Harbor Hearing Blog

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Sudden Idiopathic Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Our ability to hear is something we often take for granted. We don’t understand the wonder of hearing until the sounds around us are taken away. Although hearing loss is generally gradual, it can sometimes be sudden. If you experience a sudden loss of hearing, a number of factors might be at play. You should always treat the problem as a medical emergency.  What is Sudden Hearing Loss?  Officially known as sudden idiopathic sensorineural hearing loss, sudden hearing loss is a rapid, unexplained reduction in hearing that typically occurs in one ear. The exact cause of idiopathic sensorineural hearing lossContinue reading “Sudden Idiopathic Sensorineural Hearing Loss”

6 Communication Strategies to Help Hearing Aid Users

Good communication habits are vital in any relationship but especially when talking to someone with hearing aids. By acting strategically about where, when, and how to communicate, friends and relatives can avoid miscommunication pitfalls and optimize their interactions. A person’s success with hearing aids can be strongly influenced by using the following six strategies: Avoid talking from different rooms. Talking back and forth across rooms causes poor sound quality and eliminates visual cues such as hand motions and expressions. Instead of speaking across rooms, face the person you are talking to and speak clearly and at a steady volume.   MuteContinue reading “6 Communication Strategies to Help Hearing Aid Users”

The Who, What, Where, When and How of a Central Auditory Processing Evaluation

Who can diagnose a Central Auditory Processing Disorder?  Only an Audiologist can evaluate and diagnose a Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Processing is a complex task; those with auditory processing concerns may be referred to other specialties for further evaluation.  Who can be diagnosed with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder? Any person of any age can be diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder.  What does a Central Auditory Processing Evaluation consist of? The first step is to receive a comprehensive hearing test to determine hearing sensitivity as your audiologist will want to evaluate if your concerns are related to a potentialContinue reading “The Who, What, Where, When and How of a Central Auditory Processing Evaluation”

Common Deceptions About Hearing Aids and How They Limit You

“Everybody has excuses. Champions don’t use them.”  Every time I hear this quotation, I am reminded of how much our mindset influences our lives. The top athletes in the world have had to overcome incredible obstacles—difficult training, severe injuries, and rough financial obligations—but they don’t carry these excuses to the Olympics. Each athlete knows that their hardships aren’t crutches to fall on but steps to climb. Without them, they would’ve never gotten to where they are today.  When counseling patients about their hearing health, I attempt to pinpoint deceptive beliefs patients have about themselves—beliefs that hold them back from aContinue reading “Common Deceptions About Hearing Aids and How They Limit You”

Tinnitus Causes and Treatment

As an audiologist I was trained to identify, diagnose, and manage or treat disorders of the inner ear. One of the most common disorders I help treat and manage is called tinnitus. Tinnitus is commonly described by my patients as ringing or buzzing in the ears that can vary from low to high-pitched. The noise can be present in one or both ears, and it may be constant or returning. Tinnitus is a common problem affecting over 50 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association. It can be caused by a number of health conditions such as ear andContinue reading “Tinnitus Causes and Treatment”

Common Misconceptions About Amplification

Have you ever said the following: “Hearing aids are too expensive,” “Hearing aids are all the same” or “Hearing loss is normal for my age”? These common misconceptions are dangerous since they can cause you to ignore your hearing loss or to purchase an ineffective product.  Don’t be misinformed. Even with a small budget, you can still afford reliable hearing aids. Take the advice of a professional.  My name is Dr. Sharon Rophie, and I have my doctorate in audiology. Below are my tips for saving money on hearing aids while choosing the right prescription.  “Hearing aids are too expensive.”Continue reading “Common Misconceptions About Amplification”

One Hearing Aid or Two

“Do I need two hearing aids, or can I get by with just one?”  This question is one I hear quite frequently from patients with hearing loss in both ears. Personally, I understand their point of view: why invest in two hearing aids if one will suffice?  However, as an audiologist, I know the benefits of wearing hearing aids in both ears, and I’m happy to share my knowledge with you. The following are several benefits of wearing hearing aids in both ears.  Sound Localization Our brains rely on information from both of our ears to determine where sounds areContinue reading “One Hearing Aid or Two”

Top 4 Reasons Your Hearing Aids Whistle!

“Give a little whistle!” If you’ve ever watched Disney’s Pinnochio, you are likely familiar with the song that Jiminy Cricket sings, titled, “Give a Little Whistle.” In the movie, this whistle is a cry for help. If you wear hearing aids, chances are you have heard them whistle at some point or another. This sound is called feedback, and while it can be normal, it can also be your hearing aids’ “call for help.”   Feedback is simply the result of a sound being picked up by the microphone and amplified, causing the noise to “loop,” or repeat. This is theContinue reading “Top 4 Reasons Your Hearing Aids Whistle!”

Features of Assistive Listening Devices

May signifies an exciting time of the year for audiologists around the world. Flowers are blooming, the air is growing warmer, and Better Speech & Hearing Month has just begun.  I thought long and hard about what topic I would cover during this important month. Many people know that hearing aids improve communication and promote cognitive health by allowing the brain access to important sounds, but did you know that patients also benefit from using Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)? ALDs can make a world of difference for individuals with hearing loss because of the following valuable features.  Induction Loops orContinue reading “Features of Assistive Listening Devices”

Hearing Aids of the Future

Researchers are constantly improving hearing aid performance and appeal. One of their goals is to reduce background noise to make focused listening easier. To accomplish this task, researchers have undertaken a new study investigating the use of brainwaves in improving speech understanding in noisy environments (Geirnaert et al., 2020). Hearing aids with this technology might be able to identify and amplify the primary speaker while dulling unnecessary voices and background noise. This function will drastically and amazingly improve hearing aid efficiency.  Though hearing aids do not currently possess this brainwave technology, they are fit with some other sophisticated features, includingContinue reading “Hearing Aids of the Future”


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