Wednesday, May 17, 2023

It's A Really Good Idea To Travel with Your Hearing Aids


I am packing for the Memorial Day weekend and listening to the KERA (radio) when I hear DFW Airport announced expansion plans to build a new Terminal F – to the third-busiest airport in the world. If it weren't for my new hearing aids, I would have missed the good news for many Dallas residents.  

"3 million people expected to take to the skies this Memorial Day weekend."   

– AAA Newsroom

One thing you want to remember whenever you travel is to make sure you take your hearing aids. Being caught without your hearing aids can put a damper on things. You never want to miss hearing your grandbaby giggling and laughing or your daughter and her cousin arguing in the kitchen over the last piece of Mimi's Rum Carrot Cake. How about the guys schooled by your granddaughter in the Media room over why the Denver Nuggets should win the NBA Championships? These are situations in life better heard than not.

Nowadays, there are so many hearing aid brands to choose from, everything from Over-the-Counter (OTC) that are FDA-regulated medical devices purchased without a hearing exam, prescription, or appointment with an audiologist to prescription hearing aids ordered by an audiologist who can help you prevent hearing loss by providing and fitting protective hearing devices and educating patients on the effects of noise on hearing - the prevention, identification, and management of hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance system dysfunction. The choice is yours, but I recommend visiting an audiologist. Prescription hearing aids may cost you more and take a little more of your time, but you'll have the confidence of knowing your hearing aids are an exact fit and the best technology for your specific type of hearing loss. One of the best things about my Starkey hearing aid charger is that it can last up to 36 hours on a single charge.  

"Your hearing aids should be one of the first things on your packing list when it is time for a trip." 

– Starkey Laboratories, Inc

When I travel, I bring my Starkey Rechargeable Hearing Aids with me. The airport does not require removing any hearing aids. However, according to TSA, additional screening, including a pat-down or inspection of a device, may be required if it alarms the walk-through metal detector or advanced imaging technology. Furthermore, I found out that the FAA exempts devices like hearing aids and pacemakers because they do not emit signals that might interfere with aircraft controls. Flying Fallacy — You do not have to turn off your hearing aids or their wireless features on a plane. 

Five tips for travelers who wear hearing aids:

  1. Power is Paramount — Make sure you are traveling with the correct power source for your hearing aids! Having your charger and power cord packed — or bringing extra batteries — is important to keeping your aids usable your entire trip.
  2. Confidence in Communication — Don’t leave your hearing aids at home in an attempt to keep them safe. If you have a set plan in place for traveling with your hearing aids, then a loss is unlikely and you will be able to hear clearly throughout your travels
  3. Accessory Access — Bring accessories like Remote Microphones or a Table Mic. Having tools that can best help you communicate with the world around you will help your vacation be high in enjoyment and low in stress!
  4. Lodging Logistics — Establish a dedicated area within your home-away-from-home for your hearing aid supplies/accessories when you reach your destination. Do not leave them balled up in napkins or tissues and always put them in their case in the designated space.
  5. Keep it Clean — Don’t forget your cleaning tools (cloth, brush, wax guards, etc.); If the microphone is covered with earwax or dirt, then it can affect the quality of the sound that is output into your ear, and ultimately your travel experience.

"If you attend an aviation safety meeting for pilots, you will probably notice two things: the number of pilots with gray hair, and the number who use hearing aids." 

 – FAA Safety Briefing (2020)

By now, you should be thinking, "Oh great, then I will take my hearing aids on my trip." If it is your kids hearing aids, Dr. Arthur Lavin, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health says, “Family vacations are a gift parents give to their kids. As important as it is to share the world with typically developed children, it’s also important for special-needs children to have adventures and fun.”

Bon voyage!


FAA Safety Briefing | Aviation Communication (2020)

TSA Screening

AAA Newsroom

Starkey Laboratories, Inc


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Sound over-exposure causing musicians hearing loss

famous hearing impaired rock and rollers over-exposure hearing loss.

