Wheaton, Ill. Audiologist Offers Tips for Better Hearing, Cost Savings During National Better Hearing Month

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May is National Better Hearing Month and a flurry of research and new developments in hearing aid technology underscores the importance of healthy hearing, according to Dr. Sheri Billing, of the Hearing Doctors in Wheaton, Ill. According to Dr. Billing, there are four tips that can help people better manage their hearing and overall health while also saving money on hearing aid technology.

May is National Better Hearing Month and a flurry of research and new developments in hearing aid technology underscores the importance of healthy hearing, according to Dr. Sheri Billing, of the Hearing Doctors in Wheaton, Ill. According to Dr. Billing, there are four tips that can help people better manage their hearing and overall health while also saving money on hearing aid technology:

Poor hearing linked to an increased risk for falls
Recent research has found a link between poor hearing and an increased risk for falls among the elderly. The Johns Hopkins researchers found that people with a 25-decibel hearing loss, classified as mild, were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. Every additional 10-decibels of hearing loss increased the chances of falling by 1.4 fold. To help combat this, Dr. Billing recommends regular hearing exams starting at age 50, along with regular checkups with a physician.

Not seeing the dentist
It seems funny to think that taking good care of your teeth can actually benefit your hearing, but it’s true, said Dr. Billing. When your teeth and gums are healthy, your mouth is free from the bacteria that can cause infections and swelling. When oral bacteria enters the bloodstream, it can cause inflammation and narrowing of the arteries – and poor circulation is detrimental to hearing health.

Better Hearing equals higher pay
A recent study found that people with hearing loss earn roughly $12,000 per year less than those with good hearing, depending on the degree of hearing loss. While that is not surprising, the same study found that correcting your hearing loss with hearing aids cut this loss of income in half.

Let Batteries Breath Before Using

Hearing aids and the batteries to power them can sometimes be costly, but Dr. Billing provides advice to patients to help them save money and get more from their battery’s life.

“I tell my patients that when you get your batteries home but before you insert them into your hearing aid, let them breath with the seal off. With the new mercury-free batteries, letting them breathe for a minute will allow them to last longer--sometimes up to a full day longer. So from now on, everyone should let their new batteries breath for a full minute before putting them into your hearing aid,” Dr. Billing said.

According to Dr. Billings, hearing loss currently affects more than 36 million Americans today. Although hearing problems are commonly associated with the normal aging process, more than half of all hearing-impaired persons are younger than 65. With the increased use of personal music players (MP3s) and earbuds, the number of Americans experiencing hearing loss at a younger age is growing.

About The Hearing Doctors
Located in Wheaton, The Hearing Doctors is Chicagoland's most advanced hearing healthcare practice. We believe that no one should have to live with hearing loss, and by keeping abreast of the latest technological advances in hearing research and audiology, we are dedicated to helping our patients make the best possible choices for their hearing health.

Dr. Billing has been a Wheaton resident for over 25 years where she is active in the Wheaton Rotary, Wheaton & Winfield Chambers, Junior Achievement, and District 200 school system.

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Chris Martin
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