American Hearing + Audiology
Hearing Aid Questions
With advanced digital technology, we are able to adjust the hearing aids when changes in your hearing occur. Rarely would we need to change a hearing aid due to changes in hearing. On average, people upgrade their hearing aids every 4-5 years, usually to take advantage of new technology.
Today’s advanced hearing aids offer a variety of discreet and comfortable options. Award-winning designs have proven to be aesthetically appealing, naturally comfortable, and virtually unnoticeable. American Hearing & Audiology can provide great acoustical performance that is completely discreet.
When someone states that you cannot be helped, get a second opinion! Most physicians are not experts in hearing science and treatments. It’s acceptable to seek the expert advice of a hearing care professional like an audiologist and obtain a second opinion. Breakthrough technological advances in the design and performance of hearing aids have given many people the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of amplification. You should see an audiologist to have a thorough test to evaluate your hearing and discuss your options for improvement in your everyday hearing ability.
Yes, you will hear better by allowing your brain to receive more speech information. The digital advancements in hearing aids allow for selective reduction of frequencies where competing signals exists without negatively affecting the speech frequencies. Premium and advanced hearing aids can also automatically adjust the scope of what we hear, dampening competitive sounds that challenge our understanding.
Generally two-ear assistance is superior to that of a single instrument. Even in instances where hearing loss between the ears differ, two hearing aids can provide balanced hearing , improved understanding of speech in noise or when there is more than one person speaking and better localization of sound. Our highly trained audiologists will make appropriate recommendations based on the results from your evaluation. However, one hearing aid is always better than no hearing aid at all.
Follow-up care is the most important aspect of any hearing aid fitting. Hearing aids require a period of re-training your hearing. Follow-up visits are always part of your treatment plan. Periodic adjustments may be needed to optimize performance as characteristics of your loss change over time and to accommodate your preferences in various hearing situations. Your hearing aids should also fit comfortably. Hearing loss should be managed over time throughout your life. If you experience changes in your ability to hear or problems with fit, you should call American Hearing & Audiology to set an appointment immediately.
Digital hearing aids convert sound waves into a desired response based on your degree of hearing impairment. It is able to automatically adjust the incoming sound making soft sounds louder and loud sounds softer. This allows you to remain comfortable with the response of your hearing aid without even using a volume control. The digital response also includes information about a sound’s pitch allowing the aid to be custom-programmed to amplify certain sound frequencies more than others. Digital circuitry allows more flexibility in adjusting the aid to a user’s unique hearing loss and to certain listening environments.
The following tips will extend the life of your hearing aid:
1) Clean hearing aids as instructed. Wax buildup can damage your hearing aid.
2) Avoid hairspray and other hair products while wearing your hearing aids.
3) Power off hearing aids when not in use, this will also extend battery life.
4) Keep your hearing aids away from moisture and heat.
5) Replace dead batteries immediately.
6) Store your hearing aids and replacement batteries in a secure location: away from pets and small children.
7) See your audiologist every few months for a hearing aid check up.
8) American Hearing & Audiology with any questions you may have.
Our well trained staff is eager to assist you. American Hearing & Audiology provides on-site repairs, hearing aid supplies/accessories, and hearing aid cleaning for all patients.
Most insurance covers the cost of the hearing evaluation. Some medical insurance plans provide coverage for a portion of the expense for hearing aids. Generally, you pay something out-of-pocket for better hearing. Our helpful staff can assist you with discovering if, and to what amount of coverage is available.
Hearing aids come in many sizes and styles and are packaged according to performance capabilities. Your individual hearing loss, listening environments, options needed, cosmetic concerns, manual dexterity, and budget factor in finding the best individual solution. American Hearing & Audiology will take the time to guide you through the process.
Hearing aids are priced according to performance capabilities. As with most technology, the devices that do more, cost more. In general, noise reduction capabilities improve as cost rises. American Hearing & Audiology will work with you to match the right technology to your lifestyle, listening needs, and budget.
Hearing Loss Questions
Audiologists are health-care professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders. Doctors of Audiology obtain their degree following a minimum of seven to eight years of higher education specializing in hearing science, auditory disorders and auditory rehabilitation (hearing aids).
Hearing loss may be worse in certain pitches than in others. When you have a hearing loss, the brain is always plugging in missing information (redundancy), allowing you to understand what is said. This process is very similar to a spell check on a computer. When the brain no longer has enough of a signal to plug in the missing information, the result is poor understanding of speech.
Hearing aids can be programmed to treat your hearing loss in the specific pitches regions that you need. The result is a greater understanding of speech in a variety of environments.
While hearing loss is common as we age, there are many factors that can contribute to hearing loss. The ear is a very vascular mechanism. It requires oxygen and the many nutrients of the blood supply to remain healthy. Anything that disrupts the blood supply or alters the body chemistry may cause auditory side effects. We made a list of some common causes of hearing loss:
1) Excessive Noise Exposure (prolonged loud music, gun shots, noisy machinery)
3) Head Injury
4) Genetics or Birth Defects
5) Drug or Treatment Reaction (antibiotics, chemotherapy, radiation)
6) Heart disease
This is a hearing loss that originates from the central nervous system or the brain. It is characterized by poor understanding and slow processing of speech. Treatments may vary from medical to auditory rehabilitation. The audiologists at American Hearing & Audiology are trained to diagnose and treat many types of hearing loss, including central auditory disorders.
Conductive hearing loss is caused by a condition or disease that blocks or impedes the movement of sound waves throughout the outer or middle ear. The result is a reduction in loudness or clarity of sound that reaches the inner ear. The treatment for conductive loss can vary and may include medical or surgical intervention. Your audiologist has been trained to make the appropriate medical referral when appropriate.
Sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the neurons within the inner ear or auditory nerve dysfunction. It is typically irreversible and permanent. It affects the intensity (or loudness) of sound, but more often results in a lack of clarity of sounds, particularly speech. The treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is prescriptive sound amplification through advanced hearing aids.
Most hearing loss can be categorized as conductive, sensorineural or central. Treatment options vary for the different types of hearing loss.
Hearing Testing Questions
We recommend that individuals over the age of 50 receive a professional hearing test at least every year, or whenever there have been any major changes to your hearing or health. For those younger than 50 with no known hearing issues, having your hearing evaluated every 3-5 years is advised.
A hearing test is simple for the patient and the cost is covered by almost all medical insurances, including Medicare. It takes most people years to notice the gradual onset of hearing loss. So if you are starting to have problems hearing certain voices, if you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves, if others seem to mumble, or if you need to turn the TV volume up to a level uncomfortable for others to enjoy – these are signs that it’s time to test your hearing. Hearing loss is not something to hide or ignore. In fact, untreated hearing loss is more visible to others than hearing aids. Hearing loss can negatively affect one’s emotional and social well being, which can lead to depression, isolation from others, strained relationships, and insecurity.