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What is sensorineural hearing loss?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
Sensorineural hearing loss is a reduced sensitivity to sound from damage, malfunction, or malformation in the sensory and/or neural auditory pathways. This can occur within the cochlea (organ of hearing) from damaged stereocilia, hair cell bodies, nerve connections, or the 8th cranial nerve itself. It is not necessarily nerve damage itself but this could... Read more

What hearing aids are easiest to use for an elderly person?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD
Purchasing hearing aids for a person of any age or lifestyle requires a significant amount of consideration.  The "best" or "easist" or "most durable" hearing aid depends on the person's hearing acuity, communication needs, lifestyle, dexterity, vision, cognition, and preferences.  Many patients, of all ages, like the option of rechargeable batteries for... Read more

What are the symptoms of hearing loss?

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Julie Norin, AuD
Hearing loss is often progressive, so the symptoms may be difficult to notice until the hearing loss starts to have a true impact on ability to communicate. The most common reported symptoms is difficulty hearing or understanding womens or children's voices, or the perception that people are mumbling. This is because a typical age-related hearing loss... Read more

I have had ringing in my right ear for about 2 weeks. My ear feels plugged up with partial hearing and no pain. What should I do?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
I don't typically answer these questions, but my personal opinion is to seek medical attention immediately. Your symptoms may be caused by something as simple as an earwax blockage, which can be easily remedied by your local doctor. However, the worst case scenario is that you're suffering from a case of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which is... Read more

What can be done to help nerve deafness?

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Teresa Burns, AuD
"Nerve Deafness" is a term which people sometimes use to refer to sensorineural hearing loss, or hearing loss due to damage to the cochlea (inner ear) or the nerve connecting the cochlea to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and can be caused by aging, exposure to loud noise, genetic conditions, ototoxic medication, illnesses and other... Read more

Can hearing aids cause further hearing loss?

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Rivka Strom, AuD
As long as a real ear measure (REM) test is performed in the office during the hearing aid fitting, you will be fine. During the REM, the output of the hearing aid is measured in your ear to ensure appropriate gain for you to hear well and to ensure that the sounds you are hearing will not get too loud and case further hearing loss. Further, I would like... Read more

I am 62 and new to hearing aids. My test shows loss in mid-range freq. I have to turn the TV up and lose words in conversations, etc. I want the best hardware - small, light-weight. Which will work better for me Signia primax 7px or Oticon Opn?

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Lisa Goldstein, MA
Siemens and Oticon are both excellent manufacturers, researching and developing the best in hearing aid technology. I have worked with both the Primax 7 and the new Oticon Opn with success. It's always nice to work with an audiologist that will let you try both instruments however, it also depends on your needs. If you want the latest in direct... Read more

Does barometric pressure affect hearing?

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Natalie Phillips, AuD
You may experience some brief hearing loss and pressure in the ear with the change in atmospheric pressure, however, hearing may be affected permanently if there was damage to the ear due to barometric pressure changes. Cilck here is some further information.

Is nerve damage to the ear due to loud noise reversible?

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Matthew Pearson
Yes and no! If you are exposed to excessive levels of noise ie a concert you may get a temporary threshold shift ie your hearing ability will reduce temporarily however continued exposure can lead to a permanent reduction in hearing ability. Custom hearing protection if exposed to noise regularly is a must. You have been warned!

What iPhone apps are good for people with hearing loss? What are you recommending to your patients?

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Gene Woodard, PhD
A great app i stumbled onto is called TUNITY and it is FREE - the best kind of app!  It is strictly for television listening and streams the audio signal from the tv to a smartphone.  IF the smartphone is also bluetooth connected to hearing aids, the user can stream real time tv audio to the hearing aids via the phone.  It is a simple app to use.  There... Read more

How do I stop my hearing from getting worse?

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Lee Weissman, AuD
Excessive noise exposure is the main factor we have control over. Maintaining good cardiovascular health and controlling chronic diseases as well, such as diabetes, can preserve microcirculation in the inner ear. A book I recommend is Save Your Hearing Now by Michael D. Seidman.

My 9-year-old daughter just got over an ear infection, she has been finished her antibiotics for 2 days but she is still having trouble hearing through one ear. She says she has a constant ringing. Should I be getting it checked or is that normal?

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Cole Campbell, AuD
It's possible she may still have fluid in her middle ear even if it is not infected which would explain her "trouble hearing" and possibly the ringing as well. I would have her hearing checked by an audiologist who could easily determine if there is still middle ear fluid and how much, if any, hearing loss she has as a result of the fluid.

I'm suffering from tinnitus and hearing loss of maybe 10-20%. Would the Oticon Nera2 would help me?

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Raji Parangad, MAud
It is a good device. A hearing aid will not only improve your hearing acquity but will also have the added benefit of masking the tinnitus noise giving yu some relief from the symptom of tinnius. Raji Parangad'My Audiologist"

I have the flu and my right ear feels blocked and is ringing constantly. It is impacting on my hearing. Can you please tell me if this is normal?

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Andy Bierbaum, BC-HIS
Definitely get in to see your Dr, and if possible I would recommend going straight to the ENT.  As a Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist, it's unfortunate how many times I've had people come into my office after seeing their Primary Care Physician with your same symptoms and all they've been given was a prescription for nasal spray.  I am not a... Read more

I have single-sided deafness. What are the differences between the Widex CROS, Phonak CROS, and Signia CROS hearing aids?

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Clifford Olson, AuD
There are not a lot of differences between these three companies other than personal preference.  However, Widex and Phonak have disconnect signals that are given when the aid and transmitter are separated from each other.  Signia just got into the CROS game, but their devices seem to perform well.  I have had the most luck with Phonak.  Every time I try... Read more

I have reverse slope hearing loss. I have a pair of Oticon OPN 1 hearing aids. My audiologist does not seem to know how best to program them. I still have problems with speech in noise. Any suggestions?

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Keith Lam, BSc
Noise is inherently low frequency.  If you have reverse slope loss and your hearing aid is programmed with too much low frequencies, that would interfere with your clarity for speech understanding, especially in noisy situation.  I would try to increase the mid frequencies and lower the low frequencies, as you probably would have enough high frequencies... Read more

What are the options for dealing with hyperacusis and hearing loss?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
As previously indicated hyperacusis is a very delicate situation.  Even the standard test procedures need to be modified to accommodate possible discomfort felt by the patient.  As an example, one procedures is the "Acoustic Reflex Test", which is literally designed to play loud beeps until we detect an acoustic reflex in the muscles of the middle ear.... Read more

What is "Hidden Hearing Loss" and how is it treated?

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Todd Gibson, AuD
Hidden Hearing Loss is the term used to desribe a condition where someone exhibits difficulty hearing where the typical hearing test, the audiogram, does not indicate an actual hearing deficit.  More commonly, a person with Hidden Hearing Loss may have difficulty hearing in noise and may perform perfectly well in quiet listening situations.  The proposed... Read more