Answers To Common Questions About Hearing Loss And Hearing Aids
The best way to tell is to get tested by a professional. Not only will this help determine whether you have hearing loss, it will let you know which frequencies you’re having difficulty hearing, what type of hearing loss you’re experiencing, and whether treatments like hearing aids would help. But if you’re not sure, give us a call or text us.
Hearing aids are small devices that help you hear. They can come in tiny, discreet sizes that fit in your ear canal, or in slim casing that hides behind the ear. Most hearing aids have a microphone, amplifier and speaker and will relay sounds directly into your canal, but the latest technology can also come with artificial intelligence, Bluetooth and more.
Most hearing aids are able to amplify sound directly into the ear canal. Some hearing technology, like cochlear implants, send information directly to the brain and bypass the ear completely. The latest hearing aids can automatically adjust to different hearing environments or help you focus on your friend’s voice in a crowded room.
- Audiologists are professionals with a master’s or doctorate degree in audiology, the study of hearing. They specialize in testing, evaluating and treating hearing loss and balance disorders, including the fitting of hearing aids.
- Hearing Instrument Specialists are trained in fitting and dispensing hearing aids. Hearing Instrument Specialists undergo extensive educational and clinical training and are often state-licensed and board-certified to test for hearing loss and fit hearing aids.
- Otolaryngologists are medical doctors that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, head and neck disorders. Otolaryngologists are also known as ENT doctors.
The type and severity of hearing loss will determine treatment options. The best way to figure out whether hearing aids will help is to get a full hearing evaluation. Sometimes hearing loss is as simple as cleaning out impacted earwax. Talk to us about getting a hearing test.
Hearing aids come in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes. Visit us to see the latest styles. Size and shape are not the only choices you’ll have to make: the latest hearing aids can also function as fitness trackers, headphones for your smart devices and more. There are even waterproof models you can swim in. Talk to a hearing specialist about how you’d most likely be using your hearing aids to maintain an active lifestyle.
In a word, no. Older models mostly amplified sound, while newer models use artificial intelligence to analyze sounds and amplify only the ones you’d likely want to hear. For example, new technology can discern between voices and background noises and only amplify the sounds you’d most likely want to focus on. These new models can be customized to amplify the frequencies you’re having difficulty hearing.
Choosing the right hearing aid depends on the results of your hearing test. Some models only work well for mild to moderate hearing loss, while others are best for severe hearing loss. Finding the right model will also depend on what environments you’ll need to use them. Do you plan to go swimming with them in? Do you want to be able to sleep in them? Are you extremely active and need a pair that you can comfortably exercise in? These are some of the things you’ll consider during your hearing consultation. Schedule an appointment with us to go over your options.
Unlike older models, modern hearing aids work in tandem to create the best hearing experience and to help you identify where sounds are coming from. This is important for safety reasons and to help your brain process sounds correctly. Remember, new hearing aid technology not only amplifies sound, it clarifies it.
You should start hearing sounds better immediately, but it takes a few months to adjust to wearing hearing aids and to reap the full benefits. While we program hearing aids to your individual hearing test results, sometimes we need to adjust settings until you’re completely comfortable in all hearing environments. It can also take a few months for your brain to adjust to hearing all frequencies again.
We’ll demonstrate how to care for your hearing aids and go over maintenance in our consultation, but here are a few quick tips:
- Keep your hearing aids away from heat and water. If you live in a humid environment, consider getting a dehumidifier.
- Clean your hearing aids regularly to remove wax.
- Put perfume, hairspray and other personal products on before you insert your hearing aids.
- Turn them off and open the back when not in use.
- Keep them in a drawer or other place where pets and children can’t reach.
- Remove batteries for long-term storage.
Insurance coverage varies but is a great place to start. Call your insurance provider to see if your hearing evaluation and hearing aids are covered. Also, check with Medicaid and Medicare. If you served in the military, you may be eligible for benefits through the VA. Ask about our special promotions and whether financing is available.
To really work well, hearing aids need to be fine-tuned to match the results of your hearing tests. In addition, over the first few months, they often need adjusting so they work optimally in all settings. Working through a hearing specialist who is trained to program and customize hearing aids can make a big difference in results. In addition, they can help you troubleshoot issues that come up. Whether bought online or in an office, hearing aids are an investment in your health. It pays to do it right.