'To hear or not to hear' - East Valley Tribune: Apache Junction

'To hear or not to hear'

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Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 1:00 pm | Updated: 1:00 pm, Fri Aug 22, 2014.

1. How early can a person experience hearing loss?

Hearing loss can occur at any age. There are genetic, hereditary, or environmental causes for hearing loss that can lead a person to pursue a hearing evaluation and possibly hearing aids. The aging process is, of course, one cause of hearing loss. Even then, an individual’s genetic and environmental factors will determine how early or late in life a hearing loss might occur.

2. What should you do if you feel you are experiencing hearing loss?

If you suspect there is a problem with your hearing, you should have it examined right away. A sudden hearing loss could be a symptom of something more serious. Additionally, sudden hearing loss may be treatable if caught immediately. Contact your family physician or an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician. In the case of gradual hearing loss, which is most common, you should have it evaluated by and audiologist as soon as you feel it is interfering with your daily communication. Hearing aid use is most successful when it begins early.

3. In searching for a provide, what qualifications should I look for?

For a thorough, professional hearing evaluation, you should contact a licensed, clinical audiologist. Most audiologists now have a doctoral degree, or Au.D., and carry the Certificate of Clinical Competance (CCC-A) from the American Speech & Hearing Association. Some audiologists with many years of experience have not pursued the doctoral degree and will carry a Masters degree in Communication Disorders (either a M.S. or M.A, depending on the university attended), and will also have the CCC-A.

4. I am embarrassed to wear a hearing aid, are there low profile ones available?

There are currently many different styles of hearing aids to fit the preferences of many wearers. For a comfortable and discreet fit, there are Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) and Completely-In-Canal (CIC) styles that fit deep into the ear canal. The Receiver In The Ear (RITE) style aids are also very comfortable and discreet. Your audiologist will help you determine which style is best for your ears and your lifestyle.

5. What shall I expect after?

One of the most common complaints about hearing loss that we hear from patients is that they are missing conversation. They feel left out of family functions, they miss a joke punch line and are left out of the joke, and they can’t follow along in church services or meetings. We hear words like “frustration” and “isolation.” In short, a person with hearing loss becomes disconnected from the important things in life. After a hearing aid fitting, at the follow up appointments, we will hear from the patient and family how much the new hearing aids have changed their life. They are reconnected with their loves ones and their surroundings. Yes, there is often an adjustment period, but it is usually only a couple weeks. The frustration and isolation caused by the hearing loss is no longer there.

Tri-City Audiology has three convenient locations in Chandler, Mesa and Tempe. Visit http://www.tri-cityaudiology.com/Home.html" href="http://www.tri-cityaudiology.com/Home.html">http://www.tri-cityaudiology.com/Home.html for more information about Tri-City Audiology.  

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