Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bilateral cochlear implants: When one's good and two is better

Today I got this email about Bilateral Cochlear Implants and I thought this article was very intestering so I wanted to post it here. For those of you that are thinking of going Bilateral for yourself or for your children you should read this.

click here

I havent been around for a few days because I slept over Will's because his mom asked me to decorate the christmas tree. It was alot of fun as always.

Tonight I am going with my entire family to a Breast Cancer Benefit. Joanne recently had a double mastectomy with limited medical insurance. Joanne is my future brother in law Mother. So tonight is all about JOANNE and I wish for you a speedy recovery. Joanne You are always in my prayers and Im very happy you loved the breast cancer bracelet I gave you along with the mass card. You deserve the best!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I just checked the HLAA forum.. because today I wrote on the board that " I started wearing my LEFT hearing aid again and It is soo ITCHY when its in my ear. I also told them that I use Q- TIPS to clean my ear after my 2 showers a day! YES i know its bad but honestly I wore hearing aids all my life and never had this ITCHING PROBLEM! IT driving me nuts and I needed support and I got one person telling me to go to my pharmacy to get 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 burning alcohol. So im waiting to hear back from her because I wanted to know if this was in 1 bottle. I also just recieved another answer and it was this oops... I know its bad q-tips and Now I have to face reality and FIGURE out how to clean my EARS without Q-TIPS..

Tsk, tsk, tsk, Danielle. This is from Web MD:

Q-tips, weapons of ear destruction
A week does not pass where I have the opportunity to chastise yet another injured Q-tip user on the Ear Disorders Board or in my own clinic. I had two today, including one admitted bobby-pin user. I have a well-deserved reputation of being a venomous and unsympathetic opponent of using Q-tips in the ear, so I thought this topic deserved another blog post.

Now, I use the term Q-tip, a brand name and registered trademark of the Chesebrough-Pond/Unilever Company, and makers of Vaseline and other slick products, in the generic sense. Since Q-tips are a lot easier to say than "cotton-tipped applicators", I will use this term. There are certainly other manufacturers of cotton-tipped applicators out there, but none with eighty years of manufacturing experience.

I always thought that the Q of Q-tip meant "quick" since others have chosen to bastardize this fine brand name in this fashion. I was surprised to discover that the Q actually means "quality".

Let me say up front to ward off the lawyers of this fine company, that it is not the Q-tips that are the problem. It is the USERS of the Q-tips that I wish to address. Q-tips do not harm people; people harm people.

I wish that I had a box of Q-tips to check my facts, but I have been told that the company has a warning on the box not to use them INSIDE the ear. That is a very good and responsible statement. Unfortunately, few people read the box or heed this warning.

I found the following statement on their Web site:

"Q-Tips cotton swabs have more cotton at the tip* than any other swab, making them the safest, softest and gentlest tool you can use for family care. They also provide the ultimate precision, making them the perfect tool for uses outside your ear." (I added the italics to the word, "outside").

Human beings have been digging around in their ears since the Dawn of Time. I bet even selective-hearing Adam was cleaning out his ears during God's "Don't eat the apples" lecture. Museums have examples of ivory and gold ear spoons that date back thousands of years. When I was visiting Japan a few decades ago, a cute little Japanese girl handed me a sample of a modern, disposable ear spoon. That's what the world needs: another product that can cause potential harm.

We can blame some of this stuff on our parents and our parent's parents and so on. They were the ones that started the rumor that earwax was bad stuff that had to be removed, like toe jam or a booger hanging out of your nose. They could not have been more wrong.

While excess, hard, or obstructive earwax can be problematic, most earwax (cerumen) is infinitely more beneficial. It is a normal, protective coating for the sensitive skin of the ear canal. A canal coated with ear wax will repel water and help prevent external ear infections. When you dig it out like some demented gold miner, you leave your ear very vulnerable.

Since we do not have the ability to look inside our own ears at the present time (you can buy a video otoscope for under a thousand dollars if you want), most Q-tip users blindly probe around looking for yellow, often getting red instead. Many will look at their wax-stained swab with pride and admiration of a job well done. Eventually, they will go too far and injure or rupture their eardrums. If it wasn't for pain and blood, I suspect that some people would excavate around until they pulled out little bones or brain tissue. Perhaps, many have already done that.

