The results from your hearing evaluation will provide the hearing care professional an outline of what sounds you may be missing or hearing. If a medical concern is noted, you may first be referred to a physician, usually an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist, for treatment. This referral can often be the first step in the hearing aid evaluation.
If a comprehensive hearing evaluation reveals a permanent, nerve-related hearing loss (this is typical for 85% of those with hearing loss), a hearing aid is usually the only treatment available. The audiologist may explain what sounds you are hearing and hearing devices can do to help. At this appointment, the audiologists will display for you the model and style he is recommending. The audiologist has fit dozens of different brands and models already so he will present the hearing device he feels you will be the most successful with.
The hearing professional may take casts of your ears if a custom ear mold is recommended. The devices are ordered from the manufacturer and then adjusted by the audiologist on a computer using special software to meet your specific hearing levels. This process can take 1-2 weeks.
Will Hearing Devices Help Me?
A commonly asked question is do hearing devices work? The answer is yes, modern hearing technology is excellent and works well. However, it cannot be overstated that hearing devices are not a replacement for one’s natural hearing. Today’s hearing devices sound more natural, are smaller and more discreet, have significantly improved noise reduction and are less prone to malfunction than older hearing devices. However, expect the hearing nerve and brain to require 2-4 weeks to adapt to hearing devices.
Hearing loss generally occurs due to noise exposure, aging, unlucky genetics or a combination of the three. If you desire to hear better and have a hearing loss that is nerve related and not medically treatable, a hearing device is the best solution available until medical science discovers a treatment to heal the hearing nerve. Generally speaking, there is not a specific test to differentiate how well hearing devices will or will not benefit someone. Each person is unique and no two persons respond to amplification the same way.
The owner of Peninsula Hearing Services is a Doctor of Audiology and has been fitting hearing devices for more than 19 years. He has fit devices from all of the 6 major hearing device manufacturers and has experienced the best success with Resound products. Because of that, Peninsula Hearing Services highly endorses their products. Those who are successful with amplification typically:
- Have realistic expectations regarding the strengths/limitations of hearing devices
- Are highly motivated to hear better
- Seek amplification for themselves and less so due to pressure from others
- Proactively maximize their ability to communicate using strategies/coping skills other than hearing
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do hearing devices need to be worn everyday? Yes. Otherwise the brain will not adjust to the amplification. Also, some studies show the hearing nerve will continue to decline from lack of stimulation.
- Will the hearing devices fall out easily from exercise or when I removed my eyeglasses? No. The devices fit snugly and comfortably and will not easily slip out of the ear.
- Do I sleep with hearing devices? Only if you want to. But the battery will run-down more quickly and it might be uncomfortable to wear the device(s) if you roll your head to the side of the pillow.
- Will water harm the devices? Newer hearing devices are water-resistant and are not easily damaged by brief exposures to water from the shower, swimming pool or rainstorm. However, if regularly submerged n water, they will could become damaged.
- How often do batteries need to be replaced? Every 5-6 days. Batteries are easy to replace using a special magnet and they are inexpensive when purchased at discount warehouse stores, costing as little as 25 cents/each.
- Where do I go for servicing should my hearing device break? Call the office that dispensed your devices. They often can repair them in the office. Should they need to go to the manufacturer, only authorized representatives may send hearing devices to the factory.
- Do I need to adjust the volume of my device(s)? No, newer hearing devices automatically adjust to soft and loud sounds, much like healthy ears and hearing work in different listening environments.