When Should Tubing Bechanged
Over time, the hearing aid tubing can become brittle andhard and may even crack. Additionally, wax and debris may collect in the tubingand earmold. This can greatly affect the sound quality of the hearing aid andcomfort of the hearing aid on the ear. Earmolds should be re-tubed every fourto six months in order for the hearing aids to continue working at optimumperformance.
What If I Don’t Want To Have A Medical Examination
The FDA believes that, in some instances, it could be in your best health interest to have a medical examination by a licensed physicianpreferably one that specializes in ear diseasesbefore buying hearing aids. However, for consumers 18 years of age and older, the FDA does not intend to enforce the requirement for a medical examination prior to purchasing certain types of hearing aids. For hearing aid consumers younger than 18 years of age, the FDA will continue to enforce the medical evaluation requirement to rule out medical causes of hearing loss prior to buying hearing aids.
Types Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss comes in many forms. It can range from a mild loss, in which a person misses certain high-pitched sounds, such as the voices of women and children, to a total loss of hearing.
There are two general categories of hearing loss:
- Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent.
- Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear. The cause may be earwax buildup, fluid, or a punctured eardrum. Medical treatment or surgery can usually restore conductive hearing loss.
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How Is Hearing Loss Diagnosed
The very first step of the journey is to take a detailed medical history and fill out a lifestyle questionnaire. This will help us identify if there is a potential cause of the hearing loss and also understand your needs and requirements. Next we use video-otoscopy to take images and check the health of the outer ear canal and tympanic membrane or eardrum. This will also indicate if it is safe to proceed with further tests.
We then determine how well you process sound by performing speech tests and recording your responses to a series of different word lists.
As the number one reason for booking a hearing test is trouble hearing in noise, we then perform what is probably the most important test of all, a speech in noise test. This is where a recorded series of sentences is played through headphones or ear inserts and you respond by repeating what you think that sentence is. The number of words correctly repeated is recorded. Each subsequent sentence has more background noise to replicate the real life situations you find yourself in. The results of all our speech tests give a percentage score of your ability to hear.
The next test is the main reason for booking in the first place, the audiometric test. This is performed in a soundproof booth or soundproof room.
All of our fundamental tests may determine further tests or consultations are required depending on results and treatment plans suggested.
Average Lifespan Of A Hearing Aid
Did you know that the average hearing aid lifespan is between 3 to 7 years? Hearing aids do not last forever they have a finite lifespan. They are mini computers that deteriorate over time. When a hearing instrument, product, or specific model stops working reliably, you would benefit from new hearing aids.
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You Have A Problem Following Conversations
With hearing impairment, following conversations with many participants or in noisy social situations can be daunting. Hearing trouble can cause both difficulty in comprehending voices and trouble in locating them. Noisy environments also contribute to sonic confusion and can become hard to navigate if you have hearing difficulties. If you find yourself avoiding social situations because you have trouble interpreting them, it is a sure signal that you should have your hearing checked. Hearing loss that goes untreated can wreak havoc on peoples sense of connection to others and their ability to effectively communicate.
Signs You Need A Hearing Test
Good hearing is undoubtedly one of lifes greatest blessing, which is why hearing loss can be quite a scary thing for anybody to face. In many cases, it is possible to treat this problem to restore the benefits of clear hearing. However, an audiologist cannot help you unless the problem is identified. This is why its important to have a hearing test if you notice symptoms of hearing loss.
It can be difficult to detect that hearing loss has occurred, especially as you dont know what a healthy ear should hear. If you notice any of the symptoms below, consider having your hearing tested.
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Hearing Aids Have Come A Long Way
Better microchip technology has improved the signal processing capabilities of hearing aids in recent years, enhancing the sound quality and ability of the hearing aid to adapt to the various listening environments. Now, all hearing aids connect directly with smart phones for easier phone conversations. Plus, most phones can act as a remote control for the devices.
The microchips in the hearing aids will continue to have faster processing speed, says Dr. Sandridge. Theyll become better at extracting speech from background noise than ever before. This will allow you to better tune in the conversations you want to hear, but at the same time reduce background noise as much as possible.
Not only that, but ongoing research is always working to improve sound transmission and reduce noise interference and feedback.
The correct hearing aids can change your life for the better. Once you address hearing issues with the appropriate hearing aids, you can feel more connected to life and to others.
You Have Trouble Understanding Childrens Voices
Some of the first signs of typical hearing loss are losing the highest and lowest frequencies of our hearing range. This can make hearing high-pitched voices, like the voices of children, difficult. If you observe that you cant understand children when they speak, recognize that it might be related to hearing loss of high frequencies.
