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Fri, Jan 24 8:57am · What do you do when someone is in denial about their hearing loss? in Hearing Loss

Agree, seeing the ENT about possible ear wax buildup is a great first step!

Wed, Jan 22 9:48am · What do you do when someone is in denial about their hearing loss? in Hearing Loss

Mari, first, did you check with Costco about replacing your lost hearing aid? On the Costco website, it says "Free loss and damage coverage (with no deductible)." Second, it is great that you care about your friend's hearing because friends and family are often responsible for persuading people to get tested for hearing loss & then, to get hearing aids. You could ask her why she is hesitant. I've read that on average people wait 5-7 years (after they realize that they have hearing loss, which my not be immediate!) to get tested, then wait a few more years to get hearing aids. Now scientist are studying untreated hearing loss and the increase in dementia and depression. You can watch this video on CBS news: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hearing-aids-you-aint-heard-nothing-yet-2019/ Maybe she will watch it with you, too. Frank Lin, a physician at Johns Hopkins University, has conducted a lot of research – you can google his name or I can send some more links. Another thing to know is the longer one waits to be treated, the more difficult to adjust and the less effective the adjustment may be. This is because your brain actually changes how it works, when you have hearing loss (search Anu Sharma at Univ Colorado). This information was enough to motivate me to wear my hearing aid more regularly. Not to mention you just want to be part of the conversation, literally. Here is a quick quiz that may help determine whether one should be tested (though people may deny that they are experiencing any issues even as those around them say that they are!): https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/do-you-need-hearing-test. Also the Costco website has Frequently Asked Questions that may provide some guidance for talking to your friend. Good luck!

Jul 15, 2019 · Do hearing aids damage ears? Is the helping hurting in the long run? in Hearing Loss

tmcclain – I'm sorry you haven't had a good experience with your audiologist, and that your hearing loss has worsened. It could be possible there are other reasons your hearing loss has worsened. I would urge you to find a new audiologist that is more helpful to you. Good luck.

Jul 15, 2019 · Do hearing aids damage ears? Is the helping hurting in the long run? in Hearing Loss

Oh one more thing about PSAPs – if you read the article above, it gives some background on the 2017 regulation that will provide guidelines for the new law allowing for over the counter "hearing aids." Also, you can read about the law at (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/670) and the ASHA position paper at (https://www.asha.org/News/2018/Hearing-Associations-Release-Consensus-Recommendations-for-New-Over-the-Counter-Hearing-Aid-Classification/). It is probably not a simple decision – personally if it involved me or a loved one, and the option was PSAP or NO hearing aid, I would opt for PSAP. However I would try to find an audiologist who would (willingly) provide me with a test and help me choose a PSAP appropriate for my needs… I think it is pretty complicated to just choose one off the internet, as a lay person. Maybe when issues, the FDA guidance will provide some User Guidelines.

Jul 15, 2019 · Do hearing aids damage ears? Is the helping hurting in the long run? in Hearing Loss

As a disclaimer, your question is beyond me and I think you need to talk to an audiologist or otorhinolaryngologist to obtain a reliable explanation. That said, my understanding is that the "right" hearing aids can be adjusted to filter (bringing up the particular frequencies one is deficient in, without over-amplifying the others). One caveat I would say is that it seems that some over-the-counter (OTC) "hearing aids," or "personal sound amplification products" (PSAPs) are as effective for some people as "prescribed" hearing aids, and others or perhaps incorrectly selected PSAPs potentially could be harmful. There is a good article about this, "Personal Sound Amplifiers for Adults with Hearing Loss" by Sara K Mamo (https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(15)00935-3/fulltext). However, I am concerned about NOT wearing my hearing aids as much as possible due to the apparent association between "untreated" hearing loss (i.e., not wearing HAs) and cognitive decline, falls, dementia, etc. There is some interesting research by Sharma at University of Colorado and Lin at Johns Hopkins University about neuroplasticity (brain changes, in this case associated with treated/untreated hearing loss) and undesirable associated factors. Unfortunately, there are not many solid scientific conclusions regarding hearing loss and causality, but for myself – in the limited studies I've read – the risks associated with not wearing my hearing aids are too high. Hope this is helpful for you.

