Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Made for iPhone Hearing Aid Brings Personalized Hearing to Millions

Millburn, New Jersey, 4/02/2014, – Kubick and Kubick Hearing Aid Center is excited to announce that it is one of the first to offer Halo™, a Made for iPhone® hearing aid, engineered to be compatible with iPhone, iPad® and iPod touch®. The Halo hearing aid gives the more than 26 million Americans with untreated hearing loss a new, discreet option that seamlessly connects with some of the most popular electronic devices available. 

Halo combines Starkey’s superior hearing aid technology with iOS to deliver a revolutionary new hearing solution that makes every aspect of life better – from conversations to phone calls to listening to music. Halo connects with the TruLink™ Hearing Control app, which is available as a free download in the App Store

Together, Halo and TruLink, when paired with an iOS device, deliver the most personalized hearing experience ever and are designed to:

  • Stream calls, FaceTime®, music and more from your iPhone directly to your hearing aids through a Bluetooth® connection. 
  • Allow you to use your iPhone to control your hearing aids’ volume and settings. 
  • Personalize sound settings to any environment and geotag that specific memory. 
  • Deliver pristine sound and exceptional listening clarity. 
  • Help you hear comfortably in noise. 
  • In addition to seamless integration with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, Halo hearing aids are also stand-alone hearing aids packed with Starkey’s best-in-class performance features including feedback cancellation, adaptive noise management and directionality. 

For more information about Halo and TruLink, visit kubickandkubick.com or call to make an appointment with a Hearing Aid Specialist at 973.467.1690.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to take care of your hearing aids

by Jeanne E. Graulich, MA, CCC-ANJ Audiologist, #315, NJ Supervising Hearing Aid Dispenser, #657

Our ears are a warm, moist and dirty environment. A hearing aid, which is a highly sophisticated electronic device, can easily break down since it is in the ear for extended hours of the day. Most often, hearing aids clog where the sound enters (microphone) and where to sound exits (receiver). Regular cleaning of the hearing aid can prevent breakdown.
  1. Daily: Brush white cap (if only a tube is present skip to step 2.3).
  2. Change white cap (orange stick) every 3 weeks or sooner if necessary.
    1. Remove old cap with fingernail or orange end of stick (insert and twist to right).
    2. Inspect tube behind white guard, using magnifying glass if needed
    3. Brush tube if dirty or insert wax loop end of tool, rotate in circular motion, remove any accummulation.
    4. Insert white end of orange stick. Twist to the right. Remove and then push white cap down with finger to secure.
    1. Daily: Push long plastic stick of cleaning tool through vent starting from faceplate (battery door). Remove accummulation at canal end before pulling out.
    2. Daily: Brush microphone cover on faceplate (battery door) with brush-only piece.
    3. Daily: Wipe hearing aid with soft dry cloth.  

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

    Hearing Loss and Cognitive Function

    by Jeanne E. Graulich, MA, CCC-ANJ Audiologist, #315, NJ Supervising Hearing Aid Dispenser, #657

    There has been a "buzz" in recent media regarding a possible relationship between hearing loss and cognitive function in the aging population. Dr. Frank Lin from John Hopkins University School of Medicine studied older adults with hearing loss, finding that they had a 24% higher risk of cognitive impairment compaired with normal-hearing individuals, accompanied by a sooner decline.  Evaluation was conducted utilizing the Digit Symbol Substitution (DSS) test which measures executive function, the skills necessary to pay attention, focus, plan and organize, remember information, problem solve and adapt one's behavior. Participants were followed for 6 years.  Results indicated that on average, people with hearing loss showed a significant cognitive decline after 7.7 years. Normal hearing individuals showed a similar decline after 10.9 years.  A follow-up study by Dr. Lin found that hearing loss was independently associated with new cases of dementia.  
    There are many ideas about the relationship between hearing loss, poorer cognitive function and dementia. Sensory disorders, such as hearing loss, may cause cognitive changes. Alternatively, can other factors, such as inflammation, vascular damage or specific protein accumulation contribute to both sensory system damage and cognitive disfunction? More research will determine the relationship between hearing loss and cognive decline. In the mean time, hearing aid use will help to maintain communication and social interaction, maintaining an individual's well being.
    Summarized from: Pallarito, Karen, "Evidence for Connection Between Cognitive Decline and Hearing Loss Continues to Mount", The Hearing Journal, March 2013, Volume 66, Number 3, p. 39-42.

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    Tinnitus? What's this sound in my head?

    Do you hear that sound too? Click here for a sample. Tinnitus the clinical term for head noise affects millions of people, over 45 million nationally.  Tinnitus can occur occasionally or regularly; intermittently or constantly; loudly or softly.  Tinnitus has been described as ringing, chirping, buzzing, hissing, roaring or a constant tone.  Some sufferers experience trouble sleeping, concentrating or working.  Some known causes of tinnitus are side effects of various  medications, exposure to loud sound, temporal mandibular joint disorder, head trauma and diseases of the auditory system.  Tinnitus can occur with or without hearing loss.

    Treatments for tinnitus include medication, homeopathic supplements and electrical/electromagnetic stimulation. No treatment methods or approaches 
    yeild consistent results. Positive outcomes have been demonstrated by various sound therapies combined with counseling.  

    Starkey Hearing Technologies introduces Xino Tinnitus, a RIC (Receiver-in-Canal), hearing aid designed for tinnutus management utilizing sound therapy.
    Xino Tinnitus is designed for tinnitus patients with or without hearing loss, is flexible to adapt to a patient's listening preferences and can be used as a hearing aid alone, sound management alone or a combination.  The noise presentation can be modified to suit each patient's needs and may be fine-tuned by the patient utilizing the Sound Point feature.

