Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Playing in Lake Erie

It has been blistering in Western New York this week. The high heat and humidity has made hearing aids a bit difficult, as Nolan doesn't like the feel of earmolds in his ears when the sweat is literally dripping down his face. We've also been spending a lot of time in the water, which necessitates removing his hearing aids.

I'm not sure if the inconsistent use of hearing aids this past week has caused our newest little issue or not- Nolan has been complaining that his aids are "too loud." They are only too loud in certain situations, and for certain sounds: the rumble of our car over a bumpy road, snare drums, and motorcycles zooming past. His worst hearing is in the low frequencies, so it surprised me when the motorcycles made him jump out of his skin. His eyes were actually jerking back and forth with the sound- even though it didn't seem all that loud to us. He was fine when we turned off his hearing aids, and didn't hear the sounds at all with his aids off.

We see his audiologist tomorrow to pick up new earmolds, and I'll ask her about the situation. Perhaps his hearing has fluctuated up again, or his hearing aids are programmed a tad too loud for the low frequencies. It is also possible that our summer activities have made him unused to the low frequencies, since he hasn't been wearing his hearing aids as often as he should, and he can't hear them without his aids.

I hope this one gets sorted out soon- or else we'll spend our Saturday airplane ride without aids! I can't imagine how he'll respond to a jet engine if he can't handle a motorcycle passing by outside!


Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Julia has a +/- 10 dB button on her aids. The audiologist programmed it that way about six months ago. She's more often turning them down than up. She complains most about loud music. It was tough for me to realize that she's ready to have volume control, but she does reset them if they get turned down.

I'm ready for the heat wave to end. I feel like a prisoner trapped in my bubble of air conditioning!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Love that picture with his (wet) spiky hair!

Tate hates feeling all sweaty in his ears.

I'm a bit concerned about what you said about Nolan's eyes jerking back and forth with the sound... be sure to mention that to the audio.


Kimmy K said...

Now that we are in Dallas, sweaty ears are a big problem! I haven't seen sweat dripping down or wet hair by the ears before now, and it makes me worry. Isn't it bad for the aids themselves to be that damp? Grey tells us too loud all the time. Our audi didn't seem to think it was a problem and reassured me the aids were at optimal settings. At the time I chalked it up to having a small child at the reins, but I think we will bring it up with our new audi and get a second opinion.

leah said...

I did a quick internet search and found something called Tullio's phenomenon, which can happen with loud noises for people who have hearing loss (causes nystagmus with loud noise)- the article said it was more common among hearing aid users. I'm wondering if that's what happened to Nolan. I'm definitely mentioning it, though- it was very strange!

He isn't complaining about the loudness anymore- I almost wonder if he was overstimulated with all the Independence Day noises/activities? His hearing has also fluctuated UP in the past, so that's a possibility. Time will tell, but I am talking to his audie today- I'm glad we have an earmold appointment!

I'm thinking of asking for a "spiky hair" cut when we take him in again- it seems to suit his personality!

Julia said...

And it's even hotter today! We were out at Lake Erie on Monday, and we would go again if we could bear to leave the AC. Usually we put Ben's aid in the D&S every night and his CI cable and headpiece every other night, but this week they're both getting nightly treatment. Ben is such a sweat machine even at more moderate temps, and he's been positively soggy this week.

You might try swabbing Nolan's ear molds with alcohol a few times a day, just to break through the sweat and oil. The alcohol is so volatile it'll dry off in a minute or so for reinsertion. I know you were told to cut down on the alcohol swabbing once you start keeping the earmolds for 6 months or more, but we still do it every night and it doesn't seem to cause any degradation at all. And in any case, a little alcohol during a heat wave shouldn't have too much adverse effect.

I hope your visit with Michelle goes well!