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Carlton Trail Hearing Clinic in Prince Albert receives several frequently asked questions from patients of all ages.

The development of new advances in assistive devices have been made to the point where hearing loss is no longer frightening. Be sure to read through the FAQ below and get a feel for some of the topics you or others may discuss with our professional staff.

What are the causes of hearing loss?

There are a number of causes for hearing loss, including drug reactions, antibiotics, noise exposure, viral infections, ear wax and infections, head trauma, radiation or chemotherapy, and heredity, along with others not listed here.

What causes ringing in my ears/head?

A ringing sensation, called tinnitus, is an indication of some damage to your auditory system (especially noise damage). It can be constant or intermittent, and may be heard in one or both ears. Sometimes, hearing aids can help by amplifying sounds in order to distract the brain’s attention to sound. If you have continuous ringing on one side, you will want to discuss this with your physician.

Do I have a hearing problem?

Do other people think you have hearing loss? Do you confuse words or make silly mistakes? Do you misunderstand conversations? Do others complain you have the TV turned up too loud? Do you have problems hearing birds or wind? Do you have more difficulties hearing female voices or children? Do you have difficulty hearing in crowds? Do you misunderstand conversations? Do other people or family members think you have hearing loss?

You should have your hearing tested for hearing loss if you answered yes to any of these questions. That way, we can confirm whether or not you are experiencing hearing loss.

I only have difficulty hearing in crowds.

Distracting speech or noise may dominate conversation, making sounds even louder. If you have a high frequency hearing loss, you may be able to hear well one-on-one or in small groups, but if there are a lot of people around, hearing loss is extremely distracting.

I don’t like my hearing aid, so I don’t wear it. Can I trade it in?

The manufacturer can give you a new device to try. If your hearing aids were purchased with a trial period or your device is less than two months old, it can be readily returned to the manufacturer.

Which symptoms require medical attention?

Fullness or pressure in the ear, chronic ringing or tinnitus, ear pain, balance problems, sudden hearing loss, and head trauma should all receive medical attention as soon as possible.

What types of hearing loss are there?

Mixed: Contains elements of some Sensorineural and conductive elements.

Conductive: Conductive hearing loss results from a sound problem going from the outer to the inner ear. It can be caused by any problem with the bones or ear drum, wax buildup, and ear infections, along with trauma to the ear. People with conductive hearing loss have difficulty hearing sounds when they are transmitted to the middle ear.

Sensorineural: The aging process, noise exposure, some cancer treatments, degenerative process, and illnesses could cause this type of hearing loss. This hearing loss impairs understanding ability, causing those affected to be sensitive to loud sounds. Deterioration of the hearing nerve or inner ear also contributes to this type of hearing loss.

How can I restore my hearing?

Hearing loss is usually permanent. Hearing devices will not restore normal hearing, but they will make missed sounds available at the level of stimulation your auditory system requires. It is important to seek medical attention of you experience sudden hearing loss. Your doctor can determine if your symptoms are medical in nature.

My hearing is fine; understanding is what I have trouble with.

You may miss the clarity in consonant sounds while hearing volume of low pitches. If you have high frequency loss, it is because you cannot hear consonant sounds such as pick, tick, trick, lick, sick, and stick. These sounds help you differentiate words.

How long does a hearing test take?

A hearing test can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the loss. Most hearing test appointments are booked for 60 minutes to allow for enough time. If you may be a candidate for hearing aids, we advise you to seek medical attention as it may be warranted. We will schedule one hour for a hearing test. This gives us time to complete audiological assessments and discuss with you the degree of hearing loss you may have. If you are a candidate for hearing aids, we will advise you of that fact and help you decide what type you should get.

If you would like to make an appointment with us at Carlton Trail Hearing Clinic, one will be available within a few days.

Feel free to call 306-922-0003 or 1-877-47-SOUND