Background noise is undesired noise that competes with some thing or someone that you want to hear.
You know that if you get close to the sound source and face it, you will hear better. Cupping your hand behind your ear helps, also. You can ask the person to speak louder. But some times the noise is just too loud and overcomes what you want to hear.
If the sound you want to hear is a TV or other remote sound source, you can turn up the volume, unless it annoys others in the room. Another solution is to get a wired or wireless device with independent control that is connected to your hearing aid or independent speakers that are in or close to your ears.
Hearing aid manufacturers began providing a solution to this problem in 1958 when Maico Hearing Aid Co. introduced behind ear hearing aids with a DIRECTIONAL MICROPHONE It was actually 2 microphones, in one hearing aid. The one facing forward was amplified more that the rear facing microphone. So the direction that you faced was always louder than the sounds coming from behind. Today, they are still optionally available and with a variety of Directional reception patterns.
There are many new advances to provide improved hearing aid use in noise, such as: LAYERED NOISE REDUCTION , that reduces noise when speech is not present, WDRC wide range compression, selectable time constant modes, “Look-ahead Detection” to reduce loud impulse noises, built-in programmable choices for different noisy environments, T Coil for noiseless phone use, Etc.
All of these methods are very helpful, except if the ear canal is not sealed by an ear mold, the outsidesounds can leak in to the ear drum and compete with the desired amplified sound. That is why the best hearing aid can fail in a noisy environment, unless it has a well-fitted custom ear mold. Many studies have been done that demonstrates this problem and it’s ear mold solution, to keep uncontrolled noise out of the ear. They work just as you make ear plugs to keep out unwanted noise when sleeping, flying, shooting, etc.
Now, you (THE PUBLIC) or some professional hearing aid dispensers can make a 10 minute comfortable, inconspicuous, custom ear mold by using our DIY ear mold material. It can be modified to suit each individual hearing loss. They are available in several different skin colors and all at a VERY LOW COST. See the MENU for ear mold kits on this site for different types of hearing aids.
OPEN FIT and Receiver in the Canal (RIC)hearing aid users almost always begin with a fitting of DOMES (tube tips). Earmolds are standard and necessary for Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids, but RIC / OPEN FIT hearing aids come with a kit of domes of different shapes and sizes to try. How does a provider or consumer decide when to use the domes and when to select earmolds (Ear Molds) instead?
The answer is based on a number of factors, all of which are dependent on the patient. Several things should be considered before making a decision to purchase the custom fit earmolds. The first thing a hearing aid provider will do is to try the different shapes and sizes of domes available for the OPEN FIT or RIC receivers. Many of the domes are now made to work with different sized ear canals and to prevent feedback for even severe and profound losses.
Is the fit is comfortable? Is there occlusion? Is there feedback? Does it slip out of ear? The provider knows that all ear canals are created differently, so what works for a patient’s left ear might not be the same size or shape that works in the right ear.
If a patient experiences discomfort, or sore ears, trouble in noisy locations, slipping out of ear when using the standard domes, a custom mold may be necessary. If the patient’s ear canal; curves severely, has had surgery, or is very narrow, is a child, it might not be possible to get a good fit unless he/she gets a custom made ear mold If the texture of the ear canal is soft or flaccid, a mold of a harder material (like acrylic) is normally purchased. If the canal is very rigid, they will usually select a softer material (like silicone rubber) that will seal more easily against the canal. Does the patient complain of occlusion (hollow sound) with the stock domes? If so, a custom earmold with venting will solve the problem, or a deeper earmold that exits very close to the ear drum. Another very common problem is ear wax plugging the sound opening. An earmold can solve this problem when using OPEN FIT which have very small sound Slim tubes and openings.
I have experienced and solved these problems, personally as a hearing aid user, during the last 50 years. I also have been a hearing aid provider, manufacturer and earmold lab owner. I was the first to invent/produce soft SILICONE RUBBER earmolds in 1965, because of my dissatisfaction with hard earmolds. So my experience is not just learned in school, but also in the REAL WORLD. I have worn flexible, comfortable silicone rubber earmolds ever since.
So when is the right time to choose an earmold? Because ear canals are not all created equal, so there is not a clear cut answer. Do you have any problems with discomfort, hearing in noisy locations, or does the dome/ tube slip out of position? A well fitted earmold can solve all of these problems.
