HEARING LOSS IS COMMON: SO WHY AREN'T HEARING AIDS POPULAR?
"Did you know that hearing loss has been cited as the third most common health related problem, and the most common chronic health condition affecting other adults," asked Dr. Karrie Cuttler, AUD/CCA at the Ear Nose Throat and Allergy Center.
With over 28 million Americans having some type of hearing loss, only approximately 6 million own hearing aids. "Untreated hearing loss among older persons contributes to their sense of anxiety, depression, and causes social isolation. Persons with hearing loss tent to no longer attend social gatherings, church, or other get-togethers they once enjoyed because they tire of reading lips or constantly asking for repetition," added Mark Welch, D.O. at the Ear Nose Throat and Allergy Center.
While seniors used to deny their hearing loss completely, a new study found that although a majority of seniors do acknowledge they have a hearing loss, they reported that it has no effect on them.
"Because of that, it is usually a spouse, friend, or other family member that initially suggests a communication problem exists," explains Dr. Welch.
"The advancement in hearing aid technology has been remarkable. With the miniaturization of the digital circuit, hearing aids are now able to amplify only those frequencies of each individual hearing loss without over amplifying those frequencies that are still within the normal hearing range. The digital circuits also allow for noise filters, feedback cancellation, and other advanced features," explains Dr. Cuttler. Certain hearing aids now have rechargeable batteries! Many hearing aids also have Bluetooth capabilities as well. This is a great option for those seniors with dexterity problems because hearing aid batteries are very small.
When purchasing a hearing aid, one can expect to
spend from $1,200-3, 100 per hearing aid for quality
digital hearing instrument. It is important to be
educated when purchasing a hearing aid. "Purchase
price should not be the only consideration in buying
a hearing aid. Product reliability can save repair
and the frustration of a malfunctioning hearing
aid," added Cuttler.
Cuttler suggest asking questions when considering a hearing instrument:
- What is the warranty on the hearing aid?
- What if I don't like or can't wear the hearing aids. Can I return them?
- Do I have to pay for the follow-up care for my hearing aid?
- How long will my hearing aid last?
"Hearing aid options, which are appropriate for your particular hearing loss and listening needs, the size, and shape of your ear and ear canal, and the dexterity of your hands will all be considered in deciding what type of hearing aid is best for you," explained ENT specialist Dr. Mark Welch.
Some common symptoms of hearing loss include: ringing in ears, frequently misunderstanding or asking for repetition, turning the television up louder than others, difficulty following television dialog, difficulty understanding on the telephone, history of loud noise exposure, or history of hearing loss in the family. "If you experience one or more of these symptoms, a complete hearing evaluation from a national certified Doctor of Audiology is recommended," said Dr. Mark Welch. Remember: Hearing loss is more noticeable than a hearing aid!
Services offered by the Hearing Health Center include hearing evaluations, free hearing aid consultations, a variety of different digital hearing aids, hearing aid batteries, and minor hearing air repairs. Each hearing aid is individually fit and customized to the patient's specific hearing needs and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. Financing available. For more information on our hearing aids, click on the hearing aid tab.
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that is worn in or behind the ear to amplify some sounds, making it easier for a person with hearing loss to hear and communicate. A hearing aid is made up of three basic parts: a microphone, amplifier and speaker. Almost all hearing aids are digital in nature now, which means the hearing aid converts the sound waves into numerical codes to be amplified making the sound more crisp and clear. Digital hearing aids can be programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others allowing more flexibility for the user.
People who suffer from sensorineural hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the small sensory cells of the ear are damaged from aging, disease or an injury from certain medicines or noise.
TYPES OF HEARING AIDS
While hearing aids may differ in style, size, placement and degree of magnification, there are four basic types of hearing aids.
Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids are comprised for a hard plastic case that is warn behind the ear and connected to a plastic ear mold fitting inside the outer ear. BTE's are good for people of all ages with mild to significant hearing loss.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are made of hard plastic and fits completely inside the outer part of the ear. ITE's are used for adults with mild to severe hearing loss.
Canal hearing aids fit into the ear canal. There are two types of Canal Hearing Aids: the in-the-ear (ITC), which is custom-made to fit the person's ear canal; and completely-in-canal (CIC), which is virtually hidden in the ear canal.
Receiver-in-canal (RIC), hearing aids leave the ear canal open, thus reducing the "plugged up" feeling. It has a small, sleek design worn behind the ear with a small virtually invisible receiver worn in the ear.
Your audiologist will work with you individually to help determine which type of hearing aid will work best for you. We have hearing aids to meet all life styles, whether quiet, casual, or active. Your hearing aids can be customized to your specific needs. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Hearing loss is often gradual and, therefore, something that you adapt do. You may not notice it for months, even years. But slowly, the hearing apparatus that nature provided does wear out for many as we grow older and it's simply part of the aging process. Many individuals with hearing impairment wait many years before they try hearing aids. They have gone for a long time without stimulation to the ear, and their ability to understand speech is often poor. Auditory deprivation refers to a person's lack of adequate hearing stimulation.
There's a growing collection of detailed studies that demonstrate, clinically, that people with hearing loss do better addressing the limitation when they act quickly. In other words, the first time the family tells you to tum down the TV, it's time for a hearing test.
The most common cause is simple. The person with the hearing loss chooses not to treat their hearing loss with amplification (hearing aids). When no action is taken and the nerves of the hearing mechanism aren't used, they become deprived of stimulation and slowly become weakened.
When the hearing nerves and the areas of the brain responsible for hearing are deprived of sound, they atrophy, or weaken. Not only do the nerves of hearing weaken over time, but the hearing centers of the brain also tend to weaken. In other words, the hearing centers in the brain no longer receive and process hearing from the ear, which can lead to irreversible hearing loss, even with a hearing aid.
Another cause of auditory deprivation is single-ear hearing aid use. This asymmetrical setup causes one ear to take on more of the listening activity than the other, thus, weakening the unaided ear over time.
You may save some money by purchasing a single hearing aid rather than a pair, but you are depriving one ear from sound and causing the nerves on that ear to slowly weaken. Bottom line? Over time, that unaided ear is going to lose more and more functionality and when you do get around to buying a pair of hearing aids or adding a second hearing aid, the unaided ear will have harder time adapting to sound.
The key to hearing better longer is to keep the parts of the ear active and NOT let them atrophy or weaken. Through the use of hearing aids - early, when you first notice hearing loss - you should have a better quality of hearing longer.