aids at night? Answer: Opening the battery door is an easy method of turning off the aids and preserving their battery life when not in use. In addition, it allows air to circulate within the aids to dry them out from daily moisture, humidity, and sweat. Your hearing aids should then be stored in a hard case, which is provided by their manufacturer. This is for protection from pets, ... Read more

What should cancer survivors know about hearing loss?

Question: What should cancer survivors know about hearing loss? Answer: While acquired hearing loss from specific medications may not affect everyone, they can impact the hearing of some. Certain chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments for cancers may cause hearing loss by damaging healthy cochlear hair cells found in the inner ear. Fortunately, when this occurs, the large majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. People with hearing loss who use hearing aids enjoy a better overall quality of ... Read more
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