DISCOMFORT: ear canals are not round and vary in shape from the outside (tragus) to the ear drum (tympanic membrane). So when you place a round Dome in the canal, it presses against the narrow width area and makes little or no contact in the vertical area. Studies have shown there is better hearing when the tip is very close to the ear drum and yet most of the fittings are shallow. There is also better fidelity, volume and reduction in the occlusion effect (hollow sound). You can generally go deeper with an OPEN FIT than with RIC hearing aids, because of the larger diameter of the Receiver on the end of the RIC Slim Tube. A well fitting Silicone Rubber earmold provides comfort and solves the other problems.
TROUBLE HEARING IN NOISY LOCATIONS: When the Dome allows background noise to leak past the Dome, the hearing aid cannot control that un-amplified sound. The solution is a sealed earmold with deep penetration that prevents the leakage and occlusion, so there is no need for a vent. The best hearing aid cannot control that noise that leaks in. The important thing is to place the tip of the mold close to the ear drum, as shown in studies.
DOME SLIPPING OUT OF THE EAR: This is a very common problem. Manufacturers have tried to prevent this problem with several domes in a row, with limited success. Ear discomfort and problems in noise can still persist. An underlying problem is the movement of the jaw (mandibular motion) which pressing up under the canal pushing the domes out of their normal position. Another dangerous problem is the hearing aid falling off the ear and getting damaged.
HEARING AID FEEDBACK (whistling): If you have persistent or intermittent FEEDBACK and you have tried all the usual domes, then a custom earmold is the logical solution. I have been able to fit all my patients with a flexible silicone rubber earmold. Not all silicone molds work as well. Some are too soft and are very difficult to insert in the ear. I have severe hearing los and very thin, soft ear canals, so I apply a thin film of non allergic face cream to the earmold, avoiding the tip opening. This not only eases insertion and removal, but it also helps prevent feedback.
You don’t need to put up with these problems if you take advantage of the modern solutions of HCPB CUSTOM, LOWEST COST, MEDICAL GRADE SILICONE RUBBER EARMOLDS, which are available on this site..
The most important thing is to achieve hearing success with your OPEN FIT/RIC and BTE hearing aid fittings.
Many people cringe when they hear the sound of nails on a chalkboard. This reaction, which can feel almost physically painful, gives an example of what people living with misophonia deal with every day.
Misophonia means “hatred of sound,” and it’s a condition in which normal, everyday noises cause extreme emotional and even physical distress. The sound of a person chewing, breathing or yawning may act as a trigger.
Other often-intolerable sounds to people with misophonia include the sound of someone fidgeting or tapping their fingers, but virtually any noise — from dripping water to crinkling plastic — can lead to significant discomfort.
Those Affected by Misophonia Often Suffer in Silence
It was only relatively recently — around 2000 — that misophonia was given a name. Husband-and-wife research team Margaret and Pawel Jastreboff reportedly coined the term misophonia,1 which is sometimes referred to as “mastication rage”2 as well as selective sound sensitivity syndrome.
In 2013, a study involving 42 people with misophonia revealed that many similar symptoms and experiences were shared among the group.3 For instance, the triggering stimuli were all sounds produced by humans.
Sounds made by animals did not typically cause distress, nor did sounds made by the patients themselves.
The most offensive sounds included:
Eating-related sounds like lip smacking
Loud breathing or nose sounds
Typing on a keyboard or pen-clicking
In some cases, even watching a visual trigger, such as someone eating or rocking their leg, was enough to trigger misophonia symptoms. Negative reactions were felt immediately upon witnessing the trigger. This included:
Anger (with some patients becoming verbally or physically aggressive as a result)
Patients reported feeling a loss of self-control. They knew their aggressive reactions and feelings of disgust toward the noises were excessive and unreasonable, but felt they could not help it.
As a result, all of the participants said they would actively avoid triggers by wearing headsets or earplugs or avoiding social situations.
In addition to causing social isolation, many people with misophonia feel daily stress because they’re anticipating coming into contact with a trigger. (Misophonia is believed to be distinctly different from phonophobia, which is a fear of loud noises.)
What Causes Misophonia?
Misophonia is not related to a problem with your ears but rather is related to how sound affects your brain. The Jastreboffs described it as an “abnormally strong reaction … of the autonomic and limbic systems resulting from enhanced connections between the auditory and limbic systems.”4 They continued:
“Mechanisms of misophonia could involve enhancement of the functional links between the auditory and limbic systems, both at the cognitive and subconscious levels.
