More often than not, as people grow older their ability to hear is often diminished and the need for hearing aid devices becomes more and more apparent.
Hearing aid technology has advanced drastically in the past two or three years, with most devices now being Bluetooth compatible while also becoming significantly smaller and water resistant, said Dr. Megan Johnson of Johnson Audiology.
By the age of 50, a baseline hearing test performed by an audiologist should be part of one's yearly health and wellness checks.
"It's never too early, however, to get your hearing checked out," said Dr. Johnson. "On average, adults with hearing loss wait 7 to 10 years before seeking help. Depriving the auditory system of the sounds that should be heard normally and naturally can make the adjustment period to hearing aids more difficult."
If you experience one or more of the following problems, you should have your hearing tested, regardless of age: if you consistently need the television volume turned up, if you constantly ask people to repeat themselves during conversation, or if other people sound like they are mumbling while talking, said Dr. Courtney Guthrie, audiologist at Johnson Audiology.
Hearing loss doesn't just affect one's social life. The psychological and physical aspects can be embarrassing, frustrating and even dangerous to live with, she noted. Since hearing aids are now smaller, smarter, and more invisible, Dr. Johnson said patients are now more inclined than ever to consider hearing aids.
"Manufacturers are continuing to make devices that are more discreet and more powerful", she said. "These newer devices are becoming a seamless part of everyday life for our patients."
New technological advancements include water-resistant casing for behind-the-ear devices and hearing-aid accessories that make living with a hearing aid easier. Johnson Audiology's patients are now able to be fi t with hearing aids that are water-, dust- and sweat-resistant, allowing them to able to be worn during daily activities such as exercising, surface swimming, or in the rain, Dr. Johnson said.
One innovation Dr. Johnson believes will help revolutionize how hearing aid users cope with hearing and understanding in background noise is the use of a remote wireless microphone coupled to their hearing aids. The microphone is worn by the person speaking and, and the speech is remotely transmitted to the receiver's hearing aids, she explained.
"These microphones have less range than an FM signal, but they are a great solution to noise reduction and one-on-one conversations," she added. While hearing loss does not occur in everyone, it is a natural process of aging, and Johnson Audiology is at the forefront of being able to offer the latest in hearing aid technology from multiple manufacturers, said Dr. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson and her staff opened a second clinic in Cartersville, Ga., located at 105 W. Main Street. Their flagship clinic is located at 1618 Gunbarrel Road in Chattanooga and has been serving the region for more than three years.
"Companies are now making devices that are more discreet and more powerful. These newer devices are becoming a seamless part of everyday life of our patients." - Dr. Megan Johnson, owner of Johnson Audiology
For inquiries about hearing aids and hearing loss, or to schedule an appointment, contact Johnson Audiology at 423-710-1432 or visit johnsonaudiology.com.