Superstars wear hearing aids when they need them, why don’t you?

If you’ve been saying, “What?” to people a lot, or been getting complaints you have the TV too loud, you’re not alone. Some of the top celebrities on this continent have hearing loss and learned hearing aids make a huge difference in their lives.

For a lot of actors, they realize being successful in their business is about relationships. It’s hard to have good relationships when you can’t hear the person you’re talking to. And it’s especially hard to do a scene with another actor if you can’t hear them. After all, according to experts, acting is really reacting.

Photos by Gage Skidmore, David Shankbone, Peabody Awards, David W. Baker, Kate Wellington, Franz Richter, Harald Krichel.


Actors with hearing loss

So, who has hearing loss from the acting community? You might be surprised.

Whoopi Goldberg, actor and comedian, figures her hearing loss is from listening to music too loud. She has hearing loss in both ears.

The original Hulk himself, tough guy Lou Ferrigno, has hearing loss from a childhood infection.

The gorgeous Halle Berry has Type 1 Diabetes, which is a big risk for hearing loss however her hearing loss (80% loss in one ear) comes from domestic violence.

And there’s so many more, all with different stories about the cause of their hearing loss. William Shatner (an explosion while filming Star Trek), Jane Lynch (childhood illness), Jodie Foster, Rob Lowe, Robert Redford, and Holly Hunter.

Singers and musicians with hearing loss

It’s a great thing that hearing aids can also combat tinnitus, that annoying ringing and buzzing in your ears that no one else can hear. Barbra Streisand, singer, actor and director, uses hearing aids to help calm the tinnitus that she’s experienced most of her life. Phil Collins, musician, singer and songwriter, also has hearing loss in one ear.

Then there’s the gang who attribute their hearing loss to loud music. Including a president of the United States.

Both Roger Daltry and Pete Townend of The Who have hearing loss from loud music. As do Huey Lewis and Eric Clapton. Is anyone surprised Alice Cooper has hearing loss from loud music? In interviews, he refers to his hearing aids as ‘clearing aids’!

And finally, Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States has attributed his hearing loss to loud music.

There are so many more celebrity actors, singers, musicians, athletes and political figures who have hearing loss and look to hearing aids to help them be the best they can be.

What does this mean for you?

If even celebrities are willing to talk about their hearing loss out in the wild world of the web, what’s stopping you? Hearing aids aren’t a sign of aging; they’re a sign you’re willing to look after your health and do your part in your relationships.

If you think you might be experiencing some hearing loss, the sooner you get it investigated, the better. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to depression, dementia, feelings of isolation, the breakdown of relationships and more.

Get started today with a free hearing test from Hear Well Be Well. There’s never any pressure or obligation to buy. We just want you to have the best hearing health you can.

Are hearing aids the new sexy? 5 things that say yes!

Most people don’t consider sexy as part of their description of hearing aids. Maybe they just don’t understand hearing aids. Here are five reasons you can consider hearing aids sexy and a part of keeping you sexy too!

1. Effective communication

There’s really no debate that sexy includes effective communication. If you can’t hear your romantic partner, you’re missing opportunities and certainly communication is a key component of a relationship. If you’re saying ‘pardon’ during romantic moments, you’re likely wrecking the mood.

Discreet, often unseen, hearing aids allow you to hear whispers and important communication so you can participate fully with your romantic partner.

2. The classic romantic dinner for two

A romantic dinner is generally a quiet conversation, perhaps with soft music. Are you missing key moments of your romance? Hearing loss often impacts your ability to hear quiet sounds and the high notes of music. Missing the mood-makers of those romantic moments can change how you feel about them. Feeling stress during romantic moments really spoils things!

Hearing aids have wonderful technology that can be programmed to fit your hearing need plus your lifestyle. Well beyond just general amplification, modern hearing aid technology is programmed specifically for your levels of hearing loss which can help bring the nuances of your romantic moments back in tune.

3. Confidence

Self-confidence is a big attraction. Hearing loss can make you self-conscious rather than confident. People can see confidence so if you’re feeling self-conscious or hesitant, part of your visual sex appeal is affected. People can see your lack of confidence more than they can see your hearing aids if you’re wearing recently manufactured hearing aids.

Being able to hear your partner and your surroundings gives you your confidence back. You’re more assured that you’re hearing what’s actually being said and that shows in how you look and act.

4. Sexy technology

Modern hearing aids are discreet and beyond that, they’ve got some pretty spectacular things going on. Some are made of the superhero metal titanium. How much cooler could you be than to have superhero titanium hearing aids? (They’re also great for people with skin allergies.)

