Should I have a hearing test?
Because hearing loss is so gradual, it is not always easy to notice if you are not hearing as well as you used to. People around you often notice that you may have a hearing difficulty before you do. Here are some signs you can look out for:
- The TV is too loud for other members of your family
- You find it difficult to keep up with conversations when there is background noise
- Chatting on the phone is tricky even when the room is quiet
- You feel like people are mumbling a lot, and you have to ask them to repeat what they have said.
At AMARA MEDICARE, you may be eligible for our free hearing screening. Please call on 08150376696 to book your appointment or visit our test facility at Plot 76B Eleganza Gardens (opposite VGC), Ajah, Lagos.
How often should I have a hearing test?
It is important that you track the quality of your hearing as you age. If you’re over 50, we recommend that you get your hearing checked at least every two years, so that we can make sure your hearing has not changed too much since your last appointment. For current wearers of hearing aids, the recommendation is to have your hearing tested every three years.
How can I help a loved one with hearing loss?
Because hearing loss is so gradual, a person with a hearing loss might not even notice it. But it can be frustrating if a loved one seems to be struggling to hear (perhaps they ask you to repeat yourself a lot or they have trouble talking to you on the phone). They might even become a little withdrawn and spend less time in social situations because they are struggling to hear. If you think someone you know has a hearing loss, you can help them get a hearing test.
Where should I go for a hearing test?
Your ENT doctor (or family physician) may be able to recommend an audiologist. We have our hearing test centre at Plot 76B Eleganza Gardens (opposite VGC), Ajah, Lagos. We can also conduct hearing tests for corporates at any location within Lagos.
What are the causes of hearing loss?
There are many reasons why people who were born with hearing lose it in later life. The most common is age as it is a normal part of the ageing process which is usually gradual. Another cause is noise exposure at work or at leisure. This can be from a short burst of sound (like an explosion), or from longer exposure, for example working in a noisy factory or standing next to the speakers in a nightclub. Illness, injury and medication are other reasons why you might lose your hearing.
Why should babies be screened for hearing loss?
It is important to know that your baby has hearing loss as soon as possible so that you can give them the best chance to develop language and communication skills at the same rate as children with normal hearing.
If your child’s hearing loss goes undetected, it may slow down their social and educational development and is likely to go on to affect many areas of their progress.
What are the different types of hearing loss?
There are two main types – conductive or sensorineural. Some people have both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, known as mixed hearing loss. There are also different degrees of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound.
- Conductive hearing loss:
Conductive hearing loss is due to a mechanical blockage or failure preventing sound vibrations from passing freely through the outer or middle ear. For example, sound will not be passed to the cochlea properly if the eardrum or middle ear bones are damaged, or if there is a build-up of wax in the ear canal.
- Sensorineural hearing loss:
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the cells in the cochlea. These cells cannot be repaired or replaced. Another cause of sensorineural hearing loss is damage to the auditory nerve, though this happens very rarely. The only solution to help people with sensorineural hearing loss is the use of hearing aids.
One possible effect of sensorineural hearing loss is ‘recruitment’. This means that you find it difficult to hear quiet sounds yet find loud sounds uncomfortable. Hearing aids can be programmed to prevent uncomfortably loud sounds from entering your ears.
Do hearing aids work?
While hearing aids cannot give us back our normal hearing, they can help significantly in most areas where you may be experiencing difficulties. To get the full benefit of hearing aids, they must be accurately fitted by a qualified hearing professional.
How long is a hearing test?
It usually takes 15 minutes for a screening and one hour for a full diagnostic test.
How long will my hearing aid last?
The life span of a hearing aid will vary with make and use. On average, they can last up to 5 years.
Are there any negative side effects of using hearing aids?
Some of the side effects that users have experienced include:
- Headaches and tinnitus
- Skin irritation, soreness, and discomfort
- Itching in the ear canal
How can I mitigate the impact of the negative side effects of hearing aids?
- Headaches and Tinnitus
When the volume of the hearing aid is not properly set, particularly if set too loud, it is possible to start having headaches or experience tinnitus or ringing in the ears, sometimes even pain. If you feel any of these symptoms, you should consult with a specialist.
- Irritation, soreness, and discomfort
A badly fitted hearing aid can be extremely uncomfortable to wear. If your hearing aid is too tight, it may cause skin irritation, soreness, and general discomfort and if it is too loose, it can slip or slide. Bad fitting can interfere with the sounds you hear and create more feedback. Make sure to put your hearing aid in carefully and properly. If the problem is with the device, you should turn to your audiologist for adjustment.
- Itching in the Ear Canal
Avoid sticking your finger in your ear to get rid of the annoying itch. Sticking anything in your ear can result in worsening problems with ear wax compaction and can even lead to damage to the ear drum. The best thing to do is to clean your ears with a spray or drops every evening to moisturise the ear canal.
Some hearing aids may produce a lot of feedback such as whistling, cracking when put on, or when it is windy. They may also make loud sounds when chewing specific foods or some electronic devices may cause interference with the signal. Again, you can resolve this through consultation with your audiologist.
How long will it take to get used to my hearing aid?
Unlike spectacles that fix refractive eye problems immediately, hearing aids do not restore the lost hearing ability right away. In fact, they do not restore hearing but help you hear better. However, the sooner you start using them the better. Wearing them will stimulate the brain to recognize and process sounds. It can take some time to get used to wearing hearing aids and at first ordinary sounds can seem extremely loud. This is because your brain needs to relearn the ability to filter out loud noises like these. Each person’s experience may vary but on average, most people will be well adjusted after wearing hearing aids for a few weeks.
Why do hearing aids cost so much?
One reason is that hearing aids are sold in relatively low volume and the manufacturers spend significant amounts on research and development.
What factors should I consider when choosing a style of hearing aid?
Your audiologist can help you make an appropriate choice based on your degree of hearing loss, the shape of your outer ear, the size and shape of the ear canal, your ability to place and adjust the device, any special features you need and any issues with excessive wax or drainage from the ears.
What brand of hearing aid should I choose?
You should consider price, quality and availability of after sales support. At AMARA MEDICARE, we work with multiple manufacturers based on the quality of their products, price and customer service.
Is it advisable to buy hearing aids online?
The process of fitting hearing aids is very technical and requires a detailed assessment and fitting protocol. Therefore, we believe that it is unsuitable for amateur procurement.