Do you have hearing problems? It’s easy to get frustrated in noisy places, especially when everyone speaks at once and the messages get mixed up and jumbled together. Or when your granddaughter speaks and her voice softly disappears. Or when everyone appears to mumble.
The facts are, hearing loss is a gradual and long-term process, and it often doesn’t get noticed for many years. Often, its noticed when it is at its worst.
You’re Not the Only One
According to the latest research, a big proportion of the Canadian population has reported hearing problems and with the ageing of this existing population, the number is likely to increase significantly
People of all ages experience hearing loss. The possible causes are exposure to loud noise, diabetes or some other medical factors. But ageing is the most common cause.Though we can’t stop the natural process of ageing, hearing loss can be treated. In most cases hearing loss is not too severe and is treatable when seen by a professional.
With appropriate treatment and a hearing aid, we can help you hear much better. You won’t feel the need to ask people to repeat their words. You may find the TV is more comfortable at a lower volume, and that your neighbours or loved ones are happier. A proper treatment would allow you to stay involved in your daily activities and help reduce the frustration.
How the Ear Works
Let’s check how your brain and ear coordinate to help you hear. The process starts with the sound waves entering your outer ear, the visible portion of the ear. These waves then get into the auditory canal that is a pathway coated with a tiny hair and small ear wax-producing glands.
The auditory canal leads to the middle ear that has the eardrum and three small bones called the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup. The eardrum starts vibrating as the sound waves hit it. The vibrations move the hammer which in turn moves the anvil and stirrup, sending the disturbances into your inner ear. As the middle ear acts as a sound amplifier, most of the hearing loss is due to disruption in any of its parts.
Even the hair cells can suffer damage due to the use of ototoxic drugs, some medical issues or simply due to ageing. Once damaged, hair cells can’t be regenerated or regrown by any means. The only option left is to use hearing aids.
Every part of the ear plays a significant role to create a system that facilitates you to hear clearly. If you are finding it difficult to hear, we will let you know what the exact cause behind the hearing loss is and we will offer you the most appropriate solution based on your needs and lifestyle.
9 Myths About Hearing Loss
Over the last few decades there have been huge advances in both our understanding of hearing loss and the technology used to solve hearing problems. Unfortunately, most peoples’ assumptions about their hearing are outdated or plain wrong.
Before you put off treatment for another day, discover the truth about hearing loss.
MYTH 1: I’d know if I had hearing loss.
Fact: The truth is that hearing loss is so gradual that you may not notice it right away. As your hearing loss increases, you may compensate by turning up the volume or by always asking people to repeat themselves. Denial is most people’s first reaction to hearing loss, followed by blaming others for mumbling or keeping the TV volume too low. We all tend to be stubborn, but the fact is, if your friends or family members are telling you that you have hearing loss, you probably do. Especially when you consider that your odds of having hearing loss are 1 in 5.
Remember that people without hearing loss don’t need to convince others that “I can hear just fine!” If you’ve been told that you need a hearing test, it’s time to get one.
MYTH 2: It’s not worth the trouble to improve my hearing.
Fact: Maybe to you it isn’t worth it, but just ask the people around you how they feel. It can drive your family nuts when they constantly have to repeat themselves or be driven out of the room by the volume of the TV. Seriously, hearing loss can lead to frustration, social withdrawal, and depression — even dementia. The best solution is to deal with hearing loss rather than act like it’s not a problem.
MYTH 3: It doesn’t matter if I put off getting hearing aids.
Fact: Hearing loss will get worse over time. Researchers even have a name for this: they call it auditory deprivation. The longer you ignore your hearing loss, the more hearing you’ll lose that can never be recovered. Hearing aids can help, but only if you have enough hearing left to be saved. And the longer you live with hearing loss, the harder it is to adjust to using hearing aids.
MYTH 4: If you’re hearing impaired, it’s just a matter of turning up the volume.
Fact: Sure, you can take that approach. But don’t expect to have the best relationships. When people know they’ll constantly have to repeat themselves, they tend to save themselves the trouble by avoiding you.
The right way to turn up the volume is with the use of professionally programmed hearing aids, so that you don’t have to turn up the volume on everyone else. Keep in mind that people resent being burdened when they know that someone could just as easily help themselves.
MYTH 5: Hearing aids won’t work for me.
Fact: Hearing aids work for almost everyone, but only if you use the right technology with the right settings. Will the cheap hearing aids that you can buy online without evaluation, fitting or adjustment from a hearing professional improve your hearing? Not likely.
On the other hand, if you work with your hearing specialist to find the right hearing aid, programmed for your specific hearing loss, fit and adjusted to your lifestyle, your hearing aids will almost certainly help you hear better.
MYTH 6: Hearing aids are ugly.
Fact: Not any more. It’s true that older models were large, and there were few options. Today you can choose from dozens of behind the ear, in ear or in the ear canal models. The newest models are sleek and small, with some types that fit completely inside the ear canal, making them nearly invisible.
MYTH 7: Hearing aids will make me look – and feel – old.
Fact: First, hearing loss affects people of all ages. Second, if you are experiencing hearing loss, constantly asking people to repeat themselves, missing parts of the conversation, and responding inappropriately makes you seem old! Stay young by hearing clearly and participating in conversations with confidence and without hesitation.
MYTH 8: I can save money by just getting one hearing aid
Fact: You can save money by buying just one hearing aid or just one shoe, but we wouldn’t recommend either. There’s a reason you have two ears; you use them both to locate the source of sounds, to maintain balance, and to hear sound clearly regardless of the direction it’s coming from. If you have hearing loss in both ears, you need two hearing aids.
MYTH 9: Hearing aids are expensive
Fact: Some flat-screen Ultra-High Definition TVs retail for more than $8,000, but the millions of people who buy these don’t think they are too expensive. It’s all about value.
Hearing clearly is part of staying healthy, happy and active. How much is that worth to you? The hearing specialists at The Hearing Clinic will recommend the hearing aid options that best match your hearing needs, your lifestyle and your budget.