Buying a hearing aid is an important decision on many levels as it is an investment in both money and time. However, the benefits one can gain from improved hearing will outweigh those investments on a daily basis. Therefore it is important to take the right approach in shopping for a hearing aid to ensure you or a loved one get the optimal solution for improving hearing capabilities. At our clinic we offer this top 10 list of tips for anyone planning to buy new hearing aids, as well as our always complimentary appointments to get started.
1. Research Styles of Hearing Aids – Learn about hearing aids types and hearing technology to gain a basic understanding of the many choices available. On our website we provide important information about the advancements in today’s technology for reference.
2. Undergo a hearing test and complete hearing evaluation – A comprehensive hearing test and evaluation is the first step toward identifying hearing loss and finding the right hearing aid for a specific hearing problem. We will work with you to provide recommendations for appropriate hearing aid solutions, if necessary, based upon your hearing evaluation and lifestyle needs.
3. Honestly identify hearing needs – Some hearing aids are well suited for noisy situations; others are not. Some hearing aids types are perfect for an active lifestyle, while others are better suited for quiet activities such as watching television or listening to music. Features, controls - even color - may be important factors to consider when choosing the right hearing aid for your needs.
4. Understand hearing aid costs – Hearing aids may be a larger purchase and as such, the buyer should receive a written contract which includes the cost of the hearing aids, as well as any services provided by the hearing professional. These services may include fitting, training and follow up appointments. Insurance coverage and financing may also be available to help make certain hearing aids more affordable.
5. Get a comfortable fit – Custom earmolds ensure the best fit when purchasing new hearing aids. New hearing aids require a period of adjustment, and any level of discomfort could make the transition difficult.
6. Follow up – Adjusting to new hearing aids takes time as the brain learns to hear again in a new way. Follow up appointments are imperative to get the most out of new hearing aids.
7. Ask about the return policy – Most hearing professionals will offer a trial period for new hearing aids. Some may charge a fee if the hearing aids are returned; others may offer the opportunity to try a different hearing aid style.
8. Understand the warranty – As with any major purchase, hearing aids come with a warranty to cover repairs or replacement over a certain period of time. We remain committed to making sure you are taken care of throughout the life of your hearing aid and even have extended warranty plans available.
9. Consider using hearing aids with other assistive listening devices – Today's hearing aids are designed to work seamlessly with phones and audio equipment. Imagine having the sound from your radio or TV come through your hearing aid so others in the room can hear at comfortable levels. New wireless hearing aids may be the ultimate in convenience for the hard of hearing. We can answer questions about the compatibility of hearing aids with assistive listening devices.
10. Help a friend- with the prevalence of untreated hearing loss it is likely you know or may encounter someone who could benefit from better hearing as well. We are committed to helping all in our community that suffer with hearing loss and appreciate any referral you can share with those in need.
We hope this list provides a helpful guideline for making the right hearing aid purchase. We are committed to making sure every patient that needs a hearing aid gets the optimal solution for both their hearing loss and lifestyle needs. If you have any questions or are looking to start the process with a hearing test simply contact us at (561) 691-4144.
Kurt Walker, Au.D., F-AAA
How hearing works
Hearing is one of the human body’s most extraordinary processes. A complex system of delicate and synchronous parts, it’s easy to take this vital sense for granted. To better understand why Hearing Loss happens, it’s important to first know how hearing works.
It begins with sound
Sound begins with a vibration in the atmosphere. When something vibrates (whether it’s wind, a bell or a voice), it moves the air particles around it. Those air particles in turn move the air particles around them, carrying the pulse of the vibration through the air as a sound wave. That’s where your ear comes in.
Turning waves into words
Sound waves are collected by the outer ear and directed along the ear canal to the eardrum. When the sound waves hit the eardrum, the impact creates vibrations, which, in turn, cause the three bones of the middle ear to move. The smallest of these bones, the stirrup, fits into the oval window between the middle and inner ear.
When the oval window vibrates, fluid in the inner ear transmits the vibrations into a delicate, snail-shaped structure called the cochlea.
In the inner ear, thousands of microscopic hair cells are bent by the wave-like action of the fluid inside the cochlea. The bending of these hairs sets off nerve impulses. Which are then passed through the auditory nerve to the hearing center of the brain. This center translates the impulses into sounds the brain can recognize, like words, music or laughter, for instance.
If any part of this delicate system breaks down, hearing loss can be the result.
Learn more during Better Hearing Month
May is Better Hearing Month! — meaning now is a great time to learn more about the signs of hearing loss and treatment. To arrange for a hearing test, contact us at (561) 691-4144.
It should come as no surprise that hearing loss can result in anxiety and feelings of isolation if left untreated. But there are other consequential side effects that are less obvious or well known.
Fatigue — Research shows that, with untreated hearing loss, the sheer effort it takes to communicate can cause fatigue, as the person needs to concentrate harder to participate in conversations.
Earning Power — Studies by the Better Hearing Institute show that people with untreated hearing loss lose up to $30,000 annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss.
Dementia — A study by John Hopkins reports that seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing.
Enjoy the benefits of hearing help With today’s advances in hearing science and technology, there’s no longer a reason to let hearing loss affect you or those you care about the most. To learn more about signs of hearing loss and treatment, or to arrange for a hearing evaluation, simply contact our office at (561) 691-4144.
More than 360 million people have disabling Hearing Loss, according to February 2013 research released by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO). Unfortunately, a large majority of those who need hearing help do not receive it. In fact, only one out of every five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wear one (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders).
Here are 7 startling facts about hearing loss to consider:
1. Approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population or 38 million Americans have a significant hearing loss. (Center for Hearing and Communication)
2. One in every three people over the age of 65 – a total of 165 million people worldwide – lives with hearing loss. (WHO)
3. 32 million people affected by hearing loss are children under the age of 15. (WHO)
4. People with hearing loss wait an average of seven years before seeking help. (Center for Hearing and Communication)
5. Noise is the leading cause of hearing loss. (NY Times Personal Health Blog)
6. 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels everyday. (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association)
7. A 12-year study conducted by the neurology department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that untreated hearing loss increased the risk for dementia.
If you think you may be one of the millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss use Better Hearing Month as an opportunity to get help. Contact our clinic at (561) 691-4144 for a hearing consultation.
With every New Year’s celebration we make a firm pact with ourselves to make the coming year one of better habits as it relates to diet and health. With our many resolutions how often have you considered to recapture the sounds that you may be missing due to Hearing Loss. Whether it is the birds chirping outside of your window or family conversation in a restaurant, there may be no resolution more impactful than getting your hearing tested this New Year!
The best part is that we make completing this New Year’s resolution a very simple task to do by offering comprehensive hearing evaluations and consultations. Whether for yourself or a loved one, we can identify any sounds that are being missed due to hearing loss and provide reasonable solutions for treatment.
Don't be like the millions of other Americans who put off getting the simple treatment they deserve for their hearing loss. There is a big world of sounds out there and we want to make sure you are a part of it every day! To get started with making a first positive step in the New Year simply contact us at (561) 691-4144.
Hears to a great New Year!
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