Hearing Health Articles

Your hearing health is related to, and can affect, your overall health and well being. Here, you’ll find information like what to expect from a hearing screening, how to optimize your hearing aids for work, and how hearing loss and diseases like Diabetes and Dementia are linked.

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Patient Feature: Kathleen Aller

Kathleen Aller used to practice what she jokingly calls ‘communication survival’. “I was – and I believe that many other women still are – just finding ways to cope with my hearing loss by having one-on-one conversations, or asking everyone to speak up, or repeat what they had said. I call it ‘communication survival,’ but

Summertime Hearing Health Tips

Hawkeye commentator and Concept patient, Ed Podolak, recently reminded us about the hazards of wearing hearing aids in summer when he lost a hearing aid while swimming. “My right hearing aid popped out and wasn’t found by our pool man for two weeks,” he said. “He left it in the sun to dry for a

Patient Feature – Jeanie Abdo

Two years ago, Concept patient Jeanie Abdo was having trouble hearing at the dinner table at Christmas and when her grandson would speak to her. “I was saying things that were out of context with the conversation or responding incorrectly to questions. It was embarrassing,” Jeanie confessed. Jeanie’s son-in-law previously went to Concept for a

Hearing Loss is Manly

Chances are that you know more men than women with hearing loss. Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist in our West Des Moines clinic, Eric Wolvers, explains, “Most studies show that men are more likely to have a high-frequency hearing loss because they tend to work in noisy environments as mechanics, firefighters, farmers, factory workers, etc. Over

Patient Feature: Mary O’Day

Concept patient Mary O’Day was a nurse for 54 years, and the cacophony of sounds she experienced in the hospital could have affected her hearing over the years. Research shows that some alarms on medical devices can reach as high as 80 dB, and when added to the other sounds in a hospital, they can

Women and Hearing Loss – Breaking the Stigma

Hearing loss can sometimes be a difficult subject to discuss with women because of the perceived stigmas associated with hearing aids and hearing loss. Some people put off getting their hearing screened because they are concerned that someone will see that they are wearing hearing aids, while others put the hearing health of someone else

How to Use Your Hearing Aid Accessories

Hearing aid accessories are devices that connect, or ‘pair’, with your wireless Concept hearing aids to enhance your hearing experience in everyday situations. “Although hearing aids have come along way over the past decade in not only providing proper amplification but also functioning very well in background noise situations, having the ability to pair one

Seven Ways to Pay for Hearing Aids

If you’ve read our Hearing Aid Buying Guide, you already know about the technology that goes into a hearing aid, and how much each technology level should cost. For many, the next step is figuring out how to pay for hearing aids. Navigating this part of your hearing health journey can be tricky, so we

Patient Feature: Leon Moeller

If you live in the Dixon or Donahue, Iowa area, you might know Leon Moeller as the school bus driver who makes sure your kids arrive safely at school. You might also know him from his days as a factory worker or traveling salesman. What you might not know is that he wears hearing aids.

Hearing Aid Options Today

There is a lot of confusion today on what to do if you have a hearing loss. Where do you go? Should you buy your hearing aids online? At a big box store? What about these new, so called, over-the-counter options? Or, what about going to your local hearing health care provider? There are many

Patient Feature: Linda and Lyle Hubbard

Linda Hubbard originally came to Concept by Iowa Hearing Aid Centers because she won a pair of hearing aids at an event at Riverside Casino. However, it was the service she received at our Coralville clinic that impressed her most: “Sandy was so helpful when I got my hearing aids.” Sometimes, when patients first start

Seven Reasons to Stop Putting Off Hearing Health

Seven Reasons to Stop Putting Off Hearing Health While we’re on the subject of breaking bad habits for the New Year, can we talk about procrastination? According to Dr. Piers Steel, a leading researcher of procrastination, putting things off is pervasive among Americans, and 95 percent of procrastinators wish to change their ways. What’s the big deal?

