September, 2015 - In This Issue:
Audiological Consultants Of Atlanta
We continue to send you up to date information to educate you and your family about a variety of hearing and hearing healthcare topics.  Continue to comment, ask questions and most importantly enjoy your reading and the knowledge that you gain.

Please let your family and friends know that the newest Lyric upgrade is now available ONLY at Audiological Consultants of Atlanta.




When you understand what's important, it's easier to pursue your options.


If you're in the market for hearing aids, chances are you've turned to a variety of resources for information; the internet, your physician or a friend/family member.  After doing a little research, you're probably just as confused and overwhelmed as when you started.  The magnitude of information on technology with channels, bandwidth, small, digital, analog, wireless, noise reduction, daily wear vs extended wear is enough for some to delay the process for months or even years.  So how are you supposed to know what to choose?  Investigate the credentials of the audiologist that you choose and select your provider carefully. 


The first step in choosing a hearing aid is to have a comprehensive evaluation by an audiologist that you trust.  An evaluation begins with a thorough medical history and complete audiological evaluation. This hearing evaluation should include pure tone air and bone conduction testing to determine the degree and type of hearing loss along with speech testing in quiet and in noise to determine how well you understand speech in a variety of listening environments. 


What bothers most people with hearing loss is the fact that they can't understand what others are saying, especially in group settings and in the presence of background noise. As mentioned above, complete speech testing evaluates a person's speech clarity in a variety of listening environments both for quiet and in noise. It serves as a valuable guide in determining the features and technology a patient needs to carry on a meaningful conversation.


After the evaluation process, it is important to discuss life style, hearing needs and budget in order to make appropriate hearing recommendations. What are your goals? What do you hope to gain? What types of listening environments do you encounter and which situations do you require additional hearing benefit? Do you have any cosmetic concerns as far as the hearing aid design? The more details you can provide, the better the audiologist can select the appropriate hearing solution for you.  


Hearing aids are essentially customized computers for the ears. There is a wide variety of technologies along with a variety of feature sets that can be selected based on your needs, lifestyle and budget. Often, the more advanced the technology is to help with noisy environments, the better chance of enhancing the clarity of speech and therefore giving you a better chance of communicating more effectively. The lower level technologies generally do not address noise reduction. Therefore, each patient must understand the benefits as well as the limitations of each level of technology.


Hearing aids come in all shapes and sizes, from very small totally in the ear devices to devices worn behind the ear. The look, or style, of a hearing aid is independent from the computer technology itself. Each level of technology accommodates the same computer chip regardless of size.


The most important aspect of the hearing aid process is the audiologist you are working with. The product is only a small part of the equation for better hearing. It was once said that buying a hearing aid can be equated to buying an airplane. It doesn't matter how large, fast, or luxurious your plane is if you do not have a pilot who is capable of flying it.  





Earwax accumulation is one of the most common otologic conditions seen in primary care; removing earwax is the most common ear, nose or throat procedure carried out in the community. Ear candling has become a topic of interest, but beware!


Ear candles are 10 inch long hollow cones made from a fabric soaked in beeswax, paraffin or a mixture of the two. Many advocates of the ear candling procedure claim that it removes cerumen and "impurities" from the ear canal as well as achieving relief from sinus and ear infections, improving hearing, brain function, curing cancer and "blood purification". However, health professionals have identified numerous, serious

risk factors associated with candling. In addition to the obvious risk of skin burns from the flame, there have been reports of injury to the ear from dripping wax, bleeding, puncture of the ear drum, plugging the ears with candle wax and extended delay in seeking medical care for underlying conditions.   


Furthermore, in February 2010, the FDA posted a notification to consumers and healthcare providers warning them not to use ear candles because of their likelihood of causing injury. Special concern arises when advertisements appear that advocate ear candling on children. Have you ever tried to get a child to sit still for more than a few seconds? The risk of injury certainly increases.  


According to Richard Rosenfeld, MD, who led the Guideline Development Task Force, "approximately 12 million people a year in the U.S. seek medical attention for impacted or excessive cerumen". He further reported that nearly 8 million cerumen-removal procedures are performed annually by health care providers. Proper and safe removal of cerumen can be provided by our audiology staff who has been trained on the procedure. Several of the typical symptoms associated with the presence of cerumen are hearing loss, dizziness, ringing in the ears, fullness and itching (all of these symptoms are usually temporary).  





Tinnitus (from the Latin tinnitus or "ringing") is a condition characterized by ringing, swishing, or other noises that appear to be originating in the ear or head. Over 50 million Americans have experienced tinnitus or head noises, which is the perception of sound without an external source being present. About one in five people with tinnitus have bothersome tinnitus, which distresses them and negatively affects their quality of life and/or functional health status. Not normally a dangerous or serious problem, tinnitus is usually a symptom of some other underlying condition and most often considered a nuisance. Age-related hearing loss,  ear injury, foreign objects in the ear, and circulatory system problems, for example, may cause the condition.  

Tinnitus is often linked to stress, sleep problems, concentration difficulty, memory problems, depression, anxiety, and irritability. 

However, people who have been exposed to loud noises for extended periods of time and those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)are known to have higher rates of tinnitus.


Tinnitus is a symptom of a variety of health conditions, blood vessel disorders, and effects from medications. The most common causes of tinnitus are age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, earwax blockage in the ear canal, and abnormal bone growth in the ear. Less common causes include an inner ear disorder called Meniere's disease, stress and depression, head or neck injuries, and a benign tumor  of the cranial nerve called acoustic neuroma . Although there is no one 'cure' for tinnitus, there are several options available that can help patients with tinnitus.


Tips to lessen the impact of tinnitus:

  • Get your blood pressure checked. If it is high, get your doctor's help to control it.
  • Exercise daily to improve your circulation.
  • Get adequate rest and avoid fatigue.
  • Reduce intake of salt, caffeine and nicotine.
  • Use a sound generator, hearing aid(s), if appropriate, and mental techniques to push the perception of tinnitus to the background; the more you think about the tinnitus, the louder it will seem. If you cannot do this on your own, seek professional help.



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