When we notice our vision is changing, we get glasses. We call the dentist when we have a toothache. and we never think twice about seeking a doctor's care with a broken bone.

When we don't hear as well as we use to, we crank up the TV so loud all the neighbors know what we're watching from their own homes, and we don't think there's anything wrong with that. What is the reason behind refusing to get hearing aids? The National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders revealed that twenty-eight million people have some kind of hearing loss.

Each hearing loss is unique, but there is a vast array of amazing technology available to meet the needs of every hearing impaired individual. It is true that the old versions of hearing aids required a lot of wires, were awkward, and were only occasionally reliable. However, over the past five years they have started using the same technology that computers use.

Due to the microphones, receivers, batteries, and computer chips required for the newest versions of hearing aids, audiologist can now adjust one to meet anyone's needs. These types of hearing aids are much smaller and discreet than their predecessors and can precisely compensate for the user's individual hearing problems.

No two people experience hearing loss in the same way. Some people struggle hearing various frequencies, from high pitched to low pitched. It is the fact that certain frequencies can't be heard that make holding a conversation so difficult. A person misses the vowel sounds if they can't hear low frequencies and misses consonants if they struggle with the high ones. This forces them to have to fill in the missing sounds.

Some people just can't hear softer sounds. Everything they hear sounds softer than what it really is. As a result, they tend to turn televisions and radios up and are repeatedly asking others to repeat things they did not hear properly.

An audiologist can administer hearing tests and determine just how the hearing aid needs to be programmed. Once a hearing loss is noted, a person is advised to get a hearing test each year. There are 3 kinds of hearing specialists. The highest level is the otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat doctor. He is trained to diagnose and treat hearing impairments caused by medical conditions.

The next classification of hearing specialist is an audiologist. They are professionals who are experts at administering hearing tests, making recommendations and properly programming hearing aids according to results of audiograms. Because of the level of expertise that is required, audiologists are required to possess a master's degree and must be licensed by the state in which they practice. Finally there are the hearing aid dispensers who need to be state certified, but do not require the education level of an audiologist. Aside from these three professional classifications, there are salespeople who are associated with a specific manufacturer of hearing aids who are highly trained on all aspects of the amplification devices they represent. They are often helpful resources for those who program and dispense hearing aids. Compared to an audiologist, you don't need as much education, but a state certification is still necessary.

This leads us to the discussion of the different types of hearing aids. The ones referred to as "completely in the canal" are the smallest and almost invisible. they are also the most expensive. They are most frequently used for those patients who have severe to profound hearing loss issues.

The next size up are the "in the canal" hearing aids. These are slightly larger than the last category, but are still small enough to be nestled deep in the ear canal. The battery for a canal bearing aid is bigger, and you'll use these if your hearing loss is moderate.

The "in the ear" type devices are visible from the outside of the ear and are used for a wide variety of hearing problems. The "behind the ear" aids are encased in a housing that fits over and behind the ear, needs a much bigger battery, and offers a lot more amplification to the user. You can get analog hearing aids for much less than these, but they don't work as well.

It is a known fact that about 28 million Americans, incorporating all age groups, have hearing impairments. Here are some other things you should know: When you experience hearing loss, it's usually due to aging, blockage in the ear, or disease. Of the people with hearing impairments, 95% can experience corrected hearing using a hearing aid.

Younger generations are beginning to experience more hearing loss than ever before. There was a 17% increase in reported hearing losses for people ages 18-44 years in the years from 1971-1990. Otitis media seems to be the most commonly reported reason for a temporary losses of hearing. 70% of infants and children often get this particular ear infection.

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