Help and Support for Hearing Loss

and other ear conditions such as tinnitus, Meniere’s disease and hyperacusis. Information on causes of hearing loss. Assistive devices for hearing impaired people.

Sudden Hearing Loss Treatment Birmingham AL

Local resource for sudden hearing loss treatment in Birmingham. Includes detailed information on local businesses that provide access to hearing aids, hearing loss implants, audiologists, ENT doctors and hearing specialists, as well as advice and content on hearing loss resources and treatments.

Hear Lab
(205) 413-8806
1651 Independence Court Ste 151
Homewood, AL
Hours
SundayClosed ,Monday09:00 AM - 04:00 PM ,Tuesday09:00 AM - 04:00 PM ,Wednesday09:00 AM - 04:00 PM ,Thursday09:00 AM - 04:00 PM ,Friday09:00 AM - 04:00 PM ,SaturdayClosed
Payment
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Birmingham Speech & Hearing
(205) 413-8830
4 Office Park Circle Ste 301
Birmingham, AL
Hours
SundayClosed
Payment
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North Alabama Audiology
(256) 513-6788
117 Longwood Dr Sw Ste A
Huntsville, AL
Services
Hearing LossIdentification, assessment and treatment of hearing impairment.Hearing AidsFitting and orientation of hearing aids.Assistive Living Devices (ALDs)Introduction of assistive devices such as telephone amplifiers, TV Ears, and alerting devices for the home.Ear MoldsCustom ear plugs for swimming and noise protection.Hearing Aid RepairsFactory repairs on most makes and models of hearing devices.
Hours
SundayClosed
Payment
Credit Cards,Cash,Check,Insurance

Central Alabama ENT Associates
(334) 649-3409
2163 Normandie Dr
Montgomery, AL
Hours
SundayClosed ,Monday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,Tuesday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,Wednesday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,Thursday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,Friday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,SaturdayClosed
Payment
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The Ctr For Advanced Therapy
(334) 730-4166
635 McQueen Smith Rd N Ste D
Prattville, AL
Hours
SundayClosed ,Monday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,Tuesday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,Wednesday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,Thursday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,Friday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,SaturdayClosed
Payment
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Alabama Dept Of Voc Rehab Svc
(205) 413-8858
236 Goodwin Crest Dr Bldg 2
Birmingham, AL
Services
Services * Alabama''s Early Intervention System ( AEIS ) * Children''s Rehabilitation Service ( CRS ) * Vocational Rehabilitation Service ( VRS ) * State of Alabama Independent Living / Homebound Service ( SAIL ) Unique in the nation, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services is comprised of state and federal programs that provide a continuum of services from birth through life for Alabamians with disabilities. ADRS has four major programs:Alabama''s Early Intervention Syste
Hours
SundayClosed
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Earfinity
(888) 707-6249
201 Whitesport Dr SW
Huntsville, AL
Services
Getting an initial evaluation won''t cost a thing. You will have a screening audiometric evaluation which covers important areas not always evaluated in other screenings which will allow Earfinity to point you in the right direction.With discounts from the best hearing aid vendors you will have an opportunity to obtain the state of the art devices for very competitive prices. You will be told if a less expensive hearing aid will work just as well for you considering your type of hearing loss and
Hours
SundayClosed
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Discovery Hearing Aid Co-Op
(251) 295-9340
4318 Downtowner Loop N Ste K
Mobile, AL
Hours
SundayClosed
Payment
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Auburn University
(334) 246-0224
1199 Haley Ctr
Auburn, AL
Hours
SundayClosed ,Monday08:00 AM - 05:00 PM ,Tuesday08:00 AM - 05:00 AM ,Wednesday08:00 AM - 05:00 AM ,Thursday08:00 AM - 05:00 AM ,Friday08:00 AM - 04:30 AM ,SaturdayClosed
Payment
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Birmingham Speech & Hearing
(205) 413-8830
4 Office Park Circle Ste 301
Birmingham, AL
Hours
SundayClosed
Payment
Credit Cards,Cash,Check,Insurance

Sudden Hearing Loss

by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.

