Frequently Asked Questions: Hearing Loss

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by Goutham Gosu, FAAA, CCC-A, Hearing Solution Center 

Hearing Solution Center is an independent audiology and hearing aid practice. We provide comprehensive, personalized hearing healthcare to people of all ages and walks of life. When you have concerns about your hearing, or tinnitus, you should come to a place that reminds you of all the reasons you fell in love with Charlotte: a friendly atmosphere, welcoming staff members, and the kind of personalized care we think should be the industry standard, yet is found all too rarely.

Q: What is an audiologist?

A: An audiologist is someone who received an Au.D. (Doctorate in Audiology), or a Master’s from an accredited university graduate program in audiology. Audiologists are trained to diagnose, manage, and treat individuals with hearing and balance problems from birth to adulthood. In most states audiologists must be licensed by the state’s Board of Audiology and are required to participate in continuing education to maintain licensure.

Q: When does someone need to get a hearing test?

A: Hearing loss is most often a gradual process. Many professionals recommend a baseline evaluation at age 50, however, any time one is suspicious about change in hearing, a hearing test is suggested. The American Academy of Audiology (AAA) recommends a hearing test if:

-You’re experiencing difficulty hearing people in noisy environments such as a restaurant, shopping mall, in the car, or at the movie theater

-People seem to mumble all the time

-Family, friends, or colleagues often have to repeat themselves when speaking with you

-You have trouble hearing people when they are not facing you or in another room

-You have trouble following conversations

-You have ringing, buzzing, or hissing sounds in your ears.

Q: Why is it I can hear fine, but I can’t understand what’s being said?

A: It’s a common belief that if someone talks loudly enough a person with hearing loss will be able to understand them. In contrary to that, the loudness actually distorts the sounds for the person with hearing loss. Hearing and clarity are two completely different things. Understanding is a process achieved by systematically activating hundreds of inner ear hair cells in different groups in correlation to the sounds that enter the ear. Hearing loss, in the majority of people, affects portions of those hair cells, thus creating a mismatch between the actual sound entering your ear and which hair cells and frequencies are activated. A thorough hearing test will test for both loudness and clarity to determine the exact nature of the problem.

Q: I’ve heard that hearing devices are a lot more advanced, like minicomputers. Is there any truth to that?

A: Yes, hearing devices have improved significantly in the past few years. Most hearing aids are 100% digital and are predominately automatic. Some advanced instruments are available with wireless streaming technology that allows for optimum hearing with TV, smartphones and music players.

Q: My doctor says I have nerve loss, can hearing aids still help?

A: The simple answer is almost always, yes. 95% of those with hearing loss may benefit from use of hearing aids. Our research indicates that those who have a hearing loss and wear hearing aids enjoy a better quality of life and improved relationships with family and friends.

Q: Are there hearing aids that are invisible?

A: Yes, there are hearing aids which are custom made to the shape and the size of the individual’s ear which are completely invisible

Q: What’s the best hearing aid out there and how do I choose which is right for me?

A: There are quite a few companies out there which can make things quite confusing. Picking the right hearing device for your hearing loss starts with picking the right audiologist and practice. Audiologists hold a doctorate degree in hearing healthcare and are certified by the American Speech and Language Association or the American Academy of Audiology – so you can be sure they’re knowledgeable in assessing your hearing loss and suggesting the appropriate hearing device for you. There is no single hearing device that will work for everyone. You need to be able to trust that your audiologist will steer you in the right direction based off of your particular hearing loss and lifestyle.

To set up your appointment call (704) 912-4600 or visit HearingSolutionCenter.com. Hearing Solution Center is conveniently located opposite of Cotswold Shopping Center on the 2nd floor of the Horizon Eye Care Building.

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