Inlet Hearing Aid Center is now Absolute Hearing Care Centers. Same great products. Same great service. SAME GREAT PEOPLE. Just a new name…
By definition SPEECH is a complex series of sounds that we make to verbally communicate ideas. We produce a full spectrum of speech sounds from low pitches (voiced sounds from our vocal cords – “ay’ “ee’,’ “I’,’ etc.) to high pitches (ar-ticulated speech sounds from the front of our mouths, lips, tongue, and teeth – “ch”, “f’,’ “sh’,’ “t’,’ etc.) to form our words. To be HEARD those sounds travel through the air to the listener’s ears where the sound vibrations are transmitted through the ear canal, ear drum, and ossicles into the cochlea (the “hearing organ”). Inside the cochlea are micro-scopic hearing hair cells that pick up these sound vibrations and activate nerves to send impulses to the brain for pro-cessing into UNDERSTANDING.
When a person states, “I hear, but can’t understand” it’s important to determine if the problem relates to 1) incom-plete sound pick up (i.e. damaged hearing hair cells), or 2) difficulty processing (i.e. nerve damage, auditory depriva-tion). A thorough hearing evaluation will include, among other things, both pure-tone audiometry tests (to see if there is difficulty hearing certain pitches) and speech testing (to see how well the brain can discriminate speech sounds when they are made loud enough to hear).
When a patient states, “It’s not me, I can hear a pin drop, everyone just mumbles” pure-tone audiometry will usually find that the patient has normal low pitch hearing but that they have hearing loss in the high pitches. Though the pa-tient thinks they hear well, they unknowingly have damage to the part of the cochlea responsible for picking up high pitches, the most important pitches for clarifying speech de-tails!
Call us today to schedule a thorough, no-cost hearing evaluation with one of our licensed providers and get honest answers about your hearing.
Paul Retey is the founder and a hearing aid specialist at Absolute Hearing Care Centers.
When your hearing healthcare provider has determined that no pill or surgery can restore your damaged hearing, amplification simply becomes the best option versus the alternatives of lip reading, sign language, or doing nothing.
Inexpensive personal sound amplifiers pick up incoming sounds and indiscriminately increase the volume of all those sounds to make everything louder for the wearer. For some types of hearing loss (usually similar/constant decibel hearing loss across all pitch ranges) and in quiet environments results can be quite astounding. For those whose hearing has gone undiagnosed for a long time, the sensation of hearing soft sounds like papers rustling, birds chirping, and even footsteps will be amazing upon initial trial of these devices. However, without the advanced features of hearing aids, these sound amplifiers cannot achieve satisfactory results of clarity and speech understanding in life’s real world varied situations and quickly end up as a waste of money “in the drawer”.
Your hearing healthcare provider will, after a thorough evaluation and consultation, recommend digital, programmable hearing devices that can correct your loss and match your lifestyle needs across all of your listening environments. Only hearing aids contain technological features enabling your specialist to custom tailor the devices to achieve these results. For example, hearing aids are safely programmed by your specialist to frequency match the hearing aids outputs to your unique measured hearing loss at each frequency. This means you get amplification where you need it – CLARITY -, not just everything being louder. Hearing aids also feature automatic gain control where your specialist can set the hearing aids’ response to soft, moderate, and loud sounds independently for how your auditory needs to receive these signals. This enables hearing aid wearers to transition in and out of quiet and loud environments seamlessly. Hearing aids also employ automatic noise reduction. The complex computer circuitry of hearing aids is designed to analyze incoming sounds to distinguish between speech (to be made audible) and non-speech noise (to be suppressed). It’s then obvious that wearers with such technology enjoy better speech communication in challenging noise environments – groups, restaurants, and environments with background noise.
These are just a few illustrative examples of technological features available to your specialist when you are fit with modern, digital, programmable hearing devices. If you suspect hearing loss, call us to schedule a thorough, no-cost hearing evaluation and consultation with one of our licensed providers. We’ll give you honest answers about your hearing and you can find out which hearing aid technologies may be available to enable you not only to hear – BUT TO UNDERSTAND.