Typically, treatment for any permanent hearing loss involves the use of amplification devices in addition to aural rehabilitation. In doing so, it is necessary to take the appropriate steps to determine the best solution to fit your hearing difficulties, concerns and lifestyle.
First, an audiologist must administer a series of tests to make a proper diagnosis of the type, cause and severity of one’s hearing impairment.
Hearing & Communication Assessment
With the accessibility of online commerce and advancements in hearing devices, the next step towards better hearing can be a daunting task. At Listen Hear, we recommend scheduling a consultation for professional guidance through this process.
When choosing an instrument, we make it our mission to have a better understanding of what is most important to each individual and their communication needs. To get started, when a person is fit with a new hearing instrument, we will consider some of the following factors:
For further assistance, we suggest that all our clients answer our lifestyle and communication assessment prior to scheduling their free consultation.
Hearing aids are categorized and defined by the Food & Drug Administration as a class I medical, wearable, sound-amplifying device designed to compensate for impaired hearing.
With a selection of behind-the-ear and custom-made styles, hearing aids are developed to assist you to communicate in a variety of challenging listening situations. They should be chosen based on your surroundings, manual dexterity and communication needs.
As research advances, they are programmed to each prescribed hearing loss and tailored to make automatic adjustments. This helps distinguish speech comfortably while reducing ambient loud sounds and other noises. The cost will vary according to how aggressive the adjustments are in the hearing aid and the number of features it has in the device itself.
Recommended to be worn daily, consistent use will allow you to discover their full potential. Since permanent hearing loss often occurs gradually, in order to receive maximum benefit there is always a period of adjustment or rehabilitation. This helps you learn how to hear better through the hearing aids. Once achieved, you will be able to hear comfortably in various listening environments.
With consistent use of hearing aids and communication strategies, you will become more confident to return to activities and gatherings you may have previously avoided.
Although all hearing aids come with a warranty and the necessary follow-up care from your audiologist, the lifespan of the device can vary and will be dependent on the maintenance of each instrument.
When inserting the hearing aids into your ears, always remember that red is for the right ear and blue is for the left ear.
At first, your brain will need to re-identify what is important to you. Certain sounds that will be somewhat overwhelming include footsteps, water running, newspapers and the banging of pots and pans.
If the hearing aids are too overwhelming, wear the aids in more quiet or easy listening environments in the beginning to give yourself time to adjust.
It is normal for your voice or the physical fit of the hearing aids to be unusually noticeable to you. It will become more comfortable as you continue to wear the hearing aids.
You may experience whistling when you insert the hearing aid in your ear, put your hand over the aid, or hug someone. It should not happen if it is placed in your ear properly.
If any squealing occurs while you are on the phone, you may want to tilt the phone slightly away from your face. You may need to experiment with the proper placement of the phone while wearing your hearing aid.
Use a Kleenex or hearing aid brush to routinely clean your hearing aid.
Make sure that you remove your aids when you wash your face, take a shower, go swimming or are caught in heavy rain. Hearing aids may be water-resistant, but should not be immersed in any liquid.
Do not use aerosol spray (hair sprays, etc.) on your hair with the aids in your ears. The spray may discolor the plastic and/or plug the microphone.
Do not expose your hearing aids to excessive heat (above 120°F), such as the oven, microwave or leave them in your car during the summer.
Bluetooth hearing aids or hearable products are in-ear devices designed to wirelessly connect to smartphones, music players, and other Bluetooth devices.
First developed for headphones, medical monitoring, fitness tracking and translation, hearables have transitioned into the hearing aid market to improve communication and sound quality for the hearing-impaired population.
Initially developed by Apple in conjunction with such hearing aid companies like Starkey and Resound, focus has shifted to the importance of communicating with the use of cellular phones and the internet. As a result, most hearing aid manufacturers now offer their solution for the everyday smartphone user.
If hearing aids are not an option, PSAPs may be a good alternative to assist in situational hearing difficulty. Unlike hearing aids, they are worn only in the necessary situations where the user is having difficulty hearing.
Personal Sound Amplifier Products (PSAPs) are considered non-regulated, over-the-counter in-the-ear devices that were initially intended to amplify environmental sounds for those with no hearing impairment. More recently, due to accessibility and affordability, more people with hearing loss are purchasing these products instead of the use of hearing aids.
Although more high-end PSAP models may be able to assist the user in minimal environments with competing ambient noise, they do not amplify sounds according to each individual’s specific hearing loss.
The success with PSAPs will be dependent on the severity of the hearing loss, speech understanding and the specific situations that you are having difficulty. Recent studies reveal that less expensive devices may cause distortion with insufficient amplification, making the high end PSAPs a preferable option.
In more challenging listening situations, hearing assistive devices may be used with and without the use of hearing aids.
Specifically tailored for the phone, television and Bluetooth devices, these accessories provide the necessary boost in hearing to facilitate communication and understanding in the home, work, or the next social event.