Spring is here, which means our clocks spring forward and we say ‘hello’ to warmer days ahead! Birds and crickets chirping in the hours of dawn and bees buzzing on flower beds sound the signal of spring. Enjoy the sounds of nature all spring long by monitoring your hearing health. Now is the best time to obtain a baseline hearing exam and familiarize yourself with common signs and symptoms of hearing loss.

Hearing loss is challenging as it is not something we can see. Hearing loss typically develops due to a combination of noise exposure and aging. Symptoms of hearing loss include:
–  Hearing people incorrectly
–  Having a preference for conversations in a quiet setting
–  Feeling easily distracted and/or unable to focus in noisy settings

But what happens when you have a hearing exam and are told your hearing is normal but you are experiencing the symptoms listed above?

The cause may be Hidden Hearing Loss (HHL). HHL is caused by a problem transmitting the sound signal between the inner ear and auditory nerve. This results in difficulty understanding conversations, especially in the presence of background noise.

There is no established set of guidelines to diagnose HHL, but it can be revealed
with additional testing performed by an Audiologist. Treatment includes improving the signal-to-noise ratio, which can be accomplished by the use of Assistive Listening Devices and/or state-of-the-art hearing aids which have advanced features to reduce background noise and improve speech understanding.

Research is ongoing regarding hidden hearing loss, but it may be more common than originally thought. In a study of more than 100,000 patient records over a 16-year period, 10% of patients who visited an audiology clinic received normal audiograms, despite hearing complaints.

We encourage all of our patients to have a baseline hearing exam completed to know their hearing status. Enjoy the spring season with your loved ones and connect with the relaxing and soothing sounds of nature without the burden of uncertainty of hearing loss. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call (813) 879-8045 or visit Florida E.N.T. & Allergy online at www.FloridaENTandAllergy.com.

The physicians of Florida E.N.T. & Allergy have served the Tampa Bay community for over 45 years. Their board-certified physicians and doctors of audiology have completed extensive education and clinical training as well as specialized training in their area(s) of expertise. From pediatric allergies to fitting hearing aids, their caring and experienced providers specialize in ear, nose and throat care for the entire family using comprehensive, cutting edge technologies.