October 22, 2018
Diane Zuckschwerdt, MA-CCC-A
Hearing loss. To many of us it’s a scary prospect. Often individuals are in denial for many years before deciding to do something about it. More times than not individuals withdraw from social outings rather than seek out an expert opinion on amplification, or hearing aids.
Most hearing loss is gradual and is often due to aging, heredity, ear infections, and/or noise exposure. However, sudden hearing loss is more concerning. If you suffer sudden hearing loss, you need to have a complete hearing assessment by a clinical audiologist immediately. Most of these types of sudden hearing loss can frequently be treated medically with good results, if you are seen within a few days of the onset of symptoms.
Regardless of the onset, when hearing loss cannot be treated medically, hearing aids and other assistive listening devices are recommended. The hearing industry has worked hard to try to remove the stigma of hearing aids. Hearing aid manufacturers are making devices that are less noticeable—these are not your grandparents’ hearing aids. The newest technologies available today make it possible to stream telephone calls, turn the volume up on both hearing aids with the control of just one aid, and the ability to connect your hearing aids to your smart phone. With smart phone apps, not only can you control your volume, but also you can control the pitch, you can create and store your own “memories” to hear your best in your favorite places, and you can use your smart phone as a microphone to transmit sound directly to your hearing aids.
You don’t have a smart phone? You can still stream your phone calls, television, and music through hearing aids with accessories that are simple to use. So now you can turn up the sound on the television without affecting those around you and it’s all wireless. The latest technology has built in sensors and artificial intelligence. With these products you can do all that’s mentioned above plus keep track of your health, both mentally and physically, and translate different languages!
Hearing aids do a superior job of helping hearing impaired individual hear in their world better than their analog predecessors. However, sometimes even hearing aids can’t do it all. There are many assistive listening devices available to aid in these situations. There are devices that will wirelessly connect with a television, so you can adjust the volume and pitch without disturbing a sleeping spouse. There are telephones that not only increase the volume of the call but can show you on a screen what the caller is saying. Other devices include alarm clocks that vibrate you awake, baby monitors, doorbell signalers, and much more.
So if you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves often or family and friends are reporting that your television volume is too loud you may have hearing loss. The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for hearing aids is to schedule a complete hearing test with your clinical audiologist.
Memorial Healthcare offers complete on-site hearing evaluations, balance testing, newborn/child hearing tests, and hearing aid evaluations, sales, orientation, fitting, repair, and maintenance. To learn more visit MemorialHealthcare.org or contact (989) 729-4800