Hearing Loss Information

  • voices and other sounds aren’t as clear as they should be
  • understanding higher-pitched sounds, such as a young child’s voice, can be difficult
  • understanding speech in crowded, noisy environments can be difficult
  • a comment or question typically needs to be repeated in order to be fully understood
  • the volume of a TV or radio is kept at an uncomfortably loud level
  • withdrawing from social situations to avoid conversational embarrassment

Hearing loss can be caused by many different things, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Certain illnesses and medications
  • Sudden damage to the ear
  • Consistent exposure to loud noises

For many, hearing difficulties simply develop gradually overtime. Annual hearing consultations will help you and your hearing healthcare provider manage your hearing health and be able to address any changes in your hearing ability before it begins to affect your daily life.

Hearing healthcare professionals can use a variety of diagnostic tests to determine the nature and extent of a possible hearing loss, including the following:

  • Pure-tone Test - This test is used to determine the faintest tones that you can hear. Headphones are worn, and different frequencies are played for one ear at a time, during which you indicate when you hear a tone.

  • Speech Test - Difficulty being able to understand speech is an issue often experienced by those with hearing loss. The speech test involves you repeating words back from a list and repeating words that are said to you or played from a recording. These components help in assessing your ability to understand speech at different volumes.

  • Tympanometry - Tympanometry assesses the function of the middle ear, which is helpful to further determine the type of hearing loss present (conductive vs. sensorineural). It's also helpful in the diagnosis of an ear infection.

After testing and diagnosis of the hearing loss type and degree is complete, a hearing healthcare professional will discuss treatment options with you.

  • Hearing Aids - Not only do hearing aids amplify sounds, they come with technology to enhance your quality of life. Features include wireless capability, clear speech, feedback management, water resistance, and more. Audiologists and other professionals use your test results to recommend options that are suited for your lifestyle and budget. Additional adjustments are usually necessary to ensure that you are adjusting well to your new hearing aids. After all, re-experiencing hearing after being without it to any degree can be overwhelming and takes some time to get used to.

  • Cochlear Implants - These are hearing loss solutions that are intended for those with profound deafness or severe hearing impairment. Cochlear implants work by receiving sounds, converting them into electric impulses, and distributing them to the appropriate regions of the auditory nerve. One part of the cochlear implant sits behind the ear while the other is surgically implanted under the skin. While cochlear implants do not amplify sounds the way that hearing aids do, they provide a different way for those who are profoundly deaf to experience sounds and do things like talk on the phone.

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