Hearing protection at a music festival

Have Some Summer Fun, But Think Ahead

Summer is full of fun. And one of the great things that happen in the summer is music festivals.

But … festivals can be loud. Some precautions should be taken to ensure the fun doesn’t leave a mark on your hearing.

And this isn’t an “oldies” show phenomena. A quarter of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 to 44 report hearing loss issues. Not to mention the widespread hearing issues reported by musicians over the years.

One obvious precaution is to wear earplugs, especially if you plan on getting close to the stage (and thus closer to the speaker stacks). Many festivals have vendors who sell earplugs on the side, though expect to pay the markup for what are probably lesser-quality products.

For the best earplugs, visit a hearing professional before going to the concert site. If you’re a concert devotee and put yourself in loud music environments on a regular basis, consider getting some high-end ear molds, which a care provider can customize for you. They are discreet, rugged, and offer the best protection.

It also helps to give your ears a sabbatical. For the amount of time you’re exposed to high-decibel music, take the same amount of time to let your ears recover. Wander around the perimeter, see some acoustic acts, and peruse some merchandise. Give your ears a breather.

Remember, hearing loss due to chronic exposure to high-decibel sound is not treatable. There are no miracle cures for hearing loss — no equivalent of joint replacements later in life. Once you lose your hearing, there’s no way to get it back without external devices like hearing aids.

cash in wallet

A Hearing Aid Is an Investment, Treat It That Way

For as sophisticated as they are, hearing aids are also extremely rugged. And they require very little regular maintenance other than new batteries or overnight charges. But getting into the habit of cleaning and maintaining your hearing aid will keep them operating at peak levels and extend their life.

The inside of a human ear canal is not exactly a “clean room.” No matter how neat you are, it’s a mess in there. Of course, there’s earwax to contend with — but moisture is the bigger issue. Your hearing aid is an electronic device and they are not known for liking moisture.

Getting into an end-of-the-day routine — much like brushing teeth or dealing with dentures — is a good goal. It’s especially crucial to give hearing aids the opportunity to thoroughly dry out overnight after a long day doing their duty in your ear.

This will be easier with the right tools. There are kits with brushes and wax picks that will allow you to do a reasonable cleaning of your hearing aid. The accumulation of earwax can have a significantly negative effect on the amplifier.

There are also wire-loop cleaners, magnets for getting hard-to-grab batteries, and air blowers for clearing out debris. Dehumidifiers are also a good option, allowing your hearing aid to spend the night in an environment that will draw out any moisture that’s accumulated during the day.

Whatever you do avoid wipes or rubbing alcohol on cue-tips. Remember, moisture is bad and astringents are even worse.

And it’s good to have the occasional “deep cleaning” performed by your hearing healthcare provider.

Signia Nx Hearing Device

Signia Releases Groundbreaking Nx Line with OVP™

Signia has recently released the Nx line of hearing aids. They feature state-of-the-art computer processing power and full connectivity, putting them on the leading edge of hearing aid technology.

One of the most profound new features is the OVP™ (Own Voice Processing) system. The Nx line has an entirely separate processing unit to handle the longstanding issue of users finding the sound of their own voice — channeled through their hearing aid — to be disorientating. Testing has shown the OVP™ system provides up to 80 percent improvement in users who have had own-voice issues.

Signia’s Ultra HDe2e binaural link is the core of the new system. It provides full-bandwidth audio analysis by scanning the wearer’s own voice through a completely separate input system than the rest of the incoming sound from the surrounding auditory environment. It is mixed in with the rest of the sound output, but its coming from an independent input allows fine-tuning of the user’s own voice at a level not before possible. It is a cutting-edge technology that means a significant increase in performance for many hearing aid users.

That’s not all the Nx line offers. Superior energy efficiency and excellent remote control capabilities with the myControl app are also significant features.

And the myHearing App provides superior product support and the ability to connect directly with hearing aid providers in real time. The latest version even supports video calls. This allows remote face-to-face interactions between the user and a hearing health professional during which adjustments can be made to the user’s hearing aid. The future is now.

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African American Baby Boomer Musician

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