The Hidden Risks Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is frustrating for those who have it and for their loved ones. But recent research from Johns Hopkins reveals that it also is linked with walking problems, falls and even;dementia.
In a study that tracked 639 adults for nearly 12 years, Johns Hopkins expert;Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D,;and his colleagues found that mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate loss tripled risk, and people with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia.
I Heard That Hearing Aids Are Difficult To Use
There is a breaking-in period as youand your central auditory system and brainadjust to life with hearing aids. Thats why most doctors and hearing centers include a trial period, so you can be sure the type youve chosenwhether its a miniature behind-the-ear model or one that fits into your earis right for you.
Seeking Help With Vertigo Symptoms
The most common conditions that affect both hearing and balance are Labyrinthitis and Menieres disease. Otherwise, most conditions with balance symptoms do not affect your hearing and vice versa. That means if you are experiencing vertigo when your hearing aids are in, a careful investigation needs to occur to see if there is an extraordinarily bad fit, which normally would be apparent very early from other forms of discomfort, a completely unrelated second condition requiring treatment, or one of these two conditions that affect both hearing and balance. Solving that riddle can be difficult, but it starts by working with the audiology team you already trust with repairs and troubleshooting for your hearing aids and other support devices.
Treating balance disorders often means seeking additional medical help to address the issues causing balance problems, but if you already work with an audiologist, starting with the people who understand your hearing and your journey so far will mean getting additional support as you investigate these new symptoms. If youre not currently seeing an audiologist, your healthcare coverage might require you to start by getting a referral from your regular doctor. If thats the case, you may also get a second referral to continue investigating the balance issues with the appropriate specialist at the same time. Either way, reaching out to medical professionals at the onset of vertigo symptoms is the best thing you can do as a patient.
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Examine Your Hearing Within Regular Intervals
Hearing loss is an irreversible condition for most of the part. However, early detection can help you avoid worsening the situation. Some people have also claimed that they regained their natural hearing after using hearing aids properly for a;specific time.
We cannot guarantee that you are one of those lucky ones. We can offer you to detect the problem early while still taking necessary measures to avoid further inconvenience.
Can Wearing A Hearing Aid Make My Hearing Worse
Before wearing new hearing devices, many patients cautiously ask if wearing hearing aids will make them dependent on the devices or damage their hearing. Often patients will return after wearing their new hearing aids for a few weeks and say Help! My hearing has worsened! I cannot hear without my hearing aids! While it seems as though your unaided hearing has gotten worse, what’s really happening is adaptation to hearing aids. Your brain is getting used to hearing all of the sounds you’ve been missing that are now provided by your new hearing devices. Hearing the breadth of the sounds around you has now become your new normal. Therefore, when you take that input away , your brain notes a stark contrast between the have and have not of sound. Now that you are accustomed to all of the input of the world around you, the unaided world of hearing loss seems dull and quiet. If you really believe you have had a shift in unaided hearing, we will perform another hearing test to verify there has been no shift and to set your mind at ease.
The auditory system is complex and able to learn what to do with new input. The more you wear hearing aids, the more your brain and ears will adapt to your new normal that has you hearing what youve been missing! To get back into the sounds of your life, contact our audiologists at;;to;schedule an appointment.
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Get Your Hearing Tested
Get a hearing test as soon as possible if you’re worried you might be losing your hearing. The earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier something can be done about it.
You might also want to consider having regular hearing checks if you’re at a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss, for example, if you’re a musician or work in noisy environments.
Page last reviewed: 18 January 2021 Next review due: 18 January 2024
Keep Them Away From Extreme Temperatures
If you remove them while in the car, do not leave them on the dashboard. That kind of heat can damage the circuitry inside the hearing aids.
A similar scenario can happen at home if you leave them on the window sill or anywhere in direct sunlight. At the other end of the spectrum, if you wear them in extremely cold or snowy weather, you invite moisture to build up, which will also cause serious issues.