Some hearing aids are as small as a pistachio making them essentially invisible. Others support your lifestyle by being waterproof (so you don’t have to take them out when showering) or have built-in health monitors. And if you fancy yourself a fashionista, some come in colors you can accessorize with your outfits!

The bottom line on the available technologies is hearing aids have gone well beyond your grand-parent’s hearing aids. There’s something for everyone to help hear their world and their romantic partner again.

5. Feeling young again

Feeling young again is a matter of perspective. Too many people think hearing aids make you look old but consider:

  • What makes you act old? Saying “huh”, “what”, “pardon” all the time, or being able to hear what people are saying?
  • What makes you feel old? Constantly bugging people to turn up the TV or being able to watch shows with your loved ones at the volume they prefer?
  • What makes you look old? Wearing a look of confusion at family gatherings because you can’t hear what’s going on or joining in with enthusiasm because you hear what everyone else does?

Think hearing aids aren’t sexy? Think again!

Hear Well Be Well is an independent, family-run hearing aid and hearing testing that’s been serving small and mid-size communities in Ontario for nearly 40 years. Our independence allows us to provide hearing aids from a wide variety of manufacturers, so you have access to all the snazzy stuff hearing aids have got going on. Our experience means you’re getting the best quality testing and service available.

Contact us today to schedule a free hearing test to get you started.

Don’t be fooled by cheap online hearing aid ads

The ads are everywhere. If you’ve ever shown interest in hearing aids on social media or in a search, chances are you’ve been followed around the internet by hearing aid ads pitching cheap ‘hearing aids’ with no hearing test required.

Don’t be fooled. They aren’t hearing aids. They are Personal Sound Amplifying Products and they don’t do what hearing aids can do.

What’s the difference?

The cheap ‘hearing aids’ found online are generally Personal Sound Amplifying Products also known as PSAPs. They’re designed to enhance environmental sound (including background noise) for people without hearing loss, not to help people with actual hearing loss. And yet they tend to get marketed to those with hearing loss.

Misusing a PSAP as a hearing aid may be a problem for the future of your hearing. Not only do they not solve the specific hearing loss for a person, but they could also make your hearing worse. As an example, some PSAPs don’t have anything governing the volume they can amplify to, so you put your hearing at risk just through volume choices.

The sale of PSAPs in Canada is unregulated so you can be getting a product that doesn’t perform as you want, may be hazardous to your health and may have no satisfaction guarantee.

No hearing test means no professional assessment

If you see an ad for hearing aids that says no hearing test required, you’re getting the same level of hearing assistance as everyone else. Plus, you could be making things worse.

Your hearing loss is as unique as you are. Without testing, you don’t know if:

  • Your hearing loss is caused by wax build up (that’s likely not improved when you shove something in your ear).
  • You’re missing the high or low frequencies, or a combination of both.
  • There’s a serious underlying medical condition that needs the care of an ear, nose & throat specialists also know as an ENT (otorhinolaryngologist).

But shopping online is so much faster and easier

Finding an ad for $99 hearing aids, or even $199 hearing aids, is just too good to be true.

Firstly, they aren’t hearing aids. They’re Personal Sound Amplifying Products (PSAPs). They simply amplify all the sounds around you, whether you need all of them amplified or not.

Secondly, in many cases these are manufactured offshore where health and safety of the user isn’t a priority.

Thirdly, with online shopping you don’t get to see and feel the product before purchase. And the seller may disappear after the sale.

Why hearing aids are worth it

Hearing aids are so much more discreet and effective than they used to be. Technology allows them to be programmed specifically to your hearing loss. Modern hearing aids can focus in one direction or many; they can selectively enhance the sound while reducing distracting background noise within the frequency of your hearing loss while leaving the sounds you can hear the same. Depending on your hearing loss properly fitted hearing aids make speech clearer without making things louder.

Modern hearing aids can connect to Bluetooth devices and many have apps that allow you some control over volumes and functions. Research has shown properly-programmed hearing aids can increase life satisfaction and improved health.

At Hear Well Be Well, you start your journey with a free hearing test so you get the right hearing solution for your unique needs. The comprehensive hearing testing, performed by a highly trained specialist, determines the right technology and programming for you to get the best of your hearing aids.

Included with your hearing aids are manufacturers’ warranties and the optional Hear Well Be Well Peace of Mind package so you know you’re covered for the future.

Don’t put your hearing at further risk with cheap, online ‘hearing aids’. Do what’s right for your hearing. If you suspect you’re experiencing hearing loss, contact us today for a free hearing test.

You hear with your brain!

Did you know you hear with your brain?