A man explained:

I am a 37 year old male who has experienced sudden hearing loss in my right ear. Unfortunately, the problem was not treated right away. Prednisone therapy, which didn’t help, was initiated 13 days after the loss. In hearing tests I could not understand any speech, though I hear tones and some low register sounds. I’m curious to know the possibility, if any, of the hearing returning. My MRI came out negative and I experienced very little, if any, vertigo. It has now been four weeks since the loss. If my hearing does not recover, does the ringing, at least, eventually die down? Do hearing aids assist in reducing the ringing?

Sudden hearing loss typically strikes without warning. The standard treatment is Prednisone. Beginning it as soon as possible after the sudden hearing loss gives the best chances of recovery. Just remember that sometimes Prednisone works and sometimes it doesn’t. Also, sometimes hearing comes back on its own without, or in spite of, any treatment.

In your case, it seems the Prednisone didn’t work. Even though you began it after 13 days, that is not necessarily too late—but the sooner you begin, typically the better results you have.

Unfortunately, it seems that neither the Prednisone, nor time, has restored your hearing. Typically, the worse the sudden loss, the less chance there is of full, or even any, recovery.

The way it usually works is that the hearing you have at the end of 30 days or so is what you will be left with—unless your hearing has been returning a bit at a time all along, in which case it could continue to improve after the 30 days. Since you haven’t had any significant hearing returning during this time, I think the chances that more will return are slim.

You ask, “If my hearing does not recover, does the ringing, at least, eventually die down?”

It may, or may not. In any case, you can learn to habituate to your tinnitus so it no longer bothers you—no matter how loud or soft it is. The thing to do is not dwell on, or focus on, your tinnitus. Totally ignore it, and act like it isn’t there. When you do this, you will notice that your tinnitus tends to fade into the background and not be so intrusive. Not easy to do, I know, but it does work for many people. I’ve had tinnitus for 40 plus years now, and although my ears are ringing away as I write this, I do not let my tinnitus bother me. It is just “there”. (Of course, if I had by “druthers”, I’d rather it wasn’t there at all!)

Conversely, if you dwell on your tinnitus, it will get even worse. That is w...

Click here to read more from The Center for Hearing Loss Help

Sudden Hearing Loss (SHL, SSHL)

Question: My mother suddenly lost her hearing. She never had any known ear illnesses before. What could cause this?—S. M.

Answer: Good question! Few things are so baffling (and scary) as waking up one day and finding your hearing is gone. Immediately you want to know what caused it, and more to the point, can anything be done to bring your hearing back.

Ear specialists tell us that sudden sensorineural (inner ear) hearing loss is one of the most perplexing and controversial unsolved mysteries about our ears. Since even they can't agree among themselves what causes it, nor how to treat it, no wonder you are baffled. Here's the latest on this subject.

There are two basic kinds of hearing loss. If the hearing loss occurs in the middle ear, we call it a conductive loss. If it occurs in the inner ear, auditory nerve or brain, we call it a sensorineural hearing loss. (The old term was "nerve deafness.")

Sudden Conductive Hearing Losses

Sudden conductive hearing losses are relatively easy to diagnose and fix. The most common example would be the ubiquitous head cold. It may result in fluid build up/infection in your middle ears. Because the little bones in your middle ears can't move freely in the fluid like they do in air, you don't hear as well. You likely also feel pressure in your ears or your ears feel "plugged up." This condition normally affects both ears at the same time. Fortunately, when this fluid drains out your Eustachian tubes (which may take up to several weeks), your hearing returns to normal. This kind of hearing loss is quite common, especially in younger children, but is not normally a serious problem and is certainly not a medical emergency.

More serious could be a blow to your head, or a sudden loud sound like an explosion that could dislocate/break the tiny bones in your middle ear. You need to go to your ear specialist at once. Your ear specialist can often repair this damage through surgery and your hearing returns to normal or near normal again.

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL).

