Lifestyle: Better Hearing Begins at AVA

Improve your lifestyle with better hearing. Do what you want, go where you want. Better hearing makes it possible.

But I Don't Want to Wear Hearing Aids.

No one is excited to wear hearing aids, just like no one want to wear dentures or braces. But ignoring hearing loss has far reaching health influences. People who don’t treat their hearing loss experience higher levels of depression. This may be due to the effort it takes to communicate with family and friends. Often, people without treatment will begin to avoid tough listening situations leading to isolation and anxiety. Studies show that untreated hearing loss effects Brain Age, showing up to a 9 year accelerated decline in cognitive abilities.

On the other hand, studies show that people who treat their hearing loss with hearing aids report an overall improvement in quality of life.

It hearing aid size is an issue, know that there are many style options that are very small or even invisible to the naked eye. The truth is, people are more likely to notice your hearing loss than your hearing aid. The stigma that hearing aids = old person is no longer an accepted belief. Trends are showing that the average age of 1st time hearing aid users is younger than ever. Because of ear worn headphones, Bluetooth phone devices and pro-health attitudes, hearing aids are an acceptable accessory for all ages. Call AVA to see what options may be appropriate for you.

I don’t think I have any problem with my hearing.

Are you sure? For most people hearing loss happens slowly over time. The symptoms can be hard to notice. Quite often, family members and friends notice hearing loss before the person experiencing it.
Your doctor may not routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Even if your doctor does check for hearing loss, you may still “pass” the screening test (whisper test) in a quiet room because hearing loss is typically not in all frequencies. Normal progression of hearing loss usually affects the high frequencies first, making it difficult to understand speech as opposed to “Hearing Speech”. Common signs of hearing loss include:

  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
  • Saying “WHAT?” but before someone can repeat you say “Oh, I heard you”
  • Trouble following conversations that involve more than two people
  • Thinking that other people are mumbling
  • Problems hearing in noisy places such as busy restaurants
  • Trouble understanding the voices of women and small children
  • Turning up the TV or radio volume too loud for others who are nearby
I’m not even 65 – how could my hearing be bad already?

Most people with hearing loss are younger than 65. Hearing problems can even happen in children.

What Should I Do If I Suspect a Hearing Loss?

Call AVA Hearing Center for a thorough hearing evaluation and listing assessment. The test just provides you with information about the good parts of your hearing and maybe some areas that cause communication difficulties. A hearing test can also serve as a BASELINE in order to monitor the progression of loss or see influences of medications, noise exposure or illness. AVA participates with most insurances and provides a diagnostic assessment of hearing, speech discrimination and speech in noise tests.

What can be done to treat a hearing loss?

Sometimes the problem is treatable; by having earwax removed, using medication for an infection or in some cases, surgery. Mild hearing loss can be treated with Aural Rehabilitation exercises and other tips for good listening. The most common type of hearing loss is called “sensorineural hearing loss”. This is the kind usually found with diabetes. Sensorineural hearing loss can be mild to profound. When the damage is mild, using Aural Rehabilitation Exercises can improve listening skills. In other more severe cases sensorineural can be treated with hearing aids. Call AVA to see which treatment options are right for you.

How can I be sure that hearing aids will help?

Hearing aids have changed a lot in the past few years. Instead of making all sounds louder, like the old kind, newer hearing aids are better at making what you want to hear clearer. These hearing aids also have special features to focus towards a speaker or reduce the level of background noise. Current hearing aid models will have Bluetooth options that can connect the hearing aid to a cell phone or television, making it easier to enjoy conversation and entertainment.
At AVA Hearing Center we offer several ways to try hearing aids before you purchase them. We have a unique program called FLEX TRIAL that uses a special recording hearing aid that shows a patient’s individual acoustic lifestyle. It identifies which hearing aid features are being used and which features are less important. This information is beneficial when deciding which hearing aid is most appropriate. Not every patient needs the most expensive hearing aid. At AVA, the patient is always has options. Our goal is to provide meaningful information and professional knowledge to help patients make the choice that is right for them. Call us today to start your FLEX TRIAL.

Diabetes and Hearing Loss

AVA Hearing CenterSource of the chart above.
Diabetes and hearing loss are two of America’s most wide spread health concerns. Nearly 32 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and an estimated 36.5 million have hearing loss. The numbers are similar - is there a link?

Yes, says the National Institute of Health (NIH). In fact, the NIH has found that hearing loss in twice as common in people with diabetes as it is in those who do not have the disease. Also, of the 79 million adults thought to have pre-diabetes, the rate of hearing loss is 30% higher than in those with normal blood sugar.

How does diabetes contribute to hearing loss?

Diabetes is associated with several factors that narrow blood vessels in the body. Sugar-based complexes build up in the vessel walls, decreasing blood flow through them. Further narrowing of the vessel walls can come from Atherosclerosis. Plaque, the substance that attaches to the walls, narrows the blood vessels and decreases blood flow through the arteries. Diabetics typically have higher sugar levels in their bloodstream. The sugar is sticky causing plaque to adhere more easily to the vessel walls.

Hearing sensitivity depends on microscopic nerves being fed by small blood vessels in the inner ear. These fine structures need oxygen rich blood to stay alive. The ear has the smallest nerves and blood vessels in the body. They are especially susceptible to damage. High blood glucose levels restrict the diameter of these small blood vessels, reducing oxygen, destroying the nerves and ultimately causing hearing loss.