Talking to Your Family Doctor About Hearing Loss

According to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition in the United States.” Even more surprising is that only 14% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical exam. Hearing health is often neglected; some patients with hearing loss may try to hide

After 16 Years of Improving Patients’ Quality of Life, Duane Flagel Retires from Concept

Duane Flagel and Taylor Parker started Concept by Iowa Hearing Aid Centers in 2001, with a mission to improve the quality of life for their patients and give them back moments they might be missing through better hearing. After 16 years, Duane decided it was time to pass the company off to Taylor and start

Hearing Loss Tips for the Holidays

The holidays can be stressful for everyone. For families with loved ones with a hearing loss, this is especially true. Awkward pauses, frequent repeating, and being asked, “What?” over and over again are constant struggles that hinder communication for family members with and without a hearing loss. Here are some simple tips everyone can use

Give the Gift of Better Hearing with Our Holiday Gift Ideas

If you have a family member or friend with – or without – a hearing loss, giving the gift of better hearing this holiday season is easier than ever. Hearing aid batteries make great stocking stuffers and the new technology in today’s hearing aids allow those with hearing loss to better connect with the sounds

Hearing Around the World: One Patient’s Story

Bill and Carolyn McCall are world travelers, so it is very important for Bill to have hearing aids that can adjust on the go with him. When Bill was in the market for new hearing aids, our new Concept Connect series hearing aids sounded like the perfect fit for him.  “The aids are very convenient

The Hidden Cost of Hearing Loss

If you think you have a hearing loss and have never been tested, research shows that putting off that hearing screening could cost you. A Medical University of South Carolina study found that adults age 55-64 years with a diagnosed hearing loss paid between $3,000 to $4,000 more in medical costs than those without a

What Each Degree of Hearing Loss Means

When someone is professionally diagnosed with a hearing loss, he or she is typically told the degree of their hearing loss – mild, moderate, severe, or profound. The degree of hearing loss, as the names suggest, indicate the severity of the hearing loss measured as the difference between hearing thresholds. A mild hearing loss ranges

You Can’t Beat the Sound Quality!

Tom Harrelson stopped by Concept by Iowa Hearing Aid Centers’ booth at the 2015 Outdoor Living Show in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and spoke with our hearing health experts. Tom had hearing aids from Miracle Ear and wasn’t satisfied with the sound quality they offered. He wanted to learn more about Concept’s hearing aids so he

Are You Ready For Game Day? Hearing Loss and Sports

No matter what your favorite sport is, you know the sound of a roaring crowd cheering on your favorite team, and the camaraderie and enthusiasm that go with it. Many consider the noise that fans make at sporting events, especially when playing at home, an essential part of the game. As home-team fans, we collectively

How Drinking Alcohol Affects Your Hearing

It’s not uncommon to have a cocktail or two after work to wind down after a stressful day, or when out to dinner with friends and family. After all, the increase in blood flow experienced while drinking can have some health benefits when done in moderation. For heavy drinkers, defined by the National Institutes of

It Was a Miracle to Win!

In 2015, Herschel and Donna Martin’s grandson heard on the radio that Concept by Iowa Hearing Aid Centers was having a drawing to win free hearing aids every day at the Iowa State Fair. He knew that his grandfather, Herschel, needed hearing aids, so he decided to get the whole family involved. They planned a

Life Is Too Short to Not Be Able to Hear

Jackie Weatherly knew she needed to have her hearing checked when it became increasingly difficult to hear her children and grandchildren – and because her kids were urging her to have her hearing tested, saying, “You need hearing aids, Mom!” She decided to visit Concept by Iowa Hearing Aid Centers’ Marshalltown clinic in 2014 to

Why It’s Important to Bring Someone to A Hearing Screening

Research shows that it’s important to bring a person with a familiar voice with you to a hearing screening so you can be tested using your individual everyday hearing situations. At Concept by Iowa Hearing Aid Centers, we recommend you bring a friend or family member along with you when you have your hearing screened

