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Age Related Hearing Loss

Question: Isn’t age-related hearing loss common and to be expected? Answer: A longer life span and aging baby boomers have led to an unprecedented growth in the proportion of older adults. Age related hearing loss is one of the most significant chronic conditions in this population, affecting nearly two out of three Americans age 70 years and older. Age related hearing loss is dependent upon several contributing diseases such as diabetes, undiagnosed and/or untreated hypertension, and falls. Hearing loss with age may be expected ... Read more

Self-Fitting Hearing Aids: Key Reasons to Consult a Hearing Care Professional Instead

Have you heard of self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs)? Can they help if you have a hearing loss? What exactly are they, and how do they differ from traditional hearing devices fitted by a hearing care expert? What’s the best action to take if you need hearing help? With hearing loss posing a serious public-health challenge worldwide — it’s a chronic problem affecting millions of women, men, and children — technology continues evolving to improve sound clarity, expand compatibility with other smart ... Read more

Single Sided Deafness

Question: I have hearing loss in one ear that cannot be helped with a hearing aid and normal hearing in the other ear. I frequently have trouble hearing those at the office on the side of my poor ear. Any suggestions? Answer: You have described a type of hearing loss that usually CAN be helped with hearing aids. Single sided deafness is called unilateral hearing loss and can be helped by using a contralateral routing of signals (CROS). In other words, there is ... Read more

No Bones About It: Osteoporosis May Nearly Double Risk of Sudden Hearing Loss

What does osteoporosis, a potentially debilitating disease affecting some 10 million Americans and 2 million Canadians, have in common with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, dementia, and other selected conditions? It can go hand in hand with hearing loss. More specifically, at least one study links osteoporosis to a nearly doubled risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a disease that can touch people of all ages around the globe but primarily affects those in their 50s and 60s. ... Read more

Improving Hearing Ability

Question: Why do you think some people receive better benefit from their hearing aids than others do? Answer: So many things contribute to this. We believe that auditory rehabilitation techniques should be taught when receiving the hearing aids as a standard treatment protocol. This approach begins with the testing of not just the hearing ability but the test of communication needs in the patient’s lifestyle. We address the specific areas where the patient is struggling to hear and develop a written program to ... Read more

Turn the Music Up, Dude — But Not Past 85 Decibels

You probably use your tablet or smartphone often to stream music, TV shows, or movies. In fact, many websites these days auto-play videos regardless of whether you want them to. Smartphones, tablets, and other types of portable music players (PMPs) are now commonplace, as are earbuds and headphones. But if your PMP is turned up too loud while wearing earbuds or headphones, you can damage your hearing quickly. Let’s look at why. NIHL This isn’t some new sports league — NIHL stands for noise-induced ... Read more

Personal Sound Amplifiers

Question: I’ve seen devices advertised on TV and in magazines called “personal sound amplifiers” and they are a lot less expensive. Are they the same thing as hearing aids? Answer: No, they are not. Personal sound amplifiers are quite different from hearing aids and shouldn’t be used in place of expertly programmed hearing aids fitted by a Doctor of Audiology. The PSA was created to amplify sounds during recreational activities and not to assist with hearing loss. They are not programmed to specific ... Read more

Is Weight Connected to Hearing Loss?

Studies about weight often concern its relation to overall health. Common connections include weight and the risk for or prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea, to name a few. One topic that doesn’t get as much attention is the connection between weight and risk for hearing loss. But is there a connection? To understand how weight affects hearing, you need to know about something tiny but important in your inner ear: the hair cell. The Hair Cell Your brain doesn’t ... Read more

Drug Store Hearing Devices

Question: What are your thoughts on drug store or magazine ordered devices for improving hearing? Answer: These are not hearing aids. These are generic amplifying devices geared to increase volume. Most hearing loss is not a loss of hearing for all sounds equally. They do not have customizable noise management—a feature crucial for hearing aid benefit. Even those brands that suggest that you send them your hearing test, and they’ll program the devices are not beneficial. The size of your ear canal affects ... Read more

Putting Off That Hearing Test? Here’s Another Reason to Hear Your Best!

It’s no surprise that getting hearing help can make communicating and connecting with the world around you so much easier, but did you know that using hearing aids might also have a hand in cutting down emergency-room visits and hospital stays? In a study published earlier this year in the medical journal JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, University of Michigan researchers investigating connections among hearing technology, health care consumption, and spending linked seniors’ self-reported use of hearing aids to changes such ... Read more
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