If you’re having trouble hearing the television or following a conversation, maybe it’s time to talk to a qualified ear, nose, and throat specialist. Jonathan Lindman, MD, FACS, of Augusta Ear Nose and Throat is a good resource for information.
If your Augusta ENT does diagnose hearing loss, one option you might want to explore is hearing aids. A hearing aid is a small electronic device worn either in or behind an ear or both ears. The device has three main components, a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. Simply stated, the microphone picks up sounds and sends them through the amplifier, which adds volume and sends the sound to the speaker, which allows the wearer to better hear what is going on around them.
People who have suffered some damage to inner ear cells, or “hair cells” – a type of hearing loss known as sensorineural hearing loss -- generally get the most out of a hearing aid. However, there are limits to what a hearing aid can do. In fact, a hearing aid will probably not be very useful to an individual who has suffered severe sensorineural hearing loss.
There are several different types of hearing aids available, including behind the ear, in the ear, and canal fitted hearing aids. The type of hearing aid you might need will depend on your situation. For example, behind- the- ear hearing aids are used by nearly all ages for mild to profound hearing loss. In-the-ear hearing aids are generally used by people with mild to severe hearing loss. In-the-ear hearing aids may have special components, such as a telecoil, which reduces ambient noise and makes it easier to communicate on the telephone.
Canal hearing aids fit completely inside the ear canal. They are small, making them a little more difficult to put in and take out, therefore they are usually not recommended for children. They are most effective for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Hearing loss can be frustrating, even demoralizing, but it usually can be improved. Your Augusta ENT will be able to assess your situation and help you choose the best option for you.
If you think you are having hearing issues, you are not alone. In fact, one in three people between 65 and 74 and nearly half of those 75 and older have some degree of hearing loss, according to the National Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). However, it is important to understand that hearing problems can occur any time, to anyone at any age.
For more information about hearing loss or to find out more about how hearing aids could help you, contact Dr. Lindman with Augusta Ear Nose and Throat at 706-868-5676 or in 803-649-0003.