Here are some tips for protecting your hearing:
Holidays are known for gathering with friends and family to celebrate the season and the passing of another year. For those with hearing loss, these gatherings can be more stressful than enjoyable. Small groups of people around the room all talking at once about how best to serve the cranberries or the beautiful lights that are decorating homes in the neighborhood can be difficult to hear even with a mild hearing loss. Working to understand what is being said takes a lot of energy and focus and can result in the feeling of isolation, tiredness and depression.
There are things you can do to help improve your communication during these otherwise festive times. No matter your hearing abilities, good communication strategies are always helpful when you are talking to others while cooking in a busy kitchen, gathered around the warm fireplace or sitting across the dinner table. The Better Hearing Institute has some great suggestions to share with your loved ones.
Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, you may benefit from the use of hearing aids or even a cochlear implant. Many people think that hearing aids are only for the elderly and cochlear implants are only for young children. This is not the case. Your hearing loss and speech understanding abilities determines what technology is right for you with no regard to your age. [Finally! Something doesn’t care how old I am!!] There are ...
Almost all individuals experience ”transient ear noises” which is the intermittent sensation of ringing (lasting less than 5 minutes), typically in one ear. At times this sensation is accompanied by a sensation of fullness or a momentary change in hearing. When this change is brief, it is a normal phenomenon. If it lasts longer than 5 minutes twice week, you should be evaluated for tinnitus.
The first step is a comprehensive hearing evaluation by an audiologist. Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of auditory disorders and a complete audiology evaluation will confirm and/or rule out many of these conditions. Pending the hearing test results, you may be referred to an otolaryngologist (sometimes referred to as an ENT or an Ear, Nose and Throat physician) or other health care providers. The otolaryngologist will further investigate your tinnitus for possible medical causes.
It is normal for tinnitus to occasionally change in the pitch and intensity; however, significant and prolonged changes in tinnitus (increased loudness or tinnitus that is one-sided) should be (re)evaluated. Tinnitus that is present in one ear (unilateral) or pulsatile will always require an otolaryngology evaluation after the hearing evaluation. Tinnitus that is accompanied by a sudden hearing loss is considered an emergent condition and individuals should be evaluated by an audiologist and otolaryngologist as soon as possible.
Tinnitus can evoke ...
To some, when a possible problem gets to the point where we decide to “have it looked at,” there are many questions that come up. If you are like me, I have several questions to ask. However, by the time the check in happens and all the tests are performed, I forget most of my questions. Or, sometimes, I feel like there is no more time to have them answered. Often times I make up excuses for why I didn’t ask. My frequent one is that they, or I, didn’t have the time.
Time may be limited sometimes, but asking the right questions really helps. Some of the best answers you get about your hearing come from very simple questions that you wrote down ahead of time (so nobody forgets). I have listed a few below to help us all make sure you get the answers you want, at the time you want them.
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