Hearing loss can be frustrating, even frightening for the person with hearing problems and those close to them. Learn more about this common health problem:
According to the NIDCD, About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. More than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing.
Most of the time hearing problems begin gradually without discomfort or pain. What's more, family members often learn to adapt to someone’s hearing loss without even realizing they are doing it. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether you have hearing loss.
- Do I often ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do I have trouble following conversations with more than two people?
- Do I have difficulty hearing what is said unless facing the speaker?
- Do I struggle to hear in crowded places like restaurants, malls and meeting rooms?
- Do I have a hard time hearing women or children?
- Do I prefer the TV or radio volume louder than others?
- Do I experience ringing or buzzing in my ears?
- Does it sound like other people are mumbling or slurring their words?
If you answered yes to several of these questions, chances are you suffer from hearing loss. Learn more about scheduling a hearing consultation
There are several causes. The main ones include excessive noise, genetics, birth defects, infections of the head or ear, aging, and reaction to drugs or cancer treatment. Each type of hearing loss has different causes.
If you suspect that you have a hearing loss, consult with Dr. Daria Stakiw and Rocky Mountain Audiologist and Make An Appointment. An audiologist is trained to identify whether a hearing loss requires medical or non-medical treatment and will refer you to the appropriate medical specialist when necessary. The audiologist will identify, diagnose, treat and manage your hearing loss.
There are three types of hearing loss including: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. Most people lose at least some degree of their hearing as they age, and by the time they reach age 65 and older, one in three people has some type of hearing impairment.
Yes! We offer many hearing aid styles and brands and will help you find the one that not only works best for you but looks and feels great.
While no hearing aid can restore your hearing to normal, hearing aids are designed to let you hear soft sounds that you could not hear before, and prevent loud sounds from becoming uncomfortably loud for you. They are also designed to improve your ability to understand speech, even in noisy environments.
Hearing is a complex process that starts with the ears and ends in the brain where information is received, stored and "decoded" into something we understand.
While no hearing aid can filter out all background noise, our advanced hearing aids are designed to reduce some types of background noise so that you can enjoy conversation and improve communication in places like restaurants, business meetings and social gatherings.
Most Americans with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids. Medical treatments and surgical procedures are helpful for only five percent of adults with hearing loss. Hearing aids cannot cure hearing loss, but they CAN help you hear better again.
Hearing aids can improve your ability to hear and communicate with the world around you, but they cannot “cure” your hearing loss – just as glasses do not “cure” your nearsightedness or farsightedness. They are tools to help you manage the problem, and while they can contribute significantly to an improved quality of life, they are not perfect. Even with successfully fitted hearing aids, you may still have difficulties hearing well in some situations. You will find ways to adapt to your new hearing aids, including watching people more closely as they talk and keeping background noise to a minimum when possible.
- Use earplugs around loud noises
Clubs, concerts, lawnmowers, chainsaws, and any other noises that force you to shout so the person next to you can hear your voice all create dangerous levels of sound. Earplugs are convenient and easy to obtain. You can even have a pair custom fitted for your ears by your local hearing healthcare provider. Musicians' earplugs are custom earplugs with filters that allow a person to hear conversations and music but still reduce harmful sound levels while maintaining the quality of the original sound as closely as possible.
- Turn the volume down
If you like to enjoy music through headphones or earbuds, you can protect your ears by following the 60/60 rule. The suggestion is to listen with headphones at no more than 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes a day. Earbuds are especially dangerous, as they fit directly next to the eardrum. If possible, opt for over-the-ear headphones.
- Give your ears time to recover
If you are exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time, like at a concert or a bar, your ears need time to recover. If you can, step outside for five minutes every so often in order to let them rest.
- Stop using cotton swabs in your ears
- Take medications only as directed
Certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, can sometimes contribute to hearing loss. Discuss medications with your doctor if you're concerned that they'll impact your hearing ability and take them only as directed.
- Keep your ears dry
Excess moisture can allow bacteria to enter and attack the ear canal. This can cause swimmer's ear or other types of ear infections, which can be dangerous for your hearing ability. Be sure you gently towel-dry your ears after bathing or swimming. If you can feel water in the ear, tilt your head to the side and tug lightly on the ear lobe to coax the water out.