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How Do I Care For My Hearing Aids
- Proper maintenance and care is important in extending the life of your hearing aids.
- Avoid using solvents, alcohol, or water on hearing aids because they can cause damage to the internal electronics of the hearing aid.
- Avoid exposing hearing aids to heat because this can damage them. For example, leaving them in sun or in the car, placing them in or near a microwave or conventional oven, or using a hair dryer on them.
- Clean hearing aids as instructed. Earwax and ear drainage can damage your aids.
- Avoid using hairspray and other hair care products while wearing your hearing aids.
- Turn off your hearing aids when not in use.
- Replace dead batteries immediately.
- Keep batteries and hearing aids away from children and pets.
- We recommend visiting a hearing healthcare professional on a regular basis to have your hearing aids inspected.
When Should I Consider Getting A Hearing Aid
It can take a long time between initially noticing an issue with your hearing and actually acting on it. The earlier you take action, the more it helps you. When you cant hear well, you may become disconnected and isolated, which most likely is frustrating to you and your loved ones.
Its common to experience some hearing loss as you age. However, you should never need to simply put up with it. Modern hearing aids are discreet and sensitive. In this article, we look at the reasons for a hearing aid, common signs that you or your loved one needs a hearing aid, reasons for hearing loss and more.
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Should You Talk To An Ent Specialist About Hearing Aids
Even if you only experience a few of the signs in the listabove, you might benefit from hearing aids or other treatments. The bestsolution is to talk to an experienced ENT to learn about your options.
Too often, people are unaware that they are using strategiesto cope with hearing loss. For example, you might use behavioral strategiessuch as only talking to people face-to-face or standing closer to others whenthey talk. While these tactics can be helpful for the immediate needs, they dontaddress the underlying issues causing the hearing loss. You shouldnt just begetting by. An ear, nose, and throat doctor can identify the cause andseverity of hearing loss.
Keep in mind that hearing aids arent a definite way tobring your hearing back to normal. These devices work by amplifying specificpitches in the range youve experienced hearing loss. Amplifying the voicesaround you means that other environmental sounds are usually intensified aswell, such as traffic noise, nearby conversations, birds singing, etc.
What If My Hearing Aids Can’t Connect
A streamer links your mobile phone to your hearing aids.
If your hearing aid doesn’t include a feature for direct streaming from your smartphone to your hearing aids, don’t worry. Manufacturers of wireless hearing aids long ago created a clever solution for accessing this prevalent wireless standard. Wireless hearing aids can use compatible assistive listening devices, often called streamers, to provide a communication link between the wireless technology in the hearing aids and any Bluetooth-enabled device.
The wireless hearing aids can be paired with the streamer, and then the streamer can be paired with external devices. When its all set up, the streamer will pick up the Bluetooth signal from your phone, for example, and send it to your hearing aid via an FM signal or electromagnetic field, depending on the manufacturers design. Usually, the streamer is worn around the neck or placed in a pocket for hands-free operation. Speak to your hearing care provider about the best streamer option for you.
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Are Hearing Aids Just For Old People
As hearing aids become more effective, younger people are realising the benefits and are starting with one sooner. The attitude that I will have a hearing aid when Im old and I really need it is a bad idea. Hearing aids are easier to get used to when you are younger and more adaptable and when your hearing loss is relatively mild.
When Does Hearing Loss Require A Hearing Aid
This can depend on how impactful a hearing loss is. It is well documented that one of the largest consequences of untreated hearing is the increased likelihood of dementia and the brain forgets how to hear. This is due to the missing stimulus that we all receive even when not in conversation. A quiet room is not so quiet when you really concentrate and start to list all the things you can hear.
We would always recommend regular hearing tests and advise to correct ones hearing loss at the earliest opportunity to avoid many of the cognitive issues related to prolonged untreated hearing loss.
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Twisting Your Neck/body To Hear
When you find yourself needing to reposition the body to hear things, there may be hearing loss in one ear. Similarly, cupping the ear to drown out background noise is a telling sign. Both of these measures may help you in the short haul. Over time, though, the continued deterioration is likely to reach a stage where this is no longer effective.
Changes In Job Or Lifestyle
What about if you work at one of the top 20 loudest jobs with increased chances of hearing loss? You may be working with kids, battling background noise at a restaurant, handle heavy machinery, while having to maintain focus throughout the day. What would it mean to you to have a device that will perform the way its supposed to?
Whatever your reason for an upgrade, weigh the pros and cons carefully so you can make an educated choice.
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You Notice That Your Hearing Aid Doesnt Work As Well
Although hearing aids are built to last some will eventually fail. The most common issue is that the speaker stops working, but you could experience all kinds of problems, from a faulty processor to a microphone that is no longer able to pick up certain sounds.