When I was about six years old I would create instruments with my friends.  Most memorable are the drums we would make from a box or using the tennis racket as a guitar.  Needless to say, today I'm not a rock and roller or musician for that matter, but a listener of nearly any genre of music.  

It's almost frightening to think that over-exposure to something you love with great passion would cause your damage. Especially when that thing you love has the power to create a following, and fill a colosseum of loyal fans.  This rings true for famous hearing-impaired rock and rollers.

Basically, yes, sound exposure is the main factor behind musicians with hearing loss. It also makes sense. Sound during rehearsals can oscillate between 80 and 90 dB. Regular rehearsing under these circumstances is a considerable tinnitus risk.

List of Rockers With Hearing Loss Grows

  • Huey Lewis discussed how hearing loss and Menière’s disease cut his singing career short in a recent Starkey Sound Bites podcast. (Harmonica)
  • Pete Townshend has talked about his hearing loss for decades, blaming it on studio headphones, not his band’s thunderous live music. (Fender Stratocaster)
  • Roger Daltry confessed in a 2018 San Diego Union-Tribune article that he is “very, very deaf.” (flute, harmonica, tambourine, and guitar)
  • Danny Elfman switched to composing soundtracks after fronting his band, Oingo Boingo, which left him with hearing loss and tinnitus. (Guitar)
  • Mick Fleetwood has gone on record with his hearing loss, even participating in a “quiet” rock concert back in 2005 to raise awareness about hearing loss. (drummer)
  • Sting has admitted to dealing with hearing loss, but so far has resisted getting hearing aids to help. (Sting)
  • Alice Cooper proudly brags about wearing “clearing aids” to help him overcome the hearing impairment he got from “55 years of blaring loud rock music.” (Guitar)

Musicians are more likely to experience an auditory decline

They’re among a growing number of musicians suffering from hearing loss after decades of exposure to loud music. The problem is especially prevalent in the ranks of boomer rockers, including Pete Townshend of The Who, Neil Young, and Sting.

Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation is a speech and hearing clinic with locations in Plano and Dallas, Texas. Achieve Hearing offers speech-language pathology and audiological services, as well as hearing aids for children and adults of all ages. The Achieve Hearing staff includes an Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathologists that are licensed in the state of Texas and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation has locations in Plano and Dallas.  Get answers to your hearing loss questions by call us at 972-608-0416 or learn more at

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Everything you need to know about Telehealth

How Does Telehealth Work for Speech Therapy and Hearing Loss

What is Telehealth?

If you are looking for telehealth, telemedicine, teleaudiology, telespeech, speech teletherapy, or telepractice, you should first understand that these terms are used at the discretion of the practitioners, but all fall under "The application of telecommunications technology to the delivery of speech-language pathology and audiology professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation." Says, Arlene Pietranton, Ph.D., CAE, Chief Executive Officer, The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), who adopted the term telepractice rather than the other terms to avoid the misperception that these services are used only in health care settings.  

Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation adopted the term "Telehealth" to define the delivery of speech-language pathology and audiology professional services.  Download Speech Therapy Telehealth Flyer

How does Telehealth work?

Amy McKay Gehan, M.A., CCC-SLP says, "take a close look at the telehealth practitioners you plan to work with to reach your goal, because beyond the computer, iPad, or smartphone there is a real speech-language pathologist (SLP) or audiologist who should be providing telehealth sessions that target 100% of the same goals completed at the office."  Just because you don't have to visit the office, doesn't mean you experience should lack professionalism.

Telehealth Testimonial:

"I think it [telehealth] is wonderful!! It makes my life easier. The speech therapist works on the same goals on telehealth as they did at the office. It is all the same, we just are not physically at the office." 

 – Allyson, Lilly’s (10-year-old) and AJ’s (7-year-old) mother.

