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Hearing loss - Helpful steps to finding a solution

Hearing loss can come in many forms and levels of severity: a slight ringing in your ears or difficulty hearing high-pitched voices all the way up to challenges hearing the majority of sounds. But no matter the severity, it’s important to understand how hearing loss actually works and the steps you can take to cope with it, whether it’s key questions to ask your physician or ways to manage your important relationships.

To truly understand hearing loss, it helps to understand how we hear in the first place. Remember, when dealing with your health, equipping yourself with the proper information can be enormously empowering. If you understand the issue, it’s much easier to figure out how to cope with it.

How Hearing Works

When we hear a sound, we are actually interpreting sound waves that enter our ears and reach our brain via nerves. Sound waves travel into the ear via the ear canal and through the eardrum, which passes vibrations through a series of small bones into the inner ear. Once sound reaches the inner ear, thousands of hair cells pass the waves to the auditory nerve, which carries it to the brain.

How Hearing Loss Works

Over time, the component parts of the ear can begin to fail. One of the most common age-related issues is the gradual loss of hair cells in the inner ear, making it more difficult for sound waves to travel through the inner ear and into the brain. This process can be exacerbated by years of exposure to loud noises (such as live music and gas powered motors or machinery), which can cause a buildup of damage in the ear.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 50% of adults over age 75 have some form of age-related hearing loss.

There are other complications that can lead to hearing loss, too, although age-related loss is most common. Infections, trauma to the head, tumors, and severe allergies can all play a role in a loss of hearing ability.

It’s important, if you think you’re suffering from hearing loss, to consult your physician, who will likely recommend a hearing test to better understand the type and severity of your loss.

How to Cope: Ask Questions

Once you find out that you’re suffering from hearing loss—and have an understanding of why it’s happening—it’s time to figure out what to do next.

One of the most important steps in the process is to consult with your physician and the audiologist who carried out your hearing test. They can examine your audiogram (the graphical results of your hearing test) to determine the most appropriate next steps.

For many hearing loss sufferers, perhaps the best first step they can take is to simply ask questions. Here are a few common questions you may want to consider asking your doctor or audiologist:

  • How severe is my hearing loss? Though you may think you understand how severe your hearing loss is, your physician or audiologist has access to diagnostic tools that can provide you answers with much greater detail. For example, an audiogram can reveal the severity of hearing loss through multiple measurements—so make sure to ask your physician or audiologist to explain the severity of your hearing loss to you and provide you with your test results.
  • Why should I treat my hearing loss? One of the most common questions facing many hearing loss sufferers is why they should treat their hearing loss at all, as many have figured out coping mechanisms to deal with their hearing issues. But most doctors and audiologists will tell you that hearing loss left untreated can result in everything from social isolation to trouble with balance and movement. For example, a 2012 study found that hearing loss even at low levels tripled the risk of falls, while another found it doubled the risk of developing dementia.
  • Am I a good candidate for hearing aids? Many hearing loss sufferers believe that hearing aids will restore their hearing to the same level they enjoyed prior to loss. While hearing aids can be a major step forward in terms of quality of life and overall health, not every hearing loss sufferer is a good candidate for using them. Make sure to ask a hearing professional whether your type of hearing loss is the right fit for hearing aids. If your doctor does recommend hearing aids, don’t be daunted by the retail sticker price of $4000 to $7000. High-quality hearing aids can be purchased online, at retailers like Embrace Hearing, for about $1,500 to $2,000. 

 

How To Cope: Take Care of Yourself

“Hearing loss can create a psychological solitary confinement,” wrote Dr. Claudia Dewane, who suffers hearing loss herself and counsels others through the process. Despite this, Dewane notes, “many older adults with hearing loss deny the disability or the impact it exerts on their quality of life.”

Dewane and other professionals urge hearing loss sufferers—whether they have struggled with hearing loss for a long time or are suddenly learning to cope with it—to make recognizing the issue the first, and most crucial, step.

While this may seem obvious, statistics say otherwise: an estimated 22 million Americans suffer from hearing loss but don’t seek out hearing aids for help.

If you’re able to recognize that your hearing loss is an issue, you can take positive steps to help yourself cope mentally, too, including:

  • finding a support group or engaging with your peers who also suffer hearing loss;
  • learning more about hearing loss and the technologies that exist to help, including hearing aids and hearing loops;
  • visiting a therapist, counselor or other professional who can help teach coping strategies, including boosting your self-esteem.

        For many people, hearing loss is a natural part of life—but that doesn’t mean you can’t understand it and learn how to cope with its effects. The more you know about your own hearing loss, the more proactive you can be in finding solutions that work for you.