Unchecked hearing loss can have serious consequences. One of many great reasons to have your hearing checked!

Social

  • We can isolate ourselves and avoid gatherings because asking people to repeat themselves becomes embarrassing.
  • We can lose touch with our grandchildren because their voices are difficult to hear.
  • We may be excluded from activities, as others stop inviting us because they’re tired of trying to be understood.
  • We can upset those we care about through the strain that hearing loss puts on the relationship.

Emotional

  • When we are unable to follow a conversation or instructions, we can feel less competent.
  • When people say, “What’s wrong with you?”, our self-esteem can lower.
  • When we become more isolated, we’re more likely to feel alone.

Medical

We lose brain tissue mass at a faster rate with hearing loss. John Hopkins’ research shows that hearing loss has a higher rate of shrinkage in brain tissue mass than aging alone. This creates a higher rate of:

  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Hospital stays

When we can’t effectively process sound, it can create a speech impairment which makes it more difficult to be understood.

Safety

  • We don’t hear or are unable to locate the direction of sirens or horns while travelling.
  • We don’t hear warning calls.
  • We don’t hear cries for help from our loved ones.
  • We experience an increased occurrence of falls due to an auditory imbalance.

Since hearing loss is a gradual process and usually happens over a period of time, we often don’t realize it’s happening to us. Most people suffer from sensorineural hearing loss, which means there is actual nerve damage in the inner ear. If these nerves aren’t stimulated by the sounds around us, they don’t send a signal to the brain, which leads to shrinkage of brain tissue. Hearing aids change the way sound is sent into the ear and onward to the brain, reactivating the hearing centers in our brain and reducing brain tissue shrinkage.

Why wait? Be proactive and get your hearing tested today!

Play brain games

Keeping your mind engaged is a good way to stay sharp! Studies have shown that brain exercises, such as puzzles, are a great way to stimulate the brain.

We’ve discovered a few websites that provide wonderful puzzles you can download for free. See the links below to download and print crossword, word search and sudoku puzzles.

Solitaire Bliss is another website with brain games to keep your mind sharp.

Choose from 36 free-online versions of strategic games. Yukon, 40 Thieves, and Mind Games are just some of their offerings.

Top four reasons people avoid getting hearing tests

Hearing is one of your most important senses. So important, in fact, one of the first tests you get as a newborn is a hearing test. Your hearing connects you to your world and helps keep you safe. Even in your sleep, you keep hearing.

So why do so many people avoid getting their hearing tested?

Reason 1: I’m managing just fine.

Hearing loss can sneak up on you. You may develop coping techniques like lip reading or avoiding gatherings. You may ask coworkers to send an email rather than having a conversation. You may think you’re managing just fine, but chances are you’re not.

Those people who spend the most time with you aren’t loving your coping mechanisms. Constantly being asked to repeat themselves, missing out on gatherings because you don’t want to go and conflict being created because you misheard something – all things your loved ones are experiencing in the midst of your ‘managing just fine’.
If you don’t want to get your hearing test for yourself, do it for those who care about you.

Reason 2: I’m not old enough to have hearing problems.

Hearing loss happens at all ages. Sure, it’s more prevalent for those who’ve lived longer but it’s for that very reason it’s more prevalent – they’ve lived a life! Just like your joints can get ‘wear-and-tear’ from use over time, so can the parts of the ear that send sounds to your brain.

There are so many contributing factors to hearing loss. Saying it’s age is oversimplifying it.

Some medications, loud noises in our environments, illness, injury, lifestyle choices, and more can contribute to hearing loss. Everyone is old enough to have hearing problems.
No matter your age, if you’re asking people to repeat themselves, being accused of having the TV on too loud or have trouble understanding conversations in a crowded room, you may have some issues with your hearing health that a hearing test can help define.

Reason 3: I don’t like how hearing aids look

Images of grandpa’s big, clunky hearing aids! If the appearance of hearing aids is holding you back, the 21st Century takes that excuse away. Avoiding your hearing test because you don’t want to wreck your look by wearing a hearing aid can stop now.

Modern hearing aids are very discreet. While the type and level of your hearing loss may dictate what kind of hearing aid you need, there’s no need for a big, clunky hearing aid anymore. Some are the size of a pistachio and are well-hidden right inside your ear.

Finding the right hearing aid, not only for your level of hearing loss but for your lifestyle, is where a Hearing Instrument Specialist comes in. They’re knowledgeable about the available technologies and listen closely to your needs.

