Tagged: hearing healthcare

The Importance of Hearing Healthcare

February 15, 2016

 
Most of us don’t think twice about an annual checkup with the doctor. Seeing your doctor regularly is important for understanding your body, maintaining good health and increasing the possibility for a long, productive and happy life. Understanding your hearing is just as important and seeing a Doctor of Audiology (hearing specialist/ hearing healthcare provider/Audiologist) can be an important first step in helping to improve your overall quality of life.

Hearing loss often goes undetected for many years. In fact, it may be a spouse or loved-one that first brings the hearing loss to your attention before you recognize a deterioration in your ability to hear what others are saying. How often does it happen that you have to ask others to repeat? Does your spouse have to tell you the punch-line to nearly every joke? Do you notice that you are removing yourself from social situations because it has become too difficult to communicate? It may be time to take the first important steps to getting back to your old self. It may be time to find out what you’ve been missing.

Once a hearing loss is recognized, the first step is to have a hearing evaluation to determine the type and severity of the hearing loss. Working with your Doctor of Audiology, you can then determine the next best step. In some instances, hearing loss is caused by a condition that is medically treatable. In this case, your Doctor of Audiology will refer you to a medical doctor who specializes in diseases of the ear. In other instances, hearing aids are the best solution for the hearing loss. In some cases, the hearing loss may have gone undetected for so long that a secondary hearing loss occurs which affects the brain’s ability to make sense of words. Hearing aids, in this case, will only solve part of the problem. Auditory training will then be necessary in order to retrain the brain to listen effectively. Working with your Doctor of Audiology, you will be able to understand your hearing healthcare needs and find the appropriate solution for your hearing loss.

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Finding the Best Hearing Aid for You

November 16, 2015

Happy coupleWhen you are trying to find the best hearing aid, there are many things to consider. It’s not uncommon to feel unsure about which manufacturer or which features will be best for your hearing loss and your everyday listening situations. The many choices that manufacturers now offer in their hearing aids can make it even more confusing. If you are questioning what to purchase, you aren’t alone. Take the time to look at hearing aid reviews, ask someone you trust what their experience has been and most importantly, find a provider you trust.

There are a lot of features that are important, but any top-quality hearing aid should include:

• 100% digital sound processing for excellent sound quality
• Feedback suppression to decrease the annoying whistling sound hearing aids sometimes make when too close to another object.
• Adjustable channels – the more channels, the more adjustable
• Dual microphones plus active noise reduction – the best improvement in hearing in noise occurs when the hearing aid offers both of these features.
• Connectivity – Bluetooth compatibility and wireless connectivity are becoming more common and allow for connecting to external listening devices such as TV and MP3 players.
• Moisture protection – the number one cause of hearing aid repair is wax and moisture on the microphone or receiver (speaker). Moisture protection systems ensure longevity of the hearing aid.

Manufacturer Websites – a good source of information
When you are considering hearing aids, reviews can help you decide which is right for you. However, be cautious and find reputable reviews that will give you objective information. Look for hearing aid reviews that provide comprehensive information from a reliable source. Manufacturer websites are generally consumer-friendly and can be a good source for information gathering. You’ll also find blogs and consumer reviews online. Be careful with this information as it can often be colored by a hearing aid wearer’s bad experience with the hearing healthcare provider, not with the hearing aid itself.

Ask Those You Trust
What do you do when you want to find a good mechanic, dentist or financial advisor? You begin by asking those you trust who they prefer. Ask for a referral from friends you know who have been successful with hearing aids. Do they like their hearing aids? What do they like about them? What features do the hearing aids have? A more important question might be, did they respect and trust the person they worked with?

Find the Provider That Is Best For You
When you compare hearing aids, the first question really shouldn’t be about features. You also don’t need to begin by focusing on what brand or style of hearing aid you are going to buy. Hearing aids are essentially all the same. So, the key is in finding a highly trained, experienced hearing professional that holds the same high standards you do and is someone you can trust to be well informed about hearing loss and its solutions. Ask your friends and family who they trust and then begin by checking the credentials of the person you are considering. Are they an audiologist? They should be.

Second, it’s important that it is someone you feel very comfortable around and someone you can effectively communicate with. You will need to trust this professional to be able to openly discuss the difficulties you have been experiencing with your hearing loss and the communication difficulties it has created for you. The audiologist you select should have the educational background and the practical experience you need. But, he or she also needs to be a good communicator and a great listener, capable of translating your experiences into a technical solution to resolve important communication issues. Once you’ve had your consultation with a provider, ask yourself these questions: Was the exam thorough? Did the provider answer your questions? Did he or she listen? Do you feel you can trust him or her? Would you feel comfortable referring your friends to this person? If you can answer yes to these questions, you are on the right track!

Finding the right hearing aid for your listening needs can seem daunting. Take the time to do your homework – check blogs, reviews and manufacturer websites, talk to those you trust and chose a provider you can communicate with effectively. If you invest a little bit of time to investigate your choices before you purchase hearing aids, you’ll find that you feel your hearing aid purchase was money well spent.