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What causes tinnitus? Scientists and health experts don't know the exact physical cause of tinnitus, but several sources are known to trigger or make it worse, including: Loud noises and hearing loss – Exposure to loud noises can destroy the non-regenerative cilia (tiny hairs) in the cochlea, causing permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Aging – As you age, those same cilia gradually deteriorate, which can lead to tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Ototoxic medications – Some prescription medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants are harmful to the inner ear as well as the nerve fibers connecting the cochlea to the brain. Hearing conditions – Conditions such as otosclerosis and Ménière’s disease are known to cause tinnitus. Health conditions – Tinnitus can also be a symptom of health conditions like cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stress and head injuries.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss and Levels of Hearing Loss Listen up! Don't take your ears for granted. Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the U.S, and it can affect the quality of your life and relationships. About 48 million Americans have lost some hearing. Certain conditions, including age, illness, and genetics, may play a role in hearing loss. Modern life has added a host of ear-damaging elements to the list, including some medications and plenty of sources of loud, ongoing noise.
Additional features Some hearing aid optional features improve your ability to hear in specific situations: Noise reduction. All hearing aids have some amount of noise reduction available. The amount of noise reduction varies. Directional microphones. These are aligned on the hearing aid to provide for improved pick up of sounds coming from in front of you with some reduction of sounds coming from behind or beside you. Some hearing aids are capable of focusing in one direction. Directional microphones can improve your ability to hear when you're in an environment with a lot of background noise. Rechargeable batteries. Some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries. This can make maintenance easier for you by eliminating the need to regularly change the battery. Telecoils. Telecoils make it easier to hear when talking on a telecoil-compatible telephone. The telecoil eliminates the sounds from your environment and only picks up the sounds from the telephone. Telecoils also pick up signals from public induction loop systems that can be found in some churches or theaters, allowing you to hear the speaker, play or movie better. Wireless connectivity. Increasingly, hearing aids can wirelessly interface with certain Bluetooth-compatible devices, such as cellphones, music players and televisions. You may need to use an intermediary device to pick up the phone or other signal and send it to the hearing aid. Remote controls. Some hearing aids come with a remote control, so you can adjust features without touching the hearing aid. Direct audio input. This feature allows you to plug in to audio from a television, a computer or a music device with a cord. Variable programming. Some hearing aids can store several preprogrammed settings for various listening needs and environments. Environmental noise control. Some hearing aids offer noise cancellation, which helps block out background noise. Some also offer wind noise reduction. Synchronization. For an individual with two hearing aids, the aids can be programmed to function together so that adjustments made to a hearing aid on one ear (volume control or program changes) will also be made on the other aid, allowing for simpler control.
What types of hearing aids are there, and which is the best fit? hearing-loss-Types-Hearing-Aids Hearing technology ranges from basic amplifiers to advanced digital hearing aids. Hearing aids come in various styles including: behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), and completely-in-canal (CIC). To determine the best device for you, keep in mind several factors: degree of hearing loss, ear canal size, and your own dexterity.
Hearing Aid Compatible Some hearing aids have a feature called a "telecoil" built into them. The telecoil allows the hearing aid to hear magnetic signal representing an audio signal instead (or in addition to) just an audio signal. A device that is "Hearing Aid Compatible" is designed to output the required magnetic signal that the telecoil can hear in additon to an audio signal. The term "Hearing Aid Compatible" is usually used to refer to telephones, but may also apply to headphones. Also, hearing aid users who have a telecoil in their hearing aid may use an ALD with a neckloop or with a silhouette to allow them to hear devices that are not by nature "Hearing Aid Compatible". Headphones: Not all headphones are "Hearing Aid Compatible", but those that use powerful magnets to drive the speakers may be. The most common headphone that people may encounter that is "Hearing Aid Compatible" is the "PhonicEar" Headphone (really an ALD which many movie theaters have to loan free to patrons who would like to hear the movie better. Many users can simply use that ALD acoustically, but users with a telecoil in their hearing aids may benefit from switching it on, since that particular headset is "Hearing Aid Compatible". Telephones: Most non-portable telephones, some remote phones, and a few cell phones sold in the United States are now "Hearing Aid Compatible". This means that the telephone speaker in the earpiece not only outputs the sound of the person you are talking to, but it also outputs a magnetic signal representing the sound. All early telephones were automatically hearing aid compatible, because they used magnets to drive the speaker in the earpiece. Telephones built a few years ago were probably not hearing aid compatible, because they frequently didn't use magnets to drive their speakers. Using a equipped hearing aid with a Hearing Aid Compatible telephone can dramatically improve your ability to hear on the telephone. Shop carefully, however, since the strength and effectiveness of Hearing Aid Compatible phones and of telecoil varies greatly. If you have more than a minor hearing loss, you may want to check out the several Hearing Aid Compatible telephones and especially those Amplified Telephones designed especially for hard of hearing people.
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