Top 5 Signs You Might Need Hearing Aids
- Your family complains about how loud you keep the television
Watching television at a volume level that is much too loud for other people is a classic telltale sign that you are suffering from hearing loss. Because hearing loss is such a gradual process, most people don’t immediately notice it affecting them. Chances are if your friends and loved ones notice that you are struggling with hearing, you most likely suffer from some degree of hearing loss.
- You have constant ringing in your ears
If you are constantly annoyed by a ringing/whoosing/buzzing sound in your ears, you are most likely suffering from tinnitus.New research has indicated that the misfiring in the brain that contributes to tinnitus can be diminished with the use of hearing aids.Many hearing aids available today are specifically designed with tinnitus masking features.
- You hear but don’t always understand
It’s common for individuals who suffer from untreated hearing loss, to be able to hear sounds, but not understand exactly which words are being said. Misinterpreted conversations and constant requests for others to repeat themselves are often chalked up to people mumbling and loud background noise. If you find that you frequently have issues with speech clarity, especially in noise environments, you are definitely a candidate for hearing aids!
- You have worked in noisy environments
Working in noisy environments, such as assembly lines, construction sites, or near jet engines means your ears have daily exposure to sound that is above what is deemed a safe level. Currently, about 30 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise. Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common occupational diseases. Proper hearing protection should always be used, however, if you’ve already been exposed to extremely loud noise for an extended period of time, it’s worth investigating how hearing aids can help you.
- You failed a hearing screening
This is an obvious sign, but ignoring negative test results can be easy when you don’t want to believe you have hearing loss. Ignoring the situation not only hurts yourself, but your family and loved ones as well. If you have failed a hearing screening, consider getting a full hearing evaluation to see if hearing aids are right for you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Early Detection for Child Hearing Loss
When it comes to hearing loss, most of the focus falls on older generations of adults who are trying to cope with a new hearing situation. Seldom do most think of what it would be like to be born with a hearing impairment. In some circumstances, detecting hearing loss in an infant is more crucial because it can have a dramatic impact on their development. According to an article printed in The New York Times, early detection and action are absolutely vital when it comes to hearing success.
Approximately 1 in 1,000 babies are born deaf; most to parents that do not have hearing impairments. Surprisingly enough hearing tests for newborns, while routine in general, are only mandatory in 40 states. Many hearing specialists worry that a majority of newborns who fail the initial hearing screening, are never brought back for further tests, which includes directly testing the brain’s response to sound. While only 25% of babies who fail the initial hearing screening are diagnosed with a hearing loss that requires intervention, it is essential to catch the disability early. Dr. John Greinwald, a pediatric otologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center says: “We need to identify children early and provide them with hearing tools and training by the time they are 6 months.”
Studies indicate a direct parallel between diagnosing a hearing loss early, and increasing the chances of the infant developing adequate listening and language skills. Anne Oyler, an audiologist for the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association explains “More than 90 percent of what babies learn is from incidental listening. If a child isn’t fitted with hearing aids until 2, that is when he or she will have to start learning what sounds are.” Not only are communication skills impacted when a child has hearing loss, but many other notable milestones, such as crawling, standing and speaking, are also not met. This can easily lead to future learning and behavioral problems if remained untreated.
The message of the article is simple, it is imperative to screen newborns for hearing loss, and take the results seriously. If caught early enough, the treatment options are better, and can really make the difference in your child’s life. Contact your pediatrician, or hearing healthcare professional today if you think your child might be affected by a hearing impairment.
For the full article visit http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/04/health/04deaf.html?ref=hearingaids&_r=0
Better Hearing for Better Relationships
Recent studies conducted by Cochlear Americas and Hear the World confirm that untreated hearing loss has a profound impact on interpersonal relationships. When it comes to hearing loss, it should come as no surprise that not only does the individual suffer, but their family and loved ones suffer as well. Nearly half of the participants in both studies admitted to not seeking treatment for their diagnosed hearing loss which undoubtedly affects many more individuals.
