Hearing Healthcare Q&A with Dr. Ann Marie Olson
Q: When should I wear hearing protection?
A: You should wear ear protection whenever you are near loud sounds or anticipate participating in a noisy activity. Common examples include operating power tools, lawn mowers, motorcycles, and more. There are many free apps that allow you to use your phone as a Sound Level Meter (SLM). Whenever your environment is 85 dB or louder, you should wear hearing protection. You will be surprised at how often things get that loud.
Q: What types of hearing protection options are there?
A: There are two types of earplugs available at your local drugstore, supermarket, or sporting goods retailer. These include headphones that lay on top of the ear or roll-down foam plugs that fit within the ear. In general, headphones are more secure, comfortable, and simple to wear. However, these options will only work at protecting your ears if they fit properly. Hence, considering custom earplugs made according to the shape of your ears is another great option.
Q: What causes hearing loss?
A: Hearing loss can be caused by various factors. It can be present at birth or genetically predisposed. Long-term noise exposure and certain health conditions can also contribute to hearing loss.
Q: When should I get a hearing test?
A: It is recommended that everyone have at least one baseline hearing test. For individuals aged 50 and older, a hearing test should be performed every few years.
Q: I only have difficulty hearing in noise, does that mean I should get my hearing tested?
A: Yes, if you are experiencing difficulty hearing, it is recommended to have your hearing tested. An audiologist can identify the pitches you may not hear well and provide suggestions and solutions for better hearing in noisy environments.
Q: What are hearing aids, and how can they help with hearing loss?
A: Hearing aids are small electronic devices worn behind or in the ear. They amplify sounds to improve a person’s ability to listen, converse, and participate in daily activities.
Hearing aids are most helpful for individuals with sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to the tiny sensory cells in the inner ear known as hair cells. This type of hearing loss can be caused by illness, aging, or trauma from noise or certain medications. A hearing aid can enhance their hearing and speech comprehension.
Q: Do all hearing aids take batteries?
A: Some hearing aids have batteries, while others use rechargeable batteries built into the device. Rechargeable hearing aids can be more convenient, but they need to be charged every night.
Q: Are there any other benefits to wearing hearing aids?
A: Most hearing aids can also function as Bluetooth devices. In addition to improved hearing, you can stream music or phone calls directly into your ears. There are also devices available that connect to the TV, allowing you to stream your favorite shows directly into your hearing aids.
If you have additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact Sophisticated Hearing, and we will be happy to assist you.
Dr. Ann Marie Olson