Posted on Leave a comment

Do You Have Trouble Hearing Clearly—But Are Not Sure If You Have Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss may seem like a black and white issue—either you have hearing loss or you have normal hearing. You would think hearing loss would be fairly easy to self-diagnose, too, since you would notice when you cannot hear properly. However, there are some gray, in-between areas when it comes to hearing loss. You might feel that you do not have hearing loss because you can hear, yet you cannot hear clearly. That’s exactly what this article will discuss.
You Can Hear, But Not Clearly
So, what does it mean if you can hear, but not clearly? Another common way this is described is that you can hear a conversation, but you have difficulty understanding what is said. In many cases, this is a sign of high-frequency hearing loss. This means that you can hear and understand low-pitched sounds, but you have difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds.
High-frequency hearing loss can make it challenging to understand speech because consonant sounds (like Th, Sh, F, S, P, K, and V) are high-pitched. Since vowel sounds (A, E, I, O, and U) are low-pitched, you can probably hear the vowels but not the consonants. This combination means you will know that someone is speaking and you might be able to make out part of it, but because you cannot hear all of the consonant sounds, you may have difficulty understanding what is being said.
High-frequency hearing loss also makes it more difficult to hear high-pitched voices, especially those of women and children. In addition, excessive background noise can make it even more challenging to understand speech if you have high-frequency hearing loss. Here are a few more common signs of high-frequency hearing loss:

  • You struggle to follow conversations
  • You often feel like people are mumbling
  • You have difficulty understanding speech on television, even if you turn up the volume
  • You do not enjoy music because it sounds distorted, especially at higher volumes
  • You often mishear women’s and children’s voices
  • You struggle to understand speech on the phone
  • You find yourself giving inappropriate answers to questions or missing the punchline of jokes
  • Your family members and friends feel like you aren’t listening to them
  • Your spouse or family members accuse you of having “selective hearing”

If you recognize these symptoms, it’s time to have your hearing checked by a hearing professional. They will be able to diagnose any hearing loss, including high-frequency hearing loss, and provide you with the solutions you need.
You Pass a Hearing Test But Still Can’t Hear Properly
In most cases, a professional hearing test will help detect and diagnose any hearing loss. Believe it or not, however, there are times when you can pass a hearing test and be told that you have normal hearing, yet you still feel that you cannot hear properly. There are a few reasons this might happen:

  • Hidden Hearing Loss
    Hidden hearing loss is hearing loss that is not detectable with standard hearing tests. This is because standard hearing loss focuses on the ears, while hidden hearing loss is due to an issue in the brain.
  • Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)
    If you can hear sounds but have difficulty understanding, you may have an auditory processing disorder. This is caused by the nervous system struggling to interpret sound coming in from the ears.
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD) can make it difficult to understand sound as well. This is because the brain struggles to keep up with all of the sensory input it experiences, especially noise. It is also possible to have both ADD or autism and an auditory processing disorder.

If you feel like you have difficulty hearing or understanding sounds, do not hesitate to contact your hearing care professional. We are here to assist you and provide the personalized care you need.

Posted on Leave a comment

Hearing Loss Can Change You, But Did You Know It Can Change Your Brain?