The number one relationship cited by participants that is negatively impacted by hearing loss is the one they have with their romantic partners. Because hearing loss can be a gradual issue, most individuals deny the problem. This often results in the person with diminished hearing accusing their partner of mumbling, or not telling them things. Conversely, the person unaffected by hearing loss is forced to constantly raise their voice and repeat things. Both parties begin to feel frustrated, annoyed and ignored. Relationship expert Professor Guy Bodenmann from the Psychological Institute of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, said: “Various studies show how important communication is for a harmonious relationship. The readiness and ability to adequately listen and respond to each other is one of the most important foundations of a satisfactory partnership. Untreated hearing loss can lead to a disruption in the dialogue between partners and cause misunderstandings and arguments. This can be positively countered by a hearing aid.”
When a person lives with untreated hearing loss, not only does their communication abilities weaken, but simple tasks such as watching television and going out to restaurants/crowded places become much more difficult. Fifty percent of all participants with hearing loss agree that their quality of life has noticeably decreased. Of the participants who sought treatment, 47% said they did so at the urging of their family.
Hearing loss is one of the most preventable, yet most common, disabilities affecting adults today. The social impacts of untreated hearing loss are detrimental for both the individual and the people closest to them. If you feel you are experiencing difficulties in your day to day life due to hearing loss, or think a loved one might be, contact a local hearing health professional today. There are treatment options available for all levels of hearing loss!
Common Myths Associated with Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids
Although hearing loss is a very common problem, important hearing loss information is unknown to a majority of the general public. Regardless what you think you may know about hearing loss and hearing aids, here are a couple of common myths we chose to clear up about both.
MYTH: Hearing loss is an inevitable part of getting older, and there’s nothing I can do to prevent it.
FACT: While age related hearing loss is common, noise induced hearing loss is just as prevalent. There are several steps you can take to preserving your hearing, and preventing accelerated loss. Aside from the obvious, reducing your exposure to loud noises, there are a wide range of ear protection options available for both occupational and recreational use. Several that can be custom fit to your ear! Whether you hunt, surf, play music or work in a noisy environment there is an ear plug for you!
MYTH: If I had hearing loss, I would know about it.
FACT: Only a small percentage of family physicians routinely screen patients for hearing loss, and because most people hear well in quite environments, it often goes unnoticed during physical exams. Couple that with the fact that the onset of hearing loss can be very subtle to the individual, and you’ll find that a majority of adults that go for years with hearing impairment before they ever get their hearing tested.
MYTH: Hearing loss only affects senior citizens.
FACT: Most hearing loss information focuses on older adults, and it is a common misconception that hearing loss only affects senior citizens. Excessive exposure to loud noise, ear infections, and medications that cause ear damage are only a few of the many factors contributing to hearing loss. People exposed to these harmful factors, that don’t take the necessary precautions to protect their hearing, begin to lose it at an early age. For example, there has been a significant increase in the number of teenagers affected by hearing loss.
MYTH: Nothing can be done about my hearing loss.
FACT: The technology behind hearing aids has greatly advanced over the last decade, and continues to do so each year. Patients that suffer from high frequency hearing loss or nerve damage have been told for years that nothing can help their situation. With all that is available today, a majority of people find that they can effectively manage their hearing loss. The easiest way to determine which solution is best for your individual hearing loss is to have it properly evaluated with a hearing health professional.
MYTH: Hearing aids completely restore hearing.
FACT: It’s important to maintain the right expectation when using hearing aids. While hearing aids can notably reduce hearing loss, they do not cure hearing loss. Hearing aids improve your listening abilities, and allow you to communicate easier with those around you. Hearing aids may not cure your hearing loss, but they will certainly improve your quality of life!
MYTH: You can save time and money buying hearing aids online.
