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Hearing Aid Repair

The sad truth of the matter is that everything you buy will eventually need to be repaired. While some things, like a furnace, require a professional to work on it, other items can be fiddled with by amateurs.

Fortunately, if you are one of the 48 million people in Plano, Texas, or around the country with hearing loss, hearing aids fall into both categories. There are many simple repairs and troubleshooting that you can do yourself. For more advanced problems, you will need to contact your Plano audiologist.

Cleaning Your Hearing Aid

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Think about it – your hearing aids spend all day in your ear. Not only is your ear damp, but the device comes into contact with earwax and other debris. The hearing aid has a number of tiny holes and spaces that are just waiting to get clogged.

Your hearing aid needs to be cleaned every day; you should use a dry tissue or cloth to do the cleaning. The earmold itself can be removed from the rest of the device and washed with a mild soap solution. Make sure the earmold is completely dry before reattaching to the hearing aid.

To prevent moisture from becoming trapped inside your hearing aid, your Plano audiologist recommends opening the battery compartment and removing the battery every night before bed. This gives your device a chance to dry out. You can also invest in a dryer or dehumidifier to eliminate moisture.

Having Trouble Hearing?

If your hearing aid is not helping you hear better, it is useless to you.

Below is a checklist of things you should try at home if your hearing aid is not working:

Make sure your hearing aid is on. This is often overlooked but you sure will be mad at yourself later if this was the problem and you never even checked.

Turn the volume up. It is easy for the settings or volume controls to get turned down or altered.

Check the batteries. The batteries used in hearing aids do not drain like normal batteries. Instead, they seem to go from full strength to depleted in an instant. You can check the batteries with a battery tester and replace them if necessary.

If you follow these steps and are still having problems, now is the time to contact your Plano audiologist. They will take a closer look at your hearing aid and will often be able to perform the repair in the office.

 

Top 5 Symptoms of Hearing Loss

According to your local Plano audiologist, hearing loss is a progressive condition. This means that the symptoms appear gradually and it usually takes people a while to realize they are losing their hearing. This is one of the reasons most wait an average of seven years before they seek help for their hearing loss.

As with any medical condition, the sooner you seek treatment, the better the results. In order to identify your condition early, you will need to be aware of the symptoms.

According to your Plano audiologist, the most common symptoms of hearing loss are below.

Having trouble following conversations with background noise.

Top 5 Symptoms of Hearing Loss - Sharp Hearing Center

Trying to have a conversation in a loud environment is hard, even with normal hearing. Those with hearing loss have an even harder time distinguishing speech from sound. Their brains have to work harder, which can lead to mental and physical exhaustion.

Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.

Those in the early stages of their hearing loss may find themselves missing a word here or a sentence there. This can become increasingly exasperating, especially when in order to understand fully, you must ask people to repeat themselves. This is also frustrating for your conversation partners. Contact your Plano audiologist today to help alleviate the burden you are placing on both yourself and your family and friends.

Turning the volume on the television or radio up.

An easy way to tell if your hearing has gotten worse is to see what you set the volume of your television to. Does it seem particularly high? Then it is time to make an appointment with your audiologist.

If I may interject with a PSA about the volume settings on the television and radio – please turn the volume down before turning off a device. Your family members do not deserve to terrified by a burst of sound because they innocently turned on the television.

Avoiding social gatherings.

Untreated hearing loss can increase your feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness. These feelings are often escalated when you begin turning down invitations to social events, as it simply becomes easier to stay home than it does to deal with the frustration that comes from not being able to communicate with others.

Feeling like others mumble when they speak.

A complaint commonly heard by Plano audiologist is that people around their patients have started to mumble. While we are not here to discount the possibility that everyone around you has become a mumbler, the most likely scenario is that this is you. Hearing loss makes it harder to hear others, especially women and children.

Knowing the signs of hearing loss can help you identify it early. Contact your Plano audiologist today to learn more about hearing loss or to schedule an appointment.

Types of Hearing Tests

Your Plano audiologist will need to run a series of tests in order to determine your type and degree of hearing loss. This information is important as it is what they base their treatment recommendations on.  

Below are the seven most common tests that make up a comprehensive audiology evaluation. Keep in mind, not every test is required.   

Pure Tone Testing

Types of Hearing Tests

Pure tone audiometry, more commonly known as pure-tone testing, uses air conduction to measure your ability to hear sounds of various pitches and volumes. You will wear a set of headphones and a series of tones will be played. You will be asked to either raise your hand, press a button or respond verbally every time you detect a tone.   

The results from this test are recorded on an audiogram, which is just a visual representation of your hearing loss.  

Bone Conduction Testing 

This method is another type of pure-tone testing but instead of relying on aid conduction it uses bone. This allows the tester to measure your inner ear’s response to sounds while bypassing any damage or blockage in the outer or middle ear.  

A small device is placed behind the ear. It sends out a vibration that passes through the skull bone to reach the inner ear. 

If the results of this test are different than the air conduction test, your Plano hearing specialist can use this information to determine if you have conductive or sensorineural hearing loss. 

Speech Testing 

Speech (or word recognition) testing is used to measure your speech reception threshold (SRT), which is also known as the faintest speech you can understand 50 percent of the time. The results from this are compared with your pure-tone test results in order to confirm the diagnosis. Your ability to separate speech from background noise will also be recorded. 

 This test can be administered in either a quiet or noisy environment. Like the other tests, the results from your speech testing will be recorded on an audiogram.  

Tympanometry  

 Tympanometry is used to detect fluid, wax buildup, eardrum perforations and tumors in the middle ear. It measures movement of the eardrum in response to air pressure; the results are recorded on a chart called a tympanogram.  

Acoustic Reflex Test  

The acoustic reflex test measures involuntary muscle contractions of the middle ear and is used to determine the location of your hearing problem (the ossicles, cochlea, auditory nerve, etc.) as well as the type of hearing loss. 

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) 

Auditory brainstem response testing is used to determine whether you are suffering from sensorineural hearing loss. ABR is also commonly used to screen newborns for hearing problems. 

In an ABR test, electrodes are attached to your head, scalp or earlobes and you are given headphones to wear. Your brainwave activity is measured in response to sounds of varying intensities.  

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAES) 

Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are faint sounds generated by the vibrations of the hair cells in the cochlea of your inner ear. Those with normal hearing will produce these emissions; those with a hearing loss exceeding 25 to 30 decibels will not.   

A tiny probe fitted with a microphone and speaker is used to test for OAEs. The speaker stimulates the cochlea and the probe measures the response.  

This test helps determine whether there is a blockage in the ear canal, excess fluid in the middle ear or damage to the hair cells of the cochlea. OAE testing is often included in newborn hearing screening programs. 

As you can see, there are many tests that may be used to determine your type and degree of hearing loss. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact your Plano audiologist today.