It can be hard to detect where the exact problem lies, which is why it often pays to go and visit an audiologist for a full inspection. A hearing professional can help determine whether the problem is with the device or your hearing, and offer advice on suitable next-steps.
Bluetooth Is Today’s Cutting Edge Technology
Bluetooth technology in hearing aids has greatly elevated the hearing aid wearing experience and enable hearing aids to double as highly-personalized, custom audio devices. Its an example of using todays wireless hearing aid technology in a smart way that truly provides convenience for hearing aid wearers.
To use your hearing aids to stay connected to your network of friends and family and all of your latest audio devices, talk to your hearing care professional about wireless hearing aids, Bluetooth streaming and Made for iPhone hearing aids. Want to upgrade? Use our directory to find hearing aids near you.
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They Arent Lasting Very Long
The last way that you can tell if you need a hearing aid repair is if they are no longer lasting as long as they used to. Like a lot of other things, hearing aids operate on batteries, and when the battery wears down, your hearing aids arent going to work properly anymore. Speak to a professional if you are finding that the batteries arent lasting long enough anymore, you might find that you need a new pair of hearing aids.
We hope that you have found this advice helpful, and now know how you tell if you need hearing aid repairs.
What Causes Hearing Loss
There is quite an exhaustive list of causes and as with many health issues, we have a mixture of some control and no control over them.
The most obvious cause is ageing but alas, we have no control over that. We are born with our full complement of hair-like cells in the cochlea, the organ responsible for hearing. The longer we live, the more of these hair cells die or are worn out and our dynamic hearing range narrows. Once we start requiring sounds to be louder below 8KHz it can be said a hearing loss is present.
Presbycusis is the ageing process of hearing and is the most common cause of hearing loss amongst he elderly. But, by far the most common cause which we do have control over, is noise exposure. The World Health Organisation recommends that young people limit exposure to loud sounds and listening to personal audio players to only one hour a day. Listening to very loud sounds or being exposed to loud industrial noise causes trauma to the hair cells in the cochlea and they die, never to return.
Other causes of hearing loss are, genetics, infections, birth complications, trauma to the ear, ototoxic medication, chemical toxins, certain infections during pregnancy, poor diet and central or auditory processing disorders.
Approximately half of global hearing loss could be prevented through public health intervention like immunisation, correct care around pregnancy, avoiding unprotected ears in loud noise and avoiding certain medications.
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Will It Make My Hearing Worse
The simple answer to this is no. The only exception might be the case of someone with a profound hearing loss since birth. The extremely high sound levels produced by the hearing aid have the potential to damage the residual hearing. But even here, modern technology makes this less likely than ever.
If Hearing Aids Are For You
Your audiologist will keep working with you after you get your hearing aids. The goal is to make sure that your hearing aids work for you. The benefits of working with an audiologist include the following:
- Using special technology called “Real Ear” equipment. Your audiologist can make sure that the sounds you hear are just right for you.
- Knowing that you are seeing a qualified audiologist. The audiologist will have a state license. This means that he or she has the education and training to work in your state.
- Learning how to care for and use your hearing aids before you leave the audiologists office.
- Learning more about hearing loss and what you can do to hear best in different situations.
- Bringing family members or friends to your appointments. This lets others know about how to use and help take care of your hearing aids.
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What Type Of Hearing Aid Is Best For Me
Hearing aids can be classified into two main groups: in-the-ear styles and behind-the-ear styles.
Our guide to hearing aid types and styles discusses many options available to you. Sizes range from virtually invisible to filling the entire bowl of the ear. Your hearing care professional will be a vital asset in helping you pick the best style for you. You might also find it helpful to review the basic parts of a hearing aid.
Be Aware Of Past Scams
Kristin Davis noted that a couple of specific scams came up just in the past year. First, there were some unscrupulous hearing aid dealers that were sending mailers to consumers suggesting that there was stimulus money available for hearing aids, she said.
There are also ongoing efforts by unscrupulous companies to sell personal sound amplifiers and other devices that are not FDA approved and to market them as hearing aids or to make claims about them that are false and misleading, she added.
While most hearing aids can change the volume of certain frequencies and lower background noise, personal sound amplifiers increase the volume of all sounds. They can be used for activities like birdwatching but shouldnt take the place of proper hearing aids for those with hearing issues.
Hamlin recommended, Whatever the scam, people should go to the Federal Trade Commission or even state hearing aid dispensing boards to complain. They should not suffer in silence.
OTC hearing aids are not yet available, but in the future, they may become a more affordable option for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. That being said, you have to proceed with care.
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