FACT: The internet is an incredible source to find hearing loss information and hearing aid comparison but, when it comes time to actually buy a hearing aid, this option falls short. When you purchase a hearing aid through a qualified hearing aid provider you are buying a comprehensive care package that includes a hearing evaluation/consultation, instruction on how to properly use and care for your hearing aids, and follow up care including cleanings and repairs.
MYTH: Hearing aids will make me look old and disabled.
FACT: Appearance is a common concern for hearing aid users. Ironically, an untreated hearing loss condition is far more obvious than any hearing aid. Excessive smiling & nodding, requests to repeat things, and incorrect responses during conversations are more likely to result in others commenting on your hearing. With a basic hearing aid comparison you will easily find products in various shapes, colors and styles that make these devices virtually invisible and at the very least unnoticeable.
MYTH: I cannot afford hearing aids.
FACT: There is a wide range of price when it comes to hearing aids available on the market today. There are also financing options, several with 0% interest, accessible to most patients. Once you hear the difference hearing aids make in your life, you will agree that they are well worth the price.
Most of the people that visit our website are searching for information on hearing loss and hearing instruments because they themselves or a family member already have hearing loss, but what about hearing loss prevention ? Why don't we have more people visiting our website to find out how they can preserve the hearing they already have? To be honest, we have no idea.
This article is going to talk about how you or anyone you know can help preserve their hearing before they experience the effects of hearing loss and we'll start by saying "It's never too late!"
Occupational hearing loss prevention:
There are a lot of reasons an individual can loose hearing in one or both ears, but a large percentage of hearing loss can be occupational hearing loss (an occupation that requires an individual to be around loud sounds on a daily basis). Some common examples are;
- Construction (commercial and residential)
- Factory work
- In town or national truck driving
- Wood work or stone work
There are definitely more careers that can have a negative effect on your hearing, but these are probably the most common we see day to day. Even though OSHA regulates most work environments pretty well, it’s ultimately up to the worker to protect themselves the best way possible.
The foam earplugs that are offered at jobsite are not always as good as custom made ear plugs when comparing noise level suppression and ease of insertion. After all, if you don’t get the foam in the correct way, it will not block the negative sounds well enough.
If you work in an environment that might cause occupational hearing loss such as the ones listed above, please contact us for a quote on getting custom made ear plugs from one of our hearing aid providers. They’re really not that expensive and can help prevent a lot of issues later on in life.
Activity & hobby hearing loss prevention:
Not all hearing loss is occupational hearing loss. Aside from natural hearing loss with aging or genetic causes, people can also damage the hearing system by the following activities:
- Swimming in cold water often
- Small hand tools for hobbies
- Loud music or instruments
- Motorcycles & loud cars
- Shooting guns
These are some common causes we see on a normal basis, but just about anything that sounds too loud is probably not good to expose your ear to. In order to ensure you use the best methods of hearing loss prevention always be sure to consider that one time events might not have a long lasting effect, but regular exposure to loud sounds can really cause a lot of problems over time.
The best method of hearing loss prevention is awareness. Be aware of your environment and use your common sense that if it sounds loud, then it might be damaging to your ears. If you cannot afford to buy custom made ear plugs or you don’t have them with you, use the over the counter foam ear plugs. And always remember, when in doubt, where ear plugs!
If you would like more information about hearing loss prevention or a list of the custom made ear plugs that we offer through our network, please feel free to call us anytime or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tinnitus is the perception of sound inside the ear when there is no corresponding external sound. While this phenomenon doesn’t make you insane, the persistent roaring, buzzing, whooshing or, as it’s most commonly described, ringing in the ears, can drive a person crazy. It is important to remember that tinnitus is not a disease. It is merely a symptom to another underlying cause. In most cases, the exact physiological explanation isn’t entirely known which consequently results in there being no definitive cure. Despite the fact that tinnitus currently has no cure, there is a plethora of treatment options available to help cope with it on a daily basis. Here are some of the most common:
Because tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is most noticeable in quiet environments, many people have found sound therapy helpful. There is a wide variety of both wearable and non-wearable devices that produce the types of sounds to combat tinnitus. These sounds can include white noise, light music, or more natural sounds such as waves crashing or raindrops falling. Benefits of sound therapy can range from distracting the individual from his or her tinnitus to masking the tinnitus to reducing its loudness.
