When you hear better, you feel better. And so do we.™
Luna Family Hearing is a local, family-owned hearing care company with offices throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Luna Family Hearing is a locally owned and operated hearing care company that you can depend on to help you hear better. We promise expert, reliable care. We take your hearing challenges personally because we know that when you hear better, you feel better. And so do we.
Treating hearing loss. Today’s hearing aids can help most people regain much of that lost ability through digital sound processing. It begins with a thorough diagnosis that includes a series of hearing tests as well as information that you provide about where you have the most difficulty with your hearing.
Getting hearing aids. Should your treatment include hearing aids, the fitting process begins with computerized programming of your hearing aids to match your loss. This is a highly individualized process conducted by our licensed hearing care professionals.
Setting your expectations. It’s important that you understand what hearing aids can and cannot do. While they will not restore your hearing to exactly what it was when you were young, digital hearing aids can significantly improve your ability to hear and understand speech, and to hear other sounds you enjoy including music. We can also adjust them to optimize your hearing in the situations where you need them the most.
Hearing aids are an investment in your quality of life. Our prices are posted in each of our offices. We also explain the differences between various hearing aids in a way that you can understand and easily evaluate their cost and value. There is no negotiating or wondering about what you are paying for. Financing is available to those who qualify.
A. In 90% of all cases, hearing loss occurs because the delicate hair cells in the inner ear are irreparably broken or do not otherwise function properly. This means that the brain does not receive all the sounds and frequencies it needs to provide a complete soundtrack. It is like removing high keys on a piano and asking somebody to play a well-known melody. Even with only six or seven notes missing, the melody might be difficult to recognize and simply wouldn’t sound right.
Types and causes of hearing loss
In most cases, your hearing healthcare professional can determine the nature of your hearing loss and quite closely pinpoint what caused it. Hearing loss can be either conductive or sensorineural, or both.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is by far the most common hearing loss. The condition refers to problems in the cochlea or auditory nerve. Most are due to deterioration of the tiny outer hair cells that line the cochlea and transmit sound to the auditory nerve and then the brain. This accounts for 90% of permanent hearing losses. Often, it is a natural part of aging, but other causes could be:
Traumatic exposure to noise
Viral infections of the inner ear
Certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Sensorineural hearing loss can’t be corrected medically, but can usually be improved through the use of hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss
This condition is caused by any obstruction or malfunction of the outer or middle ear that prevents sound waves from reaching the inner ear. Some of the causes of conductive hearing loss can include:
An accumulation of earwax
A collection of fluid in the middle ear
Abnormal bone growth in the middle ear (otosclerosis)
Middle ear infections (otitis media)
Perforation of the eardrum
Most conductive losses can be treated medically, but there are times when hearing aids are needed.
Mixed hearing loss
A mixed hearing loss is not as common as other types of hearing loss, but does occur in some segments of the population for a variety of genetic or other reasons.
A mixed hearing loss is a combination of both a sensorineural hearing loss and a conductive hearing loss. Mixed hearing losses can be treated medically for the conductive component in some instances, but the majority of mixed hearing loss is treated through the use of hearing aids.
A. Generally, the price of a digital hearing aid goes up as you add special features and technology, like personalized noise reduction or bluetooth capability. The latest technology incorporates direct streaming of audio signals to the hearing aids, such as cell phone calls, television audio, music and media – all streaming directly to your ears! Pricing should never be a mystery, though. Ask us and we will explain in simple, straight forward terms the cost of each hearing aid and technology level we offer. We will always recommend the model and style of hearing aid that we know, through years of experience, will benefit you the most for your lifestyle and budget.
A. At Luna Family Hearing, we always offer a 30-day evaluation period for trying out your new hearing aids in a variety of settings. We want to make sure you are doing the best you can with your new hearing aids working together to meet your needs.
A. We work with third-party financing companies that will finance your purchase for up to 60 months. You can finance the entire purchase or a portion of your purchase. We always work with you to meet both your hearing needs and your budget. You can own digital hearing aids for as little as a $59.00 per month payment for each hearing aid purchased. We offer HealthiPlan, Wells Fargo Health Advantage or CareCredit for hearing aid financing options for our clients.