Reason 4: It’s all too complicated

Do you know how to read an Xray? Probably not. So, expecting to instantly understand an audiogram may be asking a lot of yourself. Fortunately, your Hearing Instrument Specialist will explain all the testing and your results in a way you can understand.

And hearing aids themselves don’t need to be complicated. You can have it as simple as just turning them on or off and let your Hearing Instrument Specialist worry about the rest. Or, if you’re a tech-minded person, you can take control through the apps available with many hearing aids.

Choosing the right hearing aid clinic

Not all hearing aid clinics are created equal.
Not all offer free hearing screening but Hear Well Be Well does.

Not all hearing clinics give you the option of a variety of manufacturers and brands. Some hearing clinics are actually owned by the manufacturers so your choices are limited or at least they push their own products. At Hear Well Be Well, you can access all the brands and technologies available in Ontario because we’re family-run, independent clinics.

Not all hearing clinics are willing to take the time to make sure you understand. At Hear Well Be Well, we believe compassion and trust are important elements in both the testing and, when needed, hearing aid choice. We’ll answer all your questions, happily share our knowledge and ensure you’re comfortable throughout your experience with us.

Don’t wait

Do what’s healthy for both you and your relationships. Get a FREE hearing test today at Hear Well Be Well.

Five things to know when shopping for hearing aids

Shopping for hearing aids can be an overwhelming experience. Just finding out you have hearing loss and need a hearing aid can put you in a tailspin. Plus, there are so many hearing aids to choose from. How do you know what’s right for you? Here’s a few things to think about when deciding both where to purchase your hearing aids and what hearing aids may be right for you.

1. Get a comprehensive hearing test

There are many components to a comprehensive hearing test. It’s not just 30 minutes in a soundproof booth with you pressing a button when you hear a sound. The more comprehensive the hearing test, the better the hearing instrument specialist or audiologist can assist with your hearing aid selection and the more precisely your hearing aid can be programmed to meet your needs.

When you or friends and family already know there’s evidence of hearing loss, that comprehensive hearing test is really important. If your initial hearing test appointment is less than an hour, you likely aren’t getting the depth of testing required to deliver best hearing with your aids.

2. Not all hearing aids are created equal

Every hearing aid has its own unique features and benefits. Keep in mind, the smaller the hearing aid, the fewer the features. As hearing aids get smaller, there’s less space for the technology required for complex hearing loss. If you want to reduce certain background noises or boost the sound frequencies you struggle to hear, you may not be able to do that with all tiny hearing aids.

Think about your dexterity as well. Changing tiny batteries, or even putting your hearing aids in or on, may be a challenge if you have fine-motor difficulties. Then there’s matching your hearing aid to your lifestyle. Do you want it to connect to your cellphone or to your television so you can listen to TV at your personal volume without affecting others?

And there’s no need to let your vanity suffer just because ‘invisible’ hearing aids may not be right for you. There are many hearing aid choices that are hidden behind or on top of your ear.

3. Know who you’re buying from

In Ontario, the national hearing aid clinic chains are mostly owned by hearing aid manufacturers. They only sell their own products. If you want more choice while shopping for hearing aids, and finding the right aids for you, you may want to consider booking an appointment at an independent or family-owned clinic. Family-owned hearing aid clinics are generally independent and can offer more than one manufacturer’s products as well as delivering very personalized service.

4. Review the service plans for after-purchase care

After shopping for hearing aids and deciding on your purchase, you need to care for them and for yourself. It can get expensive if your hearing aid clinic doesn’t offer you a lifetime or comprehensive service plan with regularly scheduled appointments to ensure you’re hearing well after your purchase. In Ontario, hearing aid clinics generally use the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario (AHIP) fee guidelines for individual after-purchase services like hearing instrument reprogramming, wax removal, hearing aid cleaning or a hearing reassessment.

You want your hearing aids to deliver the best possible hearing which can take reprogramming and sometimes retesting. Even adapting to your hearing aids can go more smoothly with the support of your hearing aid clinic.

Make sure you’re fully informed on what you’ll have to pay for after purchase before you commit to your purchase.

5. Get financial support if you qualify

In Ontario, the Ministry of Health through their Assistive Devices Program may help cover some of the cost for your hearing aids. Choose a clinic where the staff is not only willing but happy to help you with the paperwork for this financial support.

If you’ve been injured in a work-related accident or are a Veteran of the Canadian Forces, your hearing aid clinic should be knowledgeable of processes and assessments as well as demonstrate a willingness to advocate for you.

Hear Well Be Well is a family-owned hearing aid clinic with over 30-years experience and 13 locations in Ontario offering the most up-to-date technologies to get you hearing your best. Contact us to book your hearing assessment.