Book Appointment
Our Practice

Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids

woman suffers from hearing loss impairment,

Hearing Aids and Restoration of Hearing Loss

It is possible to have a hearing loss but not know it simply because it does not interfere with everyday living. Or you may experience difficulty hearing only in certain situations because of ambient sound.

If it is determined that your hearing problem cannot be helped by medical or surgical treatments, a hearing aid might be prescribed.

Hearing Aids and Restoration of Hearing Loss

The ear hears through three separate parts with three separate functions: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. These three parts translate sound into signals the brain can interpret and understand. A sound may be distorted or lost anywhere along this path.

Head injury or stroke may cause permanent damage. Streptomycin, diuretics, ototoxic drugs and large doses of aspirin can cause damage to the inner ear. Heart or kidney disease, diabetes, smoking, emphysema or stroke can disrupt blood flow to the inner ear, also causing permanent hearing loss.

Hearing impairment commonly occurs with age, although it may result from trauma, disease, noisy exposure, medication and heredity. This impairment is defined as any degree of loss for the hearing of loudness or pitch outside the normal range.

Some indications of hearing loss are:

  • Inability to hear very quiet sounds
  • Difficulty distinguishing between similar sounding words
  • Listening to the television or radio with abnormally loud volume
  • Trouble distinguishing conversations from surrounding the noise
  • Aiding hearing by increased reliance on sight
  • Loss of very high or very low pitch
  • A feeling of insecurity or isolation
  • Delayed speech

The Hearing Aid Function

A thorough hearing test must be administered to help pinpoint the exact amount and type of hearing loss. Following examination, you will be presented with hearing aid options – if they are available. It is important to remember that while hearing aids make sound louder, they do not make speech clearer. They also cannot restore hearing; rather, they simply amplify sound to the desirable level.
Memphis pediatric ENT office of Dr. Rande Lazar

Generally, there are five basic designs for hearing aids.

  • A body type hearing aid is worn on the body with a cord connecting the aid to a receiver that snaps onto the ear mold.
  • A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid is smaller and requires no connecting cord. It is positioned behind the ear and is connected by clear tubing to the ear mold.
  • An eyeglass hearing aid is a variation of the behind-the-ear model, simply mounted on a pair of glasses.
  • All-in-the-ear hearing aids are ear molds that contain all of the hearing aid mechanisms.
  • Canal hearing aids are actually inserted in the ear canal, making them the smallest type available.

Clinical research has indicated that a hearing aid wearer derives the most benefit from hearing aids when wearing two devices. This increases the quantity of sound signals received in both ears. Hearing aids help those who have experienced hearing loss find a way to rediscover some of what they had lost with their hearing. Many people with a hearing problem can be helped with medical treatment, surgery or hearing aids.