March 2020

How’s Your Hearing?

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

In our special section on Boomers and Beyond, we thought it pertinent to address hearing loss, as the average age hearing loss begins to present is 65. We chatted with Randy Rose of Rose Hearing Healthcare Centers, about what the first signs of hearing loss are, what to expect on an initial visit to a specialist, and how technology is improving the landscape for those in need of hearing aids.

Celebrate Magazine: What are some of the first signs of hearing loss?
Randy Rose: Glad you asked. Too many people wait until they are distressed by hearing impairment. Early detection will save you time, money, and aggravation. If you find yourself asking others to repeat, struggling to hear in noisy environments, or increasing volume on TV, please get a hearing test from a licensed hearing care professional.

C2: What causes loss of hearing?
RR: Hearing loss gets a bad rap! Too many people associate hearing impairment with old age, and though this may be a factor, it is really not the entire story. Some are born with hearing loss, but most hearing loss is due to noise. For example, a baby’s cry over a long period can cause high frequency hearing loss. We live in an industrialized country: cars, music, factories, airplanes, and some medications are all factors in hearing loss. Although there are many ways to lose your hearing, noise is the number one cause of hearing loss.

C2: Is everyone with hearing loss a good candidate for hearing aids?
RR: Another great question. The short answer would be no, which is why it is important to see a licensed hearing healthcare professional. There are several types of hearing impairment, sensorineural being the most prominent, which is a loss of hair cells in the cochlea, generally associated with noise-induced destruction of the hair cells. Hearing aids are the only solution for this type of hearing loss. Conductive loss is a blockage of sound before the sound gets to the cochlea. In most cases, there are medical procedures that could treat this. And the last is a mixed loss combination of sensorineural and conductive. Generally, hearing aids work really well for this. Again, do not wait too long; you begin to lose your cognition of speech, and it limits the success of rehabilitation to help you hear again.

C2: What are some of the new advances in hearing aid technology?
RR: Wow, wow, wow! Technology is amazing today; the sky is the limit. The sound of today’s hearing aids is absolutely fantastic, including your ability to use phones and TV. You can stream to phones, iPads, or TVs, or just enjoy the natural sound quality of this new technology. We really get excited when our clients come in for a follow-up appointment and they tell us how great life is again.

C2: How long does an initial consultation with a hearing specialist take, and what should a person expect to happen?
RR: Our initial consultation is generally one hour and sometimes up to an hour and 10 minutes. It may be shorter if we find no loss or a minimum loss that does not require hearing aids. We focus on the client’s hearing and a solution to the client’s needs. We are also the only accredited tinnitus care provider in South Carolina. We have a lot of tools to help people hear well again. 

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