Q-tips are not unlike the plungers used to load cannon. They can pack softer wax deeply in the ear canal against the eardrum. By creating a formidable plug and preventing the eardrum from moving normally, it is quite easy to cause some significant hearing loss. Water can also be trapped behind these self-created wax dams and entertain you by constant sloshing around. When this happens, the ear will need to be lavaged -- washed out by a gentle stream of warm water. Or, you will need to see your medical provider, someone that CAN look inside your ear and remove the impaction professionally.

Chronic Q-tip use creates dryness in the sensitive ear canal. Dry skin itches. People with itchy ears use Q-tips (and other found objects) to scratch them. The scratching causes itching. Do you see the cycle here? Eventually, the damaged skin will break down and crack, allowing opportunistic bacteria or yucky fungus to invade. Congratulations. You have caused otitis externa, also known as Swimmer's Ear.

Speaking of swimmers, chronic water exposure can wash out all of the protective wax, too, causing the water to remain in the ear canal. In order to remove the water, people will use Q-tips, or put drops of drying alcohol in the ear canal, often making the matters worse. I recently tested a new product called DryEar, a portable/rechargeable ear dryer. I loved it. It blows a gentle stream of warm air into the ear canal to dry out that trapped water.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Q-tips; a fine, well-made product. They have hundreds of clever uses. As long as you don't put them INSIDE your ears, they are a safe product. In the hands of idiots, they are true Weapons of Ear Destruction.

After reading this I am going to try very hard to not use Q-TIPS anymore.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I was cooking dinner tonight for my boyfriend and him and my father yelled to get my attention to see this christmas commericial. This is the 2nd Commericial that I have seen on tv that relates to deafness and ASL. I am so happy that I saw this.
take a look

Since the whole thing isn't captioned, I've written it out here to the best of my lipreading abilities:

Man: I'm sorry my signing isn't so good.

Woman: You're doing fine!

Man: I'm learning some new signs...for you.

Woman: Really?!

Man turns and grabs a gift.

Man: Merry Christmas!

Woman gazes at her brand new watch and sighs with awe.

(Commercial goes to something about Kay Jewelers. I have no idea if they're saying anything. Not sure if it was captioned on the TV since I missed that part. )

Man: Do you like it?

Woman: Read my lips. (She smiles)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


For those of you that are hard of hearing and wear hearing aids, GREAT NEWS... VERIZON & AT & T have a list of all the phones that are compatabile with hearing aids!! About time! If you would like to know what phones are compatible with your hearing aid please click here This goes right to the HLAA website. It will tell you by clicking on what cell phone company you have what phones are compatible with hearing aids!!!

Today is my 23th Birthday!! I cant wait for a piece of CAKE since its been 23 days on this High Protein diet I dont want to be on.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hearing Aid and Cochlear Implant Sweat Bands

Whoever wears a BTE hearing aid or a Cochlear Implant and has a problem with moisture and prespiration this product called Hearing Aid Sweat Bands can be purchased here .

What is a Hearing Aid Sweat Band? The hearing aid sweat band is a piece of Fabric that protects your hearing aid or CI from damanaging from mositure and prespiration. You can wear it all the time. Especially while outdoors and play a sport. One of the many benefits is that you can avoid expensive hearing aid repairs. You are also able to control your hearing aid or CI while it is on.

I am deafinitely going to buy this because I learned that moisture will effect my hearing aid and I rather spend a few dollars on something that will help keep the moisture away so I can avoid expensive hearing aid repairs.

If you buy it let me know what you think.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Great News on Insurance Coverage for Hearing Aids


Our hard work has paid off. Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) has been pushing for hearing aid coverage in federal health plans. HLAA has learned that several of the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) insurance plans have expanded their coverage to include coverage of hearing aids for adults. The Federal Government is the largest employer in the US. FEHB covers some 8 million federal employees, retirees and their dependants. That’s a lot of health insurance!