Hearing Loss Affects the Whole Family – The Wiedenhoff Family

Many families experience the frustration and communication challenges encountered when a family member has a hearing loss. Randy Wiedenhoff’s family was facing those same feelings late last year. Candida, Randy’s daughter, noticed he was having difficulty hearing her over the phone, and often asked her to repeat herself several times. She decided it was time

Hearing Loss Risk Factors: Ototoxicity and Tinnitus

It’s no secret that, as we age, we are more likely to need to take more prescription and non-prescription medications.1 Most of us take these medications without thinking about whether it will affect our hearing health — and we should. Some of the medications we take can be ototoxic or have a toxic effect on

Types of Hearing Tests

If you are having trouble hearing, or exhibit symptoms of hearing loss (turning up the TV volume, asking people to repeat themselves, not having as many conversations on the phone), it’s important to have your hearing screened. Untreated hearing loss affects the rest of your body, and, if untreated for an extended period of time,

Getting Used to Your New Hearing Aids

It’s important to set reasonable expectations for new hearing aids — and for yourself — so you don’t get overwhelmed by the sounds you couldn’t hear before. Many first-time hearing aid wearers expect their hearing to return to “normal,” however, nothing can reproduce perfect or “normal” hearing. Realistically, hearing aids will improve your hearing and listening abilities

Five Top Noisy Jobs and Hobbies in the Country

Noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, is the result of repeated exposure to loud noises that damage the tiny capillaries in your inner ear. It is the most common type of hearing loss, and often, it begins in the workplace – but may be caused by your hobbies! Do you identify with an occupation or pastime

Tips for Using Your Hearing Aids at Work

If you have a hearing loss, chances are you struggle to understand speech from a distance or in background noise. For those working at companies with open floor plans, hearing coworkers is even more challenging. Hearing aid technology has advanced in recent years so many hearing aids filter background noise or improve the wearer’s ability

A Hearing Loss Love Story

Jean Mark and her husband, Larry, came into our Concept clinic in West Des Moines in February of 2017 to get Larry’s hearing screened. They had friends who came to Concept for hearing aids and decided to come in for a free hearing screening. When we asked what brought them in to see us, Jean

Top 10 Reasons to Get Your Hearing Screened

You might be surprised to learn that hearing loss is more common than you think. Studies show that hearing loss is the third most common health issue in America right after heart disease and arthritis, classifying hearing loss as an epidemic. The good news — hearing loss is treatable, especially if found early. We’ve heard a

Hearing Humor

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Happy is the hearing man; unhappy the speaking man.” In the many years since, the sense of hearing has continued to cause many mishaps — even for those without a hearing loss.  Some of them have caused awkward situations, and some are just downright funny. In honor of April

Noise-Induced & Occupational Hearing Loss Facts

We encounter many sounds at various decibels everyday and most are safe to our ears. However, noises that are especially loud or very loud for an extended period of time, such as industrial noises, can do significant and sometimes long-term damage to hearing. This damage can affect one or both ears, causing sounds to become

Hearing Loss as an Executive – Melanie’s Story

You may have heard Melanie talking with Concept’s Owner and President, Taylor Parker, on WMT Radio last week. Melanie approached Taylor while visiting Concept’s Cedar Rapids clinic last month to tell him just how much her hearing aids have positively impacted her life. Here’s her story, as told to Concept staff. Ten years ago, Melanie

Sudden Hearing Loss Requires Immediate Attention

It can be a frightening sensation: one day your hearing is as normal it has always been and then suddenly, for no apparent reason, you lose some or all of the hearing in one ear. This experience is more common than you may think. Experts estimate that sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) strikes one out

How to Talk to Someone with Hearing Loss

Sometimes, communicating with someone who has hearing loss can be frustrating –  but it’s important to remember that the frustration you are experiencing is likely reciprocated. After all, it’s safe to assert that nobody enjoys having to constantly ask another to repeat him- or herself because they don’t hear them the first time. Remember that

