Better Hearing Blog
Only 30 percent of hearing-impaired adults aged 70 years and older who could benefit from wearing a hearing instrument have ever worn one. Even fewer adults between ages 20 and 69 years who could benefit have ever worn one. If these individuals and others need more reason to wear a hearing instrument, a recent study provides proof that properly fitted, high-quality hearing instruments work. The study involved 154 adults aged 55 to 79; all had mild-to-moderate hearing loss. All participants received a complete hearing evaluation prior to treatment. While each was fitted with a high-end digital mini hearing instrument in both ears, those fitted by hearing specialists expressed more satisfaction with the results than those fitted with over-the-counter pre-programmed devices.
Hearing aids are suitable for most people, but may be less effective for people with profound hearing impairment or certain conditions. A hearing specialist can advise you about whether a hearing aid is suitable for you. BETTER HEARING CENTER offers an array of affordable hearing aid options to meet every budget, cosmetic, and hearing loss need. We’re excited to assist you in making decisions about your hearing health at New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.
P.S. Today’s digital hearing instruments can be programmed to specifically target each individual’s particular type of hearing loss in a range of listening environments.
While “sensorineural hearing loss” is caused by inner-ear hair-cell damage or problems with nerve pathways that lead from the inner ear to the brain, “conductive hearing loss” is related to problems conducting sound waves from the outer ear to the middle ear. While sensorineural hearing loss accounts for about 90% of all hearing loss and may generally be treated with a hearing instrument, a conductive loss is largely a medical problem that can be treated with medication or surgery. In some cases, conductive hearing loss can be treated simply by removing impacted ear wax that blocks the transmission of sound waves. With this in mind, it is recommended that everyone forego the use of cotton swabs to “clean” their ears.
Most people begin to lose a small amount of their hearing from around 40 years of age. This loss increases as you get older. By age 80, most people have significant hearing issues. Another common cause of hearing loss is damage to the ear from repeated exposure to loud noises over time. To schedule a hearing assessment, please call BETTER HEARING CENTER. We are New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.
P.S. If left to its own devices, ear wax (cerumen) will migrate out of the ear canal, providing protection against bacteria as it goes.
Hearing loss can compromise cognitive ability because the brain must put added effort into understanding speech. Thus, it makes sense that new research indicates that providing individuals with hearing instruments not only helps them hear better, but it also boosts their brain function. When researchers examined people in their 50s and 60s with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss (the most common type of permanent hearing loss), they found that those outfitted with hearing instruments had improved brain function. After wearing hearing instruments for eight hours a day, for six months, study subjects had improved their working memory by 14 percent, increased their selective attention (focusing ability) by 20 percent, and accelerated their brains’ processing speed by 0.2 seconds.
All hearing instruments are basically miniature sound systems. Sound is picked up by a microphone, amplified or made louder, then delivered to the ear by means of a tiny loudspeaker. To schedule an appointment, please call BETTER HEARING CENTER. Hearing aids help put people back in touch with their family and friends by letting them enjoy participating in social activities again. New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.
P.S. On average, it takes people 10 years from the time they first exhibit signs of hearing loss until they seek treatment.
Today’s digital hearing instruments use “algorithms” (which are sets of step-by-step instructions that are used to accomplish a task) to analyze and categorize incoming sounds. In effect, these sophisticated algorithms can intercept sounds, code them, and cleanse them before they reach the listener’s ear. With this in mind, a hearing instrument with the “impulse noise reduction” feature can filter out transient loud noises such as plates clattering and glasses clinking at the dinner table. Without impulse noise reduction, these loud sounds may drive hearing instrument users to go so far as to shut off their instruments. Impulse noise reduction softens these sounds so that the instrument wearer can continue to carry on a conversation without distraction.
Hearing aids are available in many styles. Some styles are better suited for mild to moderate hearing loss, while others will work with any degree of hearing loss. Hearing aids also differ in their ease of use, their battery life and how much wind noise they pick up. To schedule an appointment, please call our hearing center. We are the only hearing center that has served the Concord, New Hampshire, area for more than 55 years. New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.
P.S. “Directional microphones” make it easier for hearing-instrument users to hear in noisy environments by reducing background noise from the back and side directions.
Regular readers of this column know that one of the best ways to avoid hearing loss is to reduce exposure to loud noise. Now, new research suggests that prolonged use of certain painkillers is also linked to hearing loss in women. While the magnitude of the hearing loss uncovered by researchers may be modest, the use of painkillers is sufficiently widespread to warrant a warning. An analysis of data involving 55,850 women found the risk of hearing loss to be modestly higher among women who use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium) for six years or more than their counterparts who used these painkillers for a year or less.
BETTER HEARING CENTER offers an array of affordable hearing aid options to meet every budget, cosmetic, and hearing loss need. Our certified hearing aid specialists use a personalized approach in recommending hearing aid options to best meet every patient’s preferences. To schedule a hearing assessment, please call us today. We’re excited to assist you in making decisions about your hearing health at New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.
P.S. A link between painkiller use and hearing loss in men had been reported previously to the study mentioned above.
The inner ear contains delicate “hair cells” that are responsible for converting sound-induced vibrations into electrical impulses that are recognizable to the brain. These hair cells resemble blades of grass on a lawn. When subjected to loud noise, however, these hair cells look as though they had been beaten down by hard rain. This is physical evidence of a “temporary threshold shift,” which is characterized by hearing loss. Afterwards, the hair cells mostly return to their normal posture, although some of the hair cells die off. Each time the ears experience a dose of loud noise, they lose a bit more of their hearing ability. In time, noise-induced hearing loss may make it necessary to wear a hearing instrument.
Millions of people of all ages report having some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss has many causes, symptoms, and effects when untreated over time. Many people could reconnect themselves to the sounds they love if they chose to use hearing aids. To schedule an appointment, please call BETTER HEARING CENTER. We are New Hampshire’s premier hearing care provider.
P.S. A “permanent threshold shift” results in permanent hearing loss.