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If you are anticipating your upcoming hearing test then let’s start by saying congratulations! Of the 28 million people who could benefit from hearing aids due to a hearing issue, less than one in three, or 30 percent have ever used them.
Taking the leap to admit you may have a hearing problem is an often difficult step in dealing with hearing loss. It’s important to be prepared for your hearing consultation so you know what questions to ask so you can get the most out of your hearing experience.
What kind of hearing loss do I have?
When you arrive we will conduct a hearing test to figure out exactly what type of hearing loss that you have. The most common type of hearing loss is sensorineural, which is caused due to damage to tiny hair cells in the inner ear that conduct sound to your brain. This type of damage can be caused by exposure to noise, head trauma, certain medications, or old age. While sensorineural hearing loss can’t be reversed but there are several treatment options depending on the severity of your loss.
The other type of hearing loss you may discover during your hearing exam is conductive. This type of hearing loss is usually the result of a blockage in the middle ear, sometimes due to an impaction of earwax, infection, abnormal bone growth or tumor. Conductive hearing loss can often be reversed by clearing up the blockage, allowing you to regain your normal function. Perhaps your test will uncover either of these types of hearing loss or a mixture of both. We can help you understand what is going on with your hearing and help you find the best solution for your hearing needs.
What options are available for hearing assistance?
If you have sensorineural hearing loss it can be treated rather effectively with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Depending on the type and severity of your hearing loss there are a number of different styles, models and features available to enhance your listening ability. Hearing aids amplify the sounds around you and send them directly to your inner ears to hear with your remaining hearing. If your hearing is severe, cochlear implants are small, complex electronic devices, which are surgically implanted beneath the skin with an electrode inserted into the inner ear.
Innovations in hearing aids continue to enhance the listening experience with options like Bluetooth connectivity with your Smartphone making it easier to hear on the phone, receive GPS directions and listen to your favorite music or podcasts wirelessly. Other features available include background suppression, rechargeable batteries, degrees of water resistance, tinnitus masking and even artificial technology, which automatically can adjust to your environment relying on GPS location. Depending on your needs and lifestyle you can decide what features would work best for you!
How to best maintain your hearing aids
Once you’ve invested in the hearing aids that will enhance your communication and your life it is important to understand how best to keep your hearing aids working best for as long as possible. We can help you understand the best ways to keep your hearing aids clear of dirt and debris, minimize moisture and how to change or maintain your battery life.
Most hearing aids available now will enhance your hearing for 5 to 7 years and the better you can maintain your hearing aids, the more you can ensure that you will have them the maximum amount of time with your amazing devices.
Do I need two hearing aids?
Even if your hearing loss is more severe in one ear than the other there is a good chance that you still have hearing loss in the other, perhaps just not as severe. Your brain relies on binaural hearing, (hearing with two ears) to help you locate sounds and help you be more aware of your surroundings. Two hearing aids will make sure that your hearing is supported equally with both ears.
If you haven’t already, make an appointment today!
The more you understand about what is available and what to expect, the more you will be able to get out of your hearing aids. It takes a bit to get used to, but once you do they will become essential for you to communicate comfortably wherever you go. Contact us to find out more of what hearing aids can do for you!