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Al Wilson

Al Wilson
Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist

Al knows from personal experience how much your life can be improved when you find the right solution for your hearing loss.

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Hearing Health & Hearing Loss
listening clearly
link Noise Induced Hearing Loss
link Solutions for Hearing Loss
link Preventing Noise Induced Hearing Loss
link Tinnitus - Ringing or Buzzing in the Ears"

Hearing is one of our most vital sensory organs. Whether we consciously realize it or not, it allows us to connect with our friends and family, it alerts us to dangers, and it delights us with the sounds of music, raindrops, and singing birds.

Our sense of hearing does all of this naturally through a sophisticated process we never even really think about until we begin to notice that words in conversation aren't as clear, or the sound of the raindrops is so faint we barely notice it.

"Huh?" becomes a regularly repeated word, and when you're tired of repeating it, you may simply just nod and smile, not really knowing at all what was said.

When you experience a loss in hearing clarity, it can be for various reasons, though the most common is "Sensorineural" or "Noise Induced" Hearing Loss. Essentially this is when your hearing is damaged over time by exposure to loud noise.

"Noise Induced" Hearing Loss

Essentially, this is when your hearing is damaged over time by exposure to loud noise without wearing hearing protection. Loud music, power tools, construction noise, lawnmowers, firearms, and recreation noise like motorcycles and speedboats all take their toll on your hearing clarity—words aren't clear or music doesn't sound as nice as it used to because you're missing the full frequency or range of sound.

Noise induced hearing loss typically happens over a long period of time, so the decline in your hearing clarity is gradual and may even seem unnoticeable. It is a slow process, and your ears and brain work together to adjust to the loss in clarity. If you wear glasses or contact lenses to correct your vision, you may remember the first time you put on your new glasses and were able to distinctly see the outlines of leaves on a tree or the crisp, clean letters in the newspaper versus shades of green you knew to be leaves and shades of gray and black that you squinted at to bring into focus. You probably thought, "Wow! I didn't realize just how much I couldn't see!" Most of our patients who have a loss in hearing clarity and decide to try hearing aids experience the same revelation with their hearing.

You can experience hearing loss in one ear or both ears. When both ears are affected, the degree and type of loss can be different in each ear. Hearing loss can be consistent or it can fluctuate; when hearing clarity fluctuates, it is typically the result of an ear infection or fluid in the inner ear. Hearing loss can also be progressive, happening gradually over time, or sudden, as though someone flipped a switch and adjusted the sound volume. It's IMPORTANT that you visit your family doctor if you are experiencing ear pain, bleeding from the ears, sudden hearing loss, or fluctuations in hearing, because these symptoms may be the result of a problem that needs medical treatment.

If you feel that you aren't hearing things as clearly as you used to, you're not alone. Millions of people of all ages have some form of hearing loss that ranges from mild to severe. In fact, many doctors recommend that a hearing test be part of a routine physical exam. If you haven't had your hearing evaluated, give us a call to schedule a comprehensive hearing test. It's easy, painless and even covered by most health insurance. Your hearing will be glad you did.

Solutions for Hearing Loss

When you visit Preferred Hearing Aid Center, we will sit with you and ask you questions to determine whether your hearing concerns are something for which you must see your family doctor (ear pain, bleeding from the ears, fluctuating hearing loss, sudden hearing loss). Though this is usually determined at the time you call to schedule your appointment, our concern is your complete hearing health, so we will always make sure.

We will then ask more questions and begin to perform a hearing evaluation. We typically discover one of three things:

1. You have earwax blocking your ear canal — once it's removed, your hearing is greatly improved!

2. Your ears look fine, and your hearing test results show that you are hearing clearly.

3. Your ears look fine, but your hearing test reveals that you do have a hearing loss.

If your hearing test shows that you have a hearing loss, we will work with you to recommend the best solutions to help you hear more clearly. This can range from assistive listening devices like amplified telephones to hearing instruments or both.

Can hearing loss be cured? Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse noise induced hearing loss, but there are solutions to help you hear more clearly. At Preferred Hearing Aid Center, we will be there to help you every step of the way!

Preventing Noise Induced Hearing Loss

To protect your ears, wear earplugs or earmuffs when you are in environments with noise: construction sites, yard work, concerts, woodworking, hunting with firearms. For extra comfort and protection, we can provide you with Custom Hearing Protection that will conform specifically to your ear canals.

Give your ears a rest! Even when you're watching television at a reasonable volume, the repetitive sound on your ears can fatigue them. So turn off the TV or radio for a while and enjoy a little quiet for the sake of your hearing health.

Ringing or Buzzing in the Ears — Tinnitus

Often referred to as "ringing in the ears," tinnitus is a medical term for the perception of sound in one or both ears when no external sound can be detected by others. Some people who suffer from tinnitus hear hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping, or clicking rather than ringing. Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant with single or multiple tones, and its perceived volume can range from subtle to intense.

In many cases the cause of tinnitus cannot be determined. There are many potential catalysts that are known to trigger or worsen tinnitus: accumulation of earwax, exposure to loud sounds, head or neck injuries, problems with blood circulation, jaw misalignment, ear or sinus infections certain types of tumors, cardiovascular disease, and even certain medications can trigger tinnitus. The majority of people who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing loss.

There are various solutions to help with tinnitus management, but the most important place to start is by talking to your family doctor, who will help you determine if there is a medical cause for the noise that you are experiencing.

 
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