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When is a hearing aid the right solution for someone with a hearing loss?
Research by the National Council on the Aging on more than 2,000 people with hearing loss has demonstrated that hearing aids clearly are associated with dramatic improvements in the social, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of people in all hearing loss categories from mild to severe. Specifically, hearing aid usage was shown to improve the following for people with measured hearing loss:
- Earning power
- Communication in relationships
- Intimacy and warmth in family relationships
- Ease in communication
- Emotional stability
- Sense of control over life events
- Perception of mental functioning
- Physical health
- Not to mention more fulfillment in the bedroom too.
Most people experiencing hearing loss have seen their hearing decline very gradually over a period of years, and probably just accepted it as one side effect of growing older and wiser.
But that can all change within days.
The first step is to get your hearing tested and complete a hearing aid evaluation. After that, we will recommend the best solution for you based on your lifestyle, budget and other factors. We dispense, program and repair all types of hearing aids. In fact, we guarantee results.
Ready to get back to participating fully in the conversation and enjoying the sounds of life, from birds chirping in the trees outside your house, to your grandchildren, friends and family?/
Take the first step to reduce or even eliminate your hearing loss with the right hearing aids for you.
The Truth about Hearing Aids
It’s a fact that hearing aids can help most adults with hearing loss understand and communicate more effectively. It is also a fact that choosing the right hearing aid can be overwhelming…even difficult.
However, you can reduce the stress often associated with shopping for a hearing aid by partnering with an audiologist or hearing specialist you trust and who understands your unique needs. With accurate testing, professional guidance and consistent follow-up care, your satisfaction with your investment in hearing aids will be greatly improved.
You can also increase your satisfaction with the performance of your hearing aids by following these helpful tips:
Have realistic expectations: Hearing aids work very well when they are fitted and adjusted appropriately, but it is important to understand that they do not provide “perfect” hearing or restore your hearing to normal. Instead, hearing aids provide you with additional information to help you hear and understand more effectively. You should expect that your hearing aids are comfortable to wear, both in the way they feel and in the way you hear sounds. If there is any discomfort at all you should seek counsel from your audiologist immediately.
Commit to wearing your hearing aids every day: It takes time to adjust to wearing hearing aids and the amount required varies from person to person. You may need just a few days or weeks, or as long as a few months, to feel comfortable wearing hearing aids. In general, the greater the hearing loss and the longer amount of time the hearing loss has been present, the more difficult the transition to using hearing aids is. There is no perfect way to learn how to adjust to hearing aids, but audiologists and hearing aid specialists are uniquely trained to help you achieve a smooth transition.
Understand the truth about background noise: Virtually everyone, hearing aid users and non hearing aid users alike, complains about background noise at one time or another. There is no way for a hearing aid to eliminate the sounds that the wearer does not want to hear. The good news is that there are now hearing aid circuits and features available that help minimize some unwanted sounds. For example, research reveals that dual microphones effectively reduce background noise for many people with certain types of hearing losses. Your audiologist can help you determine the best circuits and microphone options for your hearing loss and communication needs.
Two hearing aids are better than one if you have hearing loss in both ears. Wearing hearing aids bilaterally (one in each ear) will improve your ability to:
___ Hear in noisy settings
___ Localize sounds in your environment
___ Understand speech, especially in the presence of background noise
___ Hear soft sounds at lower levels
Buying Hearing Aids
Step #1: The Hearing Aid Evaluation
Your journey to better hearing begins with an accurate audiological evaluation or hearing test. The results of this test, combined with your lifestyle, budget considerations, and personal preferences must be weighed equally when determining the hearing aid that will be of most benefit to you.
At the time of the hearing evaluation, a case history will be taken to determine how you and your family perceive your hearing problem. Questions will also be asked about the onset of the hearing loss, presence of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and dizziness. Based on the results of the hearing test and the answers to these questions, your audiologist or hearing aid specialist may make a referral to a medical doctor for an examination and possible treatment. If the testing reveals a sensorineural hearing loss, a hearing aid may be recommended for one or both ears.
Step #2: Choosing the Hearing Aid that is Right for You
There are literally thousands of hearing aids from which to choose. Your audiologist or hearing aid specialist will use the information you provided in your case history and the results of your audiological evaluation to help narrow those choices for you, but the final decision on which hearing aid to purchase is yours.
The main types of hearing aids available today are conventional (analog) and digital.
Conventional analog hearing aids are basically amplifiers that feature manual volume controls and manual fine-tuning. Primarily beneficial for listening in easy, relatively quiet situations, such as in one-on-one conversations and while listening to the television, this technology provides limited flexibility in meeting individual needs.
Digital Hearing Aid Technology accounts for most of the hearing aids sold today. In fact, the basic digital hearing aid costs about the same as a conventional analog hearing aid. The digital hearing aid contains a computer chip that amplifies sounds digitally. The quality of the sound produced by the computer chip is excellent.
Digital hearing aids are flexible and can be re-programmed by your audiologist or hearing aid specialist by using a computer equipped with special software and hardware. These technologically advanced hearing aids can respond to soft sounds in one way and to loud sounds in a completely different fashion. Some digital hearing aids even have the capability to reduce some environmental noises such as motors running or dishes clanging.
Step #3: The Hearing Aid Fitting
During the hearing aid fitting, the device is programmed to meet the needs of the wearer. The new user is provided with instructions on how to insert the hearing aid in the ear and remove it, how to change batteries and how to care for and clean the device. This is also the time that the audiologist reiterates the function of the hearing aid as it relates to the individual’s lifestyle.
Step #4: Ensuring Your Satisfaction with your Hearing Aids
Hearing aid studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude adjust to hearing with hearing aids more readily. It also helps to:
- Identify communication settings that are difficult for you. Describe those situations to your audiologist or hearing aid specialist so he or she can help you develop strategies to manage your difficult listening situations.
- Be patient. Hearing loss typically develops over many years. Becoming re-acquainted with sounds you haven’t heard for awhile will take practice and time. It is important not to become disillusioned or frustrated while your brain adjusts to the sounds provided by your hearing aids.
Join the Digital Revolution
Digital Hearing Aid Features and Technology Levels
The digital revolution has made a huge impact on the way hearing aids look, feel and work. They can be so small that they are virtually invisible, so “cool” looking that you will want everyone to see them and so natural sounding, they mimic the way you used to hear before you experienced hearing loss.
Digital Hearing Aid Features
- Dual microphones allow you to hear better in noisy situations. Some can even identify the source of the noise and reduce it.
- Open technology that keeps the ear canal unobstructed eliminates that “talking in a barrel” effect.
- Feedback cancellation does just that… It cancels feedback BEFORE you hear it as an annoying whistle.
- Hands free technology automatically adjusts to your listening environment… whether you are on the phone, in a crowd or in wind.
- Your digital hearing aid can be programmed with a computer to meet your individualized needs.
- Wireless technology allows you to hear your cell phone, television and home phone in stereo, directly through your hearing aids!
Digital Hearing Aid Technology Levels
There are three basic technology levels available. They are categorized as “Economy,” “Value” and “Advanced.” Each level offers digital hearing solutions based on your level of hearing loss, lifestyle and budget.