A. Accurate measurement of your hearing loss is the first step. At your appointment we will ask you about your medical history and perform a physical exam of your ears, in addition to testing your hearing. Using advanced testing equipment, we measure your hearing to determine where loss has occurred and to what degree. We also measure your ability to understand speech clearly. A hearing test evaluates your hearing sensitivity and is generally performed using an audiometer, which determines the softest level at which you hear different frequencies. Once we have the whole picture, we can complete your evaluation and recommend hearing aids for your individual lifestyle. Call us for more details or to set up an appointment: 1-855-HEAR-NOW.
Price Match Guarantee
We understand that price is a big part of your decision and want you to be confident and trust your decision to choose Luna Family Hearing.
If you or a loved one is going to purchase hearing aids then, let Luna Family Hearing be your hearing care provider of choice. Our goal with our Price Match Guarantee is to make all prices equal so that you don’t have to limit your decision based on price. At Luna Family Hearing, we believe that customer care and service are the most important factors in your hearing care and essential to your long-term success with and enjoyment of your hearing aids. Choosing Luna Family Hearing is the smartest decision you can make because we believe that no competitor can beat the exceptional customer service and excellence in care that you will receive with us!
When you need hearing aids, think Luna Family Hearing. We are committed to offering you the best possible prices. We believe in being upfront with our pricing – this is why our hearing aid prices are not hidden, but are posted right on our website and in our offices. And, to make you feel even more confident in your decision to purchase from us … we will match any local competitor’s hearing aid price!
If we do not already have the lowest price, Luna Family Hearing will match a similar retailers’ valid quote or advertised price on hearing aids and will match that price within 30-days of your purchase. Some restrictions apply. See below for details. GUIDELINES FOR PRICE MATCHING
A copy of a competitor’s current and comprehensive hearing test or a hearing test and hearing aid evaluation by a Luna Family Hearing Provider is required in order to be eligible for the Price Match Guarantee.
Only valid on the price of hearing aids. The Price Match Guarantee does not apply to the cost of diagnostic services, re-checks, or ancillary items such as batteries.
The Price Match Guarantee only applies to hearing aids of the exact manufacturer, model, style, and model year.
Price Match Guarantee is valid within 30 days of the execution of the Purchase Agreement between Luna Family Hearing and customer for Private Pay purchases only. Price Match Guarantee is not valid for customers who use health insurance to pay for hearing aids, nor third-party payers, nor workers’ compensation claims due to the rules, regulations, and contractual obligations set forth by such payers.
We require proof of competitor price. Customer must produce a valid quote or ad for consideration. Qualifying ads shall clearly identify type of hearing aid, including make and model, price, and competitor must be an authorized hearing aid retailer. A quote must be less than 30 days old and an ad cannot be expired.
Price Match Guarantee cannot be combined with any other promotional offers.
WE ARE UNABLE TO OFFER THE PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE IN THE FOLLOWING SITUATIONS
Win Whittaker wasn’t the first person to notice he was starting to lose something important.
His wife, Sarah, brought it up about a decade ago, when the mountain guide was in his late 30s.
It seemed as though Whittaker was losing his hearing.
He wasn’t so sure. He’d turned three of his passions — mountaineering, movies and music — into a career, and good hearing was important to all three.
Whittaker wasn’t having issues guiding clients for Rainier Mountaineering Inc., making movies or performing music with his band, Wet Heat.
But after a few more years, Whittaker started to realize his wife was right.
“When I was teaching climbing school, I sometimes would have to ask a client to repeat a question,” Whittaker said.
When he was working on music and movies, he’d have to compensate, taking extra steps and referencing other music to ensure he was getting the right sound.
“It started to become very noticeable,” Whittaker said.
He’d spent most of his life around loud music, and his genes probably weren’t working in his favor, either. His father, legendary mountaineer Lou Whittaker, has hearing loss. “Part of this is heredity, I think,” Whittaker said.
Whittaker talked to his audiologist, and he knew hearing aids were in his future. But he feared traditional hearing aids might amplify the sound of wind on the mountain and perhaps hinder his music- and movie-making efforts. He wanted a device he could easily control.
Then, on a trip to the Washington State Fair in Puyallup last year, he stopped by a booth for a device called the ReSound LiNX2.
He was instantly taken by the device. He could fine-tune settings using his phone or watch. He could even take calls and listen to music through the hearing aids.
