When is the right time for a hearing evaluation? It’s probably sooner than you think. Routine audiological evaluation can generate two kinds of information; baseline data on individuals with normal hearing or the identification of hearing loss that has gone unnoticed. The baseline audiogram is important because it provides an objective picture of the individual’s hearing in the absence of pathology to which subsequent audiograms can be compared. Without such baseline data the individuals audiogram is compared with the average of a “normal” population.
The human brain is so good at adapting to things like progressive hearing loss. Hearing loss can go undetected for a long time either because of gradual onset over a long period of time or because of the sound frequencies involved. Individuals suffering from gradual hearing loss may unknowingly compensate for the developing loss so effectively that the loss may become rather serious before it is noticeable.
In other cases, particularly from those arising from aging or noise damage, the loss first appears in the high frequencies, above the speech range and must erode downward into the speech frequencies before the patient experiences difficulty in understanding conversation and begins to suspect hearing loss.
Attention must be paid to hearing loss as a symptom associated with other diseases, such as diabetes, tinnitus, or drug related hearing loss (ototoxicity). Additionally hearing loss has been shown to accelerate the symptoms of dementia. Certainly, hearing loss often causes social isolation and depression.
What to expect from your first visit to an audiologist?
Visiting an audiologist is easy and painless. First a detailed history is obtained, including medical, occupational and recreational preferences. Then, an otoscopic evaluation is performed. Afterwards, objective tests are performed to assess the integrity of the eardrum and middle ear and the cochlear. Subsequently, standard hearing testing including pure tones and speech testing in quiet and in noise are performed. Results are then discussed in detail with the patient. The audiologist will present various options for the patient, only one of which is amplification. At the end of the process, your life can change significantly for the better.
Why are there so many different kinds of hearing aids?
The term “Hearing aids” is actually antiquated. The audio-enhancement devices available today are technological wonders. They interface seamlessly with cellular devices, iPod’s, Bluetooth streaming systems, and televisions. In fact, mini-microphones are available which allow the audio-enhanced techie to hear across tables in crowded restaurants and conference tables. Those who previously had no success with hearing aids should be aware that options exist that were previously unfathomable.
Your unique hearing situation, which includes the topography of your ears, the degree of your hearing loss, the parts of your ear involved, the difference in hearing ability between your two ears, and other factors will lead your audiologist to find the right solution for you.
It is so much more than not hearing clearly!
There’s more to hearing loss than hearing. You also lose social connections, cognitive function, stamina and self-esteem. What you should know is that there’s more to lose than your hearing. Hearing is your connection with your family and friends. Misunderstanding can lead to wrong perceptions and arguments. It can hinder the ability to hear the words of those we love. It can frustrate friends and impede medical treatment. Not being able to hear clearly is exhausting. Many patients feel happier and more energetic once their hearing problem is addressed.
It’s time to update your amplification!
Just like your cell phone and your computer, hearing aids get outdated. There are many reasons you may want to consider an upgrade, even if they are working adequately. The technology available today was not available even last year. Come in to Sound Hearing Audiology and get a demonstration of the latest cutting edge technology and audibility options.
Sound Hearing Audiology and Speech – Dr. Robin Zeller, Ph.D.
50 Hazelwood Drive, Jericho NY 11753
Audiologist, Speech Language Pathologist, Speech Therapy, Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss Treatments for Adults and Children