Alternatively, tonic high level of activation of the limbic and autonomic nervous systems may result in strong behavioral reactions to moderate sounds.”
People with misophonia have described that symptoms began during childhood in association with disgust felt when they heard family members chewing (the average age of onset is 13).
Some have also noted that people with misophonia tend to show traits of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). The definitive underlying causes of misophonia remain a mystery, however. Researchers wrote in PLOS One:5
“One can imagine a process of recurrent conditioning following these repetitive annoying events that eventually results in misophonic symptoms or avoidant behaviour.
… Another hypothesis is that OCPD predisposes to misophonia … there appears to be an obsessional part, the focus and preoccupation on a particular sound, and an impulsive part, the urge to perform an aggressive action.
Both aspects should optimally be explained within one single causal model, which currently is too ambitious.”
Tinnitus, Misophonia and Hyperacusis May Be Related Conditions
Researchers are in the process of teasing out what appears to be a complex relationship between misophonia and its “sibling” conditions: tinnitus and hyperacusis.6
Tinnitus, or chronic ringing in your ears, is becoming increasingly common in young people (where it was once considered primarily a condition in those 50 years or older). Among youth, those with tinnitus had significantly reduced tolerance for loud noise and tended to be more protective of their hearing.
Reduced sound level tolerance is a sign of damage to the auditory nerves because, when nerves used to process sound are damaged, it prompts brain cells to increase their sensitivity to noise, essentially making sounds seem louder than they are.7
Hyperacusis, meanwhile, is reduced tolerance to sound in which a person feels physical discomfort when exposed to some sounds. Research conducted by the Jastreboffs suggests hyperacusis and tinnitus often co-exist. They noted, “Most frequently, significantly decreased sound tolerance results from a combination of hyperacusis and misophonia/phonophobia.”8
The causes of hyperacusis are unknown, but it could be due to functional changes within the central nervous system as well as increased anxiety or emotional response to sound.9 Hyperacusis has also been linked to exposure to certain sounds, head injury,stress and certain medications.10
Is There Help for Misophonia and Hyperacusis Sufferers?
Many misophonia patients try to live with their symptoms by lessening exposures to offensive noises. You can try wearing earplugs or headphones to tune out sounds, for instance. There are also hearing-aid-like devices that create a white-noise sound that may help reduce your reactions to sounds.
Psychological counseling and sound therapy are often recommended. The latter is often used for tinnitus (tinnitus retraining therapy) and may also work for other forms of decreased sound tolerance.
The idea behind sound therapy is to turn the offending sounds into neutral stimuli so they no longer provoke a negative response.11 In the case of hyperacusis, many of those affected live with the condition by wearing earplugs. This may actually backfire, however, by making your auditory system even more sensitive to noise, worsening hyperacusis.12
Some experts recommend a desensitization approach like tinnitus retraining therapy for hyperacusis. The therapy involves exposing you to a variety of sounds (in different frequencies, durations and volumes) so that ultimately your reaction to them lessens. According to the Jastreboffs, desensitization therapy alone will not relieve symptoms of misophonia.
For misophonia relief they recommend a different approach — “systematic exposure to sounds, associated with a pleasant situation, with gradually increasing sound levels.”13
If you struggle with misophonia, hyperacusis, or any sensitivity to sound, perhaps the greatest relief of all will come from knowing you’re not alone. There are many support groups available around the U.S., and if you can’t find one to attend in-person you can join in a discussion with other misophonia sufferers online.
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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple 52 patents, including a notable patent for a new hearing aid technology that would make the iPhone an even better device for the hearing impaired.
This new hearing aid technology described in the patent could be implemented in a portable audio device, like the iPhone, in order to detect if the user has a hearing aid and then automatically adjust the audio signal so you don’t have to fumble with those little hearing aid volume knobs yourself.
Here’s how the patented technology could work: Say you’re wearing a hearing aid and gets a call. Instead of adjusting the volume manually, the iPhone would use proximity and magnetic field sensors to detect when the device is moved toward a hearing aid, and then amp up the volume. Theoretically, it could work in reverse as well.
Also, among the big batch of patents first reported by Patently Apple, is the description of a ‘Diamond Cutting Tool for Cutting Smooth Reflective Surfaces’ that’s used to give the iPhone a smooth, shiny finish. Apple’s been bragging about its diamond-cut rounded edges since the debut of the iPhone 5.
