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Whether it’s coming from friends, family, co-workers, television, radio, your phone or any other source, each day is a symphony of spoken communication. These sounds are essential to your ability to do your job, maintain your most important relationships, understand your world, respond to changes in your environment, appreciate a witty remark – the list goes on.

However, if you can’t quite hear what’s going on around you, this flow of information, wisdom and enjoyment is cut. Even if you can understand “most” of what’s being said, you could still be missing things that matter as much as being able to read every word in a sentence.

Hearing Aids: Is it Time to do Something About Hearing Loss?

Just because you, or someone close to you, might legitimately need hearing aids, the decision to move forward can be difficult. Perhaps you feel the hearing aid will be an obvious thing about you, or make you look old or infirm. Perhaps you are convinced that you can brave it out and work extra hard to pay attention to what’s being said to you. Or you could be worried that you’d be living in a world where the words you are now able to hear lose their human warmth and begin to sound mechanical and artificial.

It’s not hard to understand these thoughts, and others like them. Fortunately, the days of low-tech hearing aids are long gone. The options for those looking for the best hearing aids are greater than ever. More and more powerful technologies are being deployed in smaller and smaller devices.


Who Needs a Hearing Aid?

The only way to get a definitive assessment of the state of your hearing is to be examined by an ENT physician. Here are some things that you could be experiencing if you are suffering from hearing loss.

Conversation

  • When you are part of a group that is talking, it is difficult to keep up with what is being said.
  • Instead of being a pleasure, conversations have become an uncomfortable nuisance because you have so much trouble understanding them.
  • You can’t really understand what is being said if someone attempts to speak to you from another room, or if they speak softly.
  • You need to see someone’s face to fully “hear” what they are saying to you.

Social Situations

  • When you are at meetings, at the movies, in church, etc., you are unable to follow what’s going on.
  • Your idea of “normal” radio or television volume is noticeably louder than what is acceptable to others.
  • You find that you are shying away from personal conversations, social gatherings, public events, etc., because your hearing difficulties are making them less enjoyable, or even embarrassing.
  • It seems that more people than ever “mumble” when they are speaking to you.

If you or a family member are experiencing some or all these symptoms, there’s a good chance that a hearing aid could greatly improve your overall quality of life.


Benefits of Hearing Aids

Your hearing is a primary sense channel that connects you to the world. Doing something about your hearing loss can have effects that are more far-reaching than you might expect.

  • Earning power – Would it surprise you to learn that not correcting your hearing problems can cost you as much as $30,000 year in reduced earnings? In its research, the Better Hearing Institute found that this applied even to those with mild hearing loss.
  • Dementia and cognitive decline – Untreated hearing loss can increase the chance that you could develop dementia. Over time, your hearing loss can begin to weaken the parts of your brain that are responsible for understanding speech, compounding your difficulties. Fortunately, correcting your hearing can slow this process.
  • Tinnitus – Are you bothered by constant ringing in your ears? In addition to being irritating, this can contribute to stress. A hearing aid can address this problem.
  • More colors in the rainbow – You probably don’t know how many sounds have disappeared from your life – birdsong, the wind, laughter in another room, the wind, the rain, and on and on. What would it mean to bring them back?
  • Social interaction – Regain the ability to enjoy interacting with others, whether in personal situations or as part of a group. You may even find you start making new friends as a result of losing your reluctance to start a conversation.

All these things add up to helping you be more relaxed, more confident, more able to take pleasure in what life has to offer you each day. Imagine what happens when a light is turned on in a dimly-lit room. Indistinct blurs are revealed as objects of beauty, as tools or as cherished mementos. The effect is no less dramatic when your hearing is restored.


Hearing Aid Types

Hearing aids fall into two basic categories: In the Ear (ITE) or Behind the Ear (BTE). They can range from nearly invisible to the colorful and stylish. The most important factor in choosing a hearing aid is understanding the nature of your specific hearing difficulties and then identifying which device(s) will be the best hearing aids for you. You are likely to have several options.

  • ITE Hearing Aids - Generally speaking, the ITE varieties are most suitable in cases of mild to moderate hearing loss. This can include styles that sit invisibly inside the ear canal (IIC) or completely in the ear canal (CIC) or in the bowl of the outer ear (ITC, meaning simply “in the canal”). The variations in size in these devices are accompanied by variations in features such as directional microphone, manual controls, etc. Making the best choice for you will involve consideration of factors including the amount of earwax your body produces, your lifestyle and your manual dexterity.
  • BTE Hearing Aids – As the name suggests, BTE hearing aids include a device (of varying size) that sits behind the ear. “Mini BTE” styles can be quite small and discrete, with a soft tip that sits in the ear canal. RITE (receiver in the ear) and RIC (receiver in the canal) styles have a speaker that sits in the ear canal and a processor that sits behind the ear. Some BTEs include ear molds. These larger devices can accommodate features and controls that may be needed to address greater hearing loss.

SFENTA's Miami Hearing Aids »

Getting Started

Your journey begins with an honest look at what you might be missing. Clearly, you have a lot to gain by letting more sound into your life. The ENT specialists at South Florida ENT Associates are well-qualified to help you understand your specific hearing issues and the range of solutions that are available to help bring your world to life.

Schedule a Consultation

For many patients in Miami and throughout Florida, hearing aids are the best way to correct hearing loss. Contact SFENTA today to meet with an audiologist and discover the best hearing aid solution for you.

- Most insurance plans accepted -

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