Hearing loss can seem like a complicated subject. But we believe that our patients can and should be educated on their own hearing as well as their hearing options. We want to prepare you to make a decision about your own hearing, whether you decide to get hearing aids or not.
If you ever have a question about hearing, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help you get on the path to better hearing. To better help you understand if coming in is right for you, here are some frequently asked questions and answers.
Are there different kinds of hearing loss?
Yes, and each kind requires different treatment. The three main kinds of hearing loss are:
- Conductive hearing loss, meaning there is a blockage of some sort preventing sound from getting through your ear. This can be as simple as an accumulation of earwax, or it could mean something is medically wrong.
- Sensorineural hearing loss, meaning there has been damage to your hearing nerve, possibly due to noise exposure or as a side effect of aging. This damage cannot be repaired, but hearing aids are often able to give you back the hearing you've lost.
- Mixed hearing loss combines both of the other two. Generally a treatment plan involves addressing the medical cause of the conductive hearing loss and then treating the sensorineural hearing loss with hearing aids.
How do I know if I have hearing loss?
The best way to know for sure is to have your hearing tested by a professional. Texas State Hearing Aid Device Center offers hearing tests at no charge. Signs that you might have hearing loss and should have your hearing tested include:
- Asking people to repeat themselves often
- Mishearing words in conversation
- Turning the TV volume up louder than you used to
- Avoiding phone calls or social situations
- Feeling like everyone around you is mumbling
Will a hearing aid make me hear like I used to?
Hearing aids are not a cure. They will not fix your hearing loss, and they will not make you hear exactly like you did before you had hearing loss. However, they can significantly improve your quality of life by giving you back the sounds you've been missing and making it easier for you to understand conversations.
Will I be able to hear background noise with hearing aids?
Modern hearing aids have come a long way from the old devices that just turned the volume up on everything. These days, hearing aids contain real-time processing that helps your brain distinguish between the sounds you want to hear (such as people speaking or playing music) and background noise.
Can't I just buy a cheap hearing aid online?
The hearing devices you see online aren't true hearing aids, they're just amplifiers that make sounds louder. Real hearing aids are custom fit to your ears and your hearing loss, and that extra step of personalization is absolutely essential. When it comes to hearing aids, you get what you pay for, and you're better off saving up to spend a little more on hearing aids fitted by an experienced professional that will actually help your hearing loss.
How do I get used to new hearing aids?
It can take a while to adjust to hearing aids, especially if you've never worn them before. The most important thing is to keep trying. You will hear sounds you might not have heard in a long time, and it can be a little disorienting, but don't give up. Give yourself the time to get used to new sounds. Soon, your brain will be able to filter the sounds so you will begin to hear more naturally again. If you experience discomfort or you find your hearing aids painful, please let us know and we will bring you in to make adjustments. Otherwise, we'll follow up with you regularly to make sure you are getting comfortable with your new devices.