You may have hearing loss and not even be aware of it. People of all ages experience gradual hearing loss, often due to the natural aging process or long exposure to loud noise. Other causes of hearing loss include viruses or bacteria, heart conditions or stroke, head injuries, tumors, and certain medications. Treatment for hearing loss will depend on your diagnosis.
Dr. Sterling and his staff are fully qualified to evaluate and manage hearing loss in all age groups. A screening test from a hearing aid dealer may not be adequate. We will assess your ability to hear pure tone sounds and to understand words. The results of these tests will indicate the degree and type of hearing loss.
Over 30 million Americans have hearing loss and 50 million americans experience tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. As our population ages, more and more of us are affected. These issues can become more than an inconvenience; they can seriously affect our ability to communicate with family and friends. Our audiologist can fit you with the correct hearing aid to maximize your hearing benefit.
How much do hearing aids cost?
Hearing aids vary in price based on level of technology and available features (tinnitus maskers, blue tooth connectivity, etc). The hearing aid companies that our audiologist works with provide reputable products and excellent customer service. Product reliability can save on repair costs and decrease frustration of a malfunctioning hearing aid.
What are the different styles?
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) aids go over the ear and are connected with tubing to a custom-fit ear mold.
- Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) aids are a newer design, and while still placed over the ear they are extremely sleek and nearly invisible. Also, the part of the hearing aid that sits in the ear is smaller and less occluding than a traditional ear mold.
- In-the-ear (ITE) aids fill the entire bowl of the ear and part of the ear canal. This is a good option for people with poor dexterity because they are large and fairly easy to insert.
- In-the-canal (ITC) and Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) aids are smaller versions of the ITE, but still block the entire ear canal.
The best hearing aid style for you depends on:
- degree of hearing loss
- listening needs
- size and shape of your ear
- fine motor skills
Will I need a hearing aid for each ear?
This depends on your hearing loss. If you have hearing loss in both ears it is best to wear two hearing aids to help with sound localization. Also, the newer technology has binaural processing and coordination, meaning the hearing aids work together to help you hear better in a noisy environment. However, one hearing aid is better than none.
What will happen at my hearing aid fitting?
The audiologist will ensure the hearing aids fit comfortably in your ear. He will then digitally program the hearing aids and make any needed programming adjustments so they sound comfortable. Next, you will receive instruction about how to use and take care of the hearing aids.
Is that the only time I will meet with the Audiologist?
The audiologist is available to meet with you continually to make sure the hearing aids are comfortable. It is common to meet with the audiologist two or three times in the first month to make sure everything is going well.