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Hearing Health Guide

Hearing loss can happen at any age, for many reasons. Any adult or child who has trouble hearing should have a diagnostic hearing evaluation promptly. Even if you already have a hearing aid, you should be checked to make sure it’s properly fitted and working right.

 

Although there is no substitute for a professional hearing evaluation, this page provides a brief overview of some basic hearing health information. There is a large volume of hearing health information available on the internet that we won't attempt to present on this website. Please look to the bottom of this page for trusted information resources recommended by the Clear Hearing Audiologists.

 

Causes of Hearing Loss

Some of the common causes of hearing loss include:

  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Heredity
  • Aging
  • Some medications
  • Physical trauma
  • Otosclerosis (bone growth in the middle ear)
  • Ménière's disease
  • Acoustic Neuroma (a benign tumor)

 

A Hearing Self-Assessment

The following questions are a quick way to determine if you should have your hearing checked. Hearing loss usually occurs very gradually, so even small annoyances can indicate a problem. Answering “yes” to any of the following means you would benefit from a professional hearing evaluation:

 

  1. Do you have trouble hearing on the phone?
  2. Do you hear better out of one ear than the other?
  3. Do you have ringing in your ears?
  4. Do you have trouble hearing speakers in a group setting such as a business meeting or conference?
  5. When background noise is present, like at a restaurant or party, is it hard to hear what is being said?
  6. At times do people seem to mumble or not speak clearly? Do you have to ask them to repeat?
  7. Do significant others say you set the television volume too loud or mention that you have trouble hearing?
  8. Have you been exposed to loud noise over time, from military service, your occupation or recreational pastimes such as music or hunting?

 

Noise Exposure

Being exposed to loud noise over time can have a damaging effect on your hearing. Since daily life is filled with sound, it can be difficult to tell what is too loud. We measure sound in decibels(dB) and anything 85 dB and above can cause damage. Some examples of potentially damaging noise levels are music concerts, iPods and MP3 players, gunshots, jet planes, traffic, power tools, leaf blowers, lawnmowers and even hair dryers. Occupational noise exposure such as that from farm equipment, manufacturing or military service can also be harmful.

 

It is extremely important to protect your hearing because once damage is sustained, it is permanent and cannot be reversed. Children and teenagers are particularly vulnerable. Foam ear plugs, ear muffs, custom made ear protection and behavior changes can all help. If you think that you or a loved one are being exposed to damaging levels of noise, please make an appointment with an Audiologist at Clear Hearing for professional, customized guidance and hearing protection products.

 

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is commonly described as ringing in the ears. The sound may be constant or intermittent, loud or soft, and occur in one or both ears. Often, tinnitus ringing is accompanied by hearing loss. It is also sometimes explained as the ear’s way of saying “ouch”, since it is commonly caused by noise exposure.

 

Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are treatment options that may help. Many people have found relief from tinnitus with the help of amplification through hearing aids. Hearing aids enable you to hear additional sounds that can lessen the effect of the annoying ringing. If you have further questions regarding tinnitus and treatment options please schedule an appointment with a Clear Hearing Audiologist for a complete hearing evaluation and to see if amplification may be a viable treatment option.

 

Hearing Information Resources

If you would like to do further reading about hearing, we recommend several unbiased and respected non-profit organization websites:

 

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