Top 3 Reasons to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids

It’s important to know when the time is right to upgrade your hearing aids. You might have had your device for a number of years, and technological advances in hearing aids, which could enhance your hearing, happen quickly. You also might have experienced a change in health or lifestyle that requires a newer hearing aid

Diabetes and Hearing Loss

People with diabetes are twice as likely to having hearing impairment as those who don’t have the disease, according to a study conducted by an epidemiologist at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The study also found that people with prediabetes have a 30 percent higher rate of hearing loss compared with

Realistic Expectations for Hearing Aids

Many first-time hearing aid wearers expect their hearing to be restored to “normal”, but that is rarely the case. Realistically, hearing aids will improve your hearing and listening abilities by modifying the sounds around you. Although hearing aid technology has made tremendous advances in the last few years, nothing on the market today can reproduce

Basics of Hearing Aid Batteries

The hearing aid models you choose will be based on your level of hearing loss and what is best suited to your lifestyle. Since hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and styles, it’s not surprising that the batteries that power those hearing aids vary, as well. Hearing aid batteries come in five universal

Hearing Loss and Farmers: Jim’s Story

Farm safety is an important issue here in Iowa, and hearing safety is an important part of farm safety. Many people think that hearing loss is mostly associated with getting older, but for farmers, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) starts early. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 25-year-old farmer can often

Choosing Your Hearing Aid Model

Once you’ve had a hearing screening and it’s clear you need a hearing aid, your next step is to choose the hearing aid model best suited for your type and degree of hearing loss. Hearing aid models work based on certain types of hearing loss, and what is suited to your lifestyle, so it’s important

Tinnitus and Hearing Health

Do you ever experience ringing in your ears? Or buzzing? Maybe a pulsing sensation that won’t go away? If so, you may be experiencing a condition called tinnitus. Tinnitus is a very common hearing condition that affects as many as one in five people worldwide. By definition, tinnitus is a condition that causes you to

Family Doctors and Hearing Screenings

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a study showing that hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition in the United States – making it even more prevalent than diabetes or cancer. Even more surprising is that only 14% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical exam.

High Blood Pressure and Hearing Loss

Everyone knows high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can lead to a variety of serious health problems including cardiovascular disease and stroke. But many people are surprised to discover that this common condition can also cause hearing loss, and in some cases, that hearing loss is a warning sign that could save your life.

Occupational Hearing Loss

It’s always big (but not surprising) news when a celebrity like AC/DC singer Brian Johnson announces career-ending hearing loss problems. After all, night after night of screaming guitars and crashing drums make hearing loss seem inevitable, right? But what about other careers? It turns out that rock stars are hardly alone in experiencing work-related hearing

How to Talk to a Loved One about Hearing Loss

When it comes to helping aging parents, grandparents, spouses, and other relatives, it’s important to talk about hearing loss. Talking to someone about hearing loss, particularly a parent or other family member, should be approached thoughtfully and with compassion. If you believe there may be a problem with a family member’s or a friend’s hearing

Understanding Your Risks: Hearing Loss and Depression

Hearing loss is a major public health issue – about half of adults older than 65 struggle with measurable hearing impairment. It’s a condition that only worsens over time and can have detrimental effects on many other parts of your life, including your well-being and happiness. Studies have shown that those who struggle with hearing

Financing Hearing Aids

After you’ve had your hearing tested and have made the decision to invest in a hearing aid, your next decision will be how you’re going to pay for it. Our staff at Concept understands that modern hearing aids and professional fittings are significant expenses, particularly for patients on a fixed income. Many of our patients

Causes of Hearing Loss

With normal ear function, sound waves enter your ear and vibrate your eardrum and middle ear bones, then travel through to the cochlea which sets in motion thousands of tiny hairs that convert the vibrations into nerve impulses. Those impulses then travel to the brain where they are processed into sounds your brain can process.