The use of telehealth for speech-language pathology and audiology should be based on the unique clinical presentation of the patient and the ability of the clinician to ensure that the quality of any services provided in this manner matches the quality of services provided in person. Gehan co-founded Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation in 2005 to help people achieve a balanced life.  She has over 20 years of experience working with children and adults. Prior to opening Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation Amy worked in private practice, hospital, and residential care settings.  Gehan says, "we can load the Achieve Hearing therapy materials into the telehealth program. This enables patients to see the information just as if they were in the office, and the virtual whiteboard enables patients to complete therapeutic activities with our speech therapist or audiologist therapist.

Is Telehealth Secure and HIPAA-Compliant?

According to ASHA, the demand for audiology services is projected to increase by 21% by 2026, and the demand for speech-language pathology services is projected to increase by 18% during that period.  So be vigilant in your search and use discretion when searching for the best telehealth providers.  Therefore beyond the personalized attention, you receive in your telehealth experience, your speech therapy session should be using a secure telehealth platform that was designed for people in the medical profession.

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a “health care provider” is a covered entity under HIPAA if it transmits any health information in electronic form in connection with a transaction for which the Secretary has adopted a standard (e.g., billing insurance electronically). See 45 CFR 160.103 (definitions of health care provider, health care, and covered entity).

Does Medicare pay for telehealth services?

Medicare pays for many different services that involve the use of these types of communications technologies. A fact sheet regarding Medicare payment and coverage is available at medicare-COVID-19-fact-sheet.pdf. Telehealth services paid by Medicare are the services defined in section 1834(m) of the Social Security Act that would otherwise be furnished in person but is instead furnished via real-time, interactive communication technology.

The telehealth program offered by Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation has several options. Here's what you need for a speech therapy session and more telehealth benefits: 

  • Log on from home using their personal computer (with external or integrated webcam & microphone), computer, IPad, or smartphone.

  • Choose a well-lit area with minimal background noise or distractions where no one else is within hearing range.

  • Achieve’s Telehealth Program helps patients feel like they are working with their speech therapist or audiologist at the office. Therefore, helping to keep the world normal for our patients.

  • Patients will be able to see and talk with their speech therapist or audiologist.

  • Achieve Hearing can load the Achieve therapy materials into the program. This enables patients to see the information just as if they were in the office. 

  • A virtual whiteboard enables patients to complete therapeutic activities with their therapist.

  • The individual, private, one-on-one sessions will mimic the services completed at the office. 

  • Achieve to target 100% of the same goals completed at the office on telehealth.

  • Diagnoses include Acquired Brain Injury, Aphasia, Apraxia of Speech, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Balance Disorders, Dementia, Dysarthria, Dysphagia, Fluency, Hearing Loss, Intellectual Disability, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Parkinson‘s Disease, Social Communication Disorder, Speech Sound Disorders, Spoken Language Disorders, Stroke, Tinnitus, Traumatic Brain Injury, Voice Disorders, Written Language Disorders 

The use of telehealth can be beneficial to the practice areas of, Assessment, Screening, Service Delivery, and Treatment, and constantly evolving, ongoing education and training are required to maintain expertise and familiarity with changes in telehealth technology and potential clinical applications. 

Achieve a balanced life.

Enhance Older Adult Access to Telehealth Services
Amy McKay Gehan, M.A., CCC-SLP Biography
Arlene Pietranton, PhD, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, ASHA [Video]
ASHA requires that individuals who provide telepractice abide by the ASHA Code of Ethics
Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation, Speech Therapy Telehealth Flyer
Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation, Speech Therapy Telehealth Website

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Do Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Cause Hearing Loss?

Every year, Paula Falk receives an influx of calls from adult children concerned about the decline of their elderly parents. “They visited at the holidays and saw the reality of their parents’ situation, which is much different than what Mom or Dad had been describing on the phone,” says Falk, director of caregiving services at the Friendship Centers in Sarasota, Florida.

