After caring for the hearing health of thousands of local people across six locations for 30 years, I recognized that there are still many people in South Florida and across The Florida Keys who are not receiving the advanced hearing expertise required to achieve better hearing for life.

One in three people over the age of 65 have a mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss in one or both ears, according to the World Health Organization’s post “Deafness and hearing loss.

That’s 432 million adults and 34 million children with disabling hearing loss.

So, What Causes Hearing Loss?

Every person’s hearing loss story is different, so the cause of one person’s hearing loss might differ from the person’s beside them.

Although most people assume a hearing loss is due to old age, it can be caused by several things – an internal problem in the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, or brain, or an external force.

The different types of hearing loss include –

• Conductive – related to how easily sound waves travel through your auditory system
• Sensorineural – to do with degeneration of the auditory system
• Mixed hearing loss – a combination of the two.

Where To Start In Understanding Your Hearing Health

Yes, I am biased, but the best place to begin understanding your hearing health is with an audiologist – the expert who can help you know everything there is to know about hearing and hearing loss.

The first step is to determine whether you have a hearing loss by doing a thorough audiological evaluation that includes a comprehensive hearing test.

If yes, we find out what type of hearing loss you have and the degree of your hearing loss. This way, the appropriate treatment recommendations can be made for you.

Lifestyle Changes You Can Make To Improve Your Hearing

Today’s advanced hearing technology means we can successfully treat most cases of hearing loss – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be trying to prevent it in the first place.

Some of the top ways to maintain the hearing you have are with:

  • HEARING PROTECTION – A lot of noise-induced hearing loss could have been avoided by wearing the proper hearing protection. I recommend protection that is specific to your work environment or leisure activity.
  • CLEAN EARS – Sounds can be muffled if earwax is in the way. While a certain amount of earwax is healthy, it can build up to block sound waves. NEVER use cotton swabs to clear it out. Use ear drops instead, or schedule an earwax removal appointment with your local audiologist.
  • DIET – Sadly, coffee can affect your hearing, whereas you can boost your hearing with a nutritionally sound diet.
  • LISTENING EXERCISES – It can take a while to retrain yourself to focus on listening to the sounds you want to hear, but the payoffs can be worth it.

HEARING AID TECHNOLOGY – Whatever your degree of hearing loss, hearing aids are customized to enhance your exact hearing needs. Your brain will start receiving the correct signals again, and further degeneration of your auditory system will lessen considerably. 

The Importance Of Regular Hearing Assessments

Regular hearing assessments ensure that your hearing journey is monitored and treated as soon as anything new shows up. We recommend one every 6 to 24 months, depending on your diagnosis and how closely we believe it should be observed.

  • NO LOSS – If you’ve never had a hearing check before, your first one will provide your audiologist with a good baseline to measure all future hearing tests against. After that, your hearing should be checked every two to three years unless you notice some loss, in which case you should get checked right away.
  • TREATED LOSS – We usually recommend an annual check if you have a diagnosed hearing loss you’re receiving treatment for.
  • CHILDREN – Newborns, infants, and school-age children are screened yearly through the school system, while older children don’t need to be checked as regularly unless they’ve noticed some hearing loss.
  • WORKERS, HUNTERS, MILITARY, ETC. IN LOUD NOISE ENVIRONMENTS – Get a hearing check annually or biennially, and be sure always to wear hearing protection.

It’s Time To Start Looking After Your Hearing Health!

The sooner you treat a hearing loss, the better your long-term hearing health.

Most of us understand very little about how the ear works, what hearing loss means, and most importantly, how to treat and manage hearing or ear issues. This is why it’s essential to visit your local audiologists regularly and begin living a happy & fulfilled life.

We often have our eyesight tested, teeth checked, and regular health monitored – why is it that we neglect our hearing?

By taking the time to take care of your hearing now, your future self will thank you in many years to come.

Happy hearing to all of the wonderful residents in the Keys and surrounding communities! 

 

All the best,

Dr. Michelle Couture-Souvenir

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Dr. Michelle Couture-Souvenir, Au.D

Dr. Michelle Couture-Souvenir, Au.D., is Florida’s leading doctor of audiology and has over 25 years of experience in this dynamic industry. Before setting up her own business in Florida & Central America, she served as a pediatric audiologist and rehabilitative services manager at the Miami Children’s Hospital. She has worked with patients of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds during her long and diverse career, and she is still heavily involved in international humanitarian projects, helping hearing-impaired children globally.