Understanding Your Risks: Smoking and Hearing Loss

Today, around 40 million American adults smoke cigarettes and more than 16 million of them live with a smoking-related disease such as cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. The health risks that come with smoking are vast and well known. But few people know the damage smoking can cause to your hearing. Studies have shown that

Understanding Your Risks: Related Effects of Hearing Loss

Many times, hearing loss is a gradual process that comes with getting older. It often goes untreated due to lack of knowledge or negligence – it takes up to seven years after the first signs of hearing loss for the sufferer to get treatment. However, hearing loss is a major public health issue – about

Noise Induced Hearing Loss Facts

From music playing in the car to the rhythmic sounds of trains rumbling down the tracks in the distance, we constantly encounter a wide range of sounds at various decibels throughout our day, most of which are safe to our ears. However, noises that are particularly loud or, more importantly, very loud for an extended

Facts about Hearing Loss

For many people, gradual hearing loss is considered a natural process that comes with getting older. It often goes untreated due to lack of knowledge or neglect by both patients and doctors. For example, only 16% percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss. Even more damaging, people who believe they may be suffering from

5 Myths about Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids Debunked

As hearing health professionals, we’ve heard the oldest objections in the book to hearing aids and treating hearing loss. The stigmas carried by hearing loss and hearing aids are often outdated and untrue. Treating hearing loss early and effectively can help improve your hearing and prevent long-term damage to your ears. Below, we debunk some

Types of Hearing Loss

Your ears are a complex organ and damage to varying parts can lead to different types of hearing loss. Whether it’s the ability to discern between sounds or hear softer ones, hearing loss can be frustrating and directly affect many aspects of your life from working to spending quality time with your family. Below we

How to Improve Your Hearing

Most hearing loss is either due to auditory nerve dysfunction or a medical condition blocking the travel of sound or a mix of both. Although there are ways to strengthen your hearing, there isn’t a home remedy for hearing loss. If you suffer from significant hearing loss, you should see a professional for a hearing

Ask Doctor Oct

Q. I recently purchased hearing aids but I’m amazed and a little overwhelmed with all the noise I’m not used to hearing! How can I block out some of these noises? It can be a little distracting. A. Background noise naturally happens to everyone regardless of hearing aids. Our brains are usually pretty good about

You Won’t Believe This Shocking Discovery About E­Cigarettes

The entertainment community was rocked by news that musician Rob Swire temporarily lost his hearing. The reason? Swire correlated his loss to e­cig usage. E­Cigarettes are devices that use various chemicals and water vapor to produce an alternative to tobacco products. The mixture is called “e­juice”. The chemical propylene glycol, which is used as a

Company Designs Dolls With Hearing Aids/Birthmarks So Kids Can Have A #ToyLikeMe

Recently, Concept had an article on Build-A-Bear’s inclusion of plush hearing aids for their bears.  Another toy company is taking a step in the right direction. After parents of children with disabilities called for more diversity in kids’ toys through social media campaign, Toy Like Me, MakieLab, a 3-D-printing toy company based in London, announced last week

Control Your Concept Complete Hearing Aid With The New Apple Watch

Excerpt From A Patient: I have been hearing impaired since I lost most of the hearing in my left ear from a brain tumor in 1997. I started wearing a hearing aid in that ear shortly after healing from surgery. Since then, the hearing in my right ear has been gradually going downhill also. Being

Introducing Concept COMPLETE – The Next Gen Of Smart Hearing Aids

Following in the footsteps of our LiNX product line is the new Concept COMPLETE Smart Hearing Aid.    Complete is the 2nd gen of Made-for-iPhone hearing aids.    Concept Complete takes the user experience to the next level with Spatial Sense™ by offering more options.   With a broader range of models and prices, now

Hearing Presidential: U.S. Presidents With Hearing Loss

I bet you did not know that many former presidents have used hearing aids to rehabilitate their hearing.  It’s true!  Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Senior, and Bill Clinton all wore (or currently wear) hearing aids. President Reagan announcing to the world that he was correcting his hearing problem

Ask Doc Oct

Doc Oct is a panel of 8 Concept Doctors, Audiologists & Dispensers that give hearing aid advice via questions from our website. Q\.  Dear Concept I’m in desperate need of new hearing aids.   They’re quite old, and I’m beginning to experience a lot of the same difficulties I experienced when I first started losing

Roadmap #1 The Roadmap To Hearing Aids

—Seek recommendations. If a hearing aid is appropriate, it’s crucial to pick a hearing professional who answers all your questions and listens to your concerns. Options include an audiologist, who has a master’s or doctoral degree, or a hearing aid dispenser, who may be equally knowledgeable.  Ask relatives and friends who have a hearing aid.

