FAQ’s about hearing loss, hearing aids and hearing tests
- What are the signs of hearing loss?
- Do I need a hearing test?
- What is tinnitus (ringing in the ears)?
- What causes Tinnitus?
- What to expect during a hearing exam?
- What are the different styles of hearing aids?
- Which hearing aid brands do you offer?
There are many signs of hearing loss, but a few of the most common are the following:
- Difficulty Hearing on the Phone
- TV or radio volume is set at max
- Fatigue after social situations
- Difficulty understanding voices when there is background noise
- Difficulties understanding high frequencies (like birds chirping, children and women’s voices)
- Repeatedly asking people to repeat themselves
- The feeling that everyone mumbles
Do I need a hearing test?
Hearing loss is often gradual and difficult to detect. With a third of people between the ages of 65 and 74 experiencing some kind of hearing loss, getting your hearing tested annually is especially important as we age. Regardless of whether or not you’ve noticed changes in your hearing, hearing tests are an important part of staying well.
If you are experiencing any signs of a hearing loss, the first step to improving your quality of life through better hearing is a hearing test and consultation with a hearing professional. Having the preliminary hearing testing with a Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist will provide you with a detailed Audiogram outlining the specific frequencies that are challenging for you.
Furthermore, the hearing specialist can make a professional recommendation as to which hearing aid solution would best suit your needs. We are committed to offering our patients a no-pressure environment and the choice is always yours whether or not to move forward with a hearing aid solution.
Click to read about the five signs you may need a hearing test.
What is this ringing in my ears?
Tinnitus is usually described as a constant or very frequent ringing in the ears when no other sound is present. Although the name “tinnitus” comes from the Latin word for ringing, many that experience it report many different kinds of intruding sounds.
The side effects of tinnitus can be a constant or very frequent hissing, buzzing, ticking, clicking, roaring or even whooshing sound that is not a factor of a sound environment. And although 80% of those who experience tinnitus also have some type of associated hearing loss, not all tinnitus sufferers have hearing loss as well.
What caused my tinnitus?
Of the two main groups of tinnitus, subjective tinnitus is the most common, and is connected to a number of causes. Much of subjective tinnitus is caused by the same factors that influence hearing loss, called otologic disorders.
This could mean that someone who suffers from tinnitus is experiencing hearing loss from a whole host of factors, with the ringing simply an additional side effect that arises from damage to the ear. It comes as no surprise, then, that the most common cause of subjective tinnitus is similar to the most common cause of hearing loss – damage caused by excessive or prolonged exposure to loud noise.
Some sufferers experience hearing loss and tinnitus from damage caused by ototoxic drugs – or drugs that negatively effect hearing.
Some neurological and psychological disorders can also be the cause behind subjective tinnitus, with head injuries, diseases like multiple sclerosis and psychological struggles like depression and anxiety can also cause persistent and uncomfortable ringing in the ears.
Even medical and metabolic issues like thyroid disease and iron deficiency can also cause this uncomfortable ringing.
What to expect during a hearing test
Hearing tests can feel daunting if you don’t know what to expect. With a little bit of prior information about the steps — and why each one is important — you can put your anxious mind at ease and make the best of your hearing exam.
Hearing tests should be performed annually, just like your annual physical. This is important because many people do not notice their own hearing loss as it develops slowly over time. Having your hearing checked every year by a hearing professional allows you to catch any issues as soon as they begin.
During an exam, your hearing professional will spend some time getting to know you. They will ask about your medical history, your family history of hearing loss, your current lifestyle, any hearing issues you are experiencing etc. They will then perform a full hearing evaluation using state of the art equipment. All testing is completely painless and non-intrusive and will provide you with a detailed Audiogram outlining your specific hearing challenges. In the event that you have too much ear wax to successfully complete the exam, your hearing professional will refer you to a Doctor to remove the wax and schedule a follow up hearing test.
What are the different style of hearing aids?
Hearing aids come in a variety of wearing styles. This is separate from the technology inside them, (hearing aid chip). Often patients will be recommended a specific hearing aid technology, and offered the option of different styles. Here is a list of the most common hearing aid styles available on the market.
In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids:
These hearing aids are partially visible, and sit inside the ear and partially in the ear canal. They are usually offered in different colors, most commonly in skin tones.
Completely in the Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids:
Completely in the Canal hearing aids sit completely in the ear canal, making them nearly invisible. They are most commonly offered in a variety of skin tones, allowing them to be even less noticeable.
Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids:
Behind the Ear hearing aids sit behind the ear with a small tube connecting to an earmold. The earmold is custom fitted for your ear, and sits in the opening of your ear allowing a perfect fit. Behind the ear hearing aids typically come in a variety of colors, from colorful to discreet.
Which hearing aid brands do you offer?
We offer hearing aids from the top manufacturers in the hearing aid industry including Starkey, Siemens, ReSound, Oticon Phonak, Unitron and more. Our desire is to offer our patients the best technology for their unique hearing loss, lifestyle and budget. This is why we work with a variety of manufacturers to ensure that our professionals can offer what is truly best for our patients.