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Hearing Services at Minnesota Eye Consultants

How common is hearing loss?

Hearing loss is one of the most chronic health care problems facing older adults. According to a report by the Center for Hearing & Communication (2010), approximately 12% of the U.S. population or 38 million Americans have a significant hearing loss (30-40% of people over the age of 65 have some type of hearing loss while 14% of people ages 45-64 have some type of hearing loss.)

What causes hearing loss?

Hearing loss happens for many reasons. Some people lose their hearing slowly as they age. It is condition is known as presbycusis and can run in families. Another reason for hearing loss may be noise induced, like being exposed to loud machinery, music, construction equipment, etc. Hearing loss may also be caused by diseases (Tuberculosis, Lyme) viruses, childhood infections (Scarlet Fever), bacteria (Meningitis), or by heart conditions, strokes, head injuries, tumors, or certain medicines known as ototoxic drugs.

What are the signs of a hearing loss?

  • Difficulty hearing conversations in crowded places
  • Having to turn up the TV in order to hear it
  • Constantly having to ask other people to repeat themselves
  • Feeling that people are mumbling or talking too fast
  • Difficulty understanding soft voices
  • Ringing or other noises in your ears
  • Problem hearing on the telephone
  • Difficulty following a conversation & responding appropriately to comments or questions directed at you

Does hearing loss have an impact on my life?

For persons with hearing loss, their loved ones and society as a whole, the consequences of untreated hearing loss are substantial and well documented. It affects every facet of life- emotional, mental and physical. Hearing impaired adults are more likely to report sadness, depression, worry, anxiety and paranoia. The Center for Disease Control found there were higher reports of hypertension among non hearing aid users and they experienced greater difficulty with functional activities such as walking, getting outside, getting in & out of bed etc.

I hear just fine, so why can’t I wait for a couple of years before buying hearing aids?

The human body operates on a “use it or lose it” principle. Hearing loss is often gradual and, therefore, something that you adapt to. there is a growing collection of detailed studies that clinically shows the sooner you treat hearing loss, the better the outcome you will have because the longer you ignore it, the harder it is to treat. Why? Because you don’t actually “hear” a sound until the brain’s hearing centers receive electrical signals from the ear, processes those signals for location, proximity and cause and generates some reaction. Consequently, not only do the hearing nerves weaken over time, the hearing centers of the brain, under-utilized, also tend to atrophy as a result of auditory deprivation.

What are the consequences of untreated hearing loss?

For social consequences, studies have shown that people with hearing loss experience greater sadness, fear, anxiety, reduction of social activities. emotional stability, concentration problems, and depression.For physical consequences, if hearing loss is not corrected, it can result in physical issues such as: tiredness or fatigue, headaches, vertigo and stress.

Will hearing aids restore my hearing to normal?

Hearing aids are aids to better hearing. They are not cures for hearing loss but if you expect to hear better, you will be pleased with hearing aids. A report by Mayo Clinic states “When first using a hearing aid, keep these points in mind. Hearing aids won’t return your hearing to normal. Unlike corrective eyewear that restores your vision to normal, hearing aids can’t restore normal hearing. They can improve your hearing however…. Allow time to get used to the hearing aid. But the more you use it, the more quickly you’ll adjust to amplified sounds.

What should I expect during a comprehensive hearing examination?

In general, most hearing centers perform some variation of the standard air, bone, and speech testing. Minnesota Eye Consultants performs the most comprehensive exam available. Using state-of-the-art technology, we systematically perform a series of tests designed to predict the body’s neurological and mechanical abilities to detect and amplify sound, as well as the ability to interpret speech. Testing is performed in a comfortable setting and takes between 15-30 minutes while a comprehensive test takes between 60-90 minutes.

Why is Minnesota Eye Consultants involved in hearing?

The doctors at Minnesota Eye Consultants have long realized the bene관ts that sight and sound plays in the quality of life of our patients. Consequently, in 2009, Minnesota Eye Consultants started a hearing center to address the needs of our hearing impaired patients. We believe that it is in the best interest of any patient over the age of 55 to have a baseline hearing test so that we can help them monitor their hearing during life’s changing conditions. It is a complimentary exam and is performed by a State of Minnesota licensed specialist. The goal of the hearing Center is to inform and instruct patients about hearing and keep them up-to-date with their own private consultations and recommendations.

To learn more, schedule a hearing evaluation today by calling our office at 952-888-5800.

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