Jun 7, 2019 · Anxiety and disbelief over sudden hearing loss and tinnitus in Hearing Loss

I agree, it is a little worrisome, not knowing what the cause of my SSHL was. But it may have been "stupid" in the sense that autoimmune/stress are related and I let myself get into the position of feeling a lot of work stress at that time. I try to keep balance and "live healthy" – not easy! I had very much a grief reaction at first, and that has gotten better with time. So yes, I thought about it a LOT in the beginning (especially since you are still having severe tinnitus and possibly other symptoms, that may resolve to some degree). It is good you are seeing a counselor to help you get through the acute period. The main impact on my life now is that it is difficult for me to hear in noisy situations. Whereas I can manage this more in my personal life, I have business/ client meetings where I cannot control the environment, and they are fairly frustrating and exhausting. I am lucky that I am in health care and have a great client so there is some understanding/patience. Though of course I would prefer just to be able to enjoy the conversation! But I try to dwell on the positive – which is pretty much my nature. I hope that – with time – you will be able to get to find peace, too.

Jun 6, 2019 · Anxiety and disbelief over sudden hearing loss and tinnitus in Hearing Loss

I'm sorry you are going through this (and really traumatic as it happened to you). I don't understand how the dental work triggered the event, but I can empathize with your initial reaction as well as your beating yourself up now. I hope you can let that go – it may be that even if you had asked the dentist to stop, you would have had the same result.
I experienced Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) several years ago at about age 50. I woke up a little dizzy and feeling like my ear was a little plugged, but attributed it to allergies. The dizziness became unbearable that morning and long story short, I was referred from minor emergency center directly to an otorhinolaryngologist (ear+ doctor), evaluated & taking steroid & antiviral by that evening. I also had tympanic steroid injections. In the end, they don't know what caused it and I have severe/profound hearing loss in one ear. I now have a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) which helps but isn't great in noisy environments, etc.
Since you are having problems with both ears, but also have some hearing in both(?) I suspect you will not have a BAHA – has your specialist talked to you about hearing aids or possibly cochlear implant? Also I understand there is treatment for disabling tinnitus – so ask your doctor about that. Aural (hearing) rehab is also a "thing," and that may be something that is beneficial for you.
Despite my outcome, anyone who experiences sudden hearing loss should seek immediate evaluation and treatment by a specialist. It is frightening, but from what I've read the chance of a repeat event is rare (~2%). My suggestion would be to share your anxiety and questions with your specialist, and try to figure out if your doctor has expertise in this area or if you want to seek a second opinion. Good luck.

Apr 29, 2019 · Hearing Loss: Come introduce yourself and connect with others in Hearing Loss

Hi Merry, Your situation is a little different than mine: I had sudden hearing loss in one ear (which makes it surprisingly difficult to understand people) but wanted to encourage you re: your relationship. This does put a strain on relationships, both with spouse and others. Sometimes it's exhausting and I just want to "tune out" so to speak, but I know that isn't the right thing, either. My husband happened to meet someone else who had the same situation as me, and (you know how it goes, sometimes you just hear it better from a neutral party) after a long conversation with that person, he has been more understanding towards me. Or maybe I didn't verbalize it well. But maybe your talking with others will help you – and maybe him, too – understand better and not let it negatively impact your relationship. It is hard for both of you. I thin you just have to re-learn how to talk to him (volume), but if any consolation I guess it is also not easy to re-learn to "hear" with hearing aids. However if he puts them in/out at unexpected times, then he will need to own letting you know that 🙂 And you can let him know that you are not "yelling," you are talking loudly… different connotation! Good luck!