How do you hear?

Sound waves travel into the ear canal until they reach the eardrum.  The eardrum passes the vibrations through the middle ear bones into the inner ear.  The inner ear (cochlea) is shaped like a snail.  Inside the cochlea, there are thousands of tiny hair cells.  Hair cells convert vibrations into electrical signals that are sent to the brain through the hearing nerves.  The brain picks up these signals and we are able to hear different sounds.

what causes hearing loss?

Aging, heredity, head trauma, exposure to noise, certain medication, illness, congenital defects in the ear are all some causes of hearing loss. Sometimes you can experience hearing loss due to buildup of earwax in your ear or because of an ear infection. These are curable medical issues and can be managed with proper medical treatment. For comprehensive information about causes of hearing loss, visit Types, Causes and Treatment | Hearing Loss Association of America.

getting a hearing aid

PHYSICAL EVALUATION: Responsible self health care mandates that you have your ear health and hearing loss assessed by a medical practitioner specializing in treatment and management of diseases of the ear. An evaluation by a doctor will rule out any treatable and correctable causes of hearing loss.

AUDIOLOGY EXAM: Once your doctor diagnoses you as a candidate for wearing a hearing aid, you will be referred to a qualified audiologist. An audiologist will use audiometry to conduct hearing tests on your ear and determine the degree of hearing loss, your ability to hear without a hearing aid and the correction in hearing provided by a hearing aid. This diagnosis will help the audiologist to fit you with the most appropriate hearing aid that meets all your requirements.

WEARING A HEARING AID: When you first wear a hearing aid, you may find the sound amplification difficult to adapt to as you'll be hearing everything clearer and sharper. You might want to wear your hearing aid regularly for two weeks to accustom to the new sound clarity and see improvement in listening skills. However, if you find it difficult to adjust to the sound amplification, ask your audiologist for hearing aids available on a trial basis.