As adults get older, age-related hearing loss will set in as the components will begin to break down. Adults nearing the age of 60 to 75 will experience some form of hearing loss. If you are younger, getting your hearing tested is always good, as you want to discuss the options behind managing any oncoming hearing loss as you age.
It is important to see a Houston audiologist prior to actually experiencing any hearing loss, as you will then have more choices available to you however if you are experiencing hearing loss, do not put it off! There are plenty of management options available that may include medical procedures, hearing devices, display system, and rehabilitation.
Upon experiencing hearing loss, you will need to have it diagnosed as there are a few different kinds:
- Conductive: this happens when the middle and/or outer portion of the ear can no longer bring sound into the inner ear. This could be from a buildup of fluid, from a bacterial infection or from a blockage.
- Sensorineural: is an inner ear condition where the brain can no longer detect the sound waves or the auditory nerve can no longer function.
- Mixed: is essentially a mix of conductive and sensorineural.
Here are five common ways to manage your hearing loss:
- Through medical treatment: if you are experiencing conductive hearing loss, then medications and surgery can correct it. If the hearing loss is because of the bones within the middle ear, then surgery can also correct this.
- Through hearing aids and other assistive listening enhancements: if you’re hearing loss cannot be treated medically by a Houston audiologist, and then you can have a hearing aid evaluation done that will determine if you are a good fit for a hearing aid. There are several different types of hearing aids which include: analog and digital. Digital can either be behind-the-ear which is best for mild to severe hearing loss, open-fit which are smaller in size, and in-the-ear which fit completely within.
- Through signaling display systems: these may be recommended instead of hearing aids which are designed to convert sound or keystrokes into visual, written, or vibratory communication. An example of this is closed captioning.
- Cochlear Implants: does not restore hearing but can allow a person hear more than what they could if they were to get a hearing aid. It is meant for those who have severe, irreversible and irreparable hearing loss.
The last option looks at helping individuals maximize their hearing abilities since hearing aids and other devices will not restore the ear’s function. There are rehabilitation classes, listening strategies and guideline classes for interacting with those around you. These are good to take if you are struggling with your hearing loss and want to learn about using what you do have to its maximum potential.