Hearing loss can bring a lot of change to your life. Of course, there’s the major change of not being able to hear all of the sounds that you once did. Untreated hearing loss can also alter your relationships with your spouse, family, friends, and coworkers, as you can no longer hear and understand conversations clearly. You may often ask people to repeat themselves or talk louder, which can lead to frustration on both sides. You might even find yourself avoiding social situations, especially in loud settings, to avoid problems with hearing and understanding conversation. You may not be able to enjoy sounds you once did, like music, TV, and nature sounds. If you decide to treat your hearing loss and wear hearing aids, that is a change too.
All of these changes are real and can create shifts in your life. However, did you know that hearing loss can also change your brain? Recent research, conducted over several years by Johns Hopkins University, The Ohio State University, and other institutions, has revealed that hearing loss causes changes to your brain that have been linked to cognitive decline and even dementia.
The greatest takeaway message from this research is that if you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss, treat your hearing loss! Getting a hearing test is painless and usually takes half an hour or less. From this hearing test, your hearing professional will be able to diagnose any hearing loss and present you with options to treat your hearing loss. Hearing aids are a common and effective way to treat hearing loss. In fact, studies have shown that treating hearing loss by wearing hearing aids reduces memory loss and is associated with a delayed diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is not clear yet whether using hearing aids can completely prevent the brain changes that are linked to memory loss and cognitive decline, but it can slow this process.
Stanford University’s clinical instructor of otolaryngology, Yona Vaisbuch, MD, explained in the 2018 Stanford Medicine publication Listening that, “With time, those brain changes will not be reversible. That’s why we need to treat hearing loss as soon as possible.” Likewise, Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins recommends treating hearing loss “sooner rather than later…before these brain structural changes take place.” As noted by Dr. Vaisbuch, the brain changes that occur due to untreated hearing loss can become permanent. At that point, just beginning to wear hearing aids may be too little, too late when it comes to brain structure and cognitive decline.
Of course, simply having your hearing tested and getting hearing aids is not enough if you do not actually use your hearing aids! Wearing your hearing aids all day, every day is the best way to get used to them and enjoy their benefits. If you feel something is wrong with your hearing aids—for example, if they are uncomfortable or if the settings need to be adjusted—be sure to reach out to your hearing aid professional.
If you believe that you might have hearing loss, or if you want to learn more about how treating hearing loss can prevent changes to your brain, we invite you to contact our hearing practice today. We are eager to speak with you!

Posted on Leave a comment

Why Is It Important to Have a Professional Hearing Aid Fitting?

If you broke your arm, would you go to the store, buy some plaster, and put a cast on your broken arm yourself? Of course not! You would go to a doctor who would be sure to set the broken bone correctly and apply the cast in a way that will be of most benefit to your arm’s healing.
In the same way, you cannot expect your hearing aids to function optimally without the help of a professional. There are many different types of hearing aids available now—some better than others—and to ensure that you get the right type of hearing aids for you and that they fit correctly, you will need to attend a hearing aid fitting with a trained hearing professional. Here are 4 reasons why it is essential to have a professional hearing aid fitting:

  1. Not all hearing aids are created equal.
    Just as with all other products, hearing aids are available in a wide variety. Some are simple, while others are very technologically advanced. The type of hearing aid you will need depends on the type and severity of hearing loss you suffer from. Personal preferences can also help determine which hearing aid is right for you.
    Your hearing professional will take all of these factors into account when helping you find the hearing aid that is best for you. Cost also plays a role, so be sure to discuss your cost expectations with your hearing aid professional. (Just remember that you often get what you pay for, so it might not be worth it to choose the least expensive option.)
    Remember, there will be an adjustment period with your new hearing aids, even if you choose top-of-the-line devices and have them fitted by a professional. If your hearing aids are uncomfortable, however, or if you still experience trouble hearing, you may need an adjustment. Do not hesitate to contact your hearing aid professional for assistance.
  2. There are various types and degrees of hearing loss.
    As mentioned, the type of hearing loss you experience will play a part in determining which type of hearing aid you need and how your device is adjusted by your hearing professional. It is important that you are aware of the type and severity of hearing loss you experience so you can make an educated decision on what kind of hearing aids you will use. Your hearing aid professional will help you understand your hearing loss and will assist you in deciding on the type of hearing aid that is best for your specific needs.
  3. You will need to decide to wear your hearing aids.
    You could choose the best of the best when it comes to hearing aids, but they will do you no good if you do not wear them. It is a personal decision and commitment to wear hearing aids every day and enjoy the sounds you would miss without them. While it may seem strange at first to wear hearing aids every day, remember that untreated hearing loss can lead to a variety of other medical problems, including depression, anxiety, social isolation, falls, and cognitive decline.
    Again, if your hearing aids are uncomfortable or the settings seem off after your professional fitting, contact your hearing aid specialist. They can help you with adjustments.
  4. A trained professional is an irreplaceable resource.
    Your hearing aid fitting will be with a hearing professional. Be sure to take advantage of your time with them. Ask any questions that you have and listen to all of their instruction and advice. They will be able to help you make informed decisions about your hearing aids. They can also answer your questions and ease any concerns you might have. Remember that your hearing professional has your best interests at heart.

