The New Normal Can You Give Me An Example
Consider how your body senses temperature. After youve been out at the beach all day in 90-degree weather, going inside to a 70-degree room feels chilly, since your body has adjusted to consider 90 degrees as normal. However, when youve been out shoveling snow in the winter, going inside to a 70-degree home feels warm. Your brain and body have come to consider below 30 degrees normal. The temperature of the room in question hasnt changed, but your perceptions have.
In the same way, when you begin wearing hearing aids, your brain learns to take in the new information. When you take off your hearing aids, your hearing loss becomes more noticeable. Your hearing seems muted and diminished without your devices, but it already was you just notice it more because youve been experiencing better hearing with the hearing aids. This is where the myth of hearing aids cause hearing loss comes from.
Tinnitus Already Became Reactive
If treatment for tinnitus is too long, there is a chance that it can get reactive. Meaning aside from sensitivity to high pitched noise, you may become sensitive to low pitched noises too. And it does not get any better at any point. This actually relates in a way with the previous item regarding low sound tolerance, as well as overexposure to low-level sounds, and a progression of tinnitus after residual inhibition testing. For obvious reasons, reactive tinnitus does not go well with electronic amplification. And it definitely needs either an adjustment to your device or an alternative treatment as your audiologist sees fit.
If you feel you are not receiving any benefit from your hearing aids with regards to masking your tinnitus symptoms it is best to let your audiologist know immediately. They can make adjustments to your hearing aids amplification to see if you receive any improvements with your symptoms. It only takes the right test results, a good treatment plan to help make your hearing better and your overall wellness at check.
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Also, are you anxious about your childs audiology appointment? Get the assurance now by reading this article: What Should You Expect During Children Hearing Tests?
Wearing A Hearing Aid
Once the hearing aids have been fitted for the ears, the individual should begin to gradually wear the hearing aid. Because hearing aids do not restore normal hearing, it may take time to get used to the different sounds transmitted by the device. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery recommends the following when beginning to wear hearing aids:
Be patient and give yourself time to get used to the hearing aid and the sound it produces.
Start in quiet surroundings and gradually build up to noisier environments.
Experiment where and when the hearing aid works best for you.
Keep a record of any questions and concerns you have, and bring those to your follow-up examination.
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Tips To Avoid Damaging Your Hearing
How The Ear Hears
Think about how you can feel speakers vibrate on your sound system or feel your throat vibrate when you speak. Sound, which is made up of invisible waves of energy, causes these vibrations.
Hearing begins when sound waves that travel through the air reach the outer ear or pinna, which is the part of the ear you can see. The sound waves then travel from the pinna through the ear canal to the middle ear, which includes the eardrum and three tiny bones called ossicles. When the eardrum vibrates, the ossicles amplify these vibrations and carry them to the inner ear.
The inner ear is made up of a snail-shaped chamber called the cochlea , which is filled with fluid and lined with thousands of tiny hair cells . When the vibrations move through the fluid, the tiny outer hair cells amplify the vibrations. The amplification is important because it allows you to hear soft sounds, like whispering and birds.
Then, the inner hair cells translate the vibrations into electrical nerve impulses and send them to the auditorynerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain. When these nerve impulses reach the brain, they are interpreted as sound. The cochlea is like a piano: specific areas along the length of the cochlea pick up gradually higher pitches.
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What Is Hearing Impairment
Hearing impairment occurs when there’s a problem with or damage to one or more parts of the ear.
The degree of hearing impairment can vary widely from person to person. Some people have partial hearing loss, meaning that the ear can pick up some sounds others have complete hearing loss, meaning that the ear cannot hear at all . In some types of hearing loss, a person can have much more trouble when there is background noise. One or both ears may be affected, and the impairment may be worse in one ear than in the other.
The timing of the hearing loss can vary, too. Congenital hearing loss is present at birth. Acquired hearing loss happens later in life during childhood, the teen years, or in adulthood and it can be sudden or progressive .
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 37.5 million American people aged 18 and over are deaf or hearing impaired. That’s about 15 out of every 100 people. Another 26 million are exposed to hazardous noise levels on a regular basis. Hearing loss is also the most common birth anomaly.
