There are a lot of misconceptions about hearing loss and many Americans fear a hearing loss test and treatment. At Hearing Health, we can answer all your questions and discuss hearing loss and treatment with you. The first step is scheduling a hearing evaluation. Here are some common questions and answers to help lay the foundation for building better hearing health.
What causes hearing loss?
Hearing loss is caused by natural aging but also be exposure to loud noise. When you are exposed to loud noise – and that would be over 85 decibels – it damages the hair cells in your inner ear. The damage can occur with one loud sound or with prolonged exposure to loud noise.
Firearms, motorcycles and power tools fall into the loud noise category.
Hearing loss related to aging is called presbycusis) and it occurs naturally as we age. About one in three individuals in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 have age-related hearing loss.
The loss is gradual and occurs in both ears. It is also from changes in the inner ear, as is noise-related hearing loss, but it is more complex.
The symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss are a feeling of fullness in the ears after the noise, hearing conversation as muffled and a ringing in the ears. It may clear up after a brief time, but that just means there are enough undamaged hair cells to keep processing sound.
Eventually, there won’t be.
Symptoms of age related hearing loss is starting to have issues hearing higher pitched sounds first.
Does hearing loss affect my health in general?
Studies have shown that individuals with untreated hearing loss are more prone to accidents. Your brain works overtime to process sound when you have hearing loss and that means other senses can suffer.
People with hearing loss tend to start isolating themselves because they don’t want to deal with trying to hear what is going on and/or explaining why they can’t hear.
Trouble hearing means you would have difficulty understanding and following instructions from your doctor, you might not hear alarms in your home or the phone, doorbell or the alert from the oven that your dinner is done.
Should I just consider surgery?
The most recent statistics show a surgery option is only viable in five to 10% of hearing loss cases.
I just have hearing loss in one ear so why should I get hearing aids?
If the hearing seems to be better in one ear, people tend to think their hearing is fine in that ear. But age-related hearing loss occurs in both ears and most types of hearing loss are corrected with hearing aids in both ears.
I’m not old so how can it be age-related hearing loss?
All age groups are affected by hearing loss. Six million people between the ages of 18 and 44 in the United States have some hearing loss and more than 1 million school-age children have hearing loss.
If hearing loss is normal, why should I get hearing aids?
If your vision needs correction because you are getting older, you’re getting that corrected, right? Why wouldn’t you get hearing loss corrected?
If I get hearing aids won’t people think I am old or disabled?
Untreated hearing loss is going to make things awkward. You may miss punchlines, make inappropriate comments or answer questions oddly during conversations. People may wonder why you are tilting your head, so you can hear them with your “good” ear. What happens if you don’t hear a siren or a horn blowing when you are driving? Do you want to risk losing your driver’s license?
Is everything going to be really loud if I get hearing aids?
Hearing aids are marvels of amplification. They adjust directionally to sound and can even help you pick out conversationally sound from background noise. Many of the new models have a GPS feature so if you had to adjust the sound somewhere, your hearing aid will remember when you return to that location and adjust again without you doing anything.
Will I be able to hear right away with hearing aids?
There is an adjustment period with hearing aids. Your ears and your brain have to catch up with sound processing. Most people adjust within three weeks and are very happy with their hearing aids.
At Hearing Health you can “test drive” your hearing aids so you will be sure what you are paying for will work.
The best way to get your questions answered is with an appointment for a hearing test. Call Hearing Health today to schedule an appointment. If you’re nervous – bring a friend!