According to the World Health Association, 360 million people suffer from hearing loss around the world. Additionally, about one-third of people experience hearing loss over the age of 65. This common condition can be scary and make social situations awkward, but is treatable with help from your Spartanburg ear, nose and throat doctor at Spartanburg & Greer ENT.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Though it is more common later in life, hearing loss can occur at any age. Causes for hearing loss widely vary. Genetics, childhood ailments and low birth weight may contribute to hearing loss. In cases of acquired hearing loss, infectious diseases, trauma to the ear, chronic ear infections, excessive loud noises over a period of time and a blockage of the ear canal could be the cause. The most common treatment for hearing loss is with a device called a hearing aid placed onto or into the ear to amplify outside sounds.
Types of Hearing Aids
- Behind-the-ear (BTE): BTE aids house their parts in a plastic case which rests behind the ear. The case is connected to an earpiece which rests inside of the ear.
- On-the-ear (“mini” BTE): A “mini” BTE is similar to a BTE, but smaller. It also rests behind the ear and is generally thought to be more aesthetically pleasing and less noticeable than a full-sized BTE.
- In-the-ear (ITE): Rather than the parts being gathered within a case, an ITE houses its parts within a shell that sits inside of the ear. This aid is less noticeable than BTEs.
- In-the-canal (ITC): ITCs rest mostly in the ear canal, and are small enough to mostly hide from sight.
- Completely-in-the-canal (CIC): CIC aids are similar to ITC aids, but rest completely inside of the ear canal, invisible from view. The small sizes of ITEs and ITCs may be difficult to handle or insert into the ear for some people.
Hearing aids can be customized to your degree of hearing loss and come with many features. Some aids allow you to plug directly into your TV. Others have different settings for talking on the phone to make your conversation more comfortable. A directional microphone may help you hear better in noisy situations, amplifying the sound coming from in front of you when the feature is on.
The best way to determine which hearing aid and features are best for you is to consult with your ear, nose and throat doctor at Spartanburg & Greer ENT in Spartanburg, SC and Greer, SC. Call 864-582-2900 to speak with an associate about scheduling an appointment today!