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Introduction to Hearing Aids

Sonus of Harrisburg in Southern Illinois - Hearing aids

Sonus of Harrisburg in Southern Illinois - Hearing aidsHearing aids coupled with your willingness to tell others how to communicate with you and your practicing good speechreading and communication strategies is a winning combination and will get you back to enjoying life as you once did.

The most common devices are hearing aids. These range from extremely tiny ones that fit completely in the ear canal, to ones that are placed behind a person’s ear and that deliver sound into the ear canal via tubing and an earmold. Some aids use just a tubing to deliver the sounds or locate a tiny loudspeaker right in the ear canal.

Hearing aids will not correct hearing like glasses correct vision. Don’t expect 20/20 hearing but they will help you hear in many situations. Your new hearing aids may require follow up visits for technical tweaks by your hearing professional.

Adjusting to hearing aids takes time and perseverance, but it is worth it. You may have a love/hate relationship with your hearing aid at first as no one is enthusiastic about getting a hearing aid, but after a while, you will not want to be without it.


All modern hearing aids are digital and thus permit many types of operations not possible with the previous generation of analog aids. These not only allow more precise corrections to the unique pattern of specific hearing losses, but also include a number of other, possibly helpful, features.

Among these features are those which provide automatic directional microphones,   noise suppression circuits, automatic volume control, and the suppression of acoustical squeals. All or some of these may be helpful for some people in particular instances. New and improved features are continually being introduced. A major factor in all modern hearing aid fittings is to decide just what special feature should be included in the hearing aids.

One feature is certain. Be sure to ask the hearing professional to include a telecoil in your hearing aid. This will enable you to use hearing-aid-compatible phones and hearing assistive technology. The telecoil transforms your hearing aid into a wireless receiver and provides connectivity that helps you hear better in certain situations. A telecoil will expand the usefulness of your hearing aid.

It is common to recommend two hearing aids, one for each ear. This may be modified depending upon the nature of the hearing loss; the person’s hearing needs, or economic considerations.

Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aid is a booklet illustrating the different styles of hearing aids and comparing different models and features.  It is available for order under our Order Materials page.

Selecting a Hearing Aid

The appropriately selected hearing aid is often the most effective therapeutic measure for an individual with hearing loss. However, the process of selecting a hearing aid can sometimes seem daunting.

Obtain appropriate, well-fitted hearing aids through a certified hearing professional. Professionals who dispense hearing aids include audiologists, hearing aid specialists, and ear, nose and throat doctors. Hearing aids are necessary and an important first step in treating hearing loss. Hearing aids are not like glasses – they do not correct hearing, but they are helpful in improving hearing and quality of life.

Verify that the hearing professional is following the “best practices guidelines” as recommended by theAmerican Academy of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

What to Ask When Purchasing a Hearing Aid

Know what questions to ask you’re when purchasing hearing aids; including: questions to ask when purchasing hearing aids; what consumer protection laws are available in your state; and technologies available to make the most of your hearing aids.

There are a number of other steps that can be taken to supplement the assistance provided by well-fit hearing aids. In the initial evaluation, the hearing professional will determine specifically what further services or information would be most helpful.

Sonus Hearing Professionals in Harrisburg, Illinois provides diagnostic hearing tests to children and adults.
Serving the Southern Illinois area, we determine the right solutions for hearing loss.
Call us at (618) 253-3277 to set up an appointment today and take back your life!

Temporary Hearing Loss Causes

Sonus Hearing Professionals in Southern Illinois - Myths about Hearing Loss

Myth-About-Hearing-LossTemporarily losing your hearing can be a scary thing, but there are many causes for temporary hearing loss, and not all of them are severe. It is important to consult a physician or an audiologist if you experience any type of hearing loss.

In adults, the most common causes of hearing loss are:

  • Noise. Noise-induced hearing loss can affect people of all ages and most often develops gradually over many years. Over time, the noise experienced at work, during recreation (such as riding motorcycles), or even common chores (such as using a power lawn mower) can lead to hearing loss.
  • Age. In age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), changes in the nerves and cells of the inner ear that occur as you get older cause a gradual but steady hearing loss. The loss may be mild or severe, but it is always permanent.

Other causes of hearing loss include:

  • Earwax buildup or an object in the ear. Hearing loss because of earwax is common and easily treated.
  • Ototoxic medicines (such as certain antibiotics) and other substances (such as arsenic, mercury, tin, lead, and manganese) that can damage the ear.
  • Injury to the ear or head. Head injuries can also damage the structures in the ear and cause a sudden hearing loss.
  • Ear infection, such as a middle ear infection (otitis media) or an infection of the ear canal (otitis externa or swimmer’s ear).
  • Fluid in the middle ear after a cold or the flu, or after traveling on an airplane.
  • Otosclerosis, a condition that affects the bones of the middle ear.
  • Acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor on the nerve that helps people hear.
  • Ménière’s disease. Ménière’s disease may result in temporary or permanent hearing loss.
  • Noncancerous (benign) growths, such as exostoses, osteomas, and glomus tumors. These can cause hearing loss if they block the ear canal. Exostoses are bone growths that often develop when the ear canal is repeatedly exposed to cold water or cold air.

Other medical conditions that do not affect the ear directly may also cause hearing loss.

  • An interruption of the blood flow to the inner ear or parts of the brain that control hearing may lead to hearing loss. This may be caused by heart disease, stroke,high blood pressure, or diabetes.
  • Autoimmune hearing loss can occur in one or both ears and can come and go or get worse over 3 to 4 months. An autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may be present.