Whittaker was sold. But what about the stigma of wearing hearing aids as a 49-year-old?
Whittaker is a member of the Northwest’s most famous mountaineering family. His dad founded Rainier Mountaineering. His uncle, Jim Whittaker, was the first American to summit Mount Everest. His brother, Peter, is RMI’s co-owner.
And Whittaker’s office, Mount Rainier, is the training ground for some of the most talented people in one of the world’s most macho professions.
ReSound had a solution for the hearing aid stigma issue, too, as it turned out. The tiny devices are offered in skin tones and are described by the manufacturer as discreet.
But Whittaker says he didn’t care about any stigma. He chose “Monza Red,” the flashiest of the 14 colors. “I’m flaunting them,” he said with a laugh.
He tells his clients about the devices. And he promotes them for the company.
Whittaker noticed a difference as soon as he put on the hearing aids. He remembers the sound of feet walking on wet cement and being excited to hear, once again, small sounds he’d been missing for years.
He started using the devices while guiding this summer. A quick tap of his watch allows him to turn down the howl of the wind in his ears.
Another tap and his hike has background music.
“I joke with clients that if I look like I don’t hear you right away it’s not because I can’t,” Whittaker said. “It’s because I’m listening to Pink.”
He says he never considered his hearing loss a safety issue. He could always hear rock and ice fall. But, now, he’s hearing much more.
“It’s like I can hear a small pebble falling,” Whittaker said. “I’ve had several people say, ‘Whoa, dude, how are you hearing that?’
“… I feel a little bionic.”
Whittaker climbed 14,411-foot Mount Rainier for the first time when he was 12 and has 185 summits to his credit. He says the mountain (and international windsurfing trips) is where he’s meant to be. More so than Hollywood, he now knows.
From 1994-99 he worked at making what he describes as “family movies.” His credits include more than a dozen films. He wrote background music for scenes in some of the movies. He still guided while he worked in the movie business and eventually it was these trips that inspired him to return almost entirely to the mountains.
Whittaker says one of his favorite film projects is “Sherpa: The Proving Ground,” a 2002 movie he directed. The documentary looks at the sherpa training program at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.
Other movies he has worked on include “A Life Less Ordinary,” “The Runner” and “Stranger Than Fiction.”
He still plays music and is working on a new movie he hopes to release in 2016. It is a documentary on his father. Whittaker has also directed a film festival in Ashford for nearly a decade.
Reclaiming his hearing has added another level of pleasure to all of these pursuits, Whittaker said.
NEW YORK — As an expert mountain climber who guides clients at night up Mount Rainier in Washington state, Win Whittaker knows how critical it is to be able to listen for falling rock.
Only Whittaker is hard of hearing, having gradually lost his hearing through the years because of the time he spent in a rock ‘n’ roll band and around fireworks.
Whittaker now climbs while wearing ReSound LiNX2 hearing aids, which he controls via apps on his iPhone 5s and Apple Watch.
“I’m not sure how I got by without having the hearing aids because it’s a crucial part of my job in keeping us all safe on the mountain,” he says.
A quarter of a century ago, when the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, the idea that we’d all be carrying smartphones (and some of us wearing smart watches), much less scaling mountains with them, would have seemed unfathomable. It would have been even more remarkable to think back then that people with a variety of physical impairments — poor vision, motor disabilities, hearing loss — would be getting the same rich experiences from such devices.
The United Nations’ World Health Organization says more than 1 billion people, 15% of the global population, have some form of disability. And whether you identify with a particular disability or not, as you age you likely don’t hear or see quite like you used to.
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently tweeted, “Accessibility rights are human rights. Celebrating 25yrs of the ADA we’re humbled to improve lives with our products. #ADA25.”
Apple and Google have baked strong accessibility tools into the iOS and Android ecosystem, respectively. While some tools are meant to complement third-party devices, from hearing aids to Braille keyboards, many just make the phones themselves easier to use. Some features we all enjoy — think Google Now or Siri, or auto-correction — weren’t designed with accessibility in mind, though they can lend an assist just the same.
Here’s an overview of accessibility features found in both platforms:
On iPhone, start by tapping Settings on the home screen, tapping General and tapping Accessibility.
