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- Modern technology brings us hearing aids that are smaller, smarter and more effective than ever before and a lot less noticeable than untreated hearing loss.
- Advanced digital hearing aids provide fine-tuning capability to match your degree of hearing loss and preferences.
- Hearing aid technology today offers exceptional digital performance and is designed in many discreet and comfortable styles.
- Hearing aids are available with and without manual volume controls. Most people prefer the ability to adjust the sound level.
- Some hearing aids are equipped with several levels of programming (memories or programs), which have different settings for diverse listening situations, such as telephone or restaurant.
- Some hearing aids automatically store data regarding which setting you prefer in certain situations, and can automatically switch to the desired setting for each situation.
- Hearing aids with built-in telephone coils reduce external sounds and allow you to hear more clearly when using a phone.
- For improved sound clarity and understanding, Bluetooth functionality allows you to connect wirelessly with your cell phone, television, Apple® iPod,® Apple iPad® and other electronic devices.
- Age-old complaints, such as whistling (feedback), echoes and background noise are dramatically minimized, and clarity is much improved with today’s advanced technology.
- Most modern hearing aids are only as effective as the clinician who matches the technology features to your needs, and produces a meaningful and measurable benefit — your provider is at least as important as the product.
Following a discussion regarding your hearing health history, the provider performs a simple and interactive hearing test. The test environment is in a sound booth with your provider and is completed through the use of earphones. The exam includes your active participation during four basic test segments for each ear.
- The first part is the air conduction hearing test and involves your acknowledgement of recognizing a “beep” in your ear by raising your hand. The beep sound will be frequent, intermittent, and change in pitch and volume throughout this segment.
- The second part, called bone conduction testing, is similar to the first part, however, the earphones are exchanged for a bone conductor headband. This test identifies medical needs within your middle ear that would require medical consultation.
- The third part is speech-threshold testing in which words are presented to each ear and you are asked to repeat the words as they get softer and softer.
- During the final test segment, called word recognition testing, a new set of words are presented to you at a comfortable listening level and you are again asked to repeat them. This final test identifies your ability to hear all the sounds in common conversations when the words are heard at an amplified yet comfortable volume.
30 to 40 minutes on average. An alternative is a 10-minute screening, which tells us if there is an indication of a hearing loss. For the purposes of hearing aid selection and fitting, however, a full test must be performed.
Depending on the degree of hearing loss and the amount of time it has gone untreated, it is normal to expect that it will take time for the brain to “relearn” how to process the sounds it has been missing. This is one of the reasons we provide a 90-day trial period, so that you have ample time to enjoy the range of new sounds you’ll hear.
Ringing in one’s ear or ears is medically termed tinnitus and is caused by a variety of reasons that can include: some medications, chemotherapy treatments, ototoxic drugs, too much caffeine, too much aspirin, too much stress, anxiety, etc. However, tinnitus is most commonly a symptom of hearing loss that occurs during the natural progression of getting older. The cochlea is our hearing sensory organ and includes thousands of microscopic sensory receptors called hair cells. When these hair cells are stressed or damaged from the incidences cited above, they change their shape spontaneously and intermittently, causing audible sounds that we identify as tinnitus.
There are three types of hearing loss that a hearing test identifies.
- A “conductive” type of loss is found when a pathology exists in the outer or middle ear sections of the ear. This type of loss is most common in the pediatric population. This loss is usually improved with medical intervention.
- For the adult population, the most common type of hearing loss is the “sensorineural” type and it is permanent and often progressive. This type results from the deterioration of the inner ear sensory cells called the hair cells. Although hair cells can become damaged due to certain medications, ototoxic drugs, some chemotherapy regimens, and intense noise levels, the most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss is simply a lifetime of “wear and tear” in the mature population.
- The third type of hearing loss is called “mixed” and is a combination of the first two types. In all types, when medical intervention is not an option, amplification through hearing aids is the most favorable treatment that can improve one’s hearing.
Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States, affecting more than nine million Americans over the age of 65 and 10 million Americans age 45 to 64.** Several research studies and medical publications indicate that the consequences of untreated hearing loss include depression, anxiety, paranoia, social isolation and cognitive decreases with dementia. Additionally, the significant other and family members of the hearing impaired person may also experience frustration, anger, depression and social isolation due to the inability of the hearing impaired person to participate successfully in communication environments. Many relationships describe frequent periods of misunderstandings during daily conversations that lead to emotional stress, all attributed to someone not seeking treatment for their own hearing loss.