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        The X-Series Models

        Vs
        • Compare to:

        • Our price per ear/pair:

        • ? This is the number of frequency bands we use to program your hearing aids to the results of your hearing test. The hearing aid then uses these bands to re-build sound to meet the needs of your hearing loss. The greater the number of bands, the better the sound quality delivered to you.
          Programable bands/channels

        • ? Our comprehensive warranty covers any manufacturer defects including free replacement of rechargeable batteries and receivers as well as half price one-time loss and irreparable damage replacement. In addition, during the warranty, there is no charge for reprogramming or adjustments.
          Warranty (and Loss Insurance)

        • ? Connects directly to your smartphone (or other Android or Apple device). Two way streaming enables completely hands free calls. Add our TV Connector for direct streaming from your TV so you can adjust your TV volume without affecting the sound for others.
          Bluetooth for completeley hands-free calls

        • ? Although the software on these hearings makes adjustments seldom necessary, it is possible to change the volume and some manual settings using either the free smartphone App or the buttons on the aids. An optional hand held remote is also available.
          Volume and Program Control

        • ? We offer a choice of disposable 312 battery or lithium ion rechargeable battery on some models. The rechargeable battery will perform for up to 24 hours after a 3 hour charge. The disposable batteries will last 3-7 days depending on hours of use, level of hearing loss and amount of Bluetooth streaming. A year’s supply of size 312 batteries currently costs about $30/year/aid.
          Power Source

        • ? The hearing aid's software automatically identifies and adjusts to changes in your sound environment (e.g. From a quiet car to a noisy restaurant) so no manual adjustments are needed.
          Automatically adjusts to your environment

        • ? This is the best technology for group situations. It provides optimal speech understanding from all directions by dynamically scanning your environment to focus on the active speaker in your immediate vicinity.
          LiveSpeechFocus

        • ? While most people find that the restoration of high frequency hearing through the use of properly programmed hearing aids significantly improves tinnitus symptoms, there is more we can do. All of our hearing aids come with a tinnitus management program. This is not a cure but it can further help alleviate tinnitus symptoms through the use of a self-adjustable 'white noise' sound in the background.
          Tinnitus Manager Program

        • ? BiCROS hearing aid progamming is for people who have unaidable hearing loss in one ear but have some level of hearing in the other. You would wear hearing aids on both ears. We program them so a microphone picks up sounds from the weak ear and transmits them to wirelessly to the ear with better hearing.
          BiCROS programming

        • ? REMOTE PROGRAMMING - With the X-550 and X-950 models, we can make adjustments to you hearing aids remotely. You would explain the issue to our Audiologists and the new program would be uploaded to your hearing aids automatically (via Bluetooth).
          Remote Programming

        • ? TELECOIL - The telecoil is also known as a T-coil, or T-switch. When activated, the telecoil permits the transmission of sound from a "Hearing Loop" sometimes found in public spaces and theaters. If you require this feature, please call us for details at (888) 929-9555.
          Telecoil

        • Colors

        The C-Series Models

        Vs
        • Compare to:

        • Our price per ear/pair:

        • ? This is the number of frequency bands we use to program your hearing aids to the results of your hearing test. The hearing aid then uses these bands to re-build sound to meet the needs of your hearing loss. The greater the number of bands, the more natural the sound and the better the performance in more challenging situations, like restaurants.
          Programable bands/channels

        • ? Our comprehensive warranty covers any manufacturer defects including free replacement of rechargeable batteries and receivers as well as half price one-time loss and irreparable damage replacement. In addition, during the warranty, there is no charge for reprogramming or adjustments.
          Warranty (and Loss Insurance)

        • ? Although the software on these hearings makes adjustments seldom necessary, it is possible to change the volume and some manual settings using the Android/Apple smartphone App or optional hand held remote.
          Volume and Program Control

        • ? The disposable size 10 batteries on these hearing aids will last about 4-6 days depending on hours of use and level of hearing loss. A year’s supply of size 10 batteries currently costs about $30/year/aid.
          Power Source

        • ? The hearing aid's software automatically identifies and adjusts to changes in your sound environment (e.g. From a quiet car to a noisy restaurant) so no manual adjustments are needed.
          Automatically adjusts to your environment

        • ? This is the best technology for group situations. It provides optimal speech understanding from all directions by dynamically scanning your environment to focus on the active speaker in your immediate vicinity.
          LiveSpeechFocus

        • ? While most people find that the restoration of high frequency hearing through the use of properly programmed hearing aids significantly improves tinnitus symptoms, there is more we can do. All of our hearing aids come with a tinnitus management program. This is not a cure but it can further help alleviate tinnitus symptoms through the use of a self-adjustable 'white noise' sound in the background.
          Tinnitus Manager Program

        • ? BiCROS hearing aids are designed for people who have unaidable hearing loss in one ear but have some level of hearing in the other. You would wear hearing aids on both ears. A microphone picks up sounds from the weak ear and transmits it to wirelessly to the ear with better hearing
          BiCROS programming

        • ? With the C-540 and C-940 models, we can make adjustments to you hearing aids remotely. You would explain the issue to our Audiologists and the new program would be uploaded to your hearing aids automatically.
          Remote programming and adjustments

        • Telecoil

        • Colors

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