If you believe that you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, it may be time for hearing aids. To learn more about professional hearing aid fittings and to schedule your appointment, we invite you to contact our hearing professional today.

Posted on Leave a comment

4 Easy Tips for Getting Used to New Hearing Aids

Are you considering committing to new hearing aids soon? Perhaps you have recently realized that you are experiencing hearing loss and you are considering your first set of hearing aids. Maybe you have worn hearing aids for years now and are contemplating getting a new set (especially with all of the new hearing aids coming out recently). No matter what your situation is, it can be a big change to get used to wearing new hearing aids.
Here are some simple, effective tips for getting used to new hearing aids:

  1. Don’t hesitate to speak up.
    During your hearing aid fitting, don’t be afraid to speak up if you have any concerns or questions about your new hearing aids. Your hearing aid professional is there to answer all of your questions and make sure that your hearing aids are as effective as possible. If you are worried about the quality of sound or need any adjustments, be sure to speak up.
    Don’t forget that adjustments can be made later as well, so it isn’t a “one and done” situation. As you get used to your new hearing aids over the coming days and weeks, make note of any specific adjustments that need to be made or any questions you have. This will make it easy to give your hearing aid professional good feedback at your follow-up appointment.
  2. Wear your new hearing aids every day.
    If you never wear your new hearing aids, you’ll never get used to them! Wearing your hearing aids every day—from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed—is the best way to get used to them. In addition, wearing your hearing aids every day will help you notice any settings that need to be adjusted at your follow-up appointment with your hearing aid specialist.
  3. Have realistic expectations.
    Yes, hearing aids can indeed be life changing. They can enable you to hear sounds that you haven’t heard in some time. However, wearing hearing aids isn’t the same as having your hearing perfectly restored in an instant. You may still need to use strategies like seeking out visual cues and choosing preferred seating in noisy environments to ensure the best understanding of speech in different environments.
  4. Be patient.
    As noted above, wearing new hearing aids isn’t a “one and done” situation. It may take a few adjustments and appointments with your hearing aid specialist before you get all of the settings just right. The adjustment for you may take some time as well. You may not be used to wearing something on or in your ears every day, and your brain will have to get used to hearing more sounds again, too.

Your hearing loss probably happened gradually, and it will also be a gradual process to get used to your new hearing aids. With a little time, however, you will wonder how you ever lived without your new hearing aids! To learn more about how you can get used to new hearing aids or to schedule an appointment with our hearing aid professional, we welcome you to contact our office today.

Posted on Leave a comment

New Hearing Aid Manufacturers Offer Devices Online—Here’s What You Need to Know

If you had been diagnosed with hearing loss 20 years ago, you would have had only one choice: purchase hearing aids through your audiologist or hearing aid professional. That has simply been the way things are done for many, many years—but change is on the horizon. In fact, in many ways, change is already here when it comes to purchasing hearing aids and other hearing devices.
Beginning this year, several companies are now offering hearing aids available for online purchase. These include Bose, who created their own self-fitted hearing aid, and Walgreens, who partnered with hearing aid maker Lexie Hearing. In addition, highly recognizable companies like Apple, Samsung, and Panasonic will soon join them in becoming hearing aid manufacturers. According to online rumors, even Google has considered getting in the hearing aid game!
So, what does this mean for you as a consumer? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you consider this news:

  • You have options for purchasing hearing aids.
    As mentioned above, options for getting hearing aids in the past were pretty limited. Now, you have the choice to purchase a hearing aid through your audiology professional, purchase your devices online, or (in the near future) purchase your hearing aids over-the-counter (OTC).
    This variety of purchasing options also brings more variety in pricing. Top-of-the-line, custom hearing aids fitted by your audiology professional can cost thousands of dollars. (It should be kept in mind that hearing aid professionals offer lower-cost options as well.) The current online offerings from Bose and Walgreens fall in the $800-850 range. Over-the-counter hearing aids are likely to bring additional lower-cost devices. This allows you to find the hearing aid that is right for your budget as well as your hearing needs.
  • Not all hearing devices are hearing aids.
    When you think of managing hearing loss, hearing aids are probably the first solution to come to mind. However, several types of devices are now available, with more coming thanks to continuing audiology research and technological innovation.
    For example, there are now headphones and earbuds that correct audio for hearing loss, soundbars that do the same, apps that help you hear better in noise, apps that allow you to personalize your sound experience, and much more. If you have mild hearing loss, these types of devices and apps may be able to help you hear better without the need for hearing aids.
  • Audiological research is advancing quickly.
    From the advancements in hearing aids and other hearing devices in the last few years, it is apparent that audiological research is moving forward quickly now—and it’s being taken seriously. Companies that never previously ventured into the audiological field are now doing so confidently. In addition, developing technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to further advance audiology in the coming years.
  • Your hearing professional can still guide you through the process.
    Whether you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the new choices or simply want to make sure you get the option that’s best for you and your needs, an audiology professional is there to guide you through. Your audiology professional will test your hearing and explain the various options you have, as well as the pros and cons of each. This can help make it easier to see which option is the best fit for you.

To learn more about new hearing aid availability and other hearing devices, we invite you to contact our hearing professional today. We are eager to assist you.

Posted on Leave a comment

Here’s Why You Need an In-Person Hearing Test (Even Though You May Be Able to Buy Hearing Aids Online)

Odds are good that you’re familiar with online shopping. Nowadays, even hearing aids are available for purchase online! That’s right—companies like Bose and Walgreens began offering online purchase for hearing aids (in certain states) this year. So, if you can purchase your hearing aids online, then you no longer need to go to your hearing professional’s office for an in-person hearing test, right? Wrong!
The truth is that even with advancing technology and increased online offerings, there is nothing that can compare to an in-person hearing test. In-person hearing tests are essential for getting an accurate assessment of your hearing ability and evaluating whether you would benefit from treatment like hearing aids.
If you aren’t convinced, here are just a few reasons why it’s important to have a formal, in-personal hearing evaluation:

  1. There are different types of hearing loss. The online hearing tests used to purchase and fit hearing aids online may not be able to detect all types of hearing loss and may not accurately fit your devices based on the specific type of hearing loss.
  2. There are varying degrees of hearing loss—and hearing loss can vary between your ears. Again, online hearing tests may not be able to detect all degrees of hearing loss. If you have mild hearing loss, it may not be apparent in an online test, yet it would be noticed by an audiology professional in a formal hearing evaluation. Furthermore, sometimes your ears have different degrees of hearing loss. This is important to take into account when fitting hearing aids.
  3. You should establish a baseline for your hearing. The Mayo Clinic recommends regular hearing evaluations for adults to establish a baseline. This will make it easier in the future to determine whether you are experiencing hearing loss and whether it’s time for hearing aids.
  4. Hearing loss can signal other health problems. In some cases, hearing loss is an early warning sign of a serious health condition, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. An online hearing test will not consider your overall health.
  5. Untreated hearing loss can lead to additional health problems. If your hearing loss goes untreated, you are at higher risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness and social isolation, falls, cognitive decline, and dementia. By having regular hearing evaluations and treating any diagnosed hearing loss, you can avoid these serious consequences.
  6. Hearing evaluations are painless. “No pain, no gain,” doesn’t apply to hearing tests. An in-personal hearing test simply checks your hearing ability. You will wear headphones and listen for tones to evaluate how well you hear sound volume and sound pitch. Your hearing professional may also conduct a painless physical examination of your ears to check for ear wax impaction or infection. Hearing tests usually take less than an hour, and they might be free, too (depending on your insurance).

