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Have you found that your relationships have become strained due to communication problems? Do the people in your life seem frustrated because you have to ask them to repeat themselves more often than not? While these are major signs of hearing loss, you can’t be exactly sure about the status of your hearing t until you’ve had a hearing exam. Many people put off getting a hearing loss due to denial, procrastination, or they earnestly don’t even realize they have a problem at all.
If someone in your life has urged you to get a hearing test or you just feel like it is time, it’s important to know that this experience is painless and easy. To make sure you get the most out of your experience it’s helpful to have questions prepared ahead of time. Here are a few questions, which will help you optimize your experience and come out, in control of your hearing again.
What kind of hearing loss do I have?
There are several kinds of hearing loss.
- Sensorineural is the most common type and occurs when the tiny cells of your inner ear are damaged or destroyed. These cells are responsible for sending sound from your ears to the brain, so effectively your brain can not process what it does not receive. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by many things, such as exposure to excessive noise, head trauma, certain medications, chronic ear infections or even old age. Your hearing healthcare professional will ask you questions about your lifestyle and past to better understand what risks are present to your hearing for sensorineural hearing loss.
- Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is something blocking or obscuring the ear canal and preventing sound from passing through. This may be due to an ear infection, a foreign object, a tumor, bone growth or even an impacted buildup of earwax. The good news is, that with conductive hearing loss it can often be cleared up by removing the impasse.
- The third type, mixed hearing loss is a mix of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. This may require several treatment methods.
What options are available for hearing assistance?
Once your hearing exam is completed and we have received your results we can confidently let you know what methods of treatment are best for you. The most important thing to understand is that if you have sensorineural hearing loss, then it is irreversible. The good news is that hearing aids can amplify the sounds which you can not perceive on your own, restoring communication and awareness of sound in your environment. However, there are so many different options at this point, that without a hearing test and a professional who understands the pros and cons of different options, the choice is incredibly overwhelming. Your hearing healthcare provider can tell you which models, styles and features might serve you best for your particular hearing loss and lifestyle needs.
How will I need to maintain my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are tiny digital devices that do a lot of work for you. When wearing hearing aids correctly you will wear them from the moment you wake, only to be removed for sleep and bathing. An average hearing aid lasts five to seven years. To make sure you get the most out of your investment make sure to care for them. Add a nightly cleaning regiment to your nightly routine. Be sure to wipe the parts down with a soft dry cloth and inspect them for any cracks which could collect dirt or moisture. It is also a good idea to invest in a dehumidifying device to remove any moisture overnight. If you do spot an issue with a hearing loss we are here to help. We can help you troubleshoot possible issues remotely but if the issue persists, it’s a good idea to come in for a visit. Our professional staff can deal with technical issues that arise to make sure your hearing aids function their best for years to come.
Can I expect my hearing to change over time?
Sensorineural hearing loss often develops slowly over years. Just because you are using hearing aids does not mean that your hearing loss will stop progressing. It is important to have your hearing checked annually to make sure that your hearing aids are currently programmed for optimal performance. Very often you can update the program on your hearing aids without having to invest in a new pair. If you have never worn hearing aids, then this is a great time to find out if they are right for you. Schedule a hearing exam today and find out what hearing aids can do for you!