Sudden sensorineural hearing losses (SSHL) are medical emergencies. You need to see your ear specialist (preferably an otologist or neurotologist) immediately (not your family doctor—he is not qualified and it wastes precious time you don't have).

By definition, you have SSHL if you have a hearing loss that occurs within three days (often within minutes or an hour or two) and your hearing loss is greater than 30 dB over three adjacent octaves (test frequencies) as shown on your audiogram.

About one-third of the people with SSHL discover their hearing loss when they wake up in the morning. They go to bed with normal hearing, and in the morning they realize they are deaf in one or both ears! Fortunately, SSHL only affects both ears about 2-4% of the time. Other people discover the...

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Sudden Hearing Loss And Strokes

by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.

The Washington Post (June 26, 2008) ran a piece entitled “Sudden Hearing Loss May Portend Stroke” The first three paragraphs read:

Sudden hearing loss may foreshadow a stroke by as much as two years,” say Taiwanese researchers.

The researchers analyzed five years of follow-up data on 1,423 patients hospitalized for an acute episode of sudden hearing loss and found they were more than 1.5 times more likely to suffer a stroke than a control group of 5,692 patients hospitalized for an appendectomy.

The findings, published in the current issue of Stroke, haven’t been duplicated in other research and should be interpreted with caution.

The article then goes on to muddy the waters and reaches no clear conclusions.

What the researchers don’t seem to realize is that this can make sense. if a person has a build-up of “gunk” in their arteries (to use a fancy medical term), and if that gunk should travel to one of the arteries in (or leading to) the inner ear and block blood flow there, the result is sudden and drastic hearing loss.

If the same gunk had traveled to the brain and blocked an artery there, the result would have been a stroke. Same condition—just a different location.

Now, since the arteries in the inner ear are among the smallest in the body, it doesn’t take much to block them. Thus such episodes of sudden hearing loss truly may indicate an underlying problem that, if not fixed, may lead to strokes and heart attacks if bigger pieces of gunk lodge in the brain or heart respectively. Thus it behooves us to heed warnings such as sudden hearing loss of vascular origin.

Having said that, there are lots of causes of sudden hearing loss that have nothing at all to do with vascular issue..

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Sudden Hearing Loss–Medical Emergency or Just a Cold?

by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.

You have a cold and now you notice you can’t hear well out of one or both ears. It/they feel plugged up and you can’t hear well. Now comes the million dollar question. Is this hearing loss just because you have a cold (resulting in fluid in your middle ear) and will resolve itself in a week or two as your cold goes away? Or is this sudden hearing loss caused by a virus attacking your inner ear–in which case this is a medical emergency and needs to be treated now?

For years, most primary care physicians have assumed that it was the former case and told their patients to come back in a couple of weeks if their hearing had not returned. As a result, those people that actually had a viral attack wasted their precious golden hours when treatment could be successful and now are tragically left with a permanent hearing loss.

Fortunately for us, Dr. Jeffery Harris, chief of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center has recently come up with a quick test to separate the two conditions.

Here is all you need to do, assuming that only one ear is “blocked.” Hum out loud. If you hear your voice louder in the blocked ear, the problem is congestion (fluid in the middle ear) and is probably temporary until your cold goes away and your ear clears.

However, if you hear your voice louder in your good ear, this probably indicates a viral attack causing permanent hearing loss if left untreated. If this is your case, seek treatment immediately. This is a true medical emergency and needs to be treated now if you want a chance of getting your hearing back. According to Dr. Harris, your chances of getting your hearing back with immediate treatment are greater than 50%.

If both ears are blocked equally, this little test isn’t going to work (unless you can remember how loud humming sounded before you got the cold–and then apply the above rules). Thus, it is better to err on the side of caution if you have reduced hearing in both ears and seek competent medical help now.

Read my articles “ Sudden Hearing Loss Is a Medical Emergency ” and “ Finding the Right Doctor for Sudden Hearing Loss and Other Ear Problems .” These articles will help you make informed decisions on what you should do next...

Click here to read more from The Center for Hearing Loss Help