Personal Sound Amplification Products
Personal Sound Amplification Products , or sound amplifiers, increase environmental sounds for non-hearing impaired consumers. Examples of situations when these products would be used include hunting , bird watching, listening to a lecture with a distant speaker, and listening to soft sounds that would be difficult for normal hearing individuals to hear . PSAPs are not intended to be used as hearing aids to compensate for hearing impairment.
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What Causes Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by
- years of exposure to noise, which is especially true for people who work in loud environments, such as live music venues, mining, building or farming
- ear infections
- exposure to certain chemicals or medications including aspirin, some antibiotics and some cancer drugs
- listening to very loud music with headphones
Nearly everybody finds their hearing gets worse as they get older. In some cases, genetics plays a part and some families develop hearing problems earlier in life than other families.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
With any healthcare provider, you always have the right to ask questions like:
When talking to your hearing aid retailer, be sure to ask about:
- Proper usage and care strategies
- Future service and repair plans
- Trial period or return policy
- Warranty coverage and extra insurance
- Consumer protection programs
Most importantly, a hearing aid should fit comfortably, or you are likely not to use it. The person fitting your hearing aid should test your understanding of words and sounds in quiet as well as in noisy environments. On your own, you may start using your hearing aids in quiet surroundings to get used to the changes before moving on to more noisy places like the grocery store or a restaurant.
Think about keeping a diary to help you remember your experiences in different environments and report them to your fitter for adjustments as needed until youre comfortable wearing your hearing aids during all waking hours. Be patient and allow yourself to get used to the aids and the new sounds they allow you to hear.
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Potential Causes Of Hearing Loss
For instance, chronic exposure to loud sound pollution or even acute exposure to very loud sounds such as gunshots or plane engines could potentially cause hearing loss. In a situation like this, acquiring some level of damage to your inner ear and having a degree of hearing loss is something that can be acquired simply by not protecting yourself.
This form of hearing loss can be avoided simply by utilizing proper protection however, it is also possible to experience loud, damaging noises suddenly and without warning.
Physical trauma and certain diseases or reactions to medications can also cause hearing loss. Some auto-immune disorders can also target specific cells within the inner ear causing hearing loss and genetic effects of hearing loss being genetically passed down through parents.
Whats more is that hearing loss, while it is most prevalent in the older generations, can affect and be present in any demographic and age range.
Can A Hearing Aid Help With Dizziness
There are numerous benefits to wearing hearing aids besides restored hearing. These devices can help improve cognitive functions and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus, if you have hearing loss and suffer from frequent dizziness, wearing hearing aids can help you manage both conditions.
More specifically, hearing aids can help improve your balance and relieve dizziness by increasing your awareness of your surroundings. This is particularly beneficial if you also have problems with your eyesight, which makes it harder to assess your environment.
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Can Hearing Aids Damage Hearing
Whenever the topic of whats to blame for the nations epidemic of hearing loss rears its head, practitioners are swift to blame loud noises and rightly so. The modern sound environment can be damaging to your hearing.
But the next question naturally arises: If loud noises are harmful to hearing, doesnt that mean hearing aids could be, too? After all, they amplify incoming sounds. It only stands to reason that they could make hearing worse.
While incorrectly adjusted hearing aids can cause problems, hearing aids selected with and fit by an audiologist are safe and effective.
Any loud noise can potentially harm hearing, everything from loud music to drills on a building site. Excessively energetic sound waves damage the small sound-sensing hairs that line the middle ear, degrading their ability to send signals to the brain.
But heres the rub: Hearing aids are only dangerous to hearing if set up incorrectly. If you go to a trained audiologist, the risk is negligible.
The trick to adjusting hearing aids is to make sure that they deliver a level of sound that does not cause further damage to the ears. If you buy a hearing aid over the internet and fit it yourself, you must judge the appropriate amplification without any equipment to help you. If, however, you go to a professional, they do all that for you, using state-of-the-art techniques.
