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Posts for tag: Hearing Aids

August 01, 2016
Category: General
Tags: Hearing Loss   Hearing Aids  

How well you hear affects the quality of your life. Poor communication, frustration and withdrawal in social situations and difficulty in hearing aidsprocessing information all result from hearing loss. Hearing aids assist people of all ages by supporting the hearing abilities people have. Board-certified otolaryngologist in Frederick, MD, Dr. Kirby Scott, teaches patients about the kinds of hearing loss and about the science that improves function through the devices we call hearing aids.

Kinds of Hearing Loss

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders says there are 3 kinds of hearing loss:

  1. Conductive--related to how sound waves pass through the ear drum and bones of the middle ear
  2. Sensorineural--often an age-related deficit in how sound is picked up by the acoustic nerve and arrives at the brain
  3. Mixed--a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss
  4. Central--the brain's inability to process sound signals it receives from the ear

Hearing aids from your Frederick otolaryngologist can address conductive, sensorineural and mixed hearing loss. Other therapies such as ear wax (cerumen) removal, insertion of tubes to drain fluid and pharmaceuticals to quell infection are among the many treatments your Otolaryngologist from Central ENT Consultants employs to correct hearing deficits.

The Science Behind Hearing Aids

Hearing involves more than volume of sound. The pitch, or frequency, of sound waves plays an important role in what we hear and how well we hear it. Additionally, things such as background noise and direction of sound affect clarity. People who are beginning to perceive a hearing loss often complain of difficulty in understanding soft voices, such as those of young children, and of struggling with noisy environments and the direction of various sounds.

Fortunately, modern hearing aid technology has progressed to the point where many devices are programmable and adjustable specific to the wearer's kind of hearing loss. There are 2 basic types of hearing aid technology:

  • Analog--which receives sound waves through a microphone and amplifies them, adjusting for crowded environments, according to the audiologist's programming
  • Digital--which changes sound saves into numerical codes, amplifying certain frequencies more than others as needed and adjusting for direction of sound

What can a Hearing Aid Do for You?

You won't know until you get a complete physical exam from Dr. Scott and a hearing evaluation from our audiologist, Michelle Garrett. They will pinpoint the cause of your hearing issues and if necessary recommend the hearing device just right for your situation. Call Central ENT Consultants in Frederick, MD today for an appointment: (301) 739-0400.

Hearing Loss Explained by Our ENT Doctor

As your Hagerstown ENT doctor, Dr. Kirby Scott works to help you understand hearing loss and how to protect yourself.  Hearing loss typically occurs gradually, while many people do not recognize early signs. In many cases, your friends, family and co-workers might notice the problem before you initially do. 
It is important to address potential hearing loss as early as possible for the best treatment options. Not only will early treatment enhance your quality of life, but it also broadens the scope of treatment options available.  While you can’t reverse hearing loss, you also do not have to live in a world of quieter, less distinct sounds.  Let’s take a look at hearing loss caused by noise.

Hearing Loss Caused by Noise

Loud noise can be very damaging to your ears—both the level of noise and the length of time you listen to that noise.  Noise levels are measured in decibels, or dB for short, and the higher the decibel level, the louder the noise is. If a sound is louder than 85 dB, it can cause permanent hearing loss.  Your hearing system can be injured not only by a loud blast or explosion, but also by prolonged exposure to high noise levels.   You can tell that you are listening to dangerous noise levels if:
  • You must raise your voice to be heard
  • You can’t hear someone 3 feet away from you
  • Speech around you sounds muffled or dull after you leave the noisy area
  • You have pain or ringing in your ears after exposure to noise
Noise induced hearing loss is usually permanent and progresses with each exposure. If you are exposed to loud noises, it is important to wear proper ear protection in order to prevent hearing loss.
Talk to Dr. Kirby Scott, our Hagerstown ENT doctor, if you are having difficulty hearing.  By seeking treatment, you can dramatically improve the quality of your life and your loved ones. People who use hearing aids report greater self-confidence, closer relationships with loved ones and an improved outlook on life.