Helping people hear better in Nashville, TN

Listen up, Music City; your hearing is about to take center stage!

Let’s start with the basics. You’re hearing is what drives your life, enlivens your relationships, keeps you in the loop and at the top of your game.

The quality and clarity of your hearing is essential to living your life to the fullest. If your hearing is suffering even just a little bit, if you’ve felt frustrated, isolated or left out because you can’t make out the conversation, Audiology Associates and Hearing Aids Today can change all that with a lifestyle solution just for you.

We’re here to help you understand your hearing loss, and help you take back the life you’ve been missing. You don’t have to miss another sound, the solution to your hearing problems is right around the corner.

Hear more – anywhere, anytime!


Want to be a part of the conversation again?

Dr. Jina Scherer has built a practice that is 100% focused on you – your family, your work and your life. The conversations that start in our office are about building relationships of trust, and finding solutions that inspire.

We know how hard it can be to struggle with hearing loss and feel like there’s nowhere to turn. Audiology Associates & Hearing Aids Today is dedicated to helping people hear better everyday. Our clients, friends and family in Nashville have come to trust us for exceptional care and service, and we take that trust very seriously.

Nearly 36 million Americans report some degree of hearing loss, and every one of them has a family, a job and a lifestyle that can also be significantly affected. That adds up to a lot of people suffering, losing hope and missing out on things when they don’t have to.

The comeback your hearing deserves, is here today!

  • Hear Better, Live BetterClick here to see how our Audiology Services can help you hear and live better.
  • Acoustic or Electric – Turn It Up! – Check out our full line of musician’s earplugs, tips to protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss. Click here to find out more.
  • A Tip of the Hat to TechnologyClick here to see just how far hearing aid and hearing assistance devices have come – We guarantee you’ll be surprised!
  • Testing, Testing – One, Two… – Already have a hearing aid? We can test any hearing aid you have and see that it’s delivering the best sound possible. Click here to set up an appointment today.

Your Ears…Only Better!

“I was a pretty good imitator of Roy Acuff, but then I found out they already had a Roy Acuff, so I started singin’ like myself.” – Hank Williams

Rediscovering your hearing is like finding your own voice, it will change your life overnight!

People come to Nashville to become a star; they stay because of the family they find here. Audiology Associates and Hearing Aids Today is part of that family, and the relationships we’re building everyday are far better than a single night on stage at the Grand Ole Opry.

When you struggle with hearing loss, your relationships suffer, your business suffers and your life is a little less than it could be. When the chips are down, the relationships in your life are more important than anything else; isn’t that what all those songs are really about?

Before we help people to hear better…We Listen! Our amazing staff of audiology and support professionals know what they’re listening for, so when you step into our office, you’ll know you’ve come to the right place.

It’s time you did something about your hearing loss, and we’re here to help!

  • Meet the TeamClick here to meet the best audiology professionals and support staff anywhere in Music City.
  • Contact Us – Nothing beats getting your questions answered face-to-face. Click here to get in touch and schedule an appointment today.
Natural, effortless listening pleasure…
Call today!
615-457-8600

How Hearing Loss Can Affect Your Holiday Gatherings

While many people regard it as the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays are not always so bright for people who suffer from hearing loss. While meeting up with family members is one of the greatest parts of the season, people with hearing loss are restricted in this respect of life. That is why it is so important for people to understand what their family and friends are going through with being impaired. Here we will take a closer look at the different ways that people can keep their hearing health under control and how those around them can make their season more worthwhile.

Problems Caused By Hearing Loss

The holiday season is unique in the sense that it is punctuated by family gatherings in just about every culture. This means people will be spending more time with one another at this time of year than any other. If you have hearing loss, this means that this time of year can be very alienating and even depression because you cannot take part in the conversations and gatherings as well as other people around you.

While it may seem like a minor problem, not being able to be the center of every conversation, this happens on a daily basis with hard of hearing individuals. The social effects and limitations can compound over time, leading to depression and anxiety symptoms building up in these people. This can cause even more social withdrawal and lead to even more problems with depression. Hearing loss on a large scale has even been connected to larger and more serious health issues.