Expanded hearing health care coverage is great news not only for federal employees, but for everyone who depends on their employer for health insurance. As the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) points out in their news release, the FEHB program is often seen as a model program that serves to show the way for other insurers. Below are examples of added coverage offered in the FEHB plans:

Blue Cross/Blue Shield is adding hearing aids for adults up to $1,000 per year, every 3 years in both options.
APWU is adding a new benefit with one exam and testing every 2 years paid at 90 percent of PPO allowance or 70 percent of allowance for non-PPO. Hearing aids every three years limited to $1,500 maximum.
Mail Handlers, which already provided benefits of $200 per hearing aid per ear, is increasing the amount to $500, with replacement available every five years.
GEHA is adding a new benefit with a maximum of $500 per ear, every five years.
Panama Canal is adding a new benefit with a $1,000 lifetime maximum.
Foreign Service is adding a new benefit of 100 percent coverage, up to a maximum of $1,200 per aid per ear per person and hearing exam, once every five years.
Rural Carriers is adding a new benefit up to $1,100 per hearing aid per ear once every five years.
The Association is changing their hearing benefit coinsurance from 10 percent to 0 percent and will cover up to a maximum of $1,400 for one hearing aid per ear.
Samba is adding hearing benefits up to $500 per lifetime for hearing aids.
NALC is providing a lifetime maximum of $1,000 for hearing aids
Health Alliance is adding a new benefit at a maximum of $500 for hearing aids/devices once every three years.
FEHB’s inclusion of hearing aids makes it clear they see the lack of hearing aids for their employees as a health care issue. It’s our expectation that other carriers will follow the lead of FEHB. HLAA will be watching to see whether more carriers pick up expanded hearing health coverage.

Ask your employer if they cover hearing aids in your plan now. Let us know if they do. If your employer doesn’t provide similar coverage, show them what’s happening with FEHB. If federal employees enjoy hearing aid health insurance coverage, why shouldn’t the rest of us benefit too?!

Friday, November 14, 2008

EU May Limit Volume on Ipods and MP3 players

Individuals listening to personal stereo devices may find that the volume level just isn’t as loud if European Union’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risk has their way.

According to committee researchers, one out of ten users listen to music at decibel levels that cause permanent hearing damage. MP3 players and the like with the use of in-ear headphone phones, commonly called “earbuds,” have the ability to reach 120dB. Hearing damage can begin as low as 90dB (think truck traffic). 120dB is 5 points louder than a rock concert. Ultimately this could put up to 10 million people in the EU at risk.

Typically younger people are the ones at risk for this type of hearing damage and the committee’s concern is that these music devices will eventually have a long-term negative impact on the health of their constituents.

A British study found that 6.9 per cent of people aged 18 to 25 played their personal stereos louder than 90dB. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People has calculated that more than two thirds of young people who regularly use MP3 players face premature hearing damage.

As well as hearing loss and tinnitus, loud noise can also affect the memory, attention, school performance and may even lead to higher blood pressure, according to some studies.

Apple, makers of iPod have introduced software that can limit the volume of their device, but only after being ordered to do so by the French government or have their products removed from stores.

The European Commission is organizing a conference to discuss the findings and is expected to recommend a reduction in the maximum legal volume of these personal stereo devices.

I thought this was a very interesting email i got this morning thought to share it with you all. I use to listen to my IPOD.. and to tell you the truth when it was on the HIGHEST volume level it could go to I still couldnt hear as much just MUMBLES. My POINT is I stopped using my ipod because my hearing loss gradually decreased because I kept the the Volume so loud on the Ipod I believe thats why I lost more of my hearing. Thats what I Believe. Studies do show just like this article which came from a Doctor whos that you can damange your ears. I deafinitely agree with this article and If u do have an IPOD OR MP3 SET IT to a proper volume same goes with ur kids if they have these devices you can set the volumes and they wont be able to touch it unless u unlock it yourself.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Landmark Tinnitus Treatment Study Published

I received this email today and thought I share it with you all.

