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Hearing Loss Frequently Asked Questions

Often time we don't think of getting our hearing checked until we notice something is wrong or someone calls a hearing problem to our attention. Hearing loss is tough for many to admit because it is often associated as a sign of old age. Deciding to take action to have your hearing tested can determine how well you will hear weeks, months and years from now. Better hearing can have an immediate and positive impact on your quality of life - physically, socially, and emotionally.

How we hear

Any action that generates noise sends sound vibrations, or sound waves, through the air. The outer part of the human ear picks up these sound waves where it travels down the ear canal and into the ear drum. The eardrum is a thin membrane separating the outer ear from the middle ear. As the sound waves strike your eardrum, it vibrates three tiny mechanical bones of the middle ear. The middle ear is connected to the inner ear changes mechanical vibrations to nerve signals, which are then sent to the hearing center of the brain.

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Types of hearing loss

A Conductive loss involves the outer and/or middle ear.It can be a result from infection, wax, or physical traumma. Can often be treated medically. A Sensorineural loss can be a result of aging, ototoxic drugs, head trauma, disease, genetic, etc. Also known as nerve deafness. It involves the inner ear or auditory nerve. Usually untreatable and permanent. Treatment is amplification through use of hearing instruments. A Mixed loss is a combination of conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. Treatment is usually amplification through the use of hearing instruments.

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What causes hearing loss?

Typical causes for hearing loss: Noise exposure, Prebycusis(aging), Infections (Otisi Media, Otistis Externa), Head or ear trauma, Congenitial abnormalities or genetics, Ototoxic drugs (antibiotics, chemotherapy), Cerumen (wax) blockage

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How do I determine if I have a hearing loss?

Often, hearing loss is very gradual,painless and not all sounds are lost at an equal rate. Typically, the higher frequency sounds, which contain consonant information, are most affected. Symptoms include the straining to hear the TV or radio, understanding speech in noisy environments and asking people to constantly repeat themselves.

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If I suspect that I have a hearing loss, what should I do first?

Schedule and appointment with an Audiologist to have a complete hearing evaluation. This will determine the nature of your hearing problem and they will determine the best approach for providing hearing amplification if it's necessary.

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Is it typically recommended that I wear a hearing device in both ears?

Yes, binaural amplification (two ears) will reduce the need for excessive amplification, improve sound direction, improve hearing in noise, and sound more natural.

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What is an audiogram?

An audiogram is a hearing test that is generally performed in a soundproof room using sophisticated, calibrated equipment. A trained professional, most commonly a certified audiologist, usually administers the test. Earphones are placed over the person's ears, and tones are presented to each ear, one at a time. The softest level at which the sounds can be heard is recorded.

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What realistic expectations should I expect from my hearing aid?

The ultimate goal of amplification is to restore - to as large a degree possible - the full range of hearing. By that, we mean that soft sounds should sound soft, comfortably loud sounds should be audible and understandable (loud, but not painfully loud).

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Do you offer a 30-day trial period?

Yes, federal law requires that hearing healthcare professionals offer a 30-day trial period on hearing aids.

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