Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive that may help you feel more comfortable about using hearing aids and provide guidance if you feel there is a hearing problem or concern.
Hearing Aid and Hearing Loss FAQs:
How do I know I have a hearing problem?
Take this brief Self-Hearing Test from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. If you answer “yes” to three or more questions, come in to see us for a free hearing evaluation.
What can I expect at my first hearing appointment?
At your first appointment our Patient Care Coordinator will greet you.
- At your first appointment, you will be greeted and will be asked to fill out our Confidential Patient Information Chart, which will give us an overview of your medical, hearing and communication history.
- One of our hearing professionals will review your information and provide a complete professional hearing evaluation to determine the level of your hearing loss.
- Based on the results, they will advise you on what solutions to take to improve your hearing loss.
- If amplification is needed they will go over what type of hearing aid instrument or model and the level of technology that would best fit your environment at home, work or socially.
After the initial hearing aid fitting we decide on a follow-up schedule for fine tuning, counseling and cleaning of your new hearing aids. Our main goal is to provide quality-hearing instruments, professional service and develop a long term relationship with our patients.
How do I maintain my hearing aid(s)?
The two biggest threats to hearing aid instruments are moisture and earwax or cerumen.
Earwax commonly develops at the opening of the ear canal secreted through the cerumious glands. It is another major problem when it clogs up the canal opening that sits deep in the ear canal. We will provide you with tools and filters that can prevent this, and solutions to maintain your ear canals.
Tips for taking care of your hearing aids:
- Avoid wearing your hearing instruments in situations that will cause excessive perspiration.
- Avoid jumping into the shower or swimming pool with your hearing aids.
- We provide a variety of dry storage containers to set your hearing aids in to absorb harmful moisture.
- Avoid dropping your hearing aids on a hard surface floor.
- Keep your hearing aids stored in the evening away from your cats and dogs.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is usually described as a ringing noise, but some patients experience a high pitched humming or even a ticking sound. A few of the medical conditions that have been reported to cause tinnitus are diabetes, ear disease and cardiovascular disease. Some of the non-medical conditions that have been reported to cause tinnitus are stress induced, noise induced and substance induced such as alcohol, nicotine or food.
If you feel you might have tinnitus, make an appointment with an audiologist or hearing provider who has specialized training with tinnitus. The audiologist will do a complete hearing evaluation as well as specific tinnitus testing and evaluations. After that a treatment plan will be developed on a patient-by-patient basis.
Resources: American Tinnitus Association: www.ata.org | Tinnitus Practitioners Association: www.tinnituspractitioners.com
What is Sudden Deafness?
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) is more commonly known as sudden deafness. Just as the name implies, SSHL is an unexplained rapid loss of hearing and should be attended to immediately. Most people experience it only in one ear so don’t realize the severity of the problem because they think the hearing loss is due to something like a sinus infection. Many experience a loud popping noise right before it happens, become dizzy or experience ringing in the ears. About half of those with SSHL will get their hearing back within one or two weeks with proper medical care. If you suspect this has happened to you seek treatment from an otolaryngologist or ENT.