Source: Health / / Senior Care / Caregiving 

One major concern for seniors is hearing loss.

Last year the Senate approved a bill that would allow over-the-counter (OTC) sale of hearing aids.  This is great news if you or your senior parents, already know what type of hearing aid is best.  For the those of you outside of this group, there are a few things you should know before you buy an over the counter hearing aid – hearing devices for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss can purchase directly at a local retailer or online.

  • An estimated 30 million people in the U.S. have a hearing loss, and selecting the most suitable hearing solution can be a critical factor in achieving a balanced life. 
  • The new hearing aid law will obviously make hearing aids more accessible, but this could mean some people with hearing loss could inadvertently buy the wrong hearing aid.  

Hearing Aid Fitting

If a hearing aid is not properly fitted, it’s common (and likely) that the ability to hear will gradually worsen throughout that period of time.  The solution for hearing loss starts with being evaluated by a licensed Audiologist who can properly program hearing aids for your specific hearing loss is a critically important step any senior or caregiver should take before considering an over-the-counter hearing aid.

Consumers and Hearing Loss 

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, an industry group, maintains that while this new category of aids will help some people with mild hearing losses, "the best approach for consumers to address hearing loss is to seek the services of a licensed and certified audiologist,” says Jaynee A. Handelsman, Ph.D., ASHA’s past president and director of pediatric audiology at Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan.

Do Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Cause Hearing Loss?  

Only your Audiologist can answer this question.  Achieve Hearing can test your hearing and help you determine the cause of your hearing loss.  If you feel that your hearing has gotten worse since using your Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids, Achieve Hearing can help you get to the root of your hearing loss. Visit our website to schedule an appointment or call 972.608.0416.

Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation is a speech and hearing clinic with locations in Plano and Dallas, Texas. We offer speech-language pathology and audiological services to children and adults of all ages, and resources to help you target your specific speech therapy needs.  If you or someone you know demonstrates any signs stuttering, please call us at 972-608-0416 to discuss how Achieve can help. 

Achieve a balanced life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ways to Help Toddlers that Stutter

In the United States, over 3 million Americans who stutter.  Educators and peers may perceive toddlers who stutter as shy, nervous, anxious, withdrawn, self-conscious, tense, less competent, introverted and insecure.

Speech and language skills develop at a fast pace when children are toddlers. Toddlers learn new words almost every day. Toddlers are learning how to say the sounds in the words they know. They are also learning how to structure sentences in a way that a person understands and gets them what they want. 

Toddlers have a lot of information they want to communicate. However, they do not always have the skills to communicate all of the information they want to say to someone. Therefore, it is not uncommon for children between the ages of 2 and 5 to stutter. The stuttering may come and go or last for a couple of weeks. If stuttering disappears and then returns they may be going through another stage of learning language.  

Below are ways to help toddlers that stutter and when to refer to a speech language pathologist (SLP). If you have any questions please feel free to contact us directly at 972-608-0416. 

Ways to Help Toddlers that Stutter

  • Do not make a big deal about the stuttering. 
  • Remain calm when children stutter. Children become frustrated if you are frustrated. 
  • Create opportunities for talking that are relaxed, fun, and enjoyable.
  • Take the pressure off children.  Show them that you are interested in what they are saying and give them time to communicate information.
  • Model a slower rate of speech. When caregivers talk fast it puts pressure on children to talk at the same rate of speech. Toddlers do not have the ability to get their thoughts out as fast as an adult. 
  • Keep things simple. Ask one question at a time. This enables children to focus on one answer. Multiple questions can put pressure on a child to recall all of the questions and communicate the answers. 
  • Comment on what the child has said rather than asking questions. If a child says “Look at my car” a simple comment (e.g., “Wow, that’s a fast car”) will put less communicative pressure on the child than a question (e.g., “Is it fast?”)
  • Develop a successful communication environment without distractions or interruptions. Distractions and interruptions stop the thought process and will make it more difficult for the child to communicate information. 
  • Be positive about every communication attempt. Making comments like "Slow down,"  "Stop and take a deep breath," “Say it this way” should not be used.  They may be meant to help children, however, they can actually make children more self-conscious. If children become self conscious they typically limit the information they communicate. Children need to communicate to develop their expressive language skills
  • Set up successful talking situations. Don't put pressure on your child to entertain or interact verbally with other people when stuttering becomes a problem. Encourage activities that do not involve a lot of verbal interaction.