So Whats The Story Here Why Does This Happen
The main reason has to do with the stimulation of the auditory cortex the part of the brain the processes sound. If you are losing your hearing, this region receives less stimulation. Eventually, it withers like an unused muscle, making it harder to interpret incoming signals.
Wearing a hearing aid restores the activity of the nerves that transfer information to the brain for processing. The body senses that it needs them and so it starts shuttling resources in their direction, beefing them up. Eventually, they strengthen, and some people find that they can lower the amplification of their hearing aids. Others notice that their rapid hearing loss progression slows down or stops altogether.
For those with tinnitus, hearing aids can be a real lifeline. Tinnitus is a persistent ringing in the ears caused by a lack of stimulation of the auditory cortex. It can cause sleeplessness, depression and anxiety. It can be a severe condition.
People who use hearing aids, however, often find that their tinnitus symptoms get better. And that, in turn, improves their hearing and quality of life. The brain hallucinates fewer of its own sounds and, instead, focuses on the real noises coming from the external world.
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Can I Prevent Hearing Impairment
Many cases of hearing loss or deafness are not preventable however, hearing loss caused by loud noise can be prevented, and prevention efforts can start at any age . There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of this type of hearing loss.
The intensity of sound is measured in units called , and any sounds over 80 decibels are considered hazardous with prolonged exposure. These include things like loud music, sirens and engines, and power tools such as jackhammers and leaf blowers.
To reduce the risk of permanent hearing damage, you can:
- Turn down the volume on your stereo, TV, and especially the headset on your music player.
- Wear earplugs if you’re going to a loud concert or other event . Special protective earmuffs are a good idea if you operate a lawn mower or leaf or snow blower, or at a particularly loud event, like a car race. If you feel your hearing is different after being at an event with a lot of noise , it means you’re probably experiencing a temporary hearing loss due to noise. Don’t worry, it will go away , but it means that next time you want to participate in the same event, you should wear protection for your ears to avoid a permanent hearing loss.
- See your doctor right away if you suspect any problems with your hearing, and get your hearing tested on a regular basis.
So Hearing Aids Cant Cause Hearing Loss
Under most circumstances, the answer to Will my hearing aids cause hearing loss? is no. But hearing devices can damage your hearing further if not programmed correctly. Because hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises , programming your hearing aids properly is critical. If your hearing aids are programmed to make noises way louder than you actually need, that programming could cause additional hearing damage. However, if hearing aids are programmed correctly, fit well, and filter sounds properly, then they should not damage your hearing.
Contact An Audiologist In Calgary
If you have partial or complete hearing loss and frequently experience dizziness, vertigo or balance problems, schedule a consultation at Soundwave Hearing Care today. Our experienced team of audiologists and hearing aid practitioners can help you determine the right hearing aid device to restore your hearing, relieve your dizziness and improve your quality of life. Were proud to serve patients in Calgary, Grande Prairie, High River and Lethbridge. For more information or to book an appointment, contact us today.
How Can Hearing Aids Help
Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. The damage can occur as a result of disease, aging, or injury from noise or certain medicines.
A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The greater the damage to a persons hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification needed to make up the difference. However, there are practical limits to the amount of amplification a hearing aid can provide. In addition, if the inner ear is too damaged, even large vibrations will not be converted into neural signals. In this situation, a hearing aid would be ineffective.
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Can I Obtain Financial Assistance For A Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are generally not covered by health insurance companies, although some do. For eligible children and young adults ages 21 and under, Medicaid will pay for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, including hearing aids, under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment service. Also, children may be covered by their states early intervention program or State Childrens Health Insurance Program.
Medicare does not cover hearing aids for adults however, diagnostic evaluations are covered if they are ordered by a physician for the purpose of assisting the physician in developing a treatment plan. Since Medicare has declared the BAHA a prosthetic device and not a hearing aid, Medicare will cover the BAHA if other coverage policies are met.
Some nonprofit organizations provide financial assistance for hearing aids, while others may help provide used or refurbished aids. Contact the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Information Clearinghouse with questions about organizations that offer financial assistance for hearing aids.