WHAT’S YOUR HEARING AID LIFE?

If you struggle with hearing loss and have taken the next step with hearing aids, you may feel as if you got your life back. Using hearing aids can require a period of adjustment, however. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Don’t be disheartened if it takes a little while to become accustomed to your hearing aids, and remember: your audiologist is there to help! If you are confused as to how to care for your hearing devices or need to talk through any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

I got new hearing aids. Now what?
The first thing you may notice is better hearing! You will probably notice you no longer have to struggle to communicate, which is the goal. Though there can be an adjustment period, the reason you got hearing devices is to correct your hearing and improve your quality of life.

When deciding on which hearing aids are right for you, consider the professional guidance of your audiologist or doctors, and learn the differences of all the models available.

When preparing for a hearing aid purchase, there are several things you can do:

  • Look for a local audiologist you can trust: ask friends or family for recommendations or read reviews.
  • Do a preliminary hearing assessment with your audiologist.
  • Take a hearing test online.
  • Shop several models that might fit your needs.
  • Find out what your purchase includes. Are you buying just the devices, or does the retailer throw in a maintenance package or insurance coverage?
  • Once the purchase is complete, have the retailer or audiologist adjust them to fit your ears and your hearing needs.
  • Tell everybody! Your friends and family will celebrate with you and will know they can communicate with you normally!
  • Be sure to learn all the features of your hearing devices, from connections with phone apps to help with listening to music or television through your hearing aids. You are paying for those features, so you should use them!

Once You Have Hearing Aids

Give yourself grace: it will take a short while to adjust to your hearing aids. It may feel weird to have something in your ear, or you may experience sound a little differently than you are used to, but soon you will be hearing normally.

Within the first couple of weeks, you may start to notice sounds that were inaudible before becoming clear and you will begin to pick out specific sounds that you didn’t hear before. These everyday noises can sound unusually loud as your ears start to learn how the devices translate sound.

The physical sensation of having devices in your ears may also take a period of adjustment. Background noises may sound different or new and may be more difficult to filter out at first, but you will get used to that as well.

How Can I Make My Adjustment Easier?

Adjusting to hearing aids takes time, so be gentle with yourself as you gradually experience your new sensations of sound. If it seems like too much, limit your use of them at home and only for a few hours a day at first, then gradually familiarize yourself with the outside world and social interactions. If you are patient, you should soon experience improved hearing capabilities and your ideal sound experience.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening. We can discuss hearing aid options with you and work with you to find one that fits your budget.

WHAT ARE MY HEARING LOSS RISK FACTORS?

What are the risk factors for developing hearing loss? 

A risk factor is something that increases your odds of developing an ailment, issue or illness.

There are a few risk factors that commonly contribute to hearing loss, but there are other less common ones as well. The more of these risk factors you have the better your chances of developing hearing loss. Decreasing the risk factors will also decrease the likelihood you will suffer from hearing loss. 

Hearing Loss Risk Factors

Low Birth Weight

Premature birth and low birth weight are risk factors for hearing damage. Additionally, complications at birth like asphyxia and jaundice may increase the risk of hearing loss later in life. 

Genetic Conditions

Usher Syndrome, Otosclerosis and other genetic abnormalities can increase the risk for hearing loss. Also, conditions that change the structure or shape of the head and face are also risk factors.

Getting Older

Living our lives always results in some weathering of our whole bodies, including our ears. Age-related hearing damage (presbycusis) can be hereditary and progresses gradually. 

Noise 

Exposure to loud noise is the most common risk factor for hearing loss. It may be from a longer, repeated exposure over time (such as in a factory) or a short burst of very loud noise (like a gunshot). To prevent noise-related hearing loss, remember to bring ear protection like earplugs to lessen any injury. If you know you will repeatedly be exposed to loud noise, consider investing in custom ear plugs. 

Ototoxicity

Some medications, including NSAID drugs, certain types of antibiotics and chemotherapy can damage hearing temporarily or permanently. For example, high doses of aspirin can cause ringing in the ears or even temporary hearing damage in some people. When these medications are stopped the symptoms most often wane. Chemicals in agricultural or factory settings may also be ototoxic (causing hearing damage). Ototoxic chemicals can also be found in cigarettes. 

Diseases and Illnesses

Health issues like Meniere’s disease can affect inner ear fluid and lead to hearing damage. Tumors, vascular disease, diabetes and autoimmune disorders may similarly affect hearing health. Injury to the head or other trauma can also cause hearing loss. 

Medical Treatments

Aside from antibiotic medications and chemotherapy, radiation therapy can weaken hearing health, specifically when the radiation is focused in proximity to ears. 

The likelihood for hearing loss can increase with exposure to any of these influences, but it does not guarantee it. This is not an all-inclusive list, and if you try to decrease the known risk factors of hearing damage, you will be considerably less likely to develop hearing loss. 

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening. We can discuss hearing aid options with you and work with you to find one that fits your budget.