Tinnitus is often coupled with hearing loss, as such, certain patients find that the reduction of stress when trying to communicate helps to alleviate their tinnitus. Hearing aids also help bring sounds back into a patient’s life that naturally covers the tinnitus.
Researchers are finding more and more information that links the brain to tinnitus. Cognitive therapy focuses, not on eliminating the tinnitus, but rather on the mind and body’s reaction to it. A professional counselor can help change your perception of tinnitus by acknowledging the negative thought patterns associated with it, and trying to alter them. Self-help groups can also be useful because they often promote feelings of hope and control. Most find it reassuring to hear other individuals share stories and strategies about their own tinnitus.
Although there are no known medications used to cure tinnitus, they can greatly aid in reducing the stress associated with it. Most medications are related to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs – both of which have been successful in quieting tinnitus. Other herbal remedies such as Ginko biloba, B12 vitamins, and Zinc have also all been useful in naturally improving brain functions, including hearing.
More and more research is done every year to not only find a cure for tinnitus, but to also advance the treatment options for those who suffer from it in the meantime. Most people find that not one, but rather a combination of treatments yield the best results; however, you should consult a professional to determine which options are best fit for your individual needs.
Information taken from the American Tinnitus Association – visit their website at www.ata.org for additional information
The first step to any hearing loss treatment involves getting your hearing tested from a state-licensed hearing care professional. While the idea of scheduling a medical test may be unnerving for some, this non-invasive test is quick and easy! Most experts in the industry recommend at least a baseline hearing screening around the age of 50, however a hearing test can be performed at any age. Here’s a rundown of what to expect when getting a hearing test.
The type and degree of hearing loss varies for each individual; in fact, your hearing loss can be as unique as your fingerprint! Your audiologist or hearing aid specialist will first ask you some questions pertaining to your overall health as well as your hearing history. Examples of typical questions to expect include: Have you noticed difficulty hearing? Do you notice certain environments where it’s challenging to follow conversation? Have you had any injury or damage to your ears in the past? Which medications do your currently take? After your hearing care professional has obtained some preliminary information he or she will most likely want to take a look inside your ear. He or she will use an otoscope to visually inspect your ear canal and ear drum for any abnormalities. An otoscope is a lighted device that magnifies the structures in the ear. This will also give you the opportunity to peek inside your own ear!
The hearing test itself will require you to be in a sound-proof room or booth; this is to ensure the most accurate results. You will be asked to wear a set of headphones or earphones that will deliver a series of tones to your ears. These air conducted tones, varying in pitch and volume, will be electronically generated by a device called an audiometer. You’ll be asked to signify that you hear these tones by either raising your hand or pressing a button. After the air conduction test, you will also be asked to participate in a bone conduction test as well. This test is similar, however the tones are sent directly to a device located behind your ear, meaning the sounds bypass your outer and middle ear altogether. Performing both types of hearing tests allow your hearing care professional to best conclude the type of hearing loss you suffer from.
The results of your hearing test will be plotted on a chart referred to as an audiogram. The audiogram maps out the degree of your hearing loss for each ear and helps determine the best way to treat your specific hearing loss. Your audiologist or hearing aid specialist should dedicate amble time to explaining your test results, as well as answer any questions you may have. It is also recommended that a spouse, or loved one, accompany you during your hearing test as a source for additional information about your experience with hearing loss.
Studies show the earlier hearing loss is detected and treated, the slower it progresses and vice versa. Hearing loss is often so gradual that is not immediately noticed by an individual. All providers in the Hearing Aids Direct network offer comprehensive hearing evaluations, several for free, so stop hesitating and schedule a hearing test today!
