In the wake of self-diagnosis and self-treatment, many individuals are looking for ways to treat their hearing loss much in the same way that a person would treat their own back pain with over-the-counter pain medicine. A good number of companies are benefiting from this “self- treatment” in the hearing amplification business. It’s the old adage of market demand and supply. However, in actuality, it’s not self-treating, it’s a misdirection.
The issues lie in the fact that there are different types of hearing loss and some of those can be quite dangerous if misdiagnosed or treated unfittingly. Making the appropriate hearing device choices is essential for long-term hearing attainment. Failing to make those decisions based on widespread misconceptions and misunderstandings is unfortunately all too common for countless individuals. Thirty-five million Americans have hearing loss, and many of them do not get the proper treatment that they need. Many organizations are offering personal sound-amplification products (PSAPs), hearables, smartphone hearing apps, and other amplification devices.
Types of Hearing Loss
The ear is made of three parts, the outer, middle and inner ear, and there are three basic types of hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss
Causes & Treatment
Conductive hearing loss conductive hearing loss limits sound from getting through the outer and middle ear. The causes are infections, benign tumors, eustachian tube blockages, eardrum perforations, and ear canal deformities to name a few. PSAPs or other OTC treatment options will usually not work to amplify hearing in these cases and should be diagnosed and treated by an audiologist.
Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and is caused by inner ear complications such as nerve damage, genetics, illnesses, and trauma. This is the most common type of hearing loss and almost always requires hearing aids.
Mixed hearing loss may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear or nerve pathway to the brain. This too should be diagnosed and treated by an audiologist.
Understanding the cause of your hearing loss is imperative and you cannot self-diagnose the cause. The reason it’s critical to see an audiologist is that they can diagnose the root cause of your condition. What many individuals do not know is that hearing loss can be an underlying condition of major health disorders like Ménière’s disease, rubella virus, autoimmune disorders, and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, hearing loss that goes untreated or treated improperly can lead to deafness, dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions.
Why an Audiologist
is the Best Choice.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to seek out a qualified audiologist, because they are trained to get you the best outcome and resolution for your specific condition. If you’ve noticed that it’s difficult to hear conversations in a noisy atmosphere, or you feel the need to adjust your television volume much higher than before, it’s vital for you to have your hearing checked. Getting the correct diagnosis is key for your overall health and the effect of the device chosen for you.
The Truth about
What matters most about the hearing aid is the technology. When it comes to the technology feature of hearing aids, an audiologist will guide you as to which option is best suited for your personal needs. Because some individuals have hearing loss in both ears, some, just in one ear, and the level of hearing varies from person to person, there should never be a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Along with a hearing test, your audiologist should offer an in-depth evaluation of your home-life, work-life, and social life. If you are very active and frequent loud events or restaurants regularly, you may need a stronger technology than a person who has minimal hearing loss, or one that leads a quieter life in general.
Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD
Dr. Maya Berenson currently the founder of Palm Beach Hearing Associates was previously the director at The New York Hearing Center affiliated with NYOG. She was also formerly Chief of Audiology at Metropolitan Hospital where she received extensive training in pediatric audiology. Dr. Berenson earned her doctorate degree in clinical audiology from The Long Island Consortium comprised of Hofstra University, Adelphi University and St. John’s University. She completed her fellowship at SUNY Downstate Medical Center where she gained expertise in comprehensive audiological evaluations of adults and children, including complete assessment of auditory function, vestibular/balance assessment and treatment, and aural-rehabilitation including amplification evaluation, fitting and orientation.
Please Contact The Hearing Center Of Broward & Palm Beach Today To Start Your Path to Better Hearing.
Palm Beach Gardens: (561) 500-3277
Boynton Beach: (561) 708-6246
Wellington: (561) 708-6247