The dream is that we can all come out of the COVID season and get back to “normal,” but we are starting to see information come out linking the viral infection to hearing loss, dizziness, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
If you have had a COVID-19 infection and notice a drop in hearing or an increase in ringing in your ears, it’s important to have your hearing evaluated.
Additionally, for those with an existing hearing loss, understanding people while wearing masks is particularly challenging. We have found many of our patients who wear hearing devices benefit from a “mask setting” that helps make voices clearer from behind a mask.
If you don’t have a mask setting already, come by our Kennewick, Walla Walla, or Prosser clinic for a visit and we will add one!
Additionally, many patients have required hearing aid adjustments since going back out to the places they used to enjoy. They didn’t expect their hearing to have changed in such a short time.
So to help prepare you for the return to normalcy, I have some advice to share below to ensure you and your hearing are prepared to get back out enjoying the things you love.
#1 – It Can Take Time To Adjust
Depending on whether you are using technology to help you understand in a noisy environment, you want to pick your seat carefully when in a restaurant or similar environment.
If you are not wearing amplification or if you have older hearing devices, sitting with your back to the wall may be most helpful. If you have newer technology, sitting with your back to the noise may be the best for understanding conversation at your table, and use a directional mic if you have one.
If your hearing test determined you need to wear a hearing device for the first time, and you aren’t sure which is the best type of hearing aid or hearing aid accessory for you, come by for a visit.
There are lots of possible options in newer hearing aids – such as telecoil, noise reduction, directional microphones, live streaming, plug in audio output, and remote controls.
We would love to help you find the right hearing aids to suit your hearing needs, personal circumstances, lifestyle, and budget.
#2 – Protecting Your Hearing
Make sure to protect your hearing around excessive noise. It’s easy to forget what is considered too loud after spending time at home during the “stay at home” orders. But hearing can be lost from long-term noise exposure from the work environment, hunting or military gunfire, or high-volume earphone use. Disposable earplugs work great when properly placed.
If you need to be able to carry on a conversation with the noise in the background, or want a fuller experience with music, custom noise protection may be best for you. There’s a lot to choose from – earmuffs, earplugs, and noise-canceling headphones or earphones are some.
Wax earplugs can also dampen loud sounds while still allowing you to hear music.
#3 – Ensure Your Hearing Aids Are Correctly Programmed And Cleaned
If your hearing aids are not adjusted to reflect your unique hearing needs, it can cause possible damage to your remaining hearing.
Poor programming can also reduce your ability to communicate and give you unpleasant symptoms such as tinnitus or headaches. Excessive feedback can also be an uncomfortable side effect of badly programmed hearing aids.
You should clean your hearing aids of visible dirt every day and give them a full clean every three months. A professional check and clean can be even better, as we check all the parts too.
If your hearing aids are no longer working for you even after a cleaning and adjustment, consider upgrading them to aids with the latest technology – especially if you’ve started getting tinnitus, as some of the newer aids can mask the sound well.
When Was Your Last Hearing Check-Up?
If you suffered through a COVID-19 infection and are now experiencing a hearing loss, tinnitus, or dizziness, then come in! We would love to help every aspect of your hearing health.
Book a hearing assessment – the first step to checking your hearing and to find the cause of any tinnitus or dizziness. And contact us if you believe your hearing aids are due some TLC. Our goal is to be your local hearing care experts that support you in every way.