Hearing loss affects millions of people worldwide, and it can occur at any age. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they have hearing loss until it has progressed significantly. In fact, the average person waits more than seven years before seeking help for their hearing loss. Let’s talk about hearing loss symptoms when the hearing aids are needed, and where you can get the hearing aids in Georgetown, TX.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Age-related hearing loss is a natural occurrence that happens as we age. It is the most common cause of hearing loss in people over 65 years old. The gradual loss of hair cells in the inner ear, combined with a decrease in blood flow to the ear, leads to a decline in hearing sensitivity. The best approach to age-related hearing loss would be to prevent it by minimizing alcohol intake, stopping smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet.
Noise-induced hearing loss develops when a person is exposed to loud noises consistently. People who experience noise-induced hearing loss might find it difficult to understand speech, particularly in noisy backgrounds. Workers in loud environments, such as construction workers, aircraft staff, and musicians, are more at risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss.
Earwax is a natural substance that helps protect the ears from foreign substances, prevent infection, and lubricate the ear canal. Typically, the ear produces enough wax to keep the ear canal healthy. However, a buildup of earwax can lead to temporary hearing loss. Although removing earwax using cotton swabs is a common household practice, hearing professionals do not recommend it as it could lead to perforation of the eardrum.
Infections or diseases also can damage the ear and cause hearing loss. Infections like childhood ear infections can cause temporary hearing loss, usually treatable with antibiotics. Communal diseases like mumps, meningitis, and shingles can also lead to hearing loss. Healthcare professionals must act fast in diagnosing and treating these diseases appropriately to prevent irreversible hearing loss.
Finally, certain types of medication, such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and some chemotherapy drugs, can lead to hearing loss. Patients should always check the label before using medications, especially if they have hearing loss or any known audiological risk factors.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
While aging is a significant factor in hearing loss, it can happen at any age and is often a result of exposure to loud noise, certain medications, and various other factors. This is why recognizing the signs of hearing loss is essential to prevent it from becoming a more significant problem.
One of the most common signs of hearing loss is difficulty hearing speech and sounds around you. You may notice that you often ask people to repeat themselves or you need help understanding conversations in groups or noisy environments. You may also need to turn up the volume on your TV or other devices.
Tinnitus is when you hear a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears. It is often a sign of hearing damage and can be a symptom of hearing loss. This ringing or buzzing sound can be constant, or it may come and go.
Hearing loss can also be accompanied by ear pain. This pain can be constant or intermittent and can be caused by infections, blockages, or other issues related to hearing loss. It is essential to see a doctor if you experience ear pain, as it can be a sign of a more serious problem.
Untreated hearing loss can lead to fatigue and social isolation. It takes significant physical and mental energy to understand sounds and speech with hearing loss. This can leave you feeling exhausted and may cause you to withdraw from social situations, affecting your relationships and overall well-being.
Since your ears play a crucial role in maintaining balance, it is common for people with hearing loss to experience dizziness, vertigo, and unsteadiness. These symptoms can be a sign of a more severe hearing problem, and you must consult a doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
Types of Hearing Aids and How They Work
Finding the right hearing aid depends on several factors, including your level of hearing loss, lifestyle, and preferences. Each type of hearing aid has its advantages and drawbacks, and the best way to determine which one is right for you is to consult an audiologist. With the right hearing aid, you can improve your hearing and enjoy a better quality of life.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
These hearing aids consist of a small case that sits behind the ear and a custom ear mold that fits inside the ear canal. They are suitable for hearing loss and come in different sizes, shapes, and styles. BTE hearing aids amplify sound and transmit it through a tube to the ear mold. They are easy to use and accommodate different listening environments, from quiet to noisy.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
These hearing aids are custom-made to fit inside the ear canal and are less visible than BTE ones. They are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss and come in different sizes, depending on the size of your ear canal. ITE hearing aids amplify sound and transmit it directly to the ear canal. They are easy to use and require little maintenance.
Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids
These hearing aids are similar to BTE ones, but instead of a tube, they use a thin wire to connect the case to a speaker inside the ear canal. RIC hearing aids are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss and come in different sizes, shapes, and styles. They amplify sound and transmit it directly to the ear canal, providing natural sound quality and a comfortable fit.
Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids
These hearing aids are custom-made to fit entirely inside the ear canal and are virtually invisible. They are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss and require good manual dexterity to insert and remove them. CIC hearing aids amplify sound and transmit it directly to the ear canal. They provide excellent sound quality and are ideal for people who want a discreet hearing aid.
Invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids
These hearing aids are similar to CIC ones but are even smaller and sit deeper inside the ear canal. They are virtually invisible and offer excellent sound quality. IIC hearing aids are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss and require good manual dexterity to insert and remove them.
Hearing Aid Sales & Service in Georgetown, Texas
If your hearing loss is making conversation difficult, why not fix it? A hearing aid – no surgery involved – may do wonders to improve your quality of life if it’s becoming hard to hear. Georgetown Better Hearing at Georgetown ENT has a wide selection of hearing aids and customized earplugs for sale.