Hearing is a complex process that originates in the cochlea, the tiny snail shaped organ containing thousands of microscopic sensory cells that translate acoustic sound to a neurological signal for the brain to interpret. Hearing loss continues to plague children and adults of all ages, most of which are treated with hearing aids. However, there are those people affected by such an extreme degree of hearing loss that hearing aids are insufficient. This is where cochlear implants come into play. Before analyzing the differences between hearing aids and cochlear implants, it is vital to understand how cochlear implants work.
Cochlear implants are significantly different from hearing aids. Hearing aids utilize advanced technology to amplify sound so it can be heard and understood by damaged ears. For those individuals with severe to profound hearing loss, there are little to no functioning sensory cells in the inner ear, meaning hearing aids are rendered useless in treating their hearing loss. Cochlear implants are comprised of an external portion (usually behind the ear) and an internal portion surgically implanted under the skin. These two segments completely bypass traditional means of hearing. In this case, acoustic sound is translated into an electrical signal that directly stimulates the auditory nerve.
As a surgical procedure is used to implant a cochlear device, there are many risks associated with the surgery including infections and other surgical complications. There is less control over the device on the individual’s end, and less variety in products overall when compared to hearing aids. Patients receiving cochlear implants are also responsible for a good amount of speech/hearing therapy and rehabilitation after the initial activation. With that being said, cochlear implants can be extremely helpful for both children and adults suffering from profound hearing loss. Children as young as 12 months can be considered for cochlear implants, and benefit from its technology at such a young age because their brains are extremely adaptable. Cochlear implants aid them during their most critical time for learning and understanding speech and sound. Adults who don’t suffer from profound hearing loss until later in life also benefit from cochlear implants because they can match up signals in their brain to sounds they remember hearing. As a whole, cochlear implants can reduce the need for visual cues or work conjointly with them to increase understanding of speech.
While it’s pretty clear that only those individuals who suffer from the most severe degrees of hearing loss are eligible for cochlear implants, this can only be determined by a professional. All options of hearing loss treatments can be discussed with a qualified provider near you. Please see our Locations page to find such a professional near you!
Ever think that your teenage son or daughter is ignoring you? New studies are suggesting that teens simply might not be hearing you as well. Researchers analyzing data from several nationwide surveys collected in multi-year periods have discovered a 30% increase in the number of teenagers affected by hearing loss since the 1990s. Dr. Josef Shargordosky, lead author of one such study and a researcher of Bringham and Women’s hospital in Boston, found that out of nearly 5000 adolescents tested, 1 in 5 suffered some degree of hearing loss. While these studies are unable to specify the exact reason for this increase in teenage hearing loss , it is highly believed that environmental factors resulting in excessive exposure to noise are the main cause.
Every day, we experience sound in our environment; everything from our televisions, traffic, even our household appliances. Normally, we hear these sounds at safe levels that do not affect our hearing. However, when we are exposed to harmful noise – sounds that are too loud or loud sounds that last a long time – sensitive structures in our inner ear can be damaged, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss . People of all ages, including children, teens, and young adults can develop noise-induced hearing loss . Sound is measured in units called decibels. On the decibel scale, an increase of 10 means that a sound is 10 times more intense and sounds twice as loud to your ears. So, how loud is too loud? Experts agree that prolonged exposure to any sound at or above 85 decibels puts you at risk for noise-induced hearing loss . To put this in perspective: a typical school cafeteria operates at around 85 decibels while movie theaters and popular personal mp3 players, such as iPods, have the capacity of reaching up to 120 decibels!