Top News
Landmark Tinnitus Treatment Study Published

Bethlehem, Pa — Neuromonics Inc has announced publication of the largest private-practice study evaluating the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment, which comprehensively targets the condition’s neurological processes. Published in the November issue of Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, the 470-patient study demonstrates that 92% of the patient cohort who met suitability criteria significantly improved following the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment.

This is the first study that evaluated the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment’s efficacy for the entire tinnitus population; the study did not just include the most suitable patients, but also more difficult-to-treat sufferers with complicating clinical factors. The research showed that the treatment also improved symptoms for those patients with complications, including those who also presented with decreased loudness tolerance (hyperacusis) or severe hearing loss. The results provide instructive guidance to health care professionals, by demonstrating how defined criteria relating to treatment suitability impacts treatment outcomes.

“This data further validates the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment’s effectiveness for difficult-to-treat patients with limited therapeutic options,” said Peter Hanley, PhD, study co-author. “This is the first study to reflect the broad diversity of patients seen in a ‘real world’ private practice clinic setting, and demonstrates that the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment leads to significant improvements for a broad cross section of patients with tinnitus. By comprehensively addressing tinnitus’ underlying neurological processes, Neuromonics is uniquely positioned to help the millions of patients seeking quality-of-life improvements.”

Traditional treatment options for tinnitus sufferers have offered limited long-term benefit. Notably, 49% of the patients in this study had previously tried other common treatments, with limited success. And importantly, unlike traditional therapies, the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment led to rapid changes in tinnitus disturbance in this study. The data shows 78% of the overall benefit reported by patients through the course of treatment occurred during the first 10 weeks of treatment.

While the study’s 470 patients all had tinnitus, a condition commonly characterized by ringing in the ears, they differed in their level of symptom severity and clinical profile; for example, the existence of associated clinical complications. All patients were fitted with the Neuromonics device and provided with treatment in a network of private-practice clinics. The study compared treatment outcomes across three cohorts, to which patients were assigned based on pre-defined criteria, including their psychological state and level of hearing loss.

The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment delivers a prescribed acoustic neural stimulus, customized for each patient’s individual audiological profile, and incorporating specially processed, relaxing music. The stimulus is designed to provide relief and relaxation in the initial phase of treatment, and then progressively over a period of several months, to facilitate desensitization to the tinnitus. In this way, the therapy can help the brain filter out the tinnitus perception, so that it no longer intrudes on the patient’s conscious attention, and no longer has a disturbing impact on quality of life. By targeting the condition’s underlying neurological basis, Neuromonics may offer enhanced effectiveness for patients compared to alternatives.

About the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment
Neuromonics’ noninvasive, FDA-cleared device is customized to the patient's unique hearing and tinnitus profile. It delivers a customized neural stimulus that targets the brain’s auditory pathways and is believed to aid in neuroplasticity, or the process of neuronal change. This process appears to be involved in allowing the brain to filter out the disturbing tinnitus perception. This stimulus incorporates spectrally modified, customized music, which engages the brain's emotional response center, the limbic system, and thereby reduces tinnitus-related disturbance. Research published in the April 2007 issue of Ear & Hearing demonstrates the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment yields clinically significant reduction in tinnitus disturbance in more than 90% of suitable patients in a formal clinical trial setting. The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment is the most comprehensive, long-term therapy that targets the neurological processes of tinnitus; specifically, its audiological, attention-based, and emotional aspects.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tonight's Meeting " Therapy Hints & Stratagies for the Hearing Impaired"

Tonight I went to LIJ for a meeting about " Stratagies and Therapy Hints for the Hearing Impaired". It was very very interesting. I felt right at home because I was surrounded by people just like me who have a hearing loss. This wonderful doctor spoke about how if you speak to someone and you cant understand them tell the person " Im Hard of hearing" " Can you please repeat what you said". I thought this topic tonight was really interesting because many people that came have differet degrees of hearing loss. I couldnt hear anything thankfully there was an interpreter who I was able to rely on.The speech pathologist also gave us speech reading hints- here are some.
1- have the light at your back and on the speakers face
2-KEEP ALERT and attentive.
3-Take advantage of all visual clues ( emotion, gestures, etc)
4- Be willing to ask people to repeat.
5- Do not try to get every word. Frequently a few words will provide you with enough information to clarify the entire statement.
( I deafinitely agree with number 5 because I do that all the time. I dont catch all the words but If i hear kitchen & drink that means to get whoever a drink.)
6- Dont try to seperate speech reading from hearing. In conversation you will hear some and see some. Take advantage of the hearing and fill in with speech reading.