There’s no guarantee that Apple will include the new hearing aid patent invented by Shaohai Chen and Ching-Yu Tam in the future, however the company has been a leader in regard to accessibility. It has won a Helen Keller Achievement Award for its Voice-Over feature to help those with vision impairments use an Apple device. More accessibility improvements are likely on the way in iOS 9 and the iPhone 6s. Hopefully the new hearing aid tech is one of them.
The applications come as Apple is set to offer built-in support for new “Made for iPhone” hearing aids later this year with the launch of iOS 6. The new hardware accessories will offer compatibility with Apple’s latest-generation model, the iPhone 4S.
But Apple’s newly published patent applications go much farther than just a certified iPhone accessory. Specifically, the social network patent describes a system through which users who rely on hearing aids could communicate with one another and share information in the interest of improving the overall quality of life of the members.
“With the advent of programmable hearing aids whose signal processing can be at least partially modified, what is desired is providing a hearing aid user the ability to modify the audio processing of the programmable hearing aid in the context for which the hearing aid will be used,” the filing reads.
Apple’s proposed networking system would rely on a user’s portable device, like an iPhone, that is connected to their wireless hearing aid. The iPhone would then communicate with other users and share settings so that they might obtain an ideal hearing aid configuration for their current location or activity.
Ideal hearing aid settings could also be stored and shared through other devices, like a computer or television set.
The second patent, related to remotely updating the settings on a hearing aid, describes how a system could save different configured profiles for specific circumstances. This would allow the user of a hearing aid “to modify the audio processing of the programmable hearing aid in real time in accordance with the context for which the hearing aid is or will be used.”
These stored, quickly selectable profiles could be shared between iPhones in Apple’s social networking concept, which could make life easier for users with hearing issues.
Both the social networking application and the concept for remotely updating a hearing aid profile were were first filed with the USPTO in January of 2011. Both proposed inventions are credited to Edwin W. Foo and Gregory F. Hughes.
Ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus, causes suffering for millions of patients. Many people are incorrectly told “nothing can be done”, and to “just learn to live with it.” At Tinnitus Treatment Solutions (TTS) we have deep experience in treating tinnitus patients and providing relief. Our tinnitus experts recognize that every patient is different, and your condition is unique. Therefore all tinnitus treatment solutions we offer are customizable to you – your hearing level, your tinnitus, your lifestyle and preferences. Our goal is to respect each patient’s individual needs and desires while managing his or her conditon effectively for the best outcome.
About Tinnitus Treatments
There are several excellent treatment options, including tinnitus hearing aids with integrated sound therapy, and other sound therapy options including the SoundCure® Serenade®. These treatments are well established, clinically sound, safe and proven to be effective in most patients. TTS utilizes the HaRTTM (Habituation Retraining Therapy) program with proper tinnitus education and treatment guidance, proper use of sound therapy, and the care of an expert tinnitus audiologist focused on your treatment and working to bring you relief from tinnitus.
• Get personal, customized treatment
• Discuss your lifestyle, hearing, tinnitus relief, comfort and budget needs
• Sound therapy is natural – no pills, surgery, or drugs
• Audiologists/tinnitus specialists on staff, ready to help you
• Services available nationwide
Common Tinnitus Treatment Questions We Address
If you are wondering “will this work for me?” We encourage you to have a brief phone discussion with one of our clincians. The emotional aspect of tinnitus – the stress, fear, frustration and anxiety that it can cause – are important areas to address. Often the best way to find a solution is to call for an evaluation and then try a treatment approach through a risk-free trial with the support of the tinnitus specialists/audiologist, who can guide you through the process. We provide all patient education and counseling – a highly important aspect of treatment.
The Tinnitus Treatment Solutions 4-Step Process
What causes tinnitus?
Is there a cure for tinnitus?
What is the best tinnitus treatment?
Frequently, tinnitus is the result of noise exposure. There are many other potential causes, including head injury, ear wax, medications, and some diseases. Many people who are exposed to loud noise, especially over a prolonged period of time, experience tinnitus. Because there are so many different causes of tinnitus, it is best to get a proper diagnosis from a tinnitus care specialist.
No, but often it can be effectively managed. We favor a sound therapy approach with the goal of habituation. Through habituation, patients find relief from their tinnitus in that they don’ t notice their tinnitus at all for long periods of time, or if they do notice it they find it less loud or bothersome.
