Hearing FAQs

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Questions & Answers About Hearing

Hearing loss can be very intimidating. That’s why we are here to help you and give you the knowledge about your hearing loss and hearing aid options so you can know exactly what to do. We’ve gathered some common questions asked about hearing loss and hearing aids, but if you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to call us.

Hearing FAQs

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It’s best to get a hearing evaluation as soon as you or a loved one notices a change in your hearing. If left untreated, hearing loss will often get worse, negatively affecting your overall quality of life. When you can’t hear properly, then other health problems tend to arise as a result of your untreated hearing loss, such as depression, feelings of isolation, and relationship strains with friends and family.
Hearing aids will not restore your hearing to the way it was before you had hearing loss, but it will significantly improve your ability to hear and process sounds. Hearing aids are technologically advanced mini computers that do more than just amplify sound, they also help your brain process sounds it hasn’t heard in years. Even though there is no way to reverse your hearing loss, you can hear again and better than you have for some time.
You should be taking care of your hearing right now, no matter how old you are. Hearing loss is not just an effect of aging, it can happen to anyone because it is a part of your overall health. Just like you go to the dentist twice a year to keep your teeth healthy, you should practice good ear care to keep your hearing healthy. Always wear ear protection when you are going to be exposed to loud noises, such as concerts or professional sporting events. If you suspect something is wrong with your hearing make an appointment immediately.
Yes, there are three different types of hearing loss and each one has different treatment options.

  • Conductive Hearing Loss: Sound can’t travel from the outer ear to the inner ear. This is often the result of a build-up of earwax, trauma to the ear or head, or from an ear infection. Typically, conductive hearing loss “turns the volume down” but doesn’t necessarily affect the clarity of your hearing. This can be treated through medical intervention so it is important to see a specialist if you are having any trouble with your hearing.
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss: This is often the result of damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or within the hearing nerve. With sensorineural hearing loss, it’s not just that “the volume is turned down,” but your ability to understand speech is affected as well. Most of the time, the hair cells in the inner have been damaged due to aging or noise exposure, but sometimes, medications, cancer treatments or illness can cause deterioration.
  • Mixed Hearing Loss: This is a mixture of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. The best treatment is to see a specialist for the conductive portion as that can usually be treated medically, and to get hearing aids for the sensorineural part.

  • Tinnitus (commonly called ringing in the ears), is a medical condition where you hear sounds that are not actually present. If you have tinnitus then you will often hear a roaring, ringing, or whooshing sound in your ears. Many people have tinnitus but only some seek treatment. If you have hearing loss then tinnitus will seem worse or louder because you already live in a quiet world. Hearing aids today now have a tinnitus masking feature that are designed specifically for those who hear sounds that aren’t really there. These masking features will help alleviate your symptoms by creating soothing sounds.
    © The Hearing Institute of Tampa Bay