The doctor said: " We have to make work, meaning, the hearing aids or the ci has to work making sure it has good batteries and is functioning to a comfortable program. She also said " We have to train our brains how to HEAR (BY LISTENING), PAYING ATTENTION*, and FOCUSING all the time.

MOST IMPORTANTLY- ( WHAT I DONT DO) is make sure u tell the person who u are speaking to that you are " HEARING IMPARIED" before you continue on with the conversation. Unlike me its a awful habit that I have when Im out somewhere and I rely on the person whos with me to tell me what the other person has said. Like for instance I went to the movies the other night because a movie was showing with Closed Caption. I relied on my boyfriend to tell me what the manager was saying on how to use the Rear Window device. So I turned to Will and he said to the manager " Shes Hearing Impaired she didnt understand what you said, can u repeat." I dont know why i do this but i do it all the time and its a very bad habit.

It was my turn to speak because the doctor wanted to get to know everyone So I told everyone my story that I was born with sensorineural hearing loss and what im dealing with now with my tinnitus and recrutment that keeps me up during the night and it very painful. The doctors just couldnt believe that im suffering. They want me to make apointment ASAP "Tommorow" she goes as a joke and starts laughing lol. I was shocked because of all the attention and support I was getting. I am going to take this opportunity and meet with the doctor who wants me to do an entire evaluation all over again. She also thinks I need a new ENT & Audiologist and shes right its about time. They are wonderful people here at LIJ. I went to the right place tonight and I'm so glad I did. I also saw my best buddy Roberta there so that made the night even better.

Next week is the HLAA meeting that will be my first meeting and Im trying to get an interpreter the doctor tonight said she is willing to set one up for me. I am looking forward to my first HLAA meeting.

Soon-- once I get better im considering the CI now that I know alot more information and I dont want to feel left out anymore and I want to be able to communicate better with those around me. The doctors also thought this would be a great idea for me.

Finally- I met this mother her son is 17 years old and hes been hard of hearing since he was 10 years old. I told her to email me tonight beacuse I am willing to help her son with advice on hearing loss & if he has any questions. I am sure most of my experiences will help her son get through this so he is comfortable with his hearing loss and knows what to do and where to go. This really made my night to see a mother whos son is struggling to communicate taking her first steps in helping her son. It really made me happy to see this tonight.

Overall, Today I learned quite a bit from this meeting, so glad I went.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I met Jodi a few months ago through facebook. She is a mother of a child named Jordan who happens to be deaf and wears a Cochlear Implant (CI) in order to hear. Jodi wrote an amazing book called Rally Caps. Jodi's father is thinking about turning the book into a movie. I think that's a great idea! Help Spread the word Thanks!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

3 year old boy in LA had his CI Stolen.

As I'm sitting here just googling glancing around about CI'S (Cochlear Implant's). I came across a link about a boy who got his CI stolen from someone. I found out in LA ,a three year old boy who is deaf was at mcdonald's with his mother ,when a teenager stole the 3 yr old's cochlear implant right OFF HIS EAR thinking it was a Bluetooth. What amazes me is that they thought a 3 year old would be wearing a blue tooth headset.What would a 3 year old be doing with a BLUETOOTH? Exactly, I highly doubt that one. Since his CI was stolen he cannot HEAR anything without this device. Not only can he not hear the Cochlear Implants cost over $700,000 or more depending on which one you get. This happened to the child 2x. You would of thought after the first time is enough but I guess not. I think I'ts his mother fault for not watching him carefully. I hope this boy gets another one because he cannot hear without this device. If I was a parent of a 3 yr old and my child had a CI I wouldnt leave my child unattended. Here is the link to read the full story.