Posts for tag: Hearing Aids
Your hearing is precious and hearing well contributes greatly to your quality of life. As you grow older, you may experience some degree of hearing impairment. In fact, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, over thirty percent of adults over 65 have some degree of hearing loss. Your ENT specialist can help.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends a hearing screening for adults every 10 years up to age 50, and every 3 years after age 50. There are also some signs and symptoms of hearing loss. If you are experiencing any of these issues, it’s time to schedule a hearing test:
- You hear muffled sounds or speech
- You need those around you to speak more loudly and slowly
- You are unable to pick out consonants in speech
- You are unable to pick out distinct words from noise in the background
A hearing test is a simple procedure that can determine if you are having hearing difficulties. A hearing test also helps determine how much hearing loss you are experiencing. If the hearing test reveals you do have hearing loss, your ENT specialist can recommend several types of hearing aids to compensate for hearing loss. You can consider:
(Completely in the canal) or CIC hearing aids, which fit inside your ear canal, offering the most discreet look; they don’t have a directional microphone or volume control.
(In the ear) or ITE hearing aids, which fit over your outer ear or the lower part of your ear; they are easier to see than a CIC, but they do have volume control and are easy to handle.
(Behind the ear) or BTE hearing aids, which hook over the top portion of your ear; they connect to an earpiece inside your ear canal and are the largest hearing aid, with excellent sound quality.
Cochlear implants are also an option; these devices are excellent for people with severe hearing loss because they compensate for areas of your ear that are no longer working properly.
You don’t have to miss out on conversations and the sounds of your life. To learn more about the importance of hearing tests for adults and when you should consider having a hearing test, talk with your ENT specialist today.
Find out whether you might benefit from a hearing aid.
It might seem silly to ask yourself since it might seem obvious whether you need a hearing aid or not, but it’s not always as clear-cut as it seems. This is when it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist who will be able to determine whether hearing aids are right for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help you decide whether or not you might benefit from wearing a hearing aid:
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does it sound like people around you mumble?
- Do you have to turn the volume up on the TV or radio to hear it?
- Do you need people to repeat themselves often?
- Is it difficult to understand people on the phone?
- Do you withdraw from the conversation, particularly in a group or noisy setting?
- Do you find yourself reading lips or focusing on someone when they speak?
If you said “yes” to some of these questions, you could undoubtedly be dealing with hearing loss. One fairly common type of hearing loss is hearing people in a standard pitch but not being able to hear higher-pitched sounds.
How do hearing aids work?
Before getting a hearing aid, it’s important to note that unlike glasses, which can correct visual impairments, hearing aids cannot fully restore your hearing to normal; however, a hearing aid can amplify voices and sounds to make it easier to hear them. Wearing a hearing aid can make joining in and listening to everyday conversations easier. Some advanced features also offer fantastic technology to make communicating in a noisy setting easier. Some hearing aids can also be used to amplify high-pitched sounds.
Since there are so many different technologies, styles, and features when it comes to getting a hearing aid, it’s essential to turn to an ENT doctor who can not only assess your degree of hearing loss but also talk through the different hearing aids options for you based on your health, budget and lifestyle.
You say “huh” a lot
Do you often need people to repeat themselves? Has the word “huh” suddenly become your word of the day, every day? Having people repeat themselves is often a sign of hearing loss. Instead of assuming that everyone around you has suddenly started mumbling, it might be time to have your hearing checked by an audiologist.
You don’t hear certain sounds
Surprised to know that there was someone at the door? Did your son, daughter, or grandchild have to tell you that the kitchen timer’s been going off? Certain sounds such as a doorbell, phone ringing, or timers are often more difficult to notice if you are dealing with hearing loss. If others hear sounds clearly that you don’t, it’s time to see your doctor.
You turn the volume up
Much to your family’s chagrin, you just can’t seem to hear the TV or the radio unless you turn the volume way up. You may even notice that other members of your family have no trouble hearing the TV when you do. Again, these are signs that you shouldn’t ignore. Additionally, having to turn the volume up on your headphones or the TV can also be dangerous to your hearing and lead to more severe hearing loss down the road.
You need to look at someone while they’re talking
Do you find that you need to be looking directly at someone to understand what they are saying? Do you have trouble understanding people who are talking to you but might be standing behind you? People with hearing loss often need to look at faces to understand what a person is saying. That’s because they are usually reading lips. If you find yourself staring at people’s lips while talking to them this could be a sign that your hearing isn’t what it used to be.
An ENT doctor is going to be key to detecting and treating your hearing loss, but it’s important to turn to a doctor as soon as possible. They can provide you with hearing aids and implants that can treat everything from mild to profound hearing loss. If you want to be part of the conversation again turn to an ENT doctor today for a hearing evaluation.
- People seem to be talking very quietly all the time
- You find it difficult to follow along in conversations
- Higher pitched sounds, like alarm clocks or birds, are harder to hear
- Words with higher frequency consonants like f, t, s, p, and h are difficult to distinguish
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves
Find out which type of hearing aid will help you get back in the conversation again.
Has an ENT doctor or audiologist determined that you have hearing loss? If so, you may be wondering, “What now?” Well, the next step is to get fitted for a hearing aid. Of course, with all the advancements in technology there are now so many options when it comes to hearing aids that it can be a bit confusing. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a hearing aid,
Discretion is usually one of the most important factors that someone mentions when getting a hearing aid (we know being able to hide your hearing aid from others is important). Of course, there are other factors to consider that can help you determine the right style for you. Common hearing aid styles include:
- Behind-the-ear (often the most versatile hearing aid to accommodate all severities of hearing loss)
Special and Advanced Features
Hearing aids now come with some pretty awesome features and while some may not apply to you or be particularly important for your lifestyle, there are other features that you may wish to have. Top features include:
This feature separates out dynamic sounds (e.g. television; conversations) from static sounds (e.g. running water) and increases the dynamic sounds while reducing static sounds, making it easier to hear what you actually want to hear.
Noisy environments can be a real pain for people with hearing loss. Here’s where the directionality feature on a hearing aid comes in handy. Instead of just “turning up” the volume on all sounds around you, this feature allows you to hear what’s in closer proximity and help you turn your attention and focus on the person in front of you rather than the noisy environment around you. This is particularly helpful for those who work in loud environments such as restaurants.
Just because a hearing aid has more channels than another doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. What it means is that these different channels offer ways to adjust different frequencies. Therefore, those dealing with both low-end and high-end pitch problems can adjust the volume on one without necessarily adjusting the volume on another. The idea is that these different channels help even out what a person can hear.
Your Hearing Loss
Of course, the type and severity of your hearing loss will also play a factor in which kind of hearing aid will truly give you the best opportunity to understand those around you. This is something that your otolaryngologist can discuss with you during your evaluation and fitting. There are many options available for those dealing with everything from mild to profound hearing loss.
Are you ready to sit down with an ENT specialist to discuss your hearing aid options? Don’t put off addressing your hearing difficulties. The sooner you treat your hearing loss the better.