Hearing Education

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Getting Your Hearing Tested

Hearing loss usually happens gradually, and over time. As you lose sounds, your brain adjusts to not hearing certain sounds or frequencies. Sometimes it can be difficult to notice there is something wrong with your hearing until it has degenerated significantly. Often times it is a concerned spouse or family member who notices you are having a hard time hearing.

If you or a loved one notice any of these signs, then you may have hearing loss and should come see us for an audiological evaluation.

  • You are constantly asking people to repeat themselves
  • You have difficulty having a conversation in a noisy environment
  • You often mishear words
  • It seems like everyone is mumbling
  • You have to turn the TV volume up in order to hear
  • It’s very difficult to understand the person on the other end of the phone
  • You experience a constant annoying ringing or buzzing in your ears

Hearing FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions we often hear from patients. If your question isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to reach out or to ask us at your next appointment. Click each question to learn more.

As soon as you or a loved one notices a change in your hearing. If left untreated, hearing loss will continue to get worse, negatively affecting your quality of life. Untreated hearing loss leads to depression, feelings of social isolation, and relationship strains with loved ones.
Yes, there are three different types of hearing loss and there are different treatment options for each one.

  • Conductive Hearing Loss: Sound can’t travel from the outer ear to the inner ear. This is often the result of wax build-up, trauma to the ear, or even ear infections. Typically, conductive hearing loss “turns the volume down” but doesn’t necessarily affect the clarity of your hearing. Conductive hearing losses may also be corrected by medical intervention so it’s important to receive help as soon as possible.
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss: With sensorineural hearing loss, the problem may be damage to the inner ear or within the hearing nerve. Most of the time, the hair cells in the inner ear have been worn down due to aging or noise exposure, but sometimes medications, cancer treatments or illness can create deterioration as well. With sensorineural loss, it's not just that “the volume is turned down,” but your ability to understand speech suffers too. About 90% of people have this type of hearing loss and the most effective treatment is hearing aids.
  • Mixed Hearing Loss: Just like it sounds, this is a mixture of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
It depends on the type of hearing loss you're experiencing. For the majority of people who have hearing loss, it will get worse with time. Whether you have hearing loss from continued noise exposure or it's simply a combination of aging and genetics, it is best to have your hearing loss examined as soon as possible. Come visit us so we can help discover what caused your hearing loss and properly treat it with hearing aids.
You will get the most satisfaction from your hearing aids if you wear them during the hours you’re awake (don’t wear them swimming or in the shower). This consistency will help your brain adjust to the new amplification. You should take your hearing aids out while you sleep in order to let your ears breathe.
Although hearing aids will greatly improve your ability to hear and process sounds, they will not restore your hearing to the way it was before hearing loss. Hearing aids are technologically advanced mini computers that amplify sound and allows your brain to process sounds it hasn’t heard in some time. By using hearing aids you can decrease the chances of your hearing loss worsening and you will be able to get back to enjoying life again.
Nothing can replace the care of a hearing healthcare professional. If you are interested in over-the-counter (OTC), you should still visit a professional who can give you personalized care and possibly identify the underlying cause of your hearing loss.

While you may see ads for sound amplifiers or other hearing devices online, remember that hearing aids are sophisticated medical devices designed to help your brain process sound, not just make things louder. In order to perform properly, they must be programed to best suit your personal level of hearing loss and adjusted to fit comfortably to your ears. Hearing loss is complex, and simply turning the volume up will not improve your hearing. We have had many patients who have purchased OTC hearing aids come to us because they never received the proper counseling for their devices and aren’t satisfied with them.
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