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Patients faced with hearing loss can vastly improve their quality of life with proper hearing aid devices. Below are frequently asked questions about hearing loss and how hearing aid technology can help improve your hearing.
How do I get a hearing aid for myself or someone else?
If you suspect that you or a family member have hearing loss, you should ask your primary care physician to refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist (an ENT, or an otolaryngologist) for an evaluation. Or you can identify an ear, nose and throat specialist on this web site. The ENT will help to:
- Rule out any treatable diseases that may be causing hearing loss
- Provide a referral to an audiologist for a hearing test
- Provide clearance for a hearing aid if needed
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that a licensed physician examine and provide medical clearance for hearing aid use within six months of the purchase of a hearing aid (unless a waiver is signed).
How is hearing loss detected?
If the ENT suspects hearing loss, he or she will refer you for a formal hearing test, performed by an audiologist. A formal hearing test done by a licensed audiologist is an important and necessary part of obtaining a hearing aid. The hearing test will determine:
- How well sound is heard (from loud to soft and at different pitches)
- Ability to understand words
I was diagnosed with hearing loss…now what?
Once hearing loss is identified, and any treatable disease ruled out, the audiologist will counsel you on the type of hearing loss that you have and the degree. The audiologist will use the results of your hearing test as the basis for the consultation. Patients will work closely with their audiologist to select a hearing aid that best fits their particular condition, lifestyle and budget, and maximizes their ability to hear and communicate in different environments.
Custom hearing aid fitting for individual hearing needs
It is often said that a successful hearing aid fitting is as much an art as it is a science. Today’s modern digital hearing aid technology offers many choices and our audiologists will help to determine the most appropriate device. At NYEE’s Hearing Aid Dispensary, all hearing aid styles, using the latest digital Bluetooth technology, are available:
The dispensary also provides hearing aid fittings for special needs, including bone anchored hearing aids and implantable hearing aids.
How does a hearing aid work?
A hearing aid is like a miniature PA (public address) system designed for personal use. It takes an acoustic signal of low intensity (soft sound) and retransmits it at higher intensity (loud sound) so that it may be better heard. The hearing aid microphone picks up ambient sound (background noise) and sends it to an amplifier, which makes the sound louder. The amplified sound is sent into the ear canal towards the ear drum and inner ear.
Will I get help with my new hearing aid?
Yes, members of our audiology team will help the hearing aid user to learn to use their hearing instrument to its fullest capacity. It is the policy of NYEE's Hearing Aid Dispensary to offer each customer a 45-day trial period with their new hearing instrument. This policy allows the audiologist to make all necessary changes or adjustments in the newly purchased amplification system as the purchaser uses the hearing aid in various listening situations.
If a person simply cannot adjust to their device within the 45-day trial period, the hearing aid may be returned for a refund (minus a pre-determined service fee).
Will my hearing be back to normal with a hearing aid?
Unfortunately, hearing aids can’t restore normal hearing. But today’s sophisticated technology can greatly improve your hearing by amplifying soft sounds (often lost) as well as improve understanding in various listening situations such as the car, golf course, and noisy environment.
Is a single hearing aid adequate, or are two preferable?
For most people, binaural (two) hearing aids are recommended when diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss, except in special circumstances. Two aids provide a:
- Improve the ability to identify where sound is coming from
- Enhance the ability to hear well in the presence of background noise
- Faster sound processing technology allows user to hear speech sounds all around (Better stereo balance of sound)