What Can We Do?

Thankfully, there are many different ways to help people who suffer from hearing loss during this time of the year. For example, you can take a family-oriented approach and introduce your hearing impaired family member into conversations so that they do not have to suffer the awkwardness of sitting alone or not understanding. You may also take the lead and speak loudly and slowly for them, and encourage people around them to do the same. Just because they suffer from a medical condition does not mean that they cannot contribute to the conversations in meaningful or even entertaining ways.

Another one of the ways that you can help holiday hearing loss blues is by taking a medical approach. If you speak to a hearing specialist, they can offer you many different solutions for your hearing problems. The first thing that they can do is to figure out what is causing your hearing loss by giving you a modern diagnosis. Armed with this information, you can opt for a medical treatment or a device fitting. Some surgeries can repair your hearing enough so that you will have normalized methods of hearing. If that is not an option, a hearing specialist can help find a hearing aid or implant that will help. All of these are great ways for an individual to get back into their social circles, a concept that is always important during the holidays.

How Hearing Aids Are Programmed

Much in the same way that you cannot expect to grab a pair of reading glasses off the shelf at a store and have them be perfect for your vision, a hearing aid device also needs to have substantial amounts of programming before it can be used properly. That is why it is important for every person who suffers from hearing loss to go to an audiologist to have their hearing health tested, their specifications set, and their device programmed. Here we will explore the process and benefits of having your hearing aid programmed.

What Factors Can Be Adjusted?

There are many different aspects of your hearing aid device that can be adjusted on a whim. However, it largely depends on the type of hearing aid that you have and the specific needs that you expect from it. Some of the things that can be adjusted by a hearing specialist on just about any device are volume, frequency, compression ratios, intensity, noise reductions, and microphone parameters for picking up sound in the world around you. You can even have many of these devices fixed for filtering background noise.

Processing Time

The older models of hearing aids were not able to be adjusted in so many ways. In fact, unless you were handy with your own tools at home, there was little you could do once you purchased the hearing aid. However, you can have hundreds of elements changed at a whim to meet your needs. This requires the patient to submit to a rather long process of discerning the best hearing outcomes as various aspects are changed for hearing at the behest of the hearing specialist in charge of your case. Once you have your finished product, you can still go back and have it adjusted again in the future. Often, you will find that your brain has to take some time to adjust to the settings before you know how you will react to it completely. While it may seem like an arduous process at first, the ability to have customized hearing cannot be overstated.

Programming Hearing Aids

There are many different ways that hearing can be measured once you have gone into a hearing specialist to have your hearing tested. They use ear measurements, visual mapping techniques, and even simulations of environmental sounds which are useful in mapping the way that your ears receive hearing. Using a real-ear microphone, they can even find out just how much sound is hitting the eardrum based on certain settings. The visual mapping can also act as a great point of reference for the hearing specialist. They may also use surround sound simulations to see how your hearing aid will perform for you under a variety of circumstances. After all, your hearing can change based on a variety of different things that take place in the real world, and you deserve to be prepared for them. Once your doctor has an understanding of the ways that different sounds can affect your hearing, they will be able to program your hearing aid in context of background noises. Remember, while anyone can make the adjustments to a hearing aid, there is no way to get the same level of accuracy and care than by going to an audiologist hearing specialist.

Brain Hearing Restores Optimal, Natural Hearing

Hearing aids have been one of the greatest advances in hearing health over the last twenty years. While the devices have been regarded as being an incredible advancement in technology, many people still view them as the old, bulky forms that they have taken on in the past. The modern hearing aids are nearly invisible and they have a higher level of functionality than ever before. While the advances in technology have been significant, there has also been a more complete type of understanding about what constitutes brain hearing.

What Is Brain Hearing?

Brain hearing comes from the very simple understanding that hearing occurs in the brain, and not in the associated hearing organs. The most basic form of hearing aids were designed to channel as much sound towards the brain in hopes that enough would get through in order to establish hearing. This resulted in low quality hearing for many people with hearing aid devices.

Fortunately, there have been many developments along the way that have allowed researchers and designers to pinpoint the areas in the brain that are linked with sound processing, allowing the development of hearing aids that focus on working through the brain.