And maybe the best reason of all? If your hearing test shows that you do not have hearing loss, you can say, “I told you so!” to anyone who told you that you might not be hearing very well. Joking aside, regular in-person hearing evaluations are essential to ensuring that any hearing loss is treated in a timely manner and in a way that best fits your specific needs.
To learn more about the importance of in-person hearing evaluations and to schedule your next hearing test, we invite you to contact our hearing professional today. We are eager to hear from you!

Posted on

The Use Of Biomarkers To Detect Hidden Hearing Loss

blg-1

A new study may help to explain why people with normal hearing struggle to follow conversations in noisy environments. Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear are determining that a pair of biomarkers of brain function may hold the answer. The two biomarkers, one for listening effort and the other which measures the ability to process rapid changes in frequencies, can explain why a person with normal hearing may have trouble following conversations in loud places. These conclusions might pave the way for the design of next-generation clinical testing for hidden hearing loss.

Hearing Loss

Noise, aging, and other factors cause hearing loss, which affects 48 million Americans. Hearing loss arises from damage to the sensory cells of the inner ear, the cochlea. The cochlea converts sounds into electrical signals for the brain. A diagnosis of hearing loss is by elevation in the faintest sound level required to hear a brief tone. The level appears on an audiogram, which is the gold standard of hearing testing.

Hidden Hearing Loss

Hidden hearing loss is a loss of hearing that standard hearing tests can’t calculate. Typically, the first step in measuring hearing loss is using an audiogram. Unfortunately, for people with hidden hearing loss, the audiogram reads just like someone with normal hearing. Hidden hearing loss arises from abnormal connectivity and communication of nerve cells in the brain and ear, not in the sensory cells that convert sound waves into electrochemical signals.

The Study

The study developed from a desire to create new methods of hearing testing. The world we live in is getting noisier all of the time, and people are reporting hearing problems earlier in life. People are having particular difficulty hearing conversations in the workplace and social settings. The current testing available can’t detect the problem. This lack of testing is driving the researchers to develop new ways of hearing testing.

Biomarkers

To address hidden hearing loss, the researchers are developing objective biomarkers that may explain the hidden hearing loss complaints. The research team developed two sets of tests. One measured electrical EEG signals from the surface of the ear canal to detect how well the early stages of sound processing in the brain were encoding fluctuations in sound waves. The other used specialized glasses to measure changes in pupil diameter when test subjects focused their attention on one speaker.

Twenty-three subjects with clinically normal hearing underwent the tests, and their ability to follow conversations varied. By combining the measures, the investigators could identify which subjects struggled and which ones passed the test. Encouraged by the results, the researchers believe that testing must go beyond the first stages of hearing and directly measure auditory processing in the brain.

Hearing Test

If you are having difficulty hearing conversations in noisy places, you might be experiencing the beginning stages of hearing loss. Plan a hearing evaluation with a hearing healthcare professional who can diagnose and treat your hearing loss in its early stages.

Posted on

4 Unusual Causes of Hearing Loss

When we think about the causes of hearing loss, we often think of common causes like aging or noise-induced hearing loss. A variety of conditions, injuries, and occurrences can lead to hearing loss, but some are very rare. While rare, they do occur and are a reality for some people. 

 Here are four of the most unusual and uncommon causes of hearing loss: 

  • Meniere’s disease 

Meniere’s disease can lead to vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus, and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear. In most cases, this condition affects only one ear. While the cause of Meniere’s disease is unknown, some hearing professionals believe it is caused by an abnormal amount of fluid in the ear. 

