Managing Hearing Loss in Erie, PA
If you’re starting to lose your hearing, it can feel overwhelming and frustrating when you aren’t sure what’s causing it or how you can handle this new change. Hearing loss is a common condition, and you don’t have to feel alone. There are many ways that your ear, nose, and throat doctor in Erie, PA, can help you manage your hearing loss and give you the best treatment plan for your condition and your life.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can occur in different parts of the ear and for different reasons. Most commonly, aging and exposure to loud noises can cause damage to the inner ear. This causes wear and tear to occur on the hairs in the cochlea, which send sound signals to the brain. When these hairs are damaged, it’s harder for your brain to get these signals as efficiently.
Hearing loss could also be caused by earwax buildup, an ear infection, or a ruptured eardrum. It’s important to talk with your ear, nose, and throat doctor about these issues and how you can prevent them from occurring.
Do I have hearing loss?
Hearing loss often begins and builds slowly over a long period of time. However, there are a few signs and symptoms of hearing loss which can make it easier to narrow down your diagnosis. For example, if you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves very often, you may suffer from some degree of hearing loss. Some other symptoms include:
- Others tell you the TV or radio is too loud while you think it is at a normal volume.
- Increased difficulty understanding normal conversations, especially in noisy or crowded situations.
- You feel as though you need to concentrate in order to hear a conversation.
- You feel as though others often mumble while speaking to you.
- You need to ask others to repeat themselves more often than not.
I think I have hearing loss. What now?
Often, those around you will notice your hearing loss before you. If you find that others often mention they think you may suffer from hearing loss, take their opinion seriously and contact your doctor. Diagnosing hearing loss is most often achieved using a hearing test. This test occurs in your doctor’s office and involves placing a pair of headphones over your ears. During the test, you will listen for sounds, played at different frequencies and indicate the ear in which you hear the sound. This helps your doctor determine the frequencies at which you have the most trouble hearing and the severity of your overall hearing loss.
How is Hearing Loss Treated?
Treatment varies depending on the cause of your hearing loss. If you’re dealing with an earwax buildup, it’s important to see your doctor for removal. Your doctor can also help you see the world of hearing aids to help amplify sounds and hear more clearly again. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. There are different types of hearing aids that you can choose from and you can find one that works best for you and help you feel comfortable when you wear it on a regular basis. There are a variety of hearing aids available in different price ranges. Depending on your hearing loss and preference, you can work with your doctor to determine the best hearing aid for you. Some common models include behind-the-ear models, which wrap around the outer ear, in-the-ear models which lie inside of the ear and do not wrap around it, and in-the-canal models, which lies inside of the ear’s canal mostly out of sight.
Contact Your Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor Today