Hearing AidsHear Better, Live Better
Is it Time to Consider Hearing Aids?
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. It can be a sudden or gradual decrease in how well you hear. Having trouble hearing can make it hard to understand and follow a doctor’s advice, to respond to warnings, and to hear doorbells and alarms. It can also make it hard to enjoy talking with friends and family. All of this can be frustrating, embarrassing, and even dangerous.
Do others complain the TV is too loud?
Do you notice any ringing or buzzing sounds in either ear?
Do you avoid going out because you'll struggle to hear?
Do you ask others to repeat themselves?
Do you have more trouble hearing women than men?
Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy room?
Find the Right Hearing Aid for You
If you are hearing impaired, you will benefit from wearing hearing aids, period. How much benefit will depend on many factors, including:
- How long you waited before you did something about your problem.
- How much hearing you have left (residual hearing).
- How much your speech discrimination (word recognition ability) has been affected.
- Your overall health: diabetes, stroke, kidney disease.
- How well you adapt to change.
Choosing the right hearing professional is the most important decision a hearing impaired person can make when they’re finally ready to do something about their hearing problem. The correct hearing aid recommendation and fitting is highly dependent on the judgment and skill of the professional selecting the instrument. The hearing aids we select for you are based on the results of the test, your budget, your lifestyle and a host of other factors. We promise to explain everything to you, without using a bunch of technical terms that are designed to confuse you further.
Hearing Aid FAQ
If you have a question about your hearing, you’re not alone. Current estimates place the number of hearing impaired adults in the Unites States at just over 37 million.
Who is more likely to experience hearing loss, men or women?
Men are more likely to experience hearing loss than women.
Warning signals that your loved one may have hearing loss
- The TV gets louder and friends and family complain about the volume.
- They don’t hear the microwave when it beeps, or the timer on the stove.
- They don’t notice they’ve left their directional signal on because they don’t hear it.
- They don’t respond when spoken to.
- They lean in closer to people who are talking to them, often leading with one ear.
- They only seem to notice they are being spoken to if they are facing the person speaking.
- They give the wrong answers to questions.
- They frequently ask a question or introduce a topic that has just been discussed by others close by.
- They appear to have “selective hearing”.
- They smile and go along with what has been said but clearly aren’t following along.
- They stop attending social activities or events
- They have difficulty understanding young people, children, women, or others who are soft spoken.
- They are startled frequently, saying “I didn’t hear you come in”.
- They say “What?” a lot.
Anatomy of the Ear
The human ear has three sections: the Outer Ear, the Middle Ear, and the Inner Ear. These sections work together to send sound signals to the brain.
The Outer Ear consists of a large and visible flap of cartilage called the Auricle. The purpose of the Auricle is to collect sound and funnel it into the small opening at the bottom of the ear. This opening, called the Auditory Canal, directs sound down to the eardrum.
The Middle Ear begins at the eardrum. The sound hits the eardrum and causes it to vibrate. This vibration is transmitted to the bones in the Middle Ear known as the Malleus, Incus, and Stapes. The Malleus is directly attached to the eardrum on one side and to the Incus on the other. The Incus connects to the Stapes, which is responsible for sending the sound to the Inner Ear.
The Inner Ear contains “hair-like” fibers called cilia. These cilia are attached to a membrane which moves, like an ocean wave, in response to the vibration of the Stapes. As the membrane is moved, it activates the cilia for those frequencies which make up that particular sound. When the cilia are activated, an electrical signal is sent to the brain telling it which frequencies are being heard.
Exposure to loud noise will eventually cause the cilia within the Inner Ear to break off. Once broken, they cannot be repaired. When the cilia break off, the ear is no longer aware of the sounds that those cilia represent.
Effects of Hearing Loss
When you have a hearing loss, the effort of listening becomes much more stressful and causes some people to experience anxiety or even high blood pressure. Often, people with hearing loss withdraw from social activities and thus, experience a loss of social connections and reduced interaction with others. Folks may become isolated or even depressed as a result. Research studies show that increased hearing loss results in reduced earning potential. A January 16, 2012, New York Times article quoting sources from Johns Hopkins University Center on Aging and Health and the National Institute on Aging reported that with every ten decibel decrease in hearing, the risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia increases by twenty percent.
“Social Connectedness” is a term to describe the social interactions and relationships people maintain. This is considered the most important factor in our overall health. When social connections and interactions decline, ALL aspects of health decline. The most important sense for maintaining social connectedness, is good hearing. “Blindness separates people from things, deafness separates people from people.”-Helen Keller
Hearing is often our most neglected sense. Perhaps that is because it is the one we can’t control or choose when to use it or because you can’t look at someone and know how well they hear. Regardless of the reason, maintaining good hearing is vital to all aspects of our being.
Even mild hearing loss has an impact on communication, occupation and recreation. Everyone should have regular hearing evaluations to document their hearing levels and thus have a baseline by which to compare future evaluations to.
There are 3 types of hearing loss:
Sensorineural hearing loss is the type people have 80% of the time. This type of hearing loss can only be helped with hearing instruments. Some aspects of sensorineural hearing loss may indicate that further medical care is warranted.
Conductive hearing loss is often medically treatable by your physician. However, your physician doesn’t know if you have a treatable hearing loss until after you have an evaluation by an Audiologist. Only an Audiologist has the expertise to evaluate properly for this type of hearing loss.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both types. If your hearing evaluation demonstrates this type of hearing loss, then you will most likely need to get medical treatment first (to resolve the conductive component) and then return to your audiologist for care for the sensorineural component.
The importance of having a qualified Audiologist conducting the evaluation is in identifying when a condition requiring medical follow up is present and making sure that treatment is obtained BEFORE hearing instruments are purchased.
How does exposure to loud noise impact your hearing?
FOllow Up & Care
Caring for Your New Hearing Aid
Proper maintenance and care will extend the life of your hearing aid.
Make it a habit to:
- Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture.
- Clean hearing aids as instructed. Earwax and ear drainage can damage a hearing aid.
- Avoid using hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
Turn off hearing aids when they are not in use.
- Replace dead batteries immediately.
- Keep replacement batteries and small aids away from children and pets.
1875 Dempster St.
Park Ridge IL 60068
1450 Busch Parkway
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Mon - Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm
Mon - Fri 7:30am -3:00pm
Hearing Aid Walk-In Clinic
Mon - Fri 10:00am - 11:00am
Times Vary, Please Call For Details