    Kubick and Kubick Hearing Aid Center is releasing the Xino Tinnutus on February 27,2013 combined with a comprehensive program.  We look forward to serving our patients who experience tinnitus with the new product.

    The ABCs of the Hearing Test

    There are various parts of the hearing test, audiogram, to evaluate the level and function of a hearing system.  The level of a hearing loss is determined by pure-tone testing across the pitch range most important for speech understanding from 250-8000 Hz by air conduction (AC) and bone conduction (BC).  The threshold is the lowest level that is heard.  Air conduction is accomplished by earphone testing to evaluate the integrity of the external ear canal, middle ear system, inner ear and ascending nerve fibers.  Bone conduction is accomplished by an osscilator placed behind the ear on the mastoid bone, stimulating the inner ear.  Comparison of the pure-tone thresholds by air and bone conduction determines the nature of the hearing loss.  A hearing loss could be a conductive hearing loss (CHL), a sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) or a mixed hearing loss with both components.

    Speech testing includes the speech reception threshold (SRT), most comfortable listening level (MCL), uncomfortable listening level (UCL), and speech discrimination scores.  The various measures of speech testing provide information about how an individual functions with the hearing loss in hearing and understanding speech.  The speech discrimination score, often presented at MCL, is not exactly reflective of success with a hearing aid, but provides information as to how amplified sound will affect speech understanding with a hearing aid.

    All the various parts of the hearing test and the results of the evaluation are important regarding the recommendations and treatment plan for each patient.  The results are considered along with the lifestyle, agility and physical attributes to determine the best hearing aid recommendation.

    Jeanne E. Graulich, MA, CCC-A
    NJ Audiologist, #315  NJ Hearing Aid Dispenser, #657

    Monday, October 22, 2012

    Variations in Hearing Aid Success

    “My friend’s hearing aids work better for her than mine do.  Her hearing aids must be better.”   This is a common comment from hearing aid wearers.  The  issue could be the hearing aid, but more likely the variations are due to subjective differences in the ear and hearing system.  

    There are three parts of the ear system, all of which contribute to sound transmission.  The outer ear includes the pinna, which acts as the collector of sounds, and the ear canal which transmits sound waves to the eardrum.  The shape  and health of the ear canal as well as the presence of ear wax can affect the integrity of the sound reaching the eardrum.
    The middle ear includes the eardrum and the three bones with three muscles of the middle ear.  Variations in eardrum movement due to scarring from childhood infections or other damage will affect the transmission of sounds.  The movement of the middle ear bones can be affected by arthritis, discontinuity or congestion to name a few.

    The inner converts the mechanical energy transmitted by the middle ear to electrical energy utilized by the hearing center in the brain to understand speech.  Damage to various parts of the inner ear can be due to the normal aging process, exasperated by disease, medication, noise exposure and hereditary factors.  Damage in the inner ear, the cochlea, can cause loudness issues and loss of speech clarity.

    Other factors that affect the success with a hearing aid include the degree of hearing loss, the shape of the hearing loss and the length of time between the onset of hearing loss and the use of hearing aids.  The longer a hearing loss is present without proper amplification the sooner the inner ear will deteriorate.  

    Hearing aids are chosen for each person in order to optimize the remaining hearing function.  Hearing aid success is affected by many personal factors, not necessarily the hearing aid itself.

    Jeanne E. Graulich, MA, CCC-A  NJ Audiologist, #315  NJ Hearing Aid Dispenser, #657

    Friday, October 19, 2012

    Hearing Loss Can Make For a Frustrating Holiday Season - Communication Strategies Can Help

    The sounds of the holidays; joyous music, lively conversation and family gatherings are a cherished part of every holiday season. But if a loved one has trouble hearing in crowded, noisy situations, or suffers any degree of hearing loss, the holidays may lose some of their luster.

    A person with hearing loss symptoms may have difficulty hearing the higher pitched tones of children’s (and women‘s) speech. Missing out on a grandchild’s recitation of a wish list, or not being able to contribute to a family conversation about holiday memories, can be frustrating for both the person suffering from hearing loss, as well as family members who may not be aware of the hearing problem.

    There are ways to help a loved one with hearing problems enjoy the holiday season. It takes observation, awareness and a healthy dose of patience – communication skills that are useful year round- but may be even more important when families and friends gather to celebrate.

    • Be sure the person is paying attention before you speak.
    • Speak face-to-face, never from a different room or from behind.
    • Dimly lit situations make it difficult to see facial expressions. Try to have conversations in areas with good lighting like a kitchen or near a window.
    • While speaking, avoid activities like smoking or chewing that make lip reading difficult.
    • Speak at a natural pace and volume level.
    • Try to reduce background noise. Even people who wear hearing aids may have difficulty hearing in noisy situations.

    The holidays often provide the perfect opportunity for a heartfelt family discussion about health concerns. Recognizing the causes and types of hearing loss can help pinpoint the problem, and rule out other medical issues.

    With the support of family, a person with hearing problems may be more able to accept the need to get hearing loss treatment, and may be ready to take the first steps to better hearing – a hearing test, and, if necessary, hearing aids.  What a great gift to give a loved one (or yourself) this holiday season! 

    Avoid unnecessary frustrations this Holiday season. Make your appointment by simply visiting our Contact Us page of our website to request a free hearing test.  We look forward to helping make your season free from struggles with hearing loss and full of joy. 

    Christian Kubick H.A.D. Lic.# 992 Owner of Kubick & Kubick Hearing Center.