|From the pleasures of a movie, play or symphony, to social gatherings and parties, to day-today conversations with your family and friends, your hearing is a vital part of your full and active life!
How can an audiologist help me care for my hearing?
Your audiologist is a professionally trained hearing expert with a master's or doctoral degree. Audiologists specialize in evaluating hearing. And if you have any hearing loss, our audiologist can assess its extent, identify its source, and direct any needed nonmedical rehabilitation for hearing impairment. Audiologist do not treat medical diseases of the ear but will refer you to a physician if necessary.
Wouldn't I know if I have some hearing impairment?
Surprisingly, you might not. Some forms of hearing loss are very mild, and may only involve difficulty in hearing certain sounds or hearing in certain situations. Furthermore, some kinds of hearing loss may occur so gradually that they progress unnoticeably.
What will the audiologist do for me?
At your initial hearing assessment, you will be interviewed to help the audiologist better understand any hearing or communication problems you may be experiencing. You will be thoroughly evaluated to determine your communication needs, and your hearing ability will be measured using state of the art equipment and sophisticated techniques. If the results indicate the presence of hearing impairment, your audiologist will provide the hearing care most effective for you.
What kinds of care will my audiologist provide?
Depending on your needs, the audiologist may offer some very practical suggestions on how to handle difficult communication situations so that the effects of hearing impairment are reduced. In some cases, more tests may be conducted to determine if an amplification device, such as a hearing aid, will help. If so, your audiologist will recommend the one that best suits you. A hearing aid should only be purchased following a through evaluation by an audiologist.
Who should see an audiologist?
If you suspect you have some hearing loss, contact an audiologist for a professional hearing assessment. Hearing loss can occur at any age, and for many reasons. In adults, however, one of the most common periods for hearing loss to begin is between the ages of 40 and 55 years.
Children should be seen by an audiologist without delay if parents suspect any hearing problem. Immediate attention is critical to ensure both hearing health and proper speech and language development. Children can be evaluated at any age including newborns. In the absence of any specific problems, parents many wish to have their children's hearing evaluated during the preschool years. Thereafter, their hearing should be rechecked periodically throughout their school years.
I’ve been told I need hearing aids. What is best kind?
There are many quality hearing aids available. Your specific hearing loss and lifestyle will be considered in the selection process. A hearing aid consultation with your audiologist will allow you to make an informed decision.
I know many people who are unhappy with their hearing aids. I worry that if I get hearing aids, they will end up in a drawer.
Hearing aid technology has changed dramatically in recent years. This has resolved many of the traditional complaints. Hearing aids are custom made, so it is common for slight adjustments to be done in the initial weeks. Working with your audiologist can help ensure success. One common difficulty is getting used to hearing everyday sounds again after years of hearing loss. It can take several weeks to learn how to ignore the other sounds in your environment.
As an additional note, hearing aids are purchases with return privileges for up to sixty days. Minor services fees may be charged, but purchasing hearing aids is quite risk-free, as you can assess the benefit for yourself before the sale is final.
Why do I need two hearing aids?
If you have hearing loss in both ears, there are significant benefits in restoring stereo sound quality. Normal functions of hearing such as hearing in noisy areas, localizing sounds and hearing from all directions require adequate hearing from each ear.
What do hearing aids cost?
Costs vary widely, depending on the hearing aid style and circuitry. The smaller sizes generally cost somewhat more than full sized models. Not all hearing aids use equal quality circuitry. Basic models are more economical, but the advanced circuitry can have strong benefits as well. Digital hearing aids are considered state of the art and have revolutionized hearing health care. The cost for a single hearing aid can vary between $700 up to $3000 depending on the size and type. Your audiologist will help you choose the instruments that are the best value; meeting your needs, preferences and financial situation.
Will hearing aids restore normal hearing?
No, natural hearing is always the beast. The benefits and limitations of hearing aids are determined by the extent of your hearing loss. As the underlying hearing loss becomes more severe, the benefits of hearing aids may have some limitations. This does not mean that hearing aids are not useful, however, even for those with more severe hearing losses.
The following tips can help anyone communicate with family or friends with hearing loss:
Get the person’s attention before attempting to communicate. Active listening is always more efficient.
Use a well-projected voice. Don’t shout.
Use a relaxed rate of speech. It can seem like people are talking too fast when you have a hearing loss. Speaking slightly slower helps.
Face the person directly and do not hide your mouth while talking.
Introduce a new topic when you change the direction of the conversation.
Speak directly to the point. Running on and on just make for more words for a person to sort through.
If you run into difficulty, try to rephrase the troublesome sentence.
Eliminate background noise when possible.
Stay patient and caring. It is frustrating to all parties when communication is difficult. But the rewards of good communication are great!