Brain Focused Hearing Aids

The hearing aids that are meant to work through the brain are complex devices that required years of research to be successful. They function by changing the quality and amount of sounds sent through the ear so that they filter out sounds that are already able to be heard, resulting in less work and fatigue on the brain centers that focus on hearing. They make use of four very particular functions.

1. Spatial Recognition: these new devices can detect which sounds are coming from which ear, making the process of locating the sound sources possible.

2. Speech Recognition: brain hearing allows for natural speech sounds to be preserved so that they are easier to understand and do not sound as artificial.

3. Sound Filtering: brain hearing devices filter out sounds that are unnecessary to the individual listener.

4. Sound Focusing: brain hearing can allow the user to focus on sounds that are important, such as conversations even in sound-inundated areas.

Consumer Satisfaction

One of the best parts about brain hearing aid devices is that they have been welcome with open arms by the hearing impaired community. Estimates show that while the average approval rate of hearing aid devices is somewhere around 79%, people who make use of the brain hearing aid device have about a 95% approval rate of their devices.

Benefits Of Brain Hearing

In order to have access to these forms of hearing aids, you will need to meet with a professional hearing specialist. They will be able to get a very precise measurement of your hearing so that they can program the brain hearing device to interact with you perfectly. With a customized hearing aid device, you will experience better levels of hearing than ever, giving you the ability to interact with the world around you. For all of these reasons and more, it is important to stay abreast of advancements in hearing aid technology.

How Cell Phones Are Revolutionizing The Hearing Aid Industry

Cell phones are quickly taking the place of hearing aid devices as the primary means for helping people with hearing impairment. More companies have begun to use technology in cell phones to meet the needs of people who used only hearing aids before. In fact many of the greatest leaps in technology for hearing impaired individuals have been in cell phones. The new technologies are changing the way that people with hearing impairment approach the world in terms of their safety and daily lives.

Technological advancements in cell phones

There have been many advancements in the way that hardware and software in cell phones have helped people with hearing impairment. All of these changes have been made with the hearing impaired community in mind, allowing them of larger range of accessibility with their cell phone. Many modern cell phones come equipped with a telecoil. A telecoil, when used in conjunction with a cell phone, can convert magnetic signals within a cell phone into sound signals that can be interpreted through a hearing aid. T3 and T4 telecoils are now common in all new cell phones making it possible for people with hearing loss to use their cell phones and hearing aids at the same time.

Smart phones – the future technology

Generally speaking, smartphones have superior technology to their non-smart counterparts. However like regular cell phones, smartphones often come with telecoils built into them. Static and noise canceling technology is also being integrated into the latest models of smartphones. People using a hearing aid along with their cell phone are now able to experience halls that do not have feedback or static. When buying a smart phone, individuals with hearing loss can refer to the hearing aid capacity, or HAC, which works as a rating system for hearing devices and their ability to function alongside a smartphone.

Since smartphones have the ability to run applications people with hearing impairment can find many apps that will help them about their daily lives. There are apps that can help find subtitles for movies or TV shows and even apps that can use lights and vibrations to get the attention of hearing aid users with their cell phones. This allows somebody with hearing impairments to use your device to help their overall awareness when they are getting incoming calls or texts. These are just some of the ways that modern cell phones are helping people with hearing impairment revolutionize the way they approach technology. With more emphasis being placed on user interface, cell phones will continue to revolutionize the realm of hearing aids.

Electric Cochlear Implants: Functions And Benefits

There are many different treatments that are available for people who have hearing impairment. Two of the most popular and successful means of treating people are hearing aids and cochlear implants. While hearing aids are the most commonly used treatments, cochlear implants are gaining significant ground when it comes to providing a helpful treatment due to their more complete means of positively affecting hearing. The benefits of using a cochlear implant will be thoroughly explored in this article, as will the way that these novel devices function.

What Is A Cochlear Implant Made Out Of?

A cochlear implant is a device that has several functioning pieces. What makes these tools so unique is that they have parts that function outside of the body as well as those that are actually implanted into the user’s body. The external pieces of the cochlear implant are the microphone, speech processing unit, and the transmitter. Beneath the surface of the skin is an electronic receiver as well as a special electrode cluster that works with the other pieces to simulate sound within the user.

