The Time is Now
Hearing loss can get worse over time, so waiting to receive treatment only heightens the issue. In some cases, people may not know they have it for some time; meaning others might notice your hearing loss before you do. A common complaint of hearing-impaired individuals is that other people mumble, and if they would just speak up, it would be easier to hear them. Without proper hearing, our communication with those around us diminishes greatly. If that’s something that you or a loved one deals with, then let our family take care of yours.
What We Offer
Our staff is knowledgeable, courteous, and accommodating. The audiologist will take a thorough case history, searching for information about your hearing loss. Any medical condition associated with hearing loss will trigger a medical referral. Comprehensive hearing aid evaluations will be conducted, which will provide information about the nature of your hearing loss, as well as your ability to process the finer sounds of speech. Comfortable listening levels will be defined, as well as how well you tolerate loud, intense speech.
After assessing your hearing difficulties in several environments, we’ll help define individual goals with you. These goals may include hearing your spouse better in the car or hearing your friends better on the phone. These assessments are not like the hearing evaluation given by the audiologist; these are tools that allow us to measure your self-perception of how your hearing loss affects your quality of life.
The Hearing Aids Process
- Finding what’s best for you. The audiologist uses the case history information and the evaluation results to make the best recommendation for you. If both ears are impaired with hearing loss, a suggestion will be made for two hearing aids. Our audiologists will explain the advantages of a binaural (two ears) fitting versus a monaural fitting in more detail.
- You will be offered a 30 day trial period. Many audiologists offer a trial period of 30 days for you to adapt to amplification. You may be asked to pay a non-refundable fee during this time. Ask about this trial period, and if not offered, seek a second opinion. Use this 30 day trial period to test the hearing aids in the environments that are typical of your lifestyle, not only at home.
- There’s a wide range of pricing for hearing aids. There are three categories of hearing aid technology: analog, digitally programmable, and digital. Analog technology is also called “conventional” hearing aids and they are the least expensive. Digital hearing aids use digital signal processing, the newest form of technology on the market. Digital hearing aids are indeed complete computers, similar to your PC, about the size of a pencil eraser. These aids cost approximately $2500 per aid. Digitally programmable hearing aids will cost somewhere between the conventional price and the digital price. Speak with your audiologist about which types are best for you.
- You will have an initial orientation session with the audiologist. During this session, you will be taught how to operate the hearing aids, how to clean them, and how to change the batteries. The audiologist will have brochures and written documents on how these things work more specifically.
- There’s an adjustment period. Once you get your new hearing aids, expect an adjustment period of several days to weeks to get used to the hearing aids. You’ll need time to learn how to insert and remove the hearing aids from your ear, adjust the volume control, clean them, and change the battery. There is a lot to learn, but going one step at a time and staying in contact with your healthcare professional will help the process go smoothly.
- Your voice may sound different. For many reasons, your voice will sound strange to you at first, but this is normal and often called the “occlusion effect”. If you don’t adjust to this after a few days, discuss this with your audiologist. Many times, this feeling can be alleviated through changes in the hearing aid.
- You should have a good, comfortable fit. You may experience a little soreness or irritation at first, but after a few days or a week, you should be able to wear the aids for several hours per day without any discomfort. After a while, patients tend to find that they forget they’re even wearing them. Report all discomfort or irritations to your hearing healthcare professional, and do not wear the hearing aids until advised to do so.
- You can have multiple follow-up appointments. The greatest advantage of digital hearing aid technology is the flexibility in programming the sound quality. The computer software used to program your hearing aids allows the audiologist to make a multitude of adjustments while the aids are in your ears.