niles hearing
 

West Michigan 
Hearing Specialists

24 North St. Joseph Avenue
Suite E-1
Niles , MI , 49120 US
(269) 683-0800

Facts About Hearing Loss

1. Life is enriched by the experiences we have through our five senses: sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. Together, our senses enable us to learn and enjoy life. Hearing is especially vital, it enable us to communicate our wants, needs and emotions.

2. Most types of hearing loss cannot be reversed. However, your audiologists can apply the appropriate care and technology to lessen the effects of hearing loss and improve the quality of sounds you hear. Unfortunately, many people suffering from hearing loss are either unaware or ashamed of their condition, and therefore, do not utilize the advanced hearing aid technology that is available.

3. In the first stages of hearing loss, the high frequencies are usually lost first. Therefore, difficulty hearing or understanding high-pitched voices of women and children is one of the first symptoms. It is important to recognize that hearing someone and understanding them are two different things. High-frequency hearing loss distorts sound, which makes speech difficult to understand even if it can be heard. People with hearing loss often have difficulty differntiating words that sound alike, especially words that contain S, F, SH, CH, H, TH, T, K, or soft C sounds. These consonants are in a much higher frequency range than vowels andother consonants.

  Tinnitus

 1. Tinnitus is a medical conditionvcharacterized by ringing in one or both ears which can only be heard by the affected individual. It may be described as whistling, hissing, buzzing, pulsing in the ear or static. These 
sounds may come and go; however, most sufferers experience symptoms 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The effects range from slight annoyance to severe disruption of everyday life. The American Tinnitus Association estimates that over 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus.


2. Hyperacusis is an abnormal sensitivity to loud sounds.


3. There are more than 600 causes of tinnitus or hyperacusis, so it is important to have a full evaluation to assess what types of things can be done to treat yours. It is important to find an audiologist with advanced training in tinnitus.

Hearing Protection

1. Exposure to excessive noise during work or leisure activities can increase a person's risk of hearing loss and potentially worsen a pre-existing hearing problem. Continuous exposure to 85 decibels (dB) (e.g. use of a personal radio/CD player/iPod/stereo at a high volume, use of firearms, operating heavy machinery, use of power tools) can have a detrimental effect on your hearing. Audiologists consider exposure to loud music, such as a rock concert or via headphones, to be particularly dangerous since the sound intensity can sometimes reach 110 to 120 dB. The traumatic effect of a sudden loud sound, like an explosion or gun fire, can also permanently damage hearing.

2. The good news is that most of this exposure to noise at damaging levels can be easily managed by turning down the volume or by wearing ear protection. Modern devices which protect your hearing such as commercially available earplugs or custom-made ear molds with various filters systems, can give effective protection against noise.
How Loud is Too Loud

1. A general rule of thumb is if you have to raise your voice to be heard over the music/noise, it is too loud.

2. According to the National Institue of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, noises above 85 dB can cause hearing damage.

3. If you are exposed to continuous noise in your leisure activities or at work, please contact us for advice on the latest hearing protection methods that will benefit and best suit your needs.
     Communication Tips for Family and Friends 

For an individual who suffers with hearing loss, hearing aids will greatly improve his/her ability to communicate with others. Howaever hearing aids cannot make an individual's hearing "perfect" again. The following are useful tips for family and friends to use to enhance communication with individuals who have hearing loss:

1. Gain the person's attention before speaking

2. Speak Slowly and distnctly

3. Rephrase words if the person does not appear to understand or responds inappropriately

4. Avoid speaking directly into the person's ear because it can distort your message and hide all visual cues