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How To Make Your Hearing Better With Hearing Aids
First of all, lets address the elephant in the room. Hearing aids can improve your ability to hear and communicate with the world around you, but they cannot cure your hearing loss. It is just as glasses do not cure your farsightedness or nearsightedness. They are devices that help you manage your disability and give you an equal chance to shine against someone who has perfect abilities.;
With the help of a hearing aid, other people wont need to yell at you constantly to make you understand his words. Also, you wont need to make them repeat what they said. A straightforward way of communicating will;enable you to socialize with people effectively and;hear better.;Also, it will help you to avoid accidents by restoring the natural reflex of your body.
We have seen many people with hearing loss shy away from asking for help. It only makes their condition worse and often leads them to withdraw from social gatherings. In addition to hearing difficulty, they then started to form depressions and other mental health conditions. One can avoid all of these things with the help of a proper diagnosis and a pair of hearing aids.;
Also, now it is possible to buy hearing aids over-the-counter. It has made the devices more affordable for you. Previously, when you had to buy a hearing aid device, you had to purchase the year-long care packages. Now you are enabled to buy all of these things separately at your convenience.
Which Hearing Aid Will Work Best For Me
The hearing aid that will work best for you depends on the kind and severity of your hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss in both of your ears, two hearing aids are generally recommended because two aids provide a more natural signal to the brain. Hearing in both ears also will help you understand speech and locate where the sound is coming from.
You and your audiologist should select a hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Price is also a key consideration because hearing aids range from hundreds to several thousand dollars. Similar to other equipment purchases, style and features affect cost. However, dont use price alone to determine the best hearing aid for you. Just because one hearing aid is more expensive than another does not necessarily mean that it will better suit your needs.
A hearing aid will not restore your normal hearing. With practice, however, a hearing aid will increase your awareness of sounds and their sources. You will want to wear your hearing aid regularly, so select one that is convenient and easy for you to use. Other features to consider include parts or services covered by the warranty, estimated schedule and costs for maintenance and repair, options and upgrade opportunities, and the hearing aid companys reputation for quality and customer service.
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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.
How To Keep Your Ears And Hearing Aids In Top Condition
Hearing aids can be a massive improvement in your life. They can let you enjoy the little sounds that you may have been taking for granted for years.
Even though they can be beneficial to you, its essential to help them sometimes as well. Keeping your hearing aids and ears healthy makes it easier for the hearing aids to do their job.
With all the technology in them, they still require a bit of maintenance and upkeep so they can continue to provide excellent service to you.
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Do Hearing Aids Damage Ears Is The Helping Hurting In The Long Run
I had this discussion on the HLAA forum and got no satisfactory answer. The HLAA forum is pretty dead and on it’s way out so I didn’t get but one or two responses and they weren’t conclusive. Also it is my fault because I don’t think I explained myself clearly.
Please understand, I’m not trolling, I really want to know. If my logic is sound, I will only wear my aids when I need to instead of all day. I can’t get along without them.
Let me divulge my logic :
1) I know that the sound level of 85dba for 8 hours per day permanently damages hearing. The DB scale is logarithmic function, each 3db is double the power of the one before. So at 91dbdba 2 hours of exposure damages permanently, at 100dba it’s only 15 minutes, at 110dba it’s mere seconds and at 120dba it’s instant permanent damage. Logarithms are comparative ratios, adding the a suffix is referencing it against a standard, and is what all hearing tests use db is a ratio and dba is a definite value.
2) Hearing aids amplify the frequencies you cannot hear as a reverse curve to your hearing loss audiogram
3) Say you have a 70 db loss in hearing at 3Khz , that means at 71 dba in a quiet hearing booth you can barely hear the faintest whisper of a 3khz tone. And like many of us, say your lower frequency hearing is either zero or around 6 dba.
4) Now say you are in a room that conversation level is around 75 dba, you will need about 75 db of the consonants to understand what the person across the table is saying to you.
