Are you suffering from hearing loss? Hearing aids can be the solution, but far too many people relegate their aids to a drawer in frustration because they didn’t get help learning how to live with them.
The providers at ENT of New Orleans, with four locations in the Greater New Orleans area, can help you figure out the kind of hearing aids that will work best for you, and how to use them correctly to enrich your life.
When the auditory system isn’t working properly, the result is hearing loss. This can be an issue with the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, the auditory nerve (which sends sound information from your ear to your brain), or the auditory pathways that process hearing.
The most common type of hearing loss (affecting 90% of adults) is sensorineural hearing loss, which can be caused by exposure to loud noises or simply due to the aging process. Sensorineural hearing loss usually can be helped with hearing aids, However, if you were able to hear for most of your life, but now are faced with learning to live with hearing aids, you may find the transition from natural hearing to assisted hearing to be difficult.
Basic hearing aids have three components. The microphone receives sound, then converts it into a digital signal. The amplifier strengthens the signal, and the speaker sends the sound into the ear. Hearing aids can be fitted inside the ear, or behind the ear.
Digital hearing aids can be customized for your needs and have automatic features that can adjust the volume and programming for improved hearing in different environments. Listening software programs built into your hearing aids can help filter out background noise, and directional microphones can target the voice of whoever you have your head turned toward.
Visits with an audiologist can help refine how your hearing aids work and train you to manage them more effectively. While the first few weeks with hearing aids can be challenging, don't give up.
When you first get your hearing aids, start by wearing them a few hours each day and rapidly increasing how long you keep them in. Practice wearing them while doing ordinary chores around the house, and also while sitting and watching television and concentrating on the different voices.
Start wearing them out in public, and practice figuring out how to adjust them to minimize background noise while keeping you aware of what’s going on around you. Don’t be shy: remind people you are using assistive devices to hear, and ask that they look at you when speaking so your aids can pick up their voices clearly.
Eventually, your life with hearing aids will feel natural, and you’ll be able to enjoy being part of the conversation again. If you need help, get in touch with the team at ENT of New Orleans. We can help through the transition to assisted hearing. Schedule a consultation by calling the location closest to you, or request an appointment online.