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Did you know…..October is National Audiology Awareness Month! In recognition, Swift Audiology & Hearing Aid Services is taking this time to answer your questions and address your thoughts about hearing loss and hearing aids. How do I know if I have hearing loss? You should have your hearing tested if: 1. You are having difficulty hearing over the telephone 2. It seems like people are mumbling 3. Others complain that you have the television up too loudly 4. You have difficulty hearing in the presence of background noise 5. You have difficulty understanding women’s or children’s voices 6. You have ringing or buzzing sounds in your ears Most hearing loss is caused by damage to the sensory cells in your inner ear. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss, and it is usually permanent. The damage can occur due to aging, noise exposure, genetics, certain medications, disease, or other factors. In almost all cases, the only treatment is amplification.1 Many people don’t realize they have hearing loss until it becomes fairly significant…..but the people around them usually do. This is because hearing loss usually occurs gradually, and month to month changes aren’t perceptible. Friends and family often compensate for their loved one’s hearing loss by speaking louder, automatically repeating themselves, or not speaking up when they know they’ve been misheard. Though Swift Audiology And Hearing Aid Service (724) 825-4480

done out of love, it can prevent the person with hearing loss from seeking the necessary treatment. “The best method for breaking through your loved one’s resistance to hearing help is for YOU to stop being their ears.” (Dr. Richard Carmen) I’m old, what do I need to hear for?There are so many reasons, I don’t know where to start! Besides being able to communicate with your family, friends, doctors, etc, hearing aids have been shown to improve a person’s social, emotional, mental, and cognitive well-being.1 That means an improved quality of life. No more isolating yourself and losing touch in your relationships. While many understand the impact that hearing loss has on one’s social and emotional life, it may come as a surprise to know that research study after study has linked untreated hearing loss with a decline in cognitive abilities.2 “That is what all poets do: they talk to themselves out loud; and the world overhears them. But it’s horribly lonely not to hear someone else talk sometimes.” George Bernard Shaw I would hear fine if people wouldn’t mumble!Do you feel that everyone around you mumbles when they talk? There is a very good explanation for this, and it has to do with your hearing loss. Speech consists of vowels and consonants. The vowel sounds are loud and deep in tone, while the consonants are very soft, high pitched sounds. Most people hear the vowels better than consonants, both because they’re louder sounds, and because hearing loss is often greater in the higher pitches where the consonants are located. Swift Audiology And Hearing Aid Service (724) 825-4480

If you’re only hearing the vowels, words like, “pick, bit, bid, pit, and pig” will all sound similar. Your brain uses extra energy to try to figure out what was said based on the context of the conversation, and the speaker’s lip movement. You might find that you’re more worn out at the end of the day than you would be if you had hearing in the normal range. Only old people wear hearing aids. This is not true! People of all ages wear hearing aids, from infants to older adults. Those between the ages of 55-64 make up the largest population of people with hearing loss,1 and, according to the NIDCD,3 almost 50% of people with hearing loss are adolescents or younger adults. Keep this in mind… when you misunderstand someone, or fail to laugh at a joke you didn’t hear, or don’t answer someone when they ask you a question, you are putting your hearing loss on display. “An untreated hearing loss is more noticeable than hearing aids.” Dr. Sergei Kochkin Do I need hearing aids in both ears? If you have hearing loss in both ears, you need to treat them both with hearing aids. Studies have shown that, when two hearing aids are worn compared to just one, the ability to tell where sounds are coming from and to recognize speech is significantly improved. In addition, people reported better sound quality, and better hearing in background noise while wearing two hearing aids Swift Audiology And Hearing Aid Service (724) 825-4480

versus only one.4 A potentially serious consequence of leaving one ear untreated, is that the ability to recognize speech may diminish in that ear. The brain may even permanently lose the ability to recognize speech if it is left deprived of sound for too long. The same holds true when neither ear is treated with amplification.2 A man has two ears and one mouth that he hear much and speak little. (German proverb). How do I get hearing aids? Find a local provide with a good reputation. Purchasing the latest technology is only part of the solution. What comes next is even more important. That includes having an expert who can properly program the hearing aids, adjust them as needed, and troubleshoot based on the feedback that you provide. It is also the provider’s job to counsel you regarding realistic expectations and the normal acclimation period that occurs with new hearing aids. Swift Audiology is proud to have an A+ rating with the better business bureau! Written by Dr. Leslie Myers, AuD., Doctor of Audiology 1Kochkin, S. Better Hearing Institute, 2Arlinger, S. (2003). Negative consequences of uncorrected hearing loss- a review. International Journal of Audiology, 42(Suppl 2:2S17-20). 3 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. 4 Kojbler, S. Rosenhall, U. & Hansson, H. (2001). Bilateral hearing aids- effects and consequences from a user perspective. Scandinavian Audiology, 30(4), 223-235. Swift Audiology And Hearing Aid Service (724) 825-4480

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Swift Audiology And Hearing Aid Service (724) 825-4480

Did you know…..October is National Audiology Awareness Month! In recognition, Swift Audiology & Hearing Aid Services is taking this time to answer your questions an...

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