Ask Doc Oct

Doc Oct is a panel of 8 Concept Doctors, Audiologists & Dispensers that give hearing aid advice via questions from our website. Q\.  Dear Concept I’ve been trying to get my mother to use her hearing aids she got.   She’s had them for 5 years.  She only wore them 15 days after she got

Smart Hearing Aids Like LiNX on the rise at CES Vegas Tech Expo

Smart hearing aids, Smartwatches, fitness trackers and other gadgets with embedded sensors.    2015 is the year when “Back To The Future II” takes place.   Surprisingly, they got a few things right.  Wearables are one of them. Wearables are a category of technology devices that can be worn by a consumer.   The Apple

Richard Petty Gives The Behind-The-Scenes Of The Concept Connection

A NASCAR legend talks about Concept’s mobile clinic before the conversion This year, Concept soft-launched a mobile hearing clinic to reach under-served communities in Iowa.   The mobile clinic is an RV formerly owned by none other than racer Richard Petty.   We sat down with Richard briefly to discuss what the RV was like

Your Holiday Survival Guide

The holidays can be stressful for everyone.   This is especially true for families with a member suffering from hearing loss. Awkward pauses, frequent repeating, and “what?” are constant struggles these families face that deters communication.   If your loved one hasn’t gotten hearing aids, there are some simple steps you can take this year

5 Gift Ideas For Loved Ones With Hearing Loss

During this busy season, shoppers rush their holiday shopping list. It can be too easy to purchase a gift card or present without giving much thought. We made a list for those of you looking for a gift that will keep on giving throughout the upcoming New Year. Any of these items would make a

3 Ways Your Ears Adapt To Hearing Aids

Hearing loss is like a bad habit.   It’s easy to ignore because you’re used to silence, speaking louder, and repeating yourself. Tony Robbins and other life coaches have said that it takes 28 days to break a bad habit. That’s why when you first get hearing aids, it’s important to let them run their

What This Prince Did Will Shock You

(Above:  Prince Philip as he honored recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross.  Can you see what he’s wearing?) Celebrities are often worried about concealing their health issues.  Whether it’s baby-bumps like TV’s Kerry Washington or FDR’s wheelchair, those in the limelight like to keep their health concerns private. Last week, Prince Philip was

10 Misconceptions About Hearing Aids

#10   Hearing aids are only for the elderly. 65% of people affected by hearing loss are under the age of 65. 13,000 people are born every year who will need a hearing aid. Hearing aids are especially important for those with hearing loss in early and later development, as hearing is an integral part of cognition

There’s A War On Your Ears… The Loudness War

How the media is soundbombing for your attention. Today, more than ever, there is a war for your attention.  The victim?  Your ears. How many times during your favorite T.V. show have you had to reach for the control and turn the volume down during commercial breaks?   Why?  Advertisers make commercials louder to grab your

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Download our eBooks

For even more information about hearing health, download our eBooks on buying a hearing aid, what to expect during a hearing screening, and how to talk to a loved one about hearing loss.

Lost and Found

If you or a loved one is struggling with hearing loss, this eBook will help guide you through everything you need to know about the condition and its related effects.

What to Expect from a Hearing Test

Our comprehensive eBook on hearing tests lets you know everything you should expect from a thorough hearing test performed by a team of expert hearing health providers.

Hearing Aid Buying Guide

Selecting the right hearing aids can be an intimidating process. To help you make a confident, educated decision, Concept created a Hearing Aid Buying Guide.