Refer to an SLP when a Child:
  • Repeats sounds of words such as c-c-c-c-carrot or ca-ca-ca-carrot.
  • Holds out sounds in words “mmmmy truck is red.”
  • Shows tension in the muscles of the face or body during stuttering moments.
  • Substitutes or deletes sounds and is difficult to understand.
  • Demonstrates language skills that are above or below their peers. Children with advanced language skills may have trouble communicating all of the information that they know. 
  • Exhibits hitting or biting. Children may hit or bite because they are frustrated due to not being able to communicate the words they want to say or are afraid of stuttering.
  • Has been stuttering longer than 6 months.
  • Began stuttering after age 3 ½. 
  • Has another member in the family that stutters.

Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation is a speech and hearing clinic with locations in Plano and Dallas, Texas. We offer speech language pathology and audiological services to children and adults of all ages, and resources to help you target your specific speech therapy needs.  If you or someone you know demonstrates any signs stuttering, please call us at 972-608-0416 to discuss how Achieve can help. 

Achieve a Balanced Life

Friday, March 4, 2016

Not that loud. Turn it down. Children Exposed to Loud Noise

You probably know someone dear to you who wears hearing aids, ear plugs, headphones or at least earbuds.  All three can be extremely beneficial when used properly.  Over the last 5 years people have been looking for the best earbuds and headphones.   You probably use earbuds yourself.  Perhaps you use earbuds to listen to your favorite book or your favorite music while jogging.  As a student, earbuds can help you escape a room filled with background chatter.  And for those who want to cross communication barriers, headphones are used as a way to learn a new language.

The truth about noise and hearing loss.
Earbuds and headphones help us keep our hands free to do other tasks, but they can also lead to noise-induced hearing loss if not used correctly.  Studies suggest that misuse or overuse of personal audio devices will lead to cognitive overload and result in impaired performance.  For those of you who dislike little buds in your ears or headphones, that’s fine, but you are not exempt from experiencing noise-induced hearing loss, especially if you attend loud recreational activities like rock concerts, NASCAR races or Monster Jam motorsport events.  Very loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Listening to loud noise for long periods of time can damage the hair cells in the inner ear. Noise-induced hearing loss usually develops gradually and painlessly. A single exposure to an extremely loud sound such as an explosion can cause a sudden loss of hearing. This is called acoustic trauma.

Noise-induced hearing loss can affect many aspects of life. In young children, it impairs language acquisition. Learning disabilities, anxiety and attention-seeking behaviours are also common in children exposed to loud sounds.

The impact of chronic noise exposure in children is reflected in lowered academic performance and outcomes as well as reduced motivation and concentration.

If you must listen, make sure you listen safely.
The healthy hearing threshold is generally taken as 0 dB (11); a whisper is around 30 dB and normal conversation approximately 60 dB (124). Some common sounds and their intensities (dB) are indicated below.  Ears are designed to process the moderate levels of sound that exist in our normal environment (e.g. quiet conversation). Common recreational activities (e.g. rock concerts, listening to personal music players), however, often involve exposure to much higher sound levels for extended periods, and scientific evidence is accumulating to demonstrate that these recreational noise activities are potentially harmful to hearing. The factors that determine the level of risk are the intensity and duration of noise exposure.  Hearing protection devices can be broadly classified as either earplugs, which are inserted at the entrance of the ear canal, or earmuffs, which cover the outside of ear

Wearing ear plugs.
Ticketmaster, the ticket sales and distribution company for Monster Jam says, “We highly recommend ear protection, particularly for children that are sensitive to loud noises. At any live sporting event, children or adults may be sensitive to the noise level. Ear plugs and headphones are sold at Monster Jam merchandise stands. You can also bring your own ear protection.”  The Monster Jam website says, “Our concessions staff does sell Monster Jam Tire novelty ear protection and disposable ear plugs while supplies last at each event.”