Hearing plays a vital role in communication and learning. Even a small amount of hearing loss can have profound, negative effects on speech, language comprehension, classroom learning and social development. Studies indicate that without proper intervention, children with mild to moderate hearing loss, on average, do not perform as well in school as children with no hearing loss. With an estimated 5.2 million adolescents aged 6-19 suffering from permanent damage to their hearing, it is essential for parents to get involved! There are several ways to actively reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss for your teenager (and you!) such as the following:
- Identify sources of excessively loud sounds (such as music, gunfire, power tools, etc) that can contribute to hearing loss and reduce exposure
- Take advantage of features on electronic devices, such as iPods, that allow you to set a limit on the volume capacity
- Wear earplugs or other hearing protective devices when involved in loud activities
The findings on teenage hearing loss reiterate the importance of quality hearing regardless of age. If you do suspect that your son or daughter is experiencing any difficulties due to hearing loss, have their hearing tested by a professional for further assessment. Click here to find an office near you!
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Effects of Hearing Loss on Development. Rockville, MD: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
- Niskar AS, Kieszak SM, Holmes AE, Esteban E, Rubin C, Brody DJ. Estimated prevalence of noise induced hearing threshold shifts among children 6 to 19 years of age: The third national health and nutritional examination survey. 1988-1994, United States. Pediatrics 2001;108:40–43.
Josef Shargorodsky, MD, MPH; Sharon G. Curhan, MD, ScM; Gary C. Curhan, MD, ScD; Roland Eavey, MD, SM. JAMA. 2010;304(7):772-778. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1124
A German-Swedish study shows that internet-based self-help training for tinnitus is as successful as group therapy
Those suffering from nagging tinnitus can benefit from internet-based therapy just as much as patients who take part in group therapy sessions. These are the findings of a German-Swedish study in which patients with moderate to severe tinnitus tried out various forms of therapy over a ten-week period. The outcome of both the internet-based therapy and group therapy sessions was significantly better than that of a control group that only participated in an online discussion forum and thus demonstrated both the former to be effective methods of managing the symptoms of irritating ringing in the ears. The study was conducted by the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy division of the Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning at Linköping University in Sweden.
According to the German Tinnitus League (Deutsche Tinnitus-Liga, DTL), two percent of the population suffer from moderate to unbearable tinnitus. But the symptoms of tinnitus can be successfully managed by means of cognitive behavioral therapy. However, not everyone has the opportunity or the desire to take a course of psychotherapy. As shown by the German-Swedish study, those affected by tinnitus can now achieve the same level of outcome with the help of an internet-based therapy program, which encourages them to adopt individual and active strategies to combat their tinnitus. For the purposes of the study, the training program developed in Sweden was adapted so that it could be used for German patients and then be evaluated for its effectiveness.
The study showed that distress measured using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory was reduced on average from moderate (40 points) to mild (29 points) in participants who completed the internet-based training course. The results for subjects in the cognitive behavioral therapy group were also very good, with distress levels being reduced from 44 to 29 points. In contrast, there was hardly any change in this respect in the control group subjects participating in the online discussion forum. Their average distress level was 40 points at the beginning of the study and remained at 37 points thereafter. "Our internet-based therapy concept was very effective when it came to the reduction of tinnitus-related distress or, to put it another way, at increasing the tolerance levels of subjects with regard to their tinnitus," concludes Dr. Maria Kleinstäuber of the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy division at JGU.
At the same time, another interesting result was produced with regard to the preferred method of therapy. A significant number of subjects were initially skeptical with regard to the internet-based therapy concept and expressed a preference for the group therapy course. However, they were randomly assigned to the groups. To everyone's surprise it turned out on the completion of treatment that there was no difference in the effectiveness of the two strategies. "This means that the internet-based therapy concept produced as positive a result as group therapy despite the initial skepticism," says Kleinstäuber. Initial evaluations indicate that the effects of both therapy forms were still persisting after six months.
The authors of the study propose that internet-based forms of therapy should be increasingly used in the psychotherapeutic treatment of tinnitus patients. Furthermore, they call for additional research on patients' skepticism of internet-based therapy, particularly in view of the long waiting times and the lack of outpatient forms of therapy.
This article was taken from http://www.uni-mainz.de/eng/15114.php Please visit there site for full article details