ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT HEARING LOSS AND HEARING AIDS

How do I know if I have hearing loss?

Hearing loss usually develops gradually without discomfort or pain, making it hard to recognize. Family members often notice it first, and people with hearing loss often find ways to compensate.

What is a hearing aid?

A hearing aid is a small electronic device worn in or behind the ear. Hearing aids contain a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. These components are used to detect sound, make portions of it louder and send the enhanced signal to the ear. The louder sound makes hearing easier and allows people with hearing loss to listen, communicate and participate more fully in daily activities.

How can I find out if a hearing aid will help me?

If you think you may have hearing loss, the first step is to schedule an appointment at our office to get your hearing tested. Our hearing professionals are trained to measure your hearing loss and provide expert recommendations for treatment.

Do all hearing aids work the same way?

All hearing aids amplify sound, but the electronics used may be different. The older analog hearing aids amplify sound, converting the sound waves to signals that are passed on to the inner ear.

Digital hearing aids are like miniature computers, taking the sound waves and converting them into bits of information that the computer can manipulate and amplify.

These new digital hearing aids provide our hearing experts with more flexibility to custom tune the signals based on your own unique hearing loss. As a result, digital hearing aids can filter out background noise and enhance speech recognition in ways that analog models cannot.

Why should I get two hearing aids?

If you have hearing loss in both ears, you should be wearing two hearing aids. Since you use both ears to locate the source of sound, restoring your hearing in only one ear will make it difficult for you to determine where sound is coming from. Sound could also be perceived as “flat” or “dull” with the use of only one hearing aid. The audiogram from your hearing test will show you if you have hearing loss in one ear or in both ears.

What are some advances in hearing aid technology?

Just like other digital technology (computers, TVs, cell phones), hearing aids are becoming smaller, more powerful and more affordable. Today’s hearing aids are discreet (some are essentially invisible), filter out background noise, allow hands-free phone calls, stream music and sound directly to the hearing aids, enhance speech comprehension, interact with smart phones and much more.

Can I buy hearing aids online?

The effectiveness of your hearing aids is dependent on how they’re programmed, which is, in turn, dependent on the unique characteristics of your hearing loss. Even if you know exactly which hearing aid you need, the key to making it work is in fitting and programming it, something only a trained hearing expert can do. Making a purchase without having your hearing tested is a big mistake and you’ll likely end up with a hearing aid that won’t work for you. The smart move is to seek the help of a licensed hearing instrument specialist. Our professionals are highly trained in testing hearing and fitting hearing aids.

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