If you're struggling with hearing loss, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor. Depending on what your doctor finds, they may refer you to an audiologist. Your audiologist will be able to determine you need to be fitted for hearing aids or not.
What Is an Audiologist?
Audiologists are the type of doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating the disorders and conditions that cause hearing loss. They can offer ways to manage hearing loss by recommending resources like hearing aids. If you're looking for ways to prevent hearing loss in the future, your audiologist may also be able to recommend and offer resources for that.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
There are some things that can cause hearing loss like genetics or aging, but there are also some environmental causes.
Things in your day-to-day life that can cause hearing loss can include the following:
- Trauma to the ear or head
- Ruptured eardrum
- Exposure to excessive and consistent loud noise
- Earwax buildup
- Ear infections
Hearing loss can affect anyone from children to the elderly. If you're experiencing hearing loss, don't ignore it because you're afraid it is another sign that you're getting older. Reach out to your doctor or audiologist for help determining your available options.
What Are Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids are small electronic devices that go in or behind the ear to help those struggling with hearing loss hear the sounds around them better. They are made up of three main parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker.
The microphone on the hearing aids picks up the sounds around you and sends them through an amplifier to help make them louder. The noise will then travel out the speaker and into your ear. Most hearing aids will have some sort of volume control so you can adjust it to where you're comfortable.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are a few different common types of hearing aids. Depending on the level of your hearing loss, your audiologist may recommend a certain type to you.
The different types of hearing aids include:
The type of hearing aid you end up with can also depend on your comfort. If you're not comfortable with something sitting inside your outer ear, you may be directed to go with the behind-the-ear hearing aid. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are also what is usually recommended for children. If children use in-the-ear or in-the-canal hearing aids, they will need to be upgraded as the child grows.
For more information on audiologists and hearing aids, talk to your doctor today.