Q&A About Hearing Loss

Q&A About Hearing Loss

Although hearing loss is incredibly common, it retains an air of mystery. Some people are hesitant to disclose their hearing loss to others, and an entire mythology has arisen surrounding the condition. With so much misinformation floating around and many unanswered questions, you might not know where to turn for answers. If you have questions that leave you puzzled, the following might resolve some of the confusion surrounding hearing loss. Yet, don’t hesitate to contact your hearing health provider for the complete picture. By offering expertise, general knowledge, and a specific diagnosis of your individual condition and needs, a hearing professional is the best source of information for you.

Will my hearing loss continue to get worse?

The answer to this question depends on the type of hearing loss you have. The most common forms of hearing loss—age-related and noise-induced—do tend to get worse with time. Although many people with these common forms of hearing loss find that it continues to decline, few people find that it increases all the way to becoming deaf. Those with other types of hearing loss have other trajectories. For instance, someone who incurs hearing loss from a blast or explosion is unlikely to have increased loss with time related to that event. However, a combination with other types of hearing loss can lead to this outcome. 

Can I get just one hearing aid if I have worse hearing in one ear than the other?

Many people have this experience of a “bad ear,” otherwise known as asymmetrical hearing loss. Although it might be tempting to get just one hearing aid to reduce cost and inconvenience, this strategy doesn’t work with the design of most hearing aids. Digital assistive technology has been developed to take advantage of stereo sound—separate audio for the two ears. With this balance of audio, it is possible to provide spatialization and to help you orient yourself in the room. Along with other benefits of stereo audio, two hearing aids are recommended for nearly everyone. 

Are there herbs, alternative healing techniques, or other natural remedies for hearing loss?

The answer to this question coming from the scientific community is “probably not.” When a natural remedy has been suggested as possible, clinical trials have not discovered a significant effect that goes beyond the placebo effect that can be expected from any remedy. What that means is that those who believe they are being healed can sometimes demonstrate surprising outcomes that are disconnected from any scientific knowledge of the treatment. With these principles in mind, there are not any alternative healing techniques that demonstrate a statistically significant relationship with improved hearing once it has gone bad. However, some people advocate for supplements and dietary approaches to preventing hearing loss before it occurs. Strategies for hearing loss prevention have been most promising with anti-inflammatory nutrition, such as turmeric. 

Can I use a general amplification device rather than hearing aids?

As opposed to proper hearing devices, some people have seen advertisements for audio amplifiers that raise the general volume of the world. These units have a device with a microphone and a set of earbuds that receives the signal. By simply and cheaply raising the volume on the world, you might think this can do the trick. In fact, these devices can be quite dangerous, causing increased hearing loss. Hearing aids are designed only to raise the frequencies of sound that are missing from your individual hearing profile. By raising the general volume, you might be producing very loud frequencies in ranges that don’t have hearing loss, in effect contributing to additional noise-induced hearing loss. 

How do I get assistance?

We are here to provide comprehensive hearing health services! If a medical issue is evident, requiring other expertise, we can make an initial assessment and refer you for advanced care. In most cases, you will be able to receive diagnosis and treatment for all your hearing needs with us. Even after you receive hearing aids, you can return for ongoing treatment, consultation, and assistance. Contact us today to learn more.