- Get up and move
Did you know that exercise is good for your ears? It’s true. Cardio exercises like walking, running, or cycling gets the blood pumping to all parts of your body, including the ears. This helps the ears’ internal parts stay healthy and working to their maximum potential.
- Manage stress levels
- Get regular checkups
Yes. Most people need an adjustment period of up to four months before becoming acclimated to — and receiving the full benefit of — wearing their hearing aids. However, you should expect to notice obvious benefits during this trial period. Remember, your hearing professional is there to help. Do not be afraid to call or visit to discuss your concerns.
- Be realistic Remember that your hearing loss has been gradual; over the years you have lost the ability to hear certain sounds in the speech spectrum and normal sounds of the environment, such as traffic and wind noise, the hum of machinery and other background noises.
- Practice When you begin to wear hearing aids, these sounds will be restored but your brain will need practice and reeducation in order to selectively focus on and filter sounds. Some sounds may even startle you at first. Know that your brain will acclimate to these sounds again over time.
- Be patient It takes time to adapt to hearing aids. Wear them as much as possible at first to become more skilled at recognizing sound direction and to learn which hearing aid settings work best for you in different situations.
- Rest The adjustment period may be tiresome. It’s a lot like retraining a muscle that hasn’t been used in a while. But the benefits will be worth it after you’ve made the adjustment.
Two-ear hearing (called "binaural") is better than one. If you have hearing loss in only one ear, you may be fine with one hearing aid. Age and noise-related hearing loss tend to affect both ears, but your hearing profile for each ear is probably different. If there is a loss in both ears, you will probably benefit more with a binaural solution. Today, about two-thirds of new users opt for dual hearing aids, and as a group they report a higher level of satisfaction than purchasers of a single hearing aid.
Hearing and activity tracking
There are new hearing aids that feature integrated sensors and artificial intelligence that allow you to track physical activity and cognitive health as measured by hearing aid use.
Rechargeable hearing solution
Several hearing brands offer rechargeable hearing solutions that are powered by a lithium-ion battery.
Full, rich sound quality
Our latest hearing aids provide better sound quality for both speech and music.
Personalized listening experience
We all have a unique perspective of sound. By customizing the relationship of soft sounds to loud sounds for each individual, your hearing professional can greatly enhance listening comfort with today’s hearing aids.
Comfortable sound and conversation in every environment
A new advanced operating system identifies the environment you are in and automatically focuses on preserving speech. This makes hearing and understanding easier, no matter what the noise source.
Enjoy the conversation, enjoy the music!
Our hearing aids now have the ability to tell the difference between music and speech, and can automatically change settings to let you hear and enjoy music.
Music the way you like it!
Music and speech are very different. For the first time, music can be processed with all its richness and nuance to provide the best sound quality and listening experience.
Enjoy hearing your phone calls!
Use your iPhone to hear phone calls directly through your hearing aids without an intermediate device. With Direct to iPhone hearing aids, imagine putting your phone to one ear and hearing the call in both ears! Improve your ability to hear, understand and connect with your world!
You have the control in your hand
You can now use an app on your smartphone to quickly and easily control and personalize sound quality to your liking, no matter the setting.
Your hearing aid knows where you are
Imagine a hearing system so smart it can tell when you are at your favorite restaurant, in a place of worship, or at work, and then automatically adjust sound quality to that environment. That system is available today.
Hearing aids continue to get smaller and more powerful. Many styles, including wireless options, rest comfortably inside your ear canal, where they are virtually invisible to others.
Everyone enjoys TV at a comfortable volume
Plug a specific device provided to you into your TV or stereo, and you can stream TV, music, or the game straight from the source to your hearing aids. No one else needs to hear it if they don’t want to, or if you don’t want them to.
Portable, personalized wireless accessory
Our SurfLink Mobile 2 works with your hearing aids to talk on your cell phone, listen to music or just do better at the card game!
Durable, dependable hearing aids
Our hearing aids come with a protection shield for water, wax and moisture repellent. This protects hearing aids from the elements that cause them the greatest challenges, so you can wear them more and repair them less.
Customizable tinnitus relief
This technology allows you and your hearing professional to customize a soothing sound stimulus designed to help manage your tinnitus.
At their most basic, hearing aids are microphones that convert sound into electrical signals. An amplifier increases the strength of the signal, then a receiver converts it back to sound and channels it into the ear canal through a small tube or earmold. A battery is necessary to power the hearing aid and to enable amplification.