DIFFERENT WAYS TO TEST FOR HEARING LOSS

If you suspect you may have hearing loss, it is recommended that you be tested to confirm if you have hearing loss, and how advanced it is.

If you have never had a hearing evaluation done before, you may be wondering what is involved. There are several ways to test for hearing loss, so we will go through a brief overview of them here. Not to worry: all methods are quick, easy and painless!

Simple Audible Tests

A test that is quick and easy is the whisper test: your doctor may ask you to cover one ear and whisper near the other ear to determine if you have hearing in that ear. Though it is not incredibly accurate, it can give the doctor a good idea of where to begin with other tests.

Get a Physical Exam

Your general physician may offer a hearing screening as part of your health check-up. This evaluation may include a physical examination: looking in your ear for inflammation, excessive ear wax or even structural problems that can lead to hearing loss.

Tuning Forks

Tuning forks are metal forks that produce a tune when they are hit together. Doctors can use tuning forks to do a quick test of hearing loss overall and where the damage has occurred.

Audiometer

An audiologist may also use an audiometer, which is a more accurate and thorough way to test hearing ability. During this test, you will be asked to wear headphones, with sounds isolated to one ear or the other. The sound will be repeated at different volume levels to test which you can hear.

Treatment for temporary hearing loss will depend on the source of the hearing loss. If you have a physical blockage, for example, like ear wax or a structural issue with your ear, the doctor may be able to remove or remedy it. For more severe structural issues surgery may help to correct the problem and restore normal hearing.

Cochlear implants may be another option if parts of the inner ear are not working correctly. Your doctor can explain this option, as well as its risks and benefits, if it is necessary for you.

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.

LOOP SYSTEMS: AVAILABILITY AND BENEFITS

Almost any place you go, whether it’s a ballpark, an airport or a busy restaurant, may cause problems for you if you have hearing aids. Surrounding noise can restrict hearing and trying to communicate can become exasperating in public surroundings.

There is a Solution Coming to You!

Have you heard of loop systems? This technology is popping up in more and more public spaces, and it is helping wearers of hearing aids with these issues. First installation of an insulated copper wire loop around a space generates a magnetic field. Sound is then transmitted wirelessly to hearing aids or cochlear implants. This eliminates a need for earpieces or headphones.

Who can take advantage of this technology? Anyone who wears hearing aids with T-coils or cochlear implants. The location’s audio system can be wirelessly connected by the user with the push of a button.  

For those of us who use hearing aids in public spaces, this is truly life-changing technology. Hearing aids can now be seamlessly integrated into a venue’s speaker system, which will make listening much more convenient.

Advantages of Loop Systems:

  • Location freedom: users can move freely within the loop space
  • No more need for ear pieces or large headsets
  • Interference from surrounding noise is reduced and signal sound is enhanced
  • Convenience: users interact with their own hearing devices instead of an unfamiliar system
  • Ability to adjust the settings to the user’s unique needs
  • Pure, direct sound is possible with no need for other devices
  • Tablets, smartphones, radio signals, PA systems, and TVs can be accessed wirelessly
  • Users can interact in group settings discreetly and without embarassment
  • Free to users (and just the cost of set-up for the venues)

In Europe, loop technology was made available over 70 years ago, and no disadvantages have been found besides the initial cost of set-up. The reason most venues had not taken the initiative to install loop systems until this point was because hearing aid technology in the U.S. had not yet caught up to the technology of loop systems.

Now almost 70% of hearing aids and cochlear implants are compatible with loop system technology, the availability in public settings is becoming more common.

Installation of more loop systems in public places in American can also be the result of advocacy. The installation of loop systems is making a difference in both private and public locations. Movie theaters, churches, sporting arenas, and concert halls across the country are being outfitted with loop system technology, with New York and Michigan leading the way.

Keep an eye out for loop systems in the venues you visit and research how this technology operates so you can utilize it when it is available. Suggest the implementation of loop systems in the public venues you frequent to speed up the process. Older hearing devices might not be well-suited to the technology, so you may need to upgrade to hearing aids that let you use this remarkable service.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.