Hearing loss can be debilitating, and can greatly affect all aspects of your life. If you suspect you may be experiencing hearing loss, we encourage you not to hesitate in seeking treatment.

At Hearing Associates, we’ve been serving patients with hearing loss in Mason City, Northern Iowa, and Southern Minnesota since 1987. We want you to feel well-informed and comfortable on your journey to better hearing.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation circulating about hearing loss and hearing aids. Arm yourself with the facts so that your initial appointment isn’t overwhelming. Doing some research before your appointment isn’t a bad idea.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three basic types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural and mixed. They are classified by which part of the hearing pathway is affected. Knowing the correct type hearing loss is necessary to develop a treatment plan.

Conductive hearing loss is caused by any condition that interferes or prevents with the transmission of sound through the outer and middle ear to the cochlea. It’s often medically treatable, with hearing aids as another suitable option.

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the tiny hair cells located in the cochlea or on the path from the cochlea to the brain are missing or damaged. This type of hearing loss is often caused by illness or infection, exposure to loud sounds, ototoxic medications or aging. Hearing aids are often an effective means of treatment.

Mixed hearing loss is a term used when both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses are present on the same ear.

If you suspect you have hearing loss, schedule your appointment at Hearing Associates. Our main office is in Mason City, but we have other locations throughout northern Iowa, and one in Albert Lea, Minnesota. We look forward to helping you improve your quality of life through better hearing.

Understanding the degree, or severity, of your hearing loss is vital in determining which treatment options will work for you.

At Hearing Associates, with offices in Albert Lea, Minnesota, Mason City, and throughout northern Iowa, we offer a comprehensive approach to finding a hearing solution to meet your unique needs.

We begin with an interview to learn about your hearing loss and other aspects of your health history. We follow by performing extensive diagnostic testing, including audiometry, which measures the degree of your hearing loss.

For this test, you enter a sound-proof booth, and we test your hearing threshold, the level of sound that is just barely audible in each ear. The volume of sound is measured in decibels (dB), and the frequency (or pitch) is measured in hertz (HZ). These numbers are placed on an audiogram and represent your degree of hearing loss. Results may vary by ear.

Degrees of hearing loss range from mild to profound.

  • Mild hearing loss causes difficulty in hearing people speaking in soft tones, over background noise, or from a distance.
  • Moderate hearing loss makes conversations challenging, even without background noise.
  • Those with moderately severe hearing loss have difficulty taking part in group discussions.
  • With severe hearing loss, normal conversation is no longer possible in any environment.
  • Even with amplification, those with profound hearing loss may not be able to understand speech.

We offer solutions based on your degree of hearing loss, including recommendations for hearing aids, as some are better suited for a particular degree of hearing loss.

For personalized hearing health care in Mason City, Iowa, and Albert Lea, Minnesota, schedule an appointment with Hearing Associates, PC.

The hearing aid industry has advanced significantly throughout the past few decades, and continues to evolve with digital hearing aids.

At Hearing Associates, we offer patients in Albert Lea, Minnesota, Mason City, Iowa and the surrounding communities with a variety of hearing solutions, including the most up-to-date digital hearing aid technology.

Digital hearing aids are far superior to the yesterday’s analog devices. The large, awkward models, with high-pitched feedback your grandparents used to wear have been replaced with sleek, quiet, discreet digital hearing aids with amazing features and capabilities.

Some of the biggest differences between digital hearing aids and their outdated counterparts include:

Speech Enhancement: digital hearing aids help you hear more of what you want to hear, by recognizing and enhancing speech while reducing background noise.

Feedback Reduction: One of the biggest complaints from hearing aid users was the erratic squeals from analog processing. Because digital hearing aids process sound differently, they may seem “quieter.”

Directional Microphones: Some digital hearing aids are equipped with 2 microphones offering the ability to focus (or direct) one microphone towards the desired sound source while the other decreases some of the background noise.

When you schedule your appointment at Hearing Associates, our audiologists will conduct extensive testing to find the right hearing solution for you. We carry digital hearing aids from the best manufacturers in the industry, and will help you find the right device to meet your individual needs.

For comprehensive hearing healthcare and advanced digital hearing aid technology in Albert Lea, Minnesota, Mason City, and throughout northern Iowa, count on the professionals at Hearing Associates, PC!