Hearing loss is one of the most common issues facing both adults and children today. Based on standardized hearing tests, one in eight people aged 12-years or older and nearly one in three children born in the U.S. face some level of hearing loss in either one or both ears. Today, there are many options available that make the treatment of hearing loss much easier than it’s ever been before.
What you can do if you have hearing concerns
If you’re experiencing any level of hearing loss—be it mild, moderate or severe—the single most important thing you can do is see a medical professional who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, like the audiologists at Whisper Hearing Centers. At Whisper Hearing Centers, every one of our audiologists is licensed by the American Academy of Audiology and or the American Speech and Hearing Association, and they all hold a master’s or doctorate degree in audiology.
Your evaluation and what to expect
First things first—make an appointment and let our team of experts work with you to design a treatment plan as individual as you and your situation. Then, once you arrive for your scheduled appointment, here’s what you can expect during your comprehensive hearing evaluation; which could include any one or all of the following:
- A physical exam using an otoscope to look in your ear canal to help determine if there’re any visible reasons for your hearing loss such as inflammation, excessive earwax, or even structural abnormalities.
- Pure tone audiometry tests your hearing in each ear to determine if there is a reduction in your hearing range. This takes place in a sound-treated booth and measures your hearing sensitivity for different pitches (frequencies).
- Speech perception tests help determine your ability to hear and understand words without using visual cues.
- Tympanometry evaluates how sound is moving into the middle ear. This test can help determine whether there is fluid behind your eardrum or if your middle ear is functioning properly.
Once we’ve been able to determine the type and possible cause of your hearing difficulties, we’ll thoroughly explain the results and make a treatment recommendation best suited for you.
Four simple things you can do to try and hear better
While treatment of some kind may help improve your ability to hear the world around you, there are a few simple things you can do to help you communicate better that don’t involve any medical action:
- Position yourself to hear better by directly facing the person with whom you’re having a conversation.
- Eliminate or reduce any background noise that may interfere with conversations—mute television sets and turn down the volume of any music playing.
- Have conversations in quite places—find a more secluded area if you’re at a loud, social gathering, and try not to stand near noisy appliances or vehicles with louder than normal motors.
- And don’t be afraid to ask others to speak up. Most everyone will be more than happy to talk louder if it helps you hear them better.
And remember, that all degrees of hearing loss are significant. That’s why getting a thorough examination by an audiologist at Whisper Hearing Centers is the first step to helping you hear better, and helping improve your quality of life.