For clincally suitable patients, we favor the HaRT Program with the integration of sound therapy – the use of outside sounds to interfere with tinnitus, and/or to enable relaxation in conjunction with appropriate counseling in the treatment of tinnitus. Sound therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective approaches to tinnitus management. Any sound tool should be used under the supervision of an audiologist who provides the necessary education and counseling to build the structured framework for a total approach to habituation.
Increased intakes of omega-3 fats may reduce the risk of age-related hearing loss, shows a new study.
High omega-3 intake was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) in people over the age of fifty.Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder in the U.S. A rich source of Omega-3 fats is wild-caught Salmon and sardines.
“Other micronutrients have been linked to reducing the risk of age-related hearing loss. In 2007 scientists from Wageningen University reported that folic acid supplements delayed age-related hearing loss in the low frequency region …
Another study … indicated a role for beta carotene and vitamins C and E, and the mineral magnesium in preventing prevent both temporary and permanent hearing loss in guinea pigs and mice.”
Hearing aid Earmolds (Ear Molds) can improve the listening experience of almost all hearing aids, BTE (Behind Ear), OE (Over the Ear), RIC (Receiver In Ear), OPEN FIT and IN The Ear aids.
There can also be helpful for MP 3 players, motorcycle, off-road vehicles, aircraft insert headphones and cell phones.
Hearing Aid Earmolds
When a hearing loss patient selects a hearing aid —such as BTE (behind The Ear) hearing aids, RIC, or OPEN FIT— Custom-fit earmolds (Ear Molds) are often needed to ensure optimum performance, retention in the ear (keep from falling out) and comfort, especially in noisy situations. An open tube/tip doesn’t keep the noise out, but a well-fitted ear mold can. An OPEN FIT TIP can also easily fall out of the ear.
Hearing Aid Earmolds are a molded piece of plastic, hard acrylic, soft silicone rubber or other soft material shaped to fit a patient’s ear canal, and/or the outer ear structure (concha) surrounding the ear canal. Earmold types vary according where you purchase, the level of hearing loss, and the style of hearing aid, or device with which they’re connected. In many cases, earmolds fit only inside the ear canal (HCPB DIY), hidden from view. Other times, earmolds fit in the concha bowl as well as in the ear canal, shell and 1/2 shell.
If you request a custom ear mold from your hearing care professional. They will take an impression of your ear canal and outer ear using a quick-setting plastic or silicone-like substance. The impression is sent to a specialty lab where it’s turned into an earmold replica of your ear structures.
A good Custom Earmold will greatly enhance your listening experience. In order to have a custom earmold made, yoou need to have impressions of your ear taken and mailed to an earmold lab. Or, you can make your own within 10 minutes, using HCPB DIY silicone rubber kits.
Making impressions of your ears is a very simple and usually safe process. Tens of thousands of customers have done this over the past 60 years.
A Custom Earmold will:
1) reduce the possibility of feedback since it forms a better airtight seal in the ear vs. a generic ear piece, earbud, dome/tip, (the ‘mushroom’ insert), 2) keep it more secure in the ear since it will take advantage of all the curves and contours of the your ear to hold it all in place, and 3) help reduce the occlusion effect. Occlusion is where a person’s ears feel ‘stuffy.’ People describe occlusion as if they are talking in a barrel. It’s the same effect you have when you talk if your ears are all plugged up.
The occlusion effect is reduced by having the custom earmold vent (or loose fitting). A ‘breathing hole’ or ‘channel’ is usually drilled through the canal portion. Sometimes, if too much of the volume of the hearing aid escapes out through the vent hole it can cause the device to feedback/whistle/ squeal. Sometimes the answer is to plug the hole with lambs wool, to act as a filter, or simply to slightly remove a small portion of the material all along 1 side or the bottom, from front to back.
New Custom Laboratory Earmolds are made to attach to the speaker (receiver) of the device. Plastic tubing is installed in it (for Behind-The-Ear aids). The plastic tubing is what attaches to the aid by slipping it over the earhook of the BTE hearing aid. The Curved Tubing is specially molded for hearing aid and Custom Earmold use. If you try to use straight tubing, it will crimp as it makes its right angle into the Custom Earmold and will prevent sound from passing through.
The HCPB DIY EarMold silicones is DIY EARMOLDS for Hearing Aids, cell phones, aircraft, motocycles, Electronic Ear plugs and other listening in noise situations…
The HCPB Instant Mold Silicone allows you, the
consumer to make a professional looking, custom earmolds, directly in the office,
or home, in only minutes for your hearing aid.
There are earmolds for many applications available on this website. See the menu.