Who are Audiologists?
Audiologists are university trained and hold a Masters Degree or Doctorate in Audiology and/or Communication Disorders.
Is getting a hearing aid all I can do for a hearing loss?
No. Some forms of hearing loss can be treated surgically or with drugs. Your hearing test results will help us determine how to appropriately address your hearing loss.
Can everyone with a hearing loss benefit from hearing aids?
Audiologists refer to hearing loss as being sensorineural. This describes pathology in two areas: sensory and neural. The sensory cells, known as hair cells, are located in your cochlea. The eighth cranial nerve carries the sound to your brain through a complex neural pathway. People whose hearing loss is predominately “neural” in nature may not be able to understand speech no matter how comfortably loud the speaker. Your complete audiologic examination will determine the degree and kind of sensorineural hearing loss you have.
Are there other options besides hearing aids?
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) amplify sounds from telephones, TVs, alarm clocks and fire alarms. Our clinic carries a variety of products our patients have found useful.
What can I expect from a hearing aid?
As hearing aid technology improves, everyone’s expectations tend to increase.People who are fit with new hearing aids often expect to hear in situations that have frustrated them for many years. Also, family members sometimes expect too much.As you begin wearing a hearing aid, one of the most important goals is to try to establish realistic expectations.EXPERIENCED HEARING AID USERS KNOW THAT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE DIFFICULTY WHEN THEY ARE:
- LISTENING TO CONVERSATION IN A GROUP SITUATION WITH BACKGROUND NOISE
- TRYING TO HEAR IN A CAR, ESPECIALLY FROM THE BACK SEAT TO THE FRONT SEAT OR WHEN THE WINDOW IS DOWN
- WATCHING CERTAIN TV PROGRAMS, ESPECIALLY WHEN MUSIC IS MIXED IN WITH THE DIALOG
- TRYING TO HEAR SOMEONE SPEAK WITH THEIR BACK TO YOU, FROM ANOTHER ROOM OR WHILE WALKING AWAY FROM YOU
- LISTENING TO CHILDREN OR OTHERS WITH SOFT VOICES
- TIRED OR NOT FEELING WELL
Hearing in the above situations (and in many others) can be difficult and frustrating.Unrealistic expectations will only make matters worse. Successful hearing aid users learn over time, to appreciate the benefits and to accept the limitations of hearing aids.Try to be patient with yourself. Teach your family to be patient. Let people know that your hearing aid helps, but that it doesn’t cure the problem. Education and realistic expectations are the keys to success.
What do hearing aids cost?
Prices vary by depending on the type of hearing loss and each individual’s specific needs, the most appropriate hearing aid will vary from person to person. It is the Audiologist’s job to recommend the most appropriate device for each individual, while providing the options necessary in meeting an individual’s financial requirements.
Will my insurance pay for this?
Medicare, Medi-Cal and most insurance companies cover hearing evaluations recommended by your doctor. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover hearing aids; Medi-Cal does cover a hearing aid to certain degrees of hearing loss. Many supplemental insurances are starting to cover a portion of the hearing aid cost; however, it is best for you to contact your insurance company personally, and ask what their hearing aid coverage is for your particular policy.Our office will work to provide you help with your insurance needs.
What hearing aid is best for me?
*IMPORTANT *More advanced and higher priced hearing aids do not always provide better results.Individual results will depend on the cause, type, severity, and the duration of the hearing loss. All patients who are considering hearing aids must have realistic expectations and a positive attitude to be successful. Even the most advanced hearing aids do not restore normal hearing nor do they eliminate background noise.
If I have hearing loss in both ears, can I get by with just one hearing aid?
The majority of patients with hearing loss in both ears choose to be fitted binaurally for the following reasons:
- Better balance in hearingTwo hearing aids allow you to hear comfortably without having to continually position one ear to catch the words of the speaker.
- Better sound quality with less powerBecause sound presented to both ears is louder than the same sound at the same intensity to one ear only, the volume on two instruments can be set lower than if you use only one instrument. This is more relaxed, comfortable and less stressful.
- Better ability to localize soundThe ear closest to the sound receives the information microseconds earlier than the ear further away. This allows the brain to discern where the sound is coming from. For example, it can help you judge the location of an oncoming car you cannot see.
While all these examples are true we also understand hearing aids are expensive and not a priority when living on a budget or fixed income. Therefore, we will work to provide what is best for your hearing needs within your budget.
What is earwax and how can I avoid earwax problems?
The skin lining the ear canal contains hair follicles and glands that produce oil and earwax. The earwax (cerumen) lubricates the skin and traps dust and foreign particles. It may also prevent infection of the ear canal. The wax is a colorless, watery secretion that dries and turns darker in color when it mixes with dust particles and dead skin cells.Cerumen normally moves out of the ear canal naturally due to movement of the ear canal when talking and chewing. Some people produce excessive amounts – or the wax does not fall out naturally – and need to have earwax removed. Hydrogen peroxide and water (at body temperature) can be used to flush the wax, but do not do this if you have a perforated eardrum. Other people need to have earwax removed professionally. Note: The use of Q-tips is not recommended, as this often pushes wax further into your ear and/or scratches the ear canal.