On Android, go to Settings, scroll down to system settings, and tap Accessibility.
Keep in mind that though a core accessibility framework is built into Android, the open nature of the software platform means that features will vary from device to device, and you may have to work a little harder to find tools that are already part of iOS. The positive: Android accessibility is open to developers.
I’ve been examining accessibility features on a Google Nexus 6 phone running Android Lollipop and an iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.
Obviously, if you or a loved one have a specific accessibility need, go beyond the tools I’ll mention here, and search Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store for apps designed specially to help with given disabilities or diseases. Pay attention to tutorials because not every accessibility feature is intuitive.
Here are some useful tools:
— Tools for blind or visually-impaired users. On the iPhone, you can summon a VoiceOver feature that speaks aloud the items on the screen. You can drag a slider to alter the speaking speed, and even change the dialect of the screen reader voice (U.S. English, Australian English, Irish English, South African English). In all, VoiceOver is available in more than 30 languages.
The rough equivalent on the Nexus 6 Android is called TalkBack. Under TalkBack, you’ll have to learn master certain gestures to navigate the device.
On Android and the iPhone, you can turn on a zoom feature to magnify the screen via various gestures, double-tapping with three fingers on the iPhone, triple-tapping the screen with the Nexus.
Other switches let you invert the colors on the display almost like a film negative — on Android this color inversion feature is labeled “experimental” since it can affect the phone’s performance. Another experimental feature on Android can compensate for color blindness. On the iPhone, you choose a grayscale setting that eliminates colors altogether.
You can also take advantage of larger and/or bolder text.
— For the hard of hearing. Apple has partnered with manufacturers on so-called Made For iPhone Hearing Aids with no “intermediary” remote control or additional accessory required. The ReSound LiNX2 used by Whittaker is one of them. Still, the ReSound and just about all the Bluetooth-powered hearing aids out there work on Android as well.
Even if you don’t wear a hearing aid, there are tools that may lend a hand (or ear).
On the iPhone, for example, the LED can flash when an alert comes in, a feature that kicks in when the phone is locked or asleep. If you’ve lost your hearing in only one ear, you can flip on a mono audio setting that combines the left and right channels, so that both can be heard through headphones.
On both platforms, you can turn on close-captioning or subtitles.
— Other tools. A Guide Access tool on the iPhone can limit use to a single app or restrict touch aspects to certain parts of the screen. This might help parents of an autistic child who has difficulty maintaining focus.
Another iOS setting, called Switch Control, allows you to use the phone by sequentially highlighting items on the screen that can be activated through an adaptive accessory, used by folks with severe paralysis or manual dexterity issues. The Android alternative is called Switch Access. Depending on the level of the disability, single switches or multiple switches might be used.
Despite all the major progress that has been made in accessibility there’s more that needs to be done. Eve Anderson, Google’s manager of accessibility engineering, says the exploration into “cognitive impairment is behind everything else.” That covers everything from ADHD to dementia.
For now, Chicago-area firefighter Steve DeLuca, who also wears a ReSound hearing aid with an iPhone 5s–he experienced hearing loss after a brain tumor–uses his phone a lot.
“I listen to music, when I run I use it, when I watch YouTube videos on my phone, it’s all going through my hearing aid,” he says. “Everything you do on your phone, I do the same thing, except that I’m hearing it through my hearing aid.”
Email: email@example.com; Follow USA TODAY tech columnist @edbaig on Twitter
In the Spring of 2015, Luna Family Hearing introduced the second generation of ReSound LiNX hearing aids, called the LiNX2. These upgraded, second generation hearing aids have more capabilities than the original LiNX which include extended Smart App control, Apple and Android compatibility and a larger 13 battery with on-board controls for longer battery life – but most impressive is that we now offer this technology in all styles, including the custom in-the-ear styles!
ReSound LiNX2™ wearer Steve DeLuca was featured on CNN in May 2015 discussing how the connectivity of his ReSound Smart Hearing aids with the ReSound Smart app has changed his life.
Steve sat down with CNN Business Correspondent, Samuel Burke, and talked about his experience with hearing loss. In 1997, Steve lost about 80% of his hearing in his left ear due to a brain tumor. When he first tried hearing aids that connected directly to his phone, he said, “It was amazing. It was night and day.”
