Is it Time for a Hearing Test?

First of all, it’s never a bad idea to get your hearing checked even if you don’t think you’re having any problems hearing.  A baseline assessment of your hearing can always be used as a comparison years from now when you think you might be having a problem.  If you finding yourself answering yes to the following questions, then it’s time to get your hearing checked.

Do others complain the TV is too loud?
Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy room?
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Do you ask others to repeat themselves?
Do you avoid going out because you’ll struggle to hear?

Case History

We’ll begin by taking a detailed history. We’ll ask a series of questions about your medical, work and personal life as it relates to your ears and your hearing.

Physical Examination

The next step is an examination of your ears.  We’ll thoroughly examine your ears for any physical condition that might indicate a need for a medical referral.

Pure Tone Audiometry

Wearing headphones, your hearing levels are measured using tones and words.  Providing us with sensitivity levels and discrimination ability.

Speech Recognition

A series of words will be presented at varying intensity (loudness) level to assess how well an individual is able to process speech information.Spee

How to Convince Someone They Need a Hearing Test

Types of Hearing Loss

Are There Different Types of Hearing Loss?

We get many questions from our patients, but this one pops up quite a bit.  We figure our patients can’t be the only ones asking if there are different types of hearing loss, so we thought we’d provide an answer.

Yes, there are different types of hearing loss.

There are four commonly recognized different types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive
  • Sensorineural
  • Mixed
  • Central

Conductive Hearing Loss

A conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the ear canal, eardrum, or through the tiny bones of the middle ear.  This results in a reduction of the loudness of a sound. Common causes of a conductive hearing loss include:

  • Trauma to the ear
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • Excessive wax in the outer ear canal
  • Outer ear infection

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Often referred to (in error) as “nerve deafness” a sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. These cells cannot be repaired or replaced. Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include: 

  • Exposure to loud noises
  • The aging process
  • Viral Infections
  • Trauma to the ear
  • Medications that are toxic to the ear

Typically a sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and irreversible.  The only solution for most people with a sensorineural hearing loss to improve their ability to hear is to use hearing aids.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Some people have both a conductive and a sensorineural hearing loss.  A combination of the two different types is referred to as a mixed hearing loss. For example, a mixed loss can occur when someone has a sensorineural hearing loss and develops fluid in their middle ear causing a conductive hearing loss. 

They may notice a decline in their ability to hear as a result of the temporary change in their hearing caused by the conductive hearing loss.  Once the conductive hearing loss is resolved, their hearing levels should return to the level it was prior to the conductive hearing loss.

Central Hearing Loss

Our outer and inner ears allow us to “hear” sound, but the brain, allows us to “understand” sound.  Various medical issues can cause our processing of auditory stimuli to breakdown causing a central hearing loss also known as an auditory processing disorder.

Persons with a central hearing loss can hear sound but have difficulty with understanding or processing what they heard. When a central hearing loss is suspected, there are tests that can be done to determine if a hearing loss is due to a central auditory processing problem.

The type of hearing loss you have is just one piece of the puzzle…next week we’ll discuss the different degrees of hearing loss.

 

Hearing Loss & Dementia

Research not only shows a connection between hearing loss and dementia, but a Johns Hopkins study of older adults found that hearing loss actually accelerates brain function decline. Some experts believe that interventions, like hearing aids, could potentially delay or prevent dementia. Research is ongoing.

Your Heart & Hearing Loss

Cardiovascular and hearing health are linked. Some experts say the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it’s possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.

Depression & Hearing Loss

Research shows that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages, but is most pronounced between ages 18 to 69. Research also shows that the use of hearing aids reduces depressive symptoms.

You’re tired of repeating yourself.  You’re tired of not going out to eat, to a party or to a family celebration.  But mostly you’re tired of being someone else’s hearing aid. But how do you convince someone that at the very least it’s time to get his or her hearing checked? The quickest way to bring someone around to the realization that they have a problem is stop being an enabler.  Every time you make allowances for or accommodate their problem you give them one more reason to delay the inevitable.  And solving the problem is inevitable.  The average person waits 5 – 7 years to do something about their hearing loss…some sooner, some later but eventually when any problem persists for long enough we will seek out a solution. By not enabling the hearing impaired person you’ll force them to realize the seriousness of their problem much sooner.  And the sooner a problem is resolved the better the outcome, this is as true for a leaky faucet as it is for a hearing loss.

“I want to say how happy I am with my new hearing aids! Dr. Pendrick did a remarkable job in helping to diagnose my hearing problems and selecting the proper equipment for me to be able to perform my job duties. I travel constantly and my hearing had diminished to less than 50%. I could not hear my co-workers and our customers who relied on me for accuracy in their product applications we manufacture for their equipment. Now that is truly a thing of the past. I have seen a drastic improvement in my job performance directly due to my hearing aids. I now also have a Bluetooth enabled system from ASC that Dr. Pendrick custom matched to my hearing aids. What a great invention, phone calls are a breeze in any location and I hear every detail crystal clear. I am truly one satisfied customer and feel the sky is the limit with the personalized service I was given by ASC and Dr. Pendrick.”

—JR

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Office Location

8872 Professional Drive
Suite A
Cadillac, MI 49601

Office Hours

M - F: 8AM - 5PM