When visiting discotheques, bars, sporting events and other noisy places or participating in rifle shooting, use of hearing protection helps to avoid damage to hearing. Many countries have legislated, to a varying degree, on the use of personal hearing protection in the occupational setting. However, there is little in the way of legislation, guidelines or recommendations for use of hearing protection for recreational noise exposure.

How can noise-induced hearing loss be treated?
There is no medical or surgical cure for noise-induced hearing loss: damaged hair cells cannot regenerate . Once hearing loss begins, however, its progression can be halted by avoiding further exposure to loud sounds.  At present, there are only limited management options – such as hearing aids and counselling – for individuals with even a low degree of noise-induced hearing loss.  Current treatment methods for noise-induced hearing loss focus on people in severely noisy environments such as the military.

Google Search | Hearing Loss Data

At Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation we believe that education leads to a person's success. That's why we spend extra time with our patients to make sure they understand the results of their evaluations and personalized care plans. Achieve Hearing specializes in advanced digital hearing technologies, diagnostic audiological testing, transitioning individuals from hearing loss to successful hearing aid use, and central auditory processing.  Most adults acquire hearing loss gradually over time. Thus, many people with a significant hearing loss avoid getting help because they do not realize they have a problem.  If you or someone you know demonstrates any signs and symptoms of hearing loss please call us at 972-608-0416 to discuss how Achieve Hearing can help.

Achieve a Balanced Life

WHO World Health Organization | Hearing loss due to recreational exposure to loud sounds
Causes of Hearing Loss in Adults | Acoustic Trauma
Ticketmaster | Monster Jam
Monster Jam | Do you supply ear protection?
Gas Monkey Garage

Friday, February 5, 2016

Prescription Drug Use Resulting In Hearing Loss

Being a parent means having talks that are not necessarily fun, but definitely necessary. Now that I have two teenagers, I seem to be having more and more of these talks, although I started them when the girls were really little… especially when it comes to substance abuse.

As soon as the girls could talk, we started talking about drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. I wanted them to know that they can always talk about these things to me and Pete, and what was acceptable and not in our family. We set expectations from the very beginning and we continue to add to our talks as they get older.

Source: Tips To Talk To Your Kids About Drugs & Alcohol

Did you know?
Certain medications can damage the ear, resulting in hearing loss, ringing in the ear, or balance disorders. These drugs are considered ototoxic.

There are more than 200 known ototoxic medications (prescription and over-the-counter) on the market today. These include medicines used to treat serious infections, cancer, and heart disease.

Hearing and balance problems caused by these drugs can sometimes be reversed when the drug therapy is discontinued. Sometimes, however, the damage is permanent.

For cases in which the drugs cannot be stopped or changed, the patient and the audiologist can take steps to manage the effects of the hearing loss that results.  Most adults acquire hearing loss gradually over time. Thus, many people with a significant hearing loss avoid getting help because they do not realize they have a problem.

Hearing loss can affect relationships, education, productivity, and most importantly, emotional well being. For the estimated 30 million people in the U.S. who have a hearing loss, selecting the most suitable hearing solution can be a critical factor in achieving a balanced life.

Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation is a speech and hearing clinic with locations in Plano and Dallas, Texas. Achieve Hearing offers speech-language pathology and audiological services, as well as hearing aids for children and adults of all ages. The Achieve Hearing staff includes an Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathologists that are licensed in the state of Texas and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).