Hearing Aid Questions
About hearing loss
Hearing loss affects around two out of ten adults in the US. Most of these people are over the age of 60 and have lost their hearing gradually but hearing loss can occur at a younger age. In the US, one in every 840 children is born each year with a severe or profound hearing loss.
How do hearing aids help?
Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells.
A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The greater the damage to a person’s hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification needed to make up the difference.
Hearing aids can also reduce cognitive fatigue. Cognitive Fatique is when the brain has to work harder to concentrate on tasks it used to be able to do much more easily. So when the brain is concentrating hard to decode words and sounds the brain gets tired faster. Hearing aids can also keep people from socially withdrawing and isolating themselves. When one cannot hear it becomes embarassing or too hard to to communicate with others so social isolation sets in. Hearing aids can help keep loved ones connected with each other and connected with the activities they love.
What causes hearing loss?
- Exposure to excessive loud noise
- Ear infections, trauma or ear disease
- Harm to the inner ear and ear drum from contact with a foreign object (cotton swabs, fingers, bugs)
- Illness or certain medications
- Deteriorating hearing due to the normal aging process
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ears or head where no external source is present. Some refer to it as ringing-in-the-ears or head noise.
It’s reality for over 50 million people suffering with tinnitus, but a new device going through clinical trials is giving the boot to inner-ear buzzing.
Tinnitus can come on at any time, and can be temporary or permanent. It's believed to be a symptom of hearing loss, and is the most prevalent physical disability reported by military members and veterans. There is no cure, but a new product is hoping to at least ease the symptoms.