The third most frequent health condition suffered by adults today is a loss of hearing. This is not only a chronic health issue in Austin, it is potentially debilitating. A lot of individuals either delay or refuse treatment due to embarrassment, fear or denial. When this condition is not treated, the result is often numerous physiological and physical health conditions. This includes the risk of falling or tripping, depression, anxiety, and a decline of cognitive function. These individuals are often unable to understand the conversations occurring around them every day. When the person is unable to contribute to the conversation, they often distance themselves from the activities they enjoy most. The medical community has an excellent understanding of this condition and offers effective treatments, such as hearing aids in Austin.
It is important to understand a hearing aid cannot return the individual’s hearing back to normal. This device is not capable of curing any loss of hearing. The aid does improve the quality of life by enabling the individual to hear and speak with others. Although a hearing aid can be found in a store or online, it is almost impossible to know which one is right for the individual. Just like everyone requires a different prescription for their glasses to see properly, the correct device is necessary for proper hearing. The best option is to have the individual’s hearing tested by a professional. This will enable them to determine which hearing aid will work for the specific condition of each person. When the device fits properly, it is not going to cause any further damage to the hearing.
No two individuals have the same needs for hearing. Some experience so small of a loss of hearing they get along just fine. Others experience a moderate to major loss and need help. A professional understands the different conditions and can help. They can determine which one of the hearing aids in Austin will provide the correct solution. When an individual is listening, they are using both of their ears. This is why certain devices have been designed to wear in both ears. This enables the individual to determine the location of the sound. This is referred to as localization. This is especially important in a noisy atmosphere because the sounds are more natural. There are a lot of high-quality hearing aid styles currently available in Austin. The devices are small to make them extremely difficult for others to see. It is critical the needs of each individual are determined by a professional to ensure they receive the right device.
The Available Hearing Aids in Austin
Conductive hearing loss results from a condition in the middle inner or outer ear. This type of loss is generally temporary. In many instances, this condition is caused by a perforated eardrum, fluid building up in the middle ear or a build-up of earwax. The options for treatment usually include addressing the specific cause of the loss through medical intervention. If this is not effective for improving the hearing, a professional will look into other options such as hearing aids or a cochlear implant. Sensorineural hearing causes a permanent loss. Since the hearing is unable to be restored, the only option is a device to help the individual hear properly again. This type of loss is generally caused by damage impacting the hair cells in the inner ear. This kind of cell is unable to repair itself. Once damaged, medical treatment is ineffective.
The most common type of permanent hearing loss is sensorineural. If the individual even suspects the loss may be permanent, the best option is having a consultation with a professional to determine which options will be effective. Either cochlear implants or hearing aids are capable of improving nearly every case of sensorineural loss. Numerous individuals in Austin develop tinnitus. This kind of loss of hearing can be caused by serious trauma to the auditory system, long term damage and age. The belief of the scientific community is this causes a decrease in the amount of sound stimuli able to reach the brain. The brain responds by making neuroplastic changes in the way sound frequencies are processed. The result of the neuroplastic changes is tinnitus. Approximately sixty percent of all individuals with this condition experience relief through a hearing aid. Significant relief resulted for 22 percent of these individuals.
The hearing aid changes the volume of the noise to cover the sound of the tinnitus. This means the brain is able to focus on the ambient sounds. This masking impact is the reason these devices are exceptionally strong for covering up the sounds of tinnitus when the individual is suffering from a loss in the same range of frequency as the tinnitus. When the external noise volume is increased, the brain receives more auditory stimulation. This is important because once the auditory pathways to the brain have been stimulated, the individual can often hear soft sounds in the background they were unable to hear in the past. When the individual has loud tinnitus, it is nearly impossible for them to participate in social activities because they are unable to communicate due to a lack of hearing.
An individual with loud tinnitus is unable to have a conversation, listen to the radio, watch television or talk on the phone. The external volume of these activities is augmented above the volume of tinnitus by using a hearing aid. This helps eliminate the social isolation and frustration caused by tinnitus. Hearing aids in Austin offer relief to individuals sffering from a loss of hearing. A hearing aid is simply a small electronic device the individual wears behind or in their ear. The device uses a microphone, speaker and amplifier to supplement the outside noise while increasing the sound stimuli the auditory system is able to receive and process. The most common signs of a decrease in hearing include:
- Increasing the television to a volume uncomfortable for others
- Hearing words as mumbles
- Difficulty understanding while taking on the phone
- Avoiding social situations enjoyed in the past
- Difficulty hearing the voices of children and women
- Difficulty understanding conversations in a noisy atmosphere
- Missing parts of conversations
- The need to ask others to repeat what they said
- Feeling depressed or irritable
- Having others say you have a hearing issue
- Unable to keep up with a fast conversation
Hearing aids in Austin were revolutionized due to digital signal processing. This enabled manufacturers and scientists to create smart software through the use of sophisticated algorithms. The result was new benefits including:
- Additional gain and no feedback
- The instrument settings can be matched to the needs of the individual
- An amplifier for the ear
- The ability to understand conversations in a noisy atmosphere
- Extremely precise directional capabilities
- Better speech perception and enhanced listening
Hearing aids in Austin contain four basic components. These are the microphone, speaker, amplifier and power supply. All hearing aids of every size and style in Austin have all of these components. Receivers and amplifiers are both transducers. This means they convert energy. Sound is gathered by the microphone and converted into a type of electrical signal. This signal is gathered by the receiver from the amplifier to convert into sound. The amplifier is located between the receiver and the microphone to increase the signal to the microphone. The signal can then be sent to the receiver prior to being sent to the individual’s inner ear.
A professional has a complete understanding of hearing aids. They will make recommendations based on the amount of hearing loss, budget, lifestyle requirements and aesthetic preferences. The majority of the devices are offered in metallic finishes and different colors to compliment the individual. The (IIC) Invisible-in-the-Canal is placed farther into the canal of the ear than the other options. This means when the device is being worn, it is completely invisible. The IIC hearing aids need to be taken out daily to help ensure good ear health. This device is appropriate for moderate to mild hearing loss. The (ITC) In-the-Canal is a custom-made hearing instrument designed to fit within the ear canal. This means less of the device shows in the outer ear. This device is for mildly severe to mild hearing loss.
The (RIC) Receiver-in-Canal is hardly visible while being worn. This device places the speaker or receiver within the ear canal. This device uses thin electrical wires as opposed to an acoustical tube made of plastic to decrease distortion. RIC hearing aids offer an open and comfortable fit. This is for moderate to mild hearing loss. The (ITE) In-the-Ear is a customized instrument made to fit the ear’s outer portion. This is for severe to mild hearing loss. There are a wide variety of options available for hearing loss. The best course of action is to be evaluated by a specialist at the office of Daniel J. Leeman, MD to determine the best device for the hearing loss of the individual. Dr. Leeman’s office is located in Austin, TX. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!