Alternative Hearing Aids Without Earmolds
While earmolds for hearing aids are a great option, they arent for everyone. We recommend doing some research on all the different types of hearing aids out there before making a purchase. RIC Hearing aids, for example, dont use an earmold at all!; There are many different styles and varieties out there; find one that fits your lifestyle and needs!;
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Will Hearing Aids Improve Balance
Although this idea seems bizzare, there have been some studies suggesting that hearing aids might magically improve balance. Perhaps the idea is that balance and hearing are both in the ear, and perhaps helping one will help the other. One might also think that the eyes and the ears are both in the head, so glasses might improve hearing. Hm. This is a “straw man” type hypothesis.
McDaniel et al reported that “No statistically significant differences in participants’ balance were identified regardless of the presence or absence of their hearing aids during the SOT.”
How Long Does A Hearing Aid Fitting Take
Wikimedia Commons Hearing aids that fully sit in the ear canal require a custom-fit earmold.
A hearing aid fitting can take as little as 15 minutes or up to two hours. Your fitting will take longer if it includes a hearing test, real ear measurements, and a thorough introduction to using your hearing aid. If you choose a hearing aid that requires earmold impressions, youll have to return for a second visit to complete the fitting as the production of custom molds could take a couple of weeks.
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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Hearing Loss And How Hearing Aids May Help
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Why do hearing aids work for some people but not others?
ANSWER: The type of hearing loss;you have and how severe it is can impact how well a hearing aid works for you. A variety of hearing aids are available, so if the first one you try isnt helpful, ask your audiologist to recommend another. For people who have hearing loss that does not benefit from hearing aids, another device called a cochlear implant may be a useful alternative.
Your ear has three areas: the outer, middle and inner ear. When you hear, sound waves pass through the outer ear and cause vibrations at the eardrum, which are transmitted through the three small bones of the middle ear to the fluid-filled inner ear. The inner ear is a snail-shaped structure called the cochlea.
Within the cochlea are thousands of tiny hair cells that help translate the sound vibrations into electrical signals that are sent to your brain through your auditory nerve. The vibrations of different sounds affect these tiny hair cells in different ways, causing different signals to be sent to your brain. Thats how you distinguish one sound from another.
Most hearing aids are digital and can be programmed individually to analyze and adjust sound based on your specific hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. Although hearing aids can be programmed to amplify certain sounds, they cannot eliminate all background noise.
Hearing Aids For People Who Are Deaf In One Ear
|BAHA . This type of hearing aid works well in persons with severe unilateral hearing loss. The image to the left, from Prosper hospital, shows how a button is inserted into the bone of the skull above the ear. The middle image is from //www.islandhearing.com/bone_anchored_hearing_aids.htm, by Island Hearing. The device is attached to the button within the skull. It is very unobtrusive .|
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Who May Be A Candidate For Hearing Aids
Anyone who has hearing loss that may be improved with hearing aids can benefit from these devices. The type of hearing aid recommended may depend on several factors, including, but not limited to:
The shape of the outer ear
Depth or length of the ear canal
The type and severity of hearing loss
The manual dexterity of the individual to remove and insert hearing aids
The amount of wax buildup in the ear
Ears that require drainage may not be able to use certain hearing aid models
Meniere Disease Hearing Loss Treatment
RMB118720: Which of the sound re-routing options are appropriate for someone with Meniere disease? Only one ear of mine is affected.
Erika_Woodson,_MD: Patients with Meniere disease have successfully made use of all of the options available. Again, much depends on the status of the better ear. If a patient has had surgical intervention for MD treatment, then sometimes that may alter placement of the bone-anchored implant . However, that option could still be pursued.
robbockscc: My girlfriend has single-sided deafness due to Meniere disease. When we go to concerts, I promote hearing protection even for the deaf ear, in hopes there may someday the hearing loss may be reversed. Are there any restorative treatments today or on the horizon for SSD due to Meniere disease?
Erika_Woodson,_MD: Once an ear has lost all hearing, especially in the setting of Meniere disease, then there is very little to ‘restore’ hearing. What we’re discussing today are the rehabilitation options for living with SSD. For patients who have SSD in one ear and significant hearing loss in the better hearing ear, then a cochlear implant may be an option.
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