 Also called endolymphatic hydrops, Meniere’s disease usually appears between young and middle-aged adulthood, around the ages of 20-50 years. While it is considered a chronic condition, certain treatments can ease the symptoms. Medication for motion sickness or nausea can help. Other possible treatments include the use of hearing aids, vestibular rehabilitation to improve balance, and the use of a Meniett pulse generator, which applies pulses of pressure to the ear canal through a tube. 

  • Superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) 

This disorder occurs when a very small hole forms in a bone of the inner ear. SCDS can cause symptoms like nausea, vertigo, and extreme sensitivity to sound. Patients even report being distracted by the sound of their own pulse.  

 To verify that SCDS is the cause of the symptoms, your medical professional will likely request a CT scan of the inner ear. If it is found that an opening in the temporal bone is present, surgery can be conducted to correct the condition. 

  • Cholesteatoma 

A cholesteatoma is a cyst-like growth that develops in the inner ear. While the growth isn’t malignant, it can lead to permanent hearing loss and other serious conditions, like meningitis, if left untreated. In addition to hearing loss, symptoms may include a smelly discharge. 

There are two types of cholesteatoma: congenital and acquired. Congenital cholesteatoma is present at birth and typically grows behind the eardrum. Acquired cholesteatoma usually occurs during adulthood and is most common in those with recurring ear infections. 

In most cases, the cholesteatoma can be removed through surgery. If left untreated, the cholesteatoma can continue to grow and eventually cause permanent damage to the inner ear. This may result in balance problems, dizziness, or interference with facial nerves and muscles. Cholesteatoma are also often infected, and the toxicity can spread to other areas, leading to meningitis or brain abscesses in extreme cases. 

  • Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) 

AIED is caused by antibodies or immune cells attacking the inner ear. Symptoms may include progressive hearing loss and dizziness. 

At this time, AIED is considered a chronic, incurable condition. It can cause permanent damage to hearing and balance. Fortunately, the symptoms can be managed through the use of steroids and other medications, cochlear implant surgery, or cell and gene therapy. 

If you would like to learn more about these rare causes of hearing loss, or if you suspect that you are experiencing hearing loss, we encourage you to contact our hearing professional today. 

Posted on

6 Impressive Features of Modern Hearing Aids

When you picture a hearing aid in your mind, what does it look like? Unless you have recently seen the newest modern hearing aids, you probably think of a hearing aid that is rather big and bulky, beige in color, and fairly noticeable when worn. Fortunately, that is no longer the reality of using hearing aids. Modern hearing aids have come a long way from the bulky, uncomfortable devices of the mid-20th century. 
 In fact, modern hearing aids come with plenty of impressive features that make them more effective, more useful, more comfortable, and more discreet than ever before. No longer is wearing hearing aids an obvious, uncomfortable, or embarrassing experience. Wearing hearing aids can greatly enhance your ability to hear and communicate, as well as improve your quality of life. With the latest design options available, wearing hearing aids can even be stylish! 
 Here are some of the exciting, advanced new features you can look for in today’s hearing aids: 
 1. Wireless Bluetooth Streaming 
With Bluetooth technology widely available, it is no shock that hearing aids can also be equipped with Bluetooth. Bluetooth connectivity is available in both in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Some models allow you to stream audio directly from your smartphone, tablet, or music device. 
 While most hearing aids with Bluetooth technology use a wireless connection, some small in-the-ear devices require the use of a streamer that is worn around the neck or placed in a pocket. 
 2. Smartphone Connectivity 
Almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays, and it seems that smartphones get “smarter” every year. Now, you can connect to and control your hearing aids using your smartphone. 
 Rather than visiting a hearing aid specialist or fiddling around with a complicated device, you can make adjustments to your hearing aid using your smartphone. This allows you to adjust settings like the volume, bass, and treble. 
 3. Smaller, More Discreet Designs 
Forget the bulky, beige hearing aids of 30 years ago. Nowadays, hearing aids are much smaller and sleeker, and are available in a wide variety of colors to fit your preferences. Thanks to the small and sleek design, these devices are almost invisible when worn. 
 4. Language Translation 
Some hearing aids with smartphone connectivity can provide language translation in the smartphone app. The app translates speech from different languages and sends the translation to your hearing aids in the language you choose. 
 5. Fall Detection 
Because people with hearing loss are more likely to experience falls, fall detection can be an important feature. Hearing aids with fall detection have sensors that can track how many times you fall. 
 This can help you be more aware of any balance issues that may be connected to hearing loss, which you can also further discuss with your hearing care professional. 
 6. Rechargeable 
Older hearing aids required you to frequently change the batteries. If your batteries died while you were away from the house, you could only hope that you had an extra set of batteries with you. 
 Now, you can enjoy a full day of hearing without the need to change batteries thanks to rechargeable hearing aids. In many new models, a single charge lasts a full day. 
 These incredible features make modern hearing aids better than ever. If you would like to learn more about the new features available and how hearing aids can enhance your life, we encourage you to contact our hearing professional today. 