Types of Hearing Loss

Sonus Hearing Professionals of Harrisburg, Southern Illinois - Types of Hearing Loss

Sonus Hearing AidHearing loss can be categorized by which part of the auditory system is damaged. There are three basic types of hearing loss: conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones (ossicles) of the middle ear. Conductive hearing loss usually involves a reduction in sound level or the ability to hear faint sounds. This type of hearing loss can often be corrected medically or surgically.

Some possible causes:

  •     Fluid in the middle ear from colds
  •     Ear infection (otitis media)
  •     Allergies (serous otitis media)
  •     Poor eustachian tube function
  •     Perforated eardrum
  •     Benign tumors
  •     Impacted earwax (cerumen)
  •     Infection in the ear canal (external otitis)
  •     Swimmer’s Ear (otitis ecxterna)
  •     Presence of a foreign body
  •     Absence or malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea), or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Most of the time, SNHL cannot be medically or surgically corrected. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss.

SNHL reduces the ability to hear faint sounds. Even when speech is loud enough to hear, it may still be unclear or sound muffled.

Some possible causes of SNHL:

  •     Illnesses
  •     Drugs that are toxic to hearing
  •     Hearing loss that runs in the family (genetic or hereditary)
  •     Aging
  •     Head trauma
  •     Malformation of the inner ear
  •     Exposure to loud noise

Mixed Hearing Loss

Sometimes a conductive hearing loss occurs in combination with a sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). In other words, there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. When this occurs, the hearing loss is referred to as a mixed hearing loss. – See more at:

Sometimes a conductive hearing loss occurs in combination with a sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). In other words, there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. When this occurs, the hearing loss is referred to as a mixed hearing loss.

Call Sonus in Harrisburg to make an appointment for a diagnostic hearing evaluation.

Visit the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association for more information.

Sonus Hearing Professionals in Harrisburg, Illinois provides diagnostic hearing tests to children and adults.
Serving the Southern Illinois area, we determine the right solutions for hearing loss.
Call us at (618) 253-3277 to set up an appointment today and take back your life!

Diagnosing Children with Hearing Loss

Little girl listening to the rumors

In the first few years of life, hearing is a critical part of kids’ social, emotional, and cognitive development. Even a mild or partial hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to speak and understand language.

The good news is that hearing problems can be treated if they’re caught early — ideally by the time a baby is 3 months old. So it’s important to get your child’s hearing screened early and evaluated regularly.
Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a common birth defect, affecting about 1 to 3 out of every 1,000 babies. A number of factors can lead to hearing loss, and about half the time, no cause is found.

  •     was born prematurely
  •     stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  •     had high bilirubin and needed a transfusion
  •     was given medications that can lead to hearing loss
  •     has a family history of childhood hearing loss
  •     had complications at birth
  •     had frequent ear infections
  •     had infections such as meningitis or cytomegalovirus
  •     was exposed to very loud sounds or noises, even briefly

When Should Hearing Be Evaluated?

Most children who are born with a hearing loss can be diagnosed through a hearing screening. But in some cases, the hearing loss is caused by things like infections, trauma, and damaging noise levels, and the problem doesn’t emerge until later in childhood. So it’s important to have kids’ hearing evaluated regularly as they grow.

Your newborn should have a hearing screening before being discharged from the hospital. Every state and territory in the United States has now established an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program to identify before 3 months of age every child born with a permanent hearing loss, and to provide intervention services before 6 months of age. If your baby doesn’t have this screening, or was born at home or a birthing center, it’s important to have a hearing screening within the first 3 weeks of life.

If your baby does not pass the hearing screening, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a hearing loss. Because debris or fluid in the ear can interfere with the test, it’s often redone to confirm a diagnosis.

If your newborn doesn’t pass the initial hearing screening, it’s important to get a retest within 3 months so treatment can begin right away. Treatment for hearing loss can be the most effective if it’s started by the time a child is 6 months old.

Kids who seem to have normal hearing should continue to have their hearing evaluated at regular doctors’ appointments. Hearing tests are usually done at ages 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18, and any other time if there’s a concern.

But if your child seems to have trouble hearing, if speech development seems abnormal, or if your child’s speech is difficult to understand, talk with your doctor.
Symptoms of a Hearing Loss

Even if your newborn passes the hearing screening, continue to watch for signs that hearing is normal. Some hearing milestones your child should reach in the first year of life:

  •     Most newborn infants startle or “jump” to sudden loud noises.
  •     By 3 months, a baby usually recognizes a parent’s voice.
  •     By 6 months, an infant can usually turn his or her eyes or head toward a sound.
  •     By 12 months, a child can usually imitate some sounds and produce a few words, such as “Mama” or “bye-bye.”

As your baby grows into a toddler, signs of a hearing loss may include:

  •     limited, poor, or no speech
  •     frequently inattentive
  •     difficulty learning
  •     seems to need increased TV volume
  •     fails to respond to conversation-level speech or answers inappropriately to speech

Read more about diagnosing children with hearing loss at

Sonus Hearing Professionals in Harrisburg, Illinois provides diagnostic hearing tests to children and adults.
Serving the Southern Illinois area, we determine the right solutions for hearing loss.
Call us at (618) 253-3277 to set up an appointment today and take back your life!




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    Contact Info

    Sonus Hearing Care Professionals

    1220 E Sloan Street
    Harrisburg IL, 62946

    Office:(618) 253-3277
    Fax:(618) 253-8060