Would Hearing Aids Help Me?

By Arthur H. Katz, MD
June 23, 2017
Category: ENT Care
Tags: hearing aid  

Are you experiencing hearing loss? Is it difficult to understand conversations at a restaurant or family party? Do you have tinnitus, a constantHearing Aids ringing or buzzing sound in your ears? If so, Dr. Arthur Katz, board-certified otolaryngologist in Merrillville and Munster, IN, and Olympia Fields, IL, can evaluate your hearing and recommend the right course of action. He will answer this question, "Would hearing aids help me?"

Why people lose their hearing

The Hearing Loss Association of America says that a full 20 percent of Americans have some kind and degree of hearing loss. That amounts to almost 50 million people! What are the reasons behind this health problem? Experts such as Dr. Katz say that people struggle with their hearing because of circulatory problems, deterioration or injury to the bones in their ears or because of progressive nerve deterioration due to noise exposure, age or certain medications.

Unfortunately, hearing loss usually is gradual and can be so subtle that most individuals don't notice they have a problem--that is, until a friend, relative or coworker says something. If you think you are not hearing as well as you used to, if loved ones have told you they are repeating themselves or if your favorite TV program needs to be at a higher volume, you may have a hearing problem. Hearing aids may be just what you need to be safe, participate in social situations again and just enjoy life.

Kinds of hearing aids

Modern hearing aids are true wonders of digital technology and science. All types of hearing aids contain tiny microphones to amplify incoming sounds. Many manage, or filter, different kinds of sounds, helping the individual to focus on conversation or other important sounds. For instance, hearing aids can make human speech more prominent and background noise less so.

In addition, some models contain feedback canceling features, eliminating the annoying squealing noise of older hearing aids. Finally, some hearing aids are programmable, dovetailing with applications on smartphones or other mobile devices so the wearers can adjust volume and other variables themselves.

In general, hearing aids fall into three categories:

  • CIC, or completely in the canal. These instruments are completely hidden in the ear itself, making them the optimal cosmetic choice.
  • ITE, or in the ear. These hearing aids are larger, have more features and fit within the outer structure of the ear.
  • BTE, or behind the ear. The amplifier is positioned within the ear canal while the electronic parts residing on top of the outer part of the ear. These hearing aids work well for people needing more amplification.

Find out more in Merrillville, Munster and Olympia Fields

If you do have hearing loss and are a good candidate for hearing aids, Dr. Katz will guide you in the selection of the instrument just right for you. He is a board-certified otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon; so you can count on his expertise and on his caring attitude, too. Please call (219) 934-9396 for a hearing consultation in Merrillville and Munster, IN, and Olympia Fields, IL.