Research shows that hearing loss can affect relationships, school performance, job productivity, and emotional well being.
For the estimated 28 million children and adults in the United States who suffer from any degree of hearing loss, selecting the most suitable hearing aids can be the critical factor to enjoying life to its fullest. Hearing loss can have a major impact on your quality of life. The warning signs of hearing loss often go unnoticed as the body slowly adapts. As a result, the diagnosis of a severe loss frequently occurs after the ability to hear clearly has been lost. Sound Health Services’ ENT specialists and audiologists will work together to help you find the right hearing aid for your condition.
Hearing Loss Treatment
Approximately 5% to 10% of hearing problems in adults are medically or surgically treatable. This percentage is higher in children especially if a middle ear disease, such as ear infection, is the cause. A hearing evaluation will determine whether or not you have a hearing loss. If your hearing evaluation indicates that your condition cannot be medically or surgically treated, additional testing may be done to determine if hearing aids will be beneficial. If you think you might need a hearing aid or to visit a hearing doctor in St. Louis, contact an ENT specialist at Sound Health Services.
If you have hearing loss in both ears, the audiologist will recommend that you use two hearing aids. In most instances, wearing two hearing aids helps in localizing the direction of sound, improves listening in noisy situations, and provides better overall hearing. Our highly trained audiologists will provide you with the recommended hearing aid(s) and/or other hearing assistive devices and will instruct you in their use.
We will determine your type of hearing loss and explain solutions that best fit your lifestyle. The root cause for your hearing loss may range from simple wax blockage to complex nerve damage. Our certified Audiologists have diagnosed and treated the root causes of hearing loss for thousands of people in the St. Louis area.
Two primary types of hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type. It is also referred to as “nerve deafness,” because it is the result of damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear (the cochlea). Sensorineural hearing loss is almost always permanent. Most of the time, there are no medical or surgical treatment options. The treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is amplification, or hearing aids. For some individuals with severe or profound hearing loss who do not get any benefit from hearing aids, a cochlear implant may be an option.
Many individuals suffer sensorineural hearing loss due to noise exposure or the aging process, or a combination of both. This usually results in “high frequency” hearing loss, or the inability to hear the high pitch sounds. Because it develops slowly over decades, it is almost impossible to “self-diagnose.” The complaint is often that “I can hear, but I don’t understand,” or “everyone mumbles, no one speaks as clearly as they used to.” The primary treatment for this type of hearing loss is hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss is the less common type of hearing loss. It refers to a loss of hearing due to a mechanical blockage of sound getting through the outer or middle parts of the ear. It may be due to something as simple as ear wax blocking the ear canal or a foreign body stuck in the ear canal. Fluid in the middle ear (common ear infection) or a hole in the eardrum will also cause a conductive loss. Conductive hearing loss is often treatable by the ENT physician with medication and/or surgery. If for some reason surgery is not an option, hearing aids are another effective treatment approach for conductive hearing loss.
Effects of untreated hearing loss
Roughly 20% of all people who need hearing aids actually get them. Most people don't realize that most hearing losses can be treated with hearing aids. Most people also don't realize that untreated hearing loss causes embarrassment, social stress, tension, and fatigue. The results of untreated hearing loss not only affect the person with hearing loss, but also family members, friends and work associates.
Successful hearing aid users are those who are motivated to improve their communication by improving their listening and hearing. They have worked with their audiologist to learn what they can expect from hearing aids - that is, understanding what a hearing aid can and cannot do. They also have family support.
How can family, friends, and co-workers be affected by my hearing loss?
Family, friends, and people at work are just as bothered by your hearing loss as you are. They may be impatient because they have to repeat what they say to you so often. For that reason, conversations with you become time consuming. They can't communicate with you by phone the way they used to. You miss out on whispered affections. They feel at a loss to help, and they often wish for the "old relationship" they remember.
This is where you can take the lead and consult an audiologist to see what can be done to improve your hearing. Better hearing improves communication at home, at work, and in your social and leisure time activity.
Our goal is to give you back the ability to hear the things that you've been missing!
Please click here for a self-test that can help you make an immediate assessment about your hearing.
Scheduling your hearing test at Sound Audiology is an easy way to determine if you have a hearing loss and to learn more about hearing aids before you invest in a solution. It takes less than 10 minutes to schedule an appointment for a complete hearing evaluation! Call us today at (314) 729-0077!
Our ENT Now location offers same day hearing testing and hearing aid appointments. Call to make an appointment or simply walk in to be seen by an audiologist.
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