For most people, hearing loss occurs very gradually. The process of getting hearing aids, however, is not gradual. You walk into the audiologist's office, and a few minutes later you're hearing! It takes the brain time to get adjusted to the new sounds you'll be hearing through the hearing aids. To make the adjustment process a little easier, start with easy situations and work your way up to more difficult listening environments.
Hearing loss may make conversational speech seem very soft, or may prevent a person from hearing certain speech sounds at all. This is why people with hearing loss often say they can hear people talking, but can’t understand what they’re saying. They may be able to hear some sounds, so they can hear the person’s voice, but the hearing loss is blocking out the sounds that are vital to understanding. Usually, when a person is diagnosed with a hearing loss, hearing aids are recommended. Hearing aids are designed to amplify the sounds that the person needs the most, the sounds that they are unable to hear due to the hearing loss. Unfortunately, hearing aids have limitations and will not restore hearing to normal. Hearing aids are only part of the hearing loss puzzle. The best solution to increase hearing and understanding at the same time is to pair hearing aids with effective communication strategies.
Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center audiologists are highly trained professionals. We have Doctoral and Master’s degrees in audiology and we have devoted our careers to helping you hear better. At CHSC, We believe that life is improved by successful communication. We are dedicated to helping people hear better so they can fully enjoy the people and activities that bring meaning to each day.
Impairments in hearing can happen in either frequency (the high or low pitch of a sound) or intensity (the volume of a sound), or both. For example, a person may not be able to hear very high-pitched noises like a whistle, or they may not be able to hear the TV unless the volume is turned up – or both. Hearing loss severity is based on how well a person can hear the frequency or intensities most often associated with speech. Severity can be described as mild, moderate, sever, or profound. Hearing loss can be congenital (occurring from the time of birth) or acquired (developing later in life after a period of normal hearing). Hearing loss can affect one or both ears – and in different degrees of severity in each ear. A loss that affects one ear is called a “unilateral” (one-sided) hearing loss. A loss that affects both ears is called a bilateral (two-sided) hearing loss.
A cochlear implant is a small, surgically implanted electronic device that can help to provide access to sound to people with severe to profound hearing loss and those who cannot hear or understand speech with hearing aids. While hearing aids make sound louder, cochlear implants directly stimulate the nerve fibers in the inner ear (cochlea). An implant does not create normal hearing; instead, under the appropriate conditions, it can give a deaf individual useful auditory understanding of speech and environmental sounds.
For people with hearing loss, hearing on the telephone is often a struggle; whether conversing with friends or family, arranging a job interview, contacting a company’s customer service department, or scheduling a medical appointment.
World Hearing Day, formally known as International Ear Care Day, is celebrated every year on March 3rd. The World Health Organization started this day in 2007 to promote better hearing health care through themes. The 2018 theme is “Hear the future” - drawing attention to the anticipated increase in the number of people with hearing loss around the world in the coming decades. It will focus on three strategies (Prevention, Identification, Treatment) to stem the rise and outline steps to ensure access to the necessary rehabilitation services and communication tools and products for people with hearing loss.
My beautiful baby is born and the feelings of joy are immense. Everything is brand new and a little overwhelming. The routine hearing screening at the hospital is performed. Wait. What? My baby needs more testing? But that doesn’t make sense! We have no history of hearing loss in the family and my baby is "healthy.” I do as suggested and schedule a full diagnostic test. The results show a permanent hearing loss. The audiologist is recommending hearing aids.