Posted on

6 Common Myths About Hearing Aids

Several new advances have been made in the field of hearing aids in the last few years. Hearing aids are now smaller, more powerful, more discreet, more comfortable, and more technologically advanced than ever before. 
 Unfortunately, however, it seems that not everyone’s opinion of hearing aids has advanced at the same rate. Some stigma may still exist around hearing aids and the use of hearing devices. These beliefs may lead some people who need hearing aids to avoid using them. 
 In reality, many people with varying severity and causes of hearing loss can benefit from the use of hearing aids. Here are six of the most common myths about hearing aids, as well as the truth about using hearing devices: 
 Myth #1: Hearing aids will make your hearing ability “normal” again. 
There is no cure for hearing loss, so hearing aids will not change or improve your ability to hear. They cannot make your hearing ability “normal” again. However, hearing aids can help you better hear, understand, and talk to others. Using hearing aids in this way to improve your communication can benefit your quality of life. 
 Myth #2: Using hearing aids will damage your hearing or make it worse. 
Again, using hearing aids will not change your ability to hear. This includes making your hearing worse. If you use the right type of hearing aid that fits you and you properly care for it, your hearing device will not damage your hearing. 
 Myth #3: You need to only wear one hearing aid, not two. 
Since you normally hear with two ears, you should wear two hearing aids. You wouldn’t wear a monocle when you need glasses, would you? There are many benefits to wearing binaural, or two-ear, hearing aids. For example, wearing two hearing aids helps you with localization, or finding the source of a sound or noise. It can also help you hear better in noisy situations, help you better understand what people say, and makes sounds more natural. 
 Myth #4: The small hearing aids that are worn inside your ear are the best kind. 
There are many different types of hearing aids available. Thanks to advanced technology, some hearing aids are very small and can indeed be worn inside your ear. Other types of hearing aids, however, are also highly advanced and can be of great benefit to you. When you meet with your hearing aid professional, he or she will show you the different types of hearing aids available to you and help you determine which one would be best for your particular needs. 
 Myth #5: You can save money and time by buying hearing aids online or in a store. 
Although you can purchase hearing aids online or in a store, it may not be the best option for you. When you buy a hearing aid online or in a store, you cannot be certain that you have chosen the type of hearing aid that is best for your specific hearing needs. Additionally, a hearing aid that works for one person might not work for another. To make sure you get the hearing aids best suited to your needs and desires, it is recommended that you see a hearing aid professional. 
 Myth #6: You don’t need hearing aids if you only have mild hearing loss. 
Some people with mild hearing loss don’t need hearing aids; others with mild hearing loss can greatly benefit from the use of hearing aids. The need for hearing devices varies from person to person. If you believe that you or a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss—even if it is mild—we recommend seeing a hearing professional to ensure that you get the care you need. 
 The truth is that you have no reason to be hesitant about getting hearing aids. They can improve your life! To learn more about the benefits of hearing aids, we invite you to contact our hearing practice today.