Hearing loss, for the most part, occurs gradually.
As you grow older, your hearing ability gets weaker. It’s a natural process, and it’s certainly not uncommon; over 35% of Americans over the age of 65 are currently experiencing some form of hearing loss. And of all those who experience hearing loss, only 1 in 5 actually seek out help. This is because it’s easy to overlook a hearing problem. The volume on the TV turned up a few notches, asking others to speak louder…it all blends together, and becomes hard to notice after a while.
Let us first take a look at a few of the signs that could indicate you are experiencing hearing loss. There are several indicators that may not warrant immediate medical attention, but it’s always good to check! Some of these symptoms are:
- Trouble hearing loved ones when you didn’t have issues in the past
- Difficulty understanding words, especially in crowded spaces
- Asking others to frequently repeat their words
- Having trouble hearing consonants
- Muffled sounds
- Turning up the volume on your devices consistently
Not all of these warrant a trip to the doctor. But you may want to ask at your next checkup, because it is very possible that hearing loss can be due to damage in the inner ear. You may need to be referred to a hearing specialist.
How does hearing loss occur? It’s actually pretty simple. Something as unassuming as a buildup of earwax could be the problem, which can be solved by earwax removal, and only takes a few moments. This is especially common in children, but can happen in all age groups. There’s also the chance that your inner ear is damaged. There are tiny hairs that act as nerve cells in the cochlea; with age, and with exposure to loud noises, these hairs can be damaged and have trouble sending sound signals to the brain. Sometimes, this is hereditary.
You should also watch for damage of the outer ear, tumors, abnormal bone growth, or any other anomalies. An ear infection could also cause hearing issues, and sometimes, they can cause permanent damage. There’s also a chance you could have a ruptured ear drum, but this will be obvious–it usually happens due to a traumatic event such as an absurdly loud noise.
Now comes the most important question–how are you going to solve your hearing problems?
What is a Hearing Aid?
Essentially, a hearing aid is a tiny microphone and speaker system that goes inside or around your ear. It has three parts: a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. For example, if someone speaks, those words are transferred through the hearing aid, and the wearer can hear the amplified words. Hearing aids come in many different models and forms, so it can be overwhelming to pick the right one.
When you come to Bay Area Audiology in order to test your hearing, we’ll provide you with a hearing evaluation. This helps our professionals find exactly the right kind of hearing aid you may need; or, they will determine if you require another kind of hearing loss relief.
Almost all hearing aids are now digital. When programmed properly, digital hearing aids adjust automatically to the level of sound in the room. They are even able to reduce background noise while still amplifying speech allowing you to hear conversations more easily in noisy environments, such as in restaurants or parties. Digital aids are ideal for most people, and we provide the very best digital hearing aids available.
Hearing aids are available in various styles. They can be custom fit for your ear, where ear mold impressions are taken and the hearing aid is made to fit either inside your ear canal (IIC, CIC, or ITC), where they are hard to see, or to fill the bowl of your ear (ITE). The most popular hearing aid style today is a receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) style that rests behind your ear. This style is very comfortable and is appropriate for most hearing losses.
There are more hearing aid styles than this, of course, but it’s difficult to cover them all. Your doctor at Bay Area Audiology will further explain the types of hearing aids that exist, and which ones will best help you.
Are Hearing Aids Uncomfortable?
These days, no. They’re much smaller than older hearing aids. There are also plenty of options to choose from that are strongly based on the wearer’s preferences. Bay Area Audiology also offers a 60-day full money back guarantee, as well as in-office hearing aid demonstrations.
Can My Hearing Loss Be Cured With a Hearing Aid?
Most hearing losses are permanent. While they cannot be “cured,” seeing an audiologist and being fit with appropriate hearing aid technology makes it possible to live a completely normal life.
How Much is a Hearing Aid?
It truly depends. Each circumstance is different. Every person’s listening difficulties are unique and may require more or less advanced hearing aid technology. We’ll make sure to work with you in order to get the most effective hearing aid for your listening needs, while still making sure it’s budget-friendly.
Other Hearing Loss Solutions
All of our solution paths start with an extensive hearing evaluation. We will explain every facet of the results to you, making sure it is explicitly clear. If we decide you need further professional medical attention, we will refer you and arrange everything. If possible, we will offer same-day solutions.
Our hearing evaluations vary per case. Hearing loss can occur at any age. We use several specific tests that we run here at Bay Area Audiology to evaluate individuals of all ages. One of those tests is a pediatric hearing evaluation. The entire test will be conducted in a friendly, warm environment so the child isn’t afraid. There are then several ways to evaluate hearing loss in children, including tympanometry, acoustic reflex thresholds, and otoacoustic emissions. These may sound confusing, but we’ll explain everything until it makes perfect sense.
We also conduct similar tests for newborns and infants. If you suspect your child is suffering from hearing loss, regardless of what the cause may be, a hearing evaluation is vital.
Did you know there are actually solutions to tinnitus? Tinnitus is a distant ringing sound that can only be heard by you, varying in severity depending on the level of damage to your ear. A tinnitus evaluation conducted at Bay Area Audiology will be of the highest and most thorough quality. You may decide to wear a device that can mask the sound. We can also provide you with a sound device that can hide the ringing as you sleep.
To prevent hearing loss before it happens, Bay Area Audiology also provides custom hearing protection. This is perfect for those who frequently work in loud settings–musicians, airport workers, motorcyclists, or hunters. They can even be made into custom headphone buds. It’s always a great idea to protect your precious hearing ability; just know that, no matter what kind of hearing loss you have, Bay Area Audiology can help.
Come to Bay Area Audiology for a hearing evaluation today!
Our Doctor of Audiology, Dr. Trisha A. Bents Muth, is exceptionally experienced in the art of audiology, and is dedicated to providing the absolute best solutions. Bay Area Audiology has been working to give patients a comfortable environment, with thorough evaluations. We are independently owned, and unbiased when it comes to finding you the care you need.
Get help for your hearing loss. You can always come into the office, or contact us in advance to set up an appointment. We also provide updates on our social media websites. You can check out our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to keep up with Bay Area Audiology.
Don’t hesitate–we can help.