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, etc. 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 kinds of earplugs available at your neighborhood drugstore, supermarket, or sporting goods retailer. There are 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 you properly. Hence, custom earplugs that are made according to the shape of your ears are another great option to consider
Q. What causes hearing loss?
A. Many things can cause hearing loss. Someone can be born with a hearing loss or be genetically predisposed to develop hearing loss. Long-term noise exposure and certain health conditions can also contribute to hearing loss.
Q. When should I get a hearing test?
A. Everyone should have at least one baseline hearing test. For individuals 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, you should definitely have your hearing tested if you are experiencing difficulty hearing. An audiologist can tell you what pitches you may not hear well and provide suggestions and solutions for hearing better in noise.
Q. What are hearing aids, and how can they help with hearing loss?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device worn behind or in the ear. It amplifies some sounds so that a person with hearing loss may listen, converse, and take part in daily activities to a greater extent.
Hearing aids are most helpful for those with hearing loss brought on by damage to the tiny sensory cells in the inner ear, known as hair cells. Sensorineural hearing loss is the name given to this kind of hearing loss. The damage may be caused by illness, aging, or trauma from noise or certain medications. A hearing aid can help enhance their hearing and speech comprehension.
Q. Do all hearing aids take batteries?
A. Some hearing aids have batteries, and others use rechargeable batteries built into the device. Rechargeable hearing aids can be more convenient, but you will need to charge them every night.
Q. Are there any other benefits to wearing hearing aids?
A. Most hearing aids can also double as Bluetooth devices. So, in addition to hearing better you can also stream music or phone calls directly into your ears. There are also devices that connect to the TV so you can stream your favorite show into the 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