Understanding Hearing Aids and Hearing Loss

We want you to feel comfortable making decisions about your hearing. We know that many of our patients don’t just want to treat their hearing loss - they want to understand it and what actions they can take. Whether you're a current patient of ours or just someone looking for more information on hearing loss, we are here to answer your questions.

Kinds of Hearing Loss

Pinellas Park, FL woman on tablet making hearing appointment

There are three kinds of hearing loss:

  • Conductive hearing loss means something is preventing sound from passing through your ear. This may be caused by earwax, which we can remove ourselves. However, if it's for a medical reason, we'll refer you to a physician for proper treatment.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss means your hearing nerve has been damaged, possibly due to exposure to loud noise or as a side effect of aging. This kind of hearing loss responds well to hearing aids.
  • Mixed hearing loss combines the two. In this case, we'll refer you to a physician to treat the conductive hearing loss, and then we'll work with you to find hearing aids that will help with the sensorineural hearing loss.

Getting the Most out of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are life-changing devices, but some people may struggle to adjust to them. If you know someone who keeps their hearing aids in a drawer or you are unhappy with your own hearing aids, consider these tips:

  • Don’t wait to get help. If you wait too long to get hearing aids, you may lose some of your ability to understand speech and it may take you longer to adjust to hearing aids because you haven’t heard some sounds in years.
  • Did you receive counseling from the provider on use of the hearing aids? It's possible that the hearing aids are working just fine, but you need to learn how to wear and care from them properly.
  • Were the hearing aids purchased and programmed by an experienced professional? Buying hearing aids off the internet may be cheap, but hearing aids are more personalized than reading glasses. To be truly effective, they need to be programmed to match your exact hearing needs.

Getting Your Hearing Tested

Sometimes people assume that if they are still hearing certain sounds, they don’t need hearing aids, but things seem unclear or muffled, that's usually a sign of hearing loss. The good news is that a lot of the time hearing loss can be treated, and there's nothing to lose by getting tested and having an answer.

If you've noticed any of these signs, you might have hearing loss:

Family in Pinellas Park, FL watching tv together
  • You're turning the TV up louder than you used to.
  • Other people seem to be mumbling.
  • You have to ask people to repeat themselves often.
  • Your family complains that you don't understand them.
  • You laugh at jokes you don't hear because you don't want people to know you didn't hear them.
  • You're pulling away from social encounters because you don't feel comfortable talking to people.

Supporting a Loved One With Hearing Loss

Father and daughter on tablet making hearing appointment
  • Encourage them to wear the hearing aids the way they're supposed to be worn.They have to actually wear their hearing aids to get used to them and see the benefit from them. The more they wear their hearing aids, the more their brain will stay connected to understanding what they hear. If they're not wearing their hearing aids, gently remind them to put them on.
  • Call us if there's a problem. We can find a solution to most problems with hearing aids, but we can't fix what we don't know about. Don't worry about hurting our feelings — we just want to make sure your loved one is happy and can hear well.
  • Encourage them to wear the hearing aids the way they're supposed to be worn. They have to actually wear their hearing aids to get used to them and see the benefit from them. And the more they wear their hearing aids, the more their brain will stay connected to understanding what they hear. If they're not wearing their hearing aids, don't talk to them; again, don't enable them to go without.
  • Be patient even after they get hearing aids. We encourage family members to come to the initial programming so you can learn what to expect from hearing aids and how you can be supportive. Understand that hearing aids won't make your loved one hear the way they used to. Try to make sure they can see you when you talk to them, and don't expect them to hear you from halfway across the house.
  • Be part of their hearing team. We love family involvement! Let them know that you're there for them. And know that we are also there for them. Together, we can make a team that helps your loved one hear better and live a fuller life.

Hearing FAQs

Woman showing man hearing aids

Hearing is not as complicated or hard to understand as it seems, and we believe that education is important so you feel comfortable with your own hearing loss and your treatment options. At Choice Hearing Solutions, we always take the time to answer your questions and address your concerns. We encourage you to talk to us if there's anything you want to know about hearing loss, hearing aids, or your hearing needs.

Here, we share some of the common questions patients ask us.

Do I really have hearing loss if I can still hear some sounds?
Hearing loss is not the same thing as deafness. Many people with hearing loss can still hear the voices around them, but they have a hard time understanding what they hear. It's a lack of clarity, not a total absence of sound. This happens because you've lost the ability to hear certain frequencies, which are necessary to distinguish between different words. A hearing evaluation will let us determine which frequencies you have trouble hearing, and properly programmed hearing aids can help address what you specifically need help with.

Can I wait until my hearing loss is worse before getting hearing aids?
The longer your brain goes without hearing certain sounds/frequencies, the more it loses its ability to understand those frequencies. If that happens, then even if you get hearing aids that let you hear those sounds again, your brain still won't be able to process them. It's important to get hearing aids sooner rather than later so you have better results with your hearing devices. If you're not ready to get hearing aids just yet, we suggest getting a hearing test every year to help keep track of your hearing loss and whether it's getting worse.

Won't people think I look old if I wear hearing aids?
Hearing aids help you stay active and involved in conversations, which will make you feel and seem younger and more energetic. They're also very small and discreet, so you may be able to stand face-to-face talking to someone for hours without their even noticing you've got hearing devices in or around your ears!

Will hearing aids improve my hearing?
It's important to have realistic expectations; hearing aids can't restore your hearing to how it used to be when you were younger. But you will almost definitely experience enough improvement that it will improve your quality of life. If you get hearing aids early, when you first notice the signs of hearing loss, you will experience more benefit from your hearing aids in the long term.

Why do I need two hearing aids instead of just one?
Buying one hearing aid might be cheaper than buying two hearing aids, but it's not a good solution for everyone. We rely on hearing from both ears so that we can determine where sound is coming from, which helps our brain focus on what we want to hear and not on background noise. With just a single hearing aid, this is much more challenging. With two hearing aids, not only can you better place the source of the sounds you hear, you'll also be able to hear more clearly at a lower volume, which is a more comfortable experience for you.

How do I take care of my hearing aids?
Like any medical device, hearing aids require regular maintenance. We will walk you through how to clean your hearing aids and change the batteries. You will also want to keep them away from humidity and moisture, so don't wear them swimming or in the shower, and store them overnight somewhere dry instead of the bathroom.

How do I prevent hearing loss?
Some hearing loss occurs naturally with aging, so it's important to have your hearing checked annually even if you have been careful, just in case. However, you can reduce your chance of developing hearing loss (and potentially avoid more severe damage) by avoiding loud activities and wearing hearing protection. If you attend loud concerts, go hunting, use noisy machinery, ride a motorcycle, or work in a field like construction, you should consider investing in high-quality hearing protection to shield your ears from the damage that can be caused by noise exposure. Also, when you listen to music with headphones or earbuds, try listening at a lower volume.

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(727) 576-6160
(727) 807-7082
4551 Mainlands Blvd. Ste. A, Pinellas Park, FL 33782
6640 Van Buren St. New Port Richey, FL 34653