Functions

The function of a cochlear implant is both interesting and rather complex. First, sound waves must be taken in from the environment around the user through the microphone. After this, the sound waves are transferred over to the speech processor, a device that is close to the microphone or sometimes located on other areas of the body. This piece turns the sound from sound wave stimuli into magnetic waves that travel through the device. These waves are sent to the transmission piece to the receiver that is waiting beneath the skin of the user.
After the receiver picks up this information and reinterprets it, the new information is sent to the electrode cluster that is implanted within the cochlear implant user. There, it can act on the auditory nerve and simulate sound for the user, effectively allowing them to hear the original stimuli.

Many Benefits

There are many reasons why cochlear implants are a better option for people who suffer from hearing loss. One of the first reasons is that they have better hearing outcomes than regular hearing aids. The specificity of the device and the complex parts ensure that there are many levels of filtration that leads to clear sound. While they are usually more expensive than other hearing solutions for people with hearing impairment, the level of quality sound that is produced by these devices usually convinces people that implantation is a viable option for them. With these implants, people are able to go about their daily lives with a high level of safety, security, and overall satisfaction.

Advancements in Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids are excellent because they are capable of cutting out distracting background noise for a crisper listening experience. While some are available with remote controls that allow the user to adjust various settings, others come with omnidirectional microphones to detect sound from multiple directions. Hearing aids have progressed a lot since the ear trumpets which first came out in the 1800s. Since that time, the advancements have come fast one after another, going from analog to digital in the present day. In fact, most hearing aids made today are digital. Digital hearing aids, which allow audiologists to program each device according to the user’s specific degree of hearing loss, can now be adjusted for volume accordingly.

The First Digital Hearing Aids

Ideal for digital noise reduction, DSPs provided a boost in processing speeds which improved the ability to hear as well as the range of amplification for individuals wearing the hearing aid. The first digital hearing aids, introduced into the medical community, came out initially in 1996. They utilized DSP, which stands for digital signal processing.

Improved Connections

With the encroachments of digital hearing aids, users arer able to hook up to Bluetooth and other wireless technological services to expand their ease of use. In addition, those who wear these hearing aids benefit from digital noise reduction and better frequency transposition, as well as increased range.

DNR

Digital noise reduction technology goes well beyond that of directional microphones because it is based on the physical characteristics of noise and speech rather than the separation of space, taking into account for modulation in speech patterns.

Single Sided Deafness

Before these big advancements in digital technology, those who suffered from single-sided deafness were forced to contend with greater background noise and were relegated to using their “good ear” to hear what was being said. Now, things like CROS devices and bone conduction devices, the good ear receives signals from the bad ear to improve on amplification.

Noise Filtration

Many manufacturers are breaking down technology walls with the use of digital magnetic wireless communication via chips in the devices that control settings like switch position and microphone modes. Recent advancements mean hearing aids can actually communicate with each other as in the case of left and right ear instruments. One overriding complaint users of hearing aids have always made is that it’s difficult to hear clearly with all the background noise. Older hearing aids amplified all sound, which was great for hearing words but this also presented an added challenge of filtering out the background noise that was also amplified. Today’s hearing aids can easily filter out that noise so that the user can hear words but not all the other stuff. Improvements in wireless technology have allowed for improved speech recognition and SNR, also known as signal-to-noise ratio.

Self-Learning

Today’s hearing aids fortunately come with self-learning or regulating tendencies. These are truly “smart” hearing aids that adjust settings like volume automatically after a period of time according to user preferences. This puts control into the hands of the wearer.

The Outlook

The outlook for digital hearing aids is positive as look toward the future, as the technology will only continue to expand through the years. For improved ease of use and flexibility, hearing impaired individuals can count on digital hearing aids to take advantage of innovative wireless technology and microelectronics to reach more superior levels.

10 Ways Good Hearing can Help Keep Seniors Young

One of the most overlooked aspects of your total health as you continue to grow older is your hearing health. Many people are surprised when they find how interconnected their overall health is to their hearing. While poor hearing can lead to many negative health problems, keeping a focus on your hearing health throughout your life can lead to several health benefits that are otherwise missed out upon.

