Decades ago, hearing aids were speakers attached to noise catching boxes that weighed several pounds and had large headphones that hooked over your entire ear. . Next came the bulky hearing aids that you probably remember your grandfather wearing. They looked like a small satellite attached to his head and usually squeaked and buzzed at the most inopportune times. Often, you were more likely to see these hearing aids on his nightstand or kitchen table because they worked intermittently and were uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Living with hearing loss for a period of time caused me to forget all of the sounds that I had once taken for granted. When I purchased my hearing aids, my expectations were low. I wanted to hear the doorbell, and I wanted to clearly hear car horns and traffic noises. I did not dare hope to hear anything more than that, because I did not want to be disappointed. Putting my hearing aids into my ear canals changed my life instantly. Not only could I hear forgotten sounds, but I also experienced profound changes beyond the sounds.
Imagine walking into a large discount superstore and picking out your eyeglasses with no prescription or professional to guide you. From a sea of different prescriptions for far-sightedness and near-sightedness, you figure out what prescription fits your eyesight best, and you leave with what feels right as you continue to shop.
For the last several years, you have worn your hearing aids faithfully, and been able to hear as well, or more honestly almost as well as before you had hearing loss. You have heard your colleagues speak in meetings, your kids and grandkids laughter, your loved one’s voice in a crowded restaurant, and the television at an acceptable level. But recently, you may have noticed that your hearing is not what it recently was. Your hearing aids are chirping, they feel clogged or muffled, or you might be back to blaring the volume on your television again. Hearing aids wear out, and knowing when to replace yours can save you and your loved ones a lot of frustration.
You would not wear one lens in your glasses or one good shoe and one flip flop, so why would you wear one hearing aid? If you have established that you have hearing loss, maybe you are moving on to the thought of investing in a hearing aid. If your hearing loss is more pronounced in one ear, a tempting idea might be to just get one hearing aid for one ear. We have the facts behind why correcting hearing loss in both ears is vital. In the case of hearing aids, two are almost always better than one!
Hearing aids have come a long way since the days when they simply made everything painfully loud for your grandfather. Those hearing aids tended to be bulky and cumbersome, often painful to wear, and distracting with all of their audible screeches and whistles.
Hearing loss is not merely a modern disorder, but has been an issue for humans throughout history. The history of hearing aids begins several hundred years ago, and has an interesting path, leading us to our high tech hearing aids in 2016.
When you think about hearing loss, what comes to mind? Do you think of an old, grumpy man complaining that, “Kids these days are always mumbling?” Or a little, old lady sitting in front of the TV with the volume blaring? While these may be accurate (and dramatic) pictures of more advanced hearing loss, the reality is that hearing loss can be much more subtle than this.
Imagine having to look through permanently fogged glasses every day. Imagine the strain it would put on your eyes to have to comprehend what you’re seeing through the haze. That’s kind of what it’s like for your brain when you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus (you know – that constant buzzing or ringing sound that just won’t go away).
The Colorado Ear Center is about more than hearing. We create personalized solutions designed to help you reconnect to the life you have worked so hard to build.