He also is using the ReSound Smart app for the Apple Watch to control his hearing aids directly from his wrist. Burke asked, “Do you ever feel like you have too much technology?” Steve replies, “I’m so grateful. It really has opened up so much. If it means that I’m tied to these gadgets to improve the way that I’m hearing things, then so be it.”
6 Easy Tips for Protecting Your Hearing This Summer
WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 29, 2015—The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is encouraging people of all ages to protect their hearing this summer so they can treasure the sounds of the season for a lifetime. Packing earplugs along with the sunscreen for summer outings is just one of six easy tips that BHI is offering.
While many noisy recreational activities are part of summer fun, it’s extremely important to take precautions to ensure that these activities don’t harm our hearing.
Prolonged exposure to loud outdoor concerts, lawn mowers, power tools, motorized recreational vehicles, target shooting, sporting events and fireworks can potentially damage our ears. In fact, the single bang of a firecracker at close range can cause permanent hearing loss in an instant, making it forever more difficult to hear the quieter sounds of summer.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults (12 to 35 year olds) are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues and the unsafe use of personal audio devices.
How Noise Affects Our Hearing
We hear sound when delicate hair cells in our inner ear vibrate, creating nerve signals that the brain understands as sound. But just as we can overload an electrical circuit, we also can overload these vibrating hair cells. Loud noise damages these delicate hair cells, resulting in sensorineural hearing loss and often tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The cells that are the first to be damaged or die are those that vibrate most quickly—those that allow us to hear higher-frequency sounds clearly, like the sounds of birds singing and children speaking.
Sound volume is measured in decibels, with the softest sound a normal hearing human can hear measuring at 0 dBA. Any sounds above 85 dBA for 8 or more hours are considered unsafe. Most firecrackers produce sounds starting at 125 dB peak SPL, presenting the risk of irreversible ear damage.
Repeated exposure to loud noise, over an extended period of time, presents serious risks to hearing health as well. If you have to shout over the noise to be heard by someone within arm’s length, the noise is probably in the dangerous range.
Here are the warning signs:
o You have pain in your ears after leaving a noisy area. o You hear ringing or buzzing (tinnitus) in your ears immediately after exposure to noise. o You suddenly have difficulty understanding speech after exposure to noise; you can hear people talking but can’t understand them.
For more information on hearing loss and to take the free hearing test, call Luna Family Hearing at 1-855-HEAR-NOW to schedule your appointment for a free hearing test.
6 Easy Tips for Protecting Your Hearing This Summer
1. Walk away and plug your ears. If a loud noise takes you by surprise, quickly plug your ears with your fingers and walk away. Increasing the distance between you and the source of the sound will help reduce the intensity (or decibels) at which the sound is reaching your ears.
2. Use earplugs. When you know you’ll be around loud sounds, use earplugs. Disposable earplugs, made of foam or silicone, are often available at local pharmacies. They’re practical because you can still hear music and conversation when they’re in your ears. But when they fit snuggly, they’re effective in adequately blocking out dangerously loud sounds.
3. Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Be smart when you celebrate 4th of July festivities. Leave the fireworks to the professionals. And when watching the show, stay a safe distance away—where you can enjoy the colors and lights but not expose yourself and your family to loud noises. To protect your hearing, make sure you’re wearing earplugs and that they’re securely in place before the show begins. Also be sure to keep them in for the entire show.
4. Limit your time in noisy environments. Do all you can to limit the length of time you spend in a noisy environment. When you do participate in noisy activities, alternate them with periods of quiet. And remember to use ear protection.
5. Turn it down. When listening to smartphones and other electronics, keep them at a low volume. Importantly, limit your use of headphones and ear buds. Remember, it’s not just the volume that matters. It’s also the duration of time spent listening.
6. Visit your local Luna Family Hearing location for custom-fitted ear protection and a hearing test. We can can provide a hearing test to determine your baseline hearing level and determine if you have any hearing loss that should be addressed. You can also purchase custom ear protection to ensure a proper fit and years of protection from noise if you are exposed to sounds over 85dB SPL for more than 8 hours on a regular basis.
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As a local, family-owned business, we really appreciate your choosing Luna Family Hearing for your hearing care needs. We are accountable to you, as professionals and as your neighbors. — John and Andrea Luna