1. There is a much lower risk that you will be involved in a falling accident. If you have proper hearing and inner ear health, you will be able to keep your balance much easier while going up and down the stairs. Severe auditory trauma can often lead to damage to your overall sense of equilibrium, which can result in a fall.

2. Keeping your overall safety level above average. Think about this: if you do not have optimal hearing, how will you be able to distinguish random loud noise from emergency sirens? Not only does this put you in danger, but it can even affect those around you or in your care.

3. Proper hearing will allow you to keep all of your social activities in check. After all, it is difficult to have a good time if you cannot hear music, conversation, or the movie that everyone else is watching. Even when people have suffered from hearing damage, their social lives have rapidly improved upon getting a hearing aid, keeping them young at heart.

4. Better job opportunities than ever before. Employers want someone who is attentive and able to hear orders the first time around. You need to be able to hear the world around you to be the best worker possible.

5. An easier time in school. More older people are going back to college than ever before, and it certainly helps if you are able to take instructions in the back of those large lecture halls.

6. Having a high level of confidence. If you are a senior who is able to participate in conversations and social functions with confidence because of your great hearing, people will notice and you can become the center of attention. Otherwise, you risk social isolation and withdrawal according to recent studies.

7. A lower risk of dementia. Studies from Johns Hopkins have confirmed that there is a positive correlation between people who suffer from hearing loss and those who have dementia.

8. Fewer hospitalizations per year. One of the largest contributing factors for people who were hospital bound over the age of 55 was that they were not able to hear the danger around them; whether it be a dog at their feet or a car backing out.

9. High levels of blood flow to the ear structures. By pumping blood into the ear canal and supporting structures due to healthy levels of hearing, you can prevent more damage from occurring within the ear.

10. Better interactions throughout the day. It is better to be able to have healthy social interactions with store clerks and people who are trying to serve you than to ask them to repeat themselves over and over. Both you and they will be happier and more open if you have good hearing.

 

The Multiple Functions Of Digital Earplugs

Digital ear plugs are a form of hearing protection that is gaining a large degree of popularity with people all around the world. They use it as a means to protect their hearing in the most demanding jobs which offer threats to hearing health. These devices were developed following many recent studies that have proven that hearing health is tied to other areas of health, and needs to be protected more thoroughly. These devices are successful, but have not been accepted in many places due to people not understanding what they offer. Here we will showcase the benefits, functions, and technology of digital ear plugs.

Job Sites

Any person that has ever swung a hammer or been on a production line knows just how loud the work place can get. After going home for days with ringing ears, it may occur to some people to get some foam ear plugs for their job, but they are never enough. In jobs such as a paramedic or a miller, there are so many loud, droning sounds that require complete or selective silence in order to keep your hearing health safe. With these needs in mind, digital ear plugs were developed to help people, offering many benefits.

What They Can Do

Digital ear plugs are able to offer many different benefits to people all around the world. One of the first reasons that most people buy digital ear plugs is so that they can protect their hearing from having any sound enter their ear, which is something that they are able to do admirably. Another reason that people are beginning to prefer these devices is the fact that they are built to block out certain frequencies, and can even account for and minimize high levels of sound that can cause physical harm to your ear. This is all made possible by the immense amount of technology that goes into every ear plug.

The Tools And Tech

There are many different types of technology that makes these devices some of the most valuable on the market for protecting your hearing. One of the first levels of tech in these devices is the ability to customize them to fit the ear of the person that is using them so that they remain snug, tight, and in place throughout the entire day. Another piece of technology is called the frequency alteration device, which allows you to set certain amounts of frequencies that you want to let into your device and into your ear, something that can be switched at a moment’s notice. Finally, there is a threshold device in each ear plug that allows you to set the decibel level that you find acceptable, and then will block out anything that comes in at a high level than that. These devices are able to protect people’s hearing better than just about anything else in the work environment, and as the word spreads, they will become more commonplace in work areas.

Hearing Loss and Diabetes

A definitive link has been detected between diabetes and hearing loss – the number one and number two health concerns in America today, says the American Diabetes Association. This connection is telling because it means one affects that other in pretty conclusive ways. The researchers of recent studies of 20,000 people from various continents around the world, including United States, Asia, Brazil and Australia show that you’re twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss if you also have diabetes than others who don’t have it. The results show the two conditions are indeed related but no one’s sure why. More work has to be done to further a conclusive link. Incredibly, 30 million people have diabetes and 34.5 million people have hearing loss across the nation.

Correlation Between Diabetes and Hearing Loss

There are speculations that high blood glucose levels that are common with diabetes actually hurt the small blood vessels in the inner ear, just like they can harm your eyes, kidneys and feet. As such, more research needs to be conducted to further explore the correlation between the two conditions. Some say that better controlling one’s blood sugar levels may curb the risk of hearing impairment, but again the results are inconclusive right now. Researchers do realize the effects may come from the medications and diuretics that diabetics take to lower their blood pressure. Old age and noisy work environments – surely these contribute to hearing loss. While they do, no link was found between them and diabetics within the confines of this study. Researchers are still confused as to why diabetes causes hearing loss or even vice versa.

Signs and Symptoms of Hearing Loss

The negative effects of hearing loss can indeed affect many areas of your life. You may stop attending parties for fear of embarrassment of asking others to repeat what they said, and it’s certainly a possibility that you’re putting yourself and others at risk in everyday situations. If you don’t get diagnosed and treated by an audiologist can be detrimental, especially if diabetes is at the heart of your situation. This is why you should be on the alert for the many signs and symptoms of hearing loss such as:

  • Cranking the volume on the TV or radio
  • Trouble keeping track of conversations involving multiple people
  • Thinking people are mumbling when they are actually speaking clearly
  • Trouble detecting the voices of small children or women

Testing for Diabetes

It’s important that you speak up and ask for a hearing analysis as part of your next routine health exam. If it comes back questionable, don’t leave without a referral to an audiologist to undergo additional evaluation. As a diabetic, you probably undergo many tests at your doctor visits, and fitting one more in seems like a hassle. But if it will help you understand others and read situations better, it’s best to get it done. With a clearer diagnosis, your doctor can better realize how your diabetic condition relates to your hearing loss.

Hearing Loops: What They Are And How They Work

One of the most popular forms of hearing devices that is being implemented in more people around the world is hearing loops. These two piece contraptions use novel technology in order to help people who have hearing impairment get clearer hearing in certain situations. Though it has received a moderately popular response, many people still do not understand the benefits of this system. That is why we are going to look at what a hearing loop is, how they function, and where you can see them in the public realm.

What Are Hearing Loops?

Hearing loops are devices that use a combination of hearing devices to evoke a clearer degree of sound for people who suffer from hearing impairment. The first part of a hearing loop system is actually the loop. The hearing device counts on a cable to transmit and receive data from the environment so that it can be sent throughout the room. The second part of a hearing loop is a receiver that can take in and interpret the sound that is broadcasted throughout the room. This comes in the form of a hearing aid, specifically, the telecoil.

How Do Hearing Loops Work?

Hearing loops work by using the two parts of the system as a radio and a receiver. The first thing that happens in the process is sound being brought in by a microphone or similar device. From there, the information is run throughout the cable in the form of an electromagnetic signal. This signal needs to be picked up and interpreted while it is being broadcast throughout the room. This requires a telecoil in order to interpret the sound in a meaningful way.
Fortunately, telecoils have been built into hearing aids for several years now because they make it possible to hear conversations between people. The telecoil brings in the signal and interprets it and transforms it into sound that is at the proper frequency. The result is that people can hear specific speakers or announcements no matter where they are in the room.

What Are Hearing Loops?

Hearing loops are currently found in some locations, but are mostly limited to larger cities. You can mostly see them in large meeting areas such as universities, some churches, and office buildings. There is a large push to have more hearing loops integrated into mass transit so that people with hearing impairment can travel in public while feeling confident. There are some legislators who want to have laws introduced in order to make hearing loops necessary for public buildings under ADA laws.