FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Our hearing system is very complex. We all have many questions about how we hear, hearing loss, the effects of hearing loss and what can be done to help improve our hearing.
What can I expect at my appointment?
First, we will discuss your hearing concerns and conduct a thorough assessment. This process begins with a case history to review your medical and hearing history. We will then examine your ear and ear canal. You will then sit comfortably in a sound-proof booth and listen to a range of different tones and spoken words. This gives us information about the severity and type of hearing loss, if detected. An explanation of your results will be given, as well as treatment options if necessary.
Which hearing aids are right for me?
In order to determine the hearing aids that are best suited for you, we will conduct a complete hearing evaluation to assess your hearing abilities and individual needs. Hearing aids come in a variety of styles from virtually invisible devices that fit into your ear canal, to those that fit behind your ear. Typically, the larger “behind-the-ear” hearing aid offer more power for those with severe hearing loss. The other consideration is the level of technology, which ranges from “basic” to “advanced” to “premium” digital hearing aids. The better the technology, the better the hearing aids can automatically adjust to the sounds of your environment. These adjustments occur thousands of times per second to deliver the best speech signal possible, and to give you the best ability to communicate in difficult listening environments, such as a noisy restaurant.
Do I need one hearing aid or two?
When there is hearing loss in both ears, we recommend that you wear hearing aids in both ears. Wearing two hearing aids provides better sound quality; they allow you to better determine where sounds are coming from; they provide a more balanced perception of sound and an improved ability to understand speech in difficult listening environments. Wearing two hearing aids also helps to keep both of your ears active, reducing the effect of auditory deprivation. Clients report that listening is more pleasant and less tiring throughout the day. For those who have tinnitus (ringing sensation in the ears) 50% of people who wear hearing aids notice improvement when wearing two hearing aids. To determine which hearing aids are best for you, we recommend a complete hearing assessment to review your options.
I tried hearing aids before but I was unsuccessful.
Hearing aid technology is constantly improving to offer clients better performance, comfort and style. We encourage you to take advantage of our 90 day satisfaction guarantee to determine for yourself how hearing aids can improve your ability to hear and communicate with your family, friends and co-workers in a variety of everyday listening situations.
How can I hear better in background noise?
Research is constantly being conducted to allow for better speech understanding in noisy environments. Most hearing aids today incorporate noise management technology, which makes surrounding noise less noticeable so you can focus on the sounds you want to hear. However, hearing aids cannot eliminate background noise. Listening exercises can assist in training the brain to focus and to better manage the effects of noise.
Can the humidity affect my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are electronic devices and should be kept as dry as possible. However, with summer humidity or when travelling to humid destinations, some extra steps may be required to keep your hearing aids working to their maximum potential. A dry aid kit can help remove excess moisture, and keeping the battery door open at night is recommended. Wiping your hearing aids with a cloth after exposure to rain or perspiration is also recommended.
What are the side effects of hearing loss?
Hearing loss that goes untreated can lead to social isolation, fatigue, tension, stress, anxiety, and even depression. Hearing loss can cause a person to be frustrated and irritable. Auditory deprivation can also occur when both ears are not stimulated for a period of time. Fortunately, hearing aids are able to provide stimulation to help prevent this from occurring. When hearing loss is treated, we often see improved relationships with friends, relatives and co-workers, improved self image and mental health, and greater independence and security. We encourage friends and relatives to come with clients to their appointments so they have the support and understanding from those who they often communicate with.
Can my MP3 player cause hearing loss?
With the advent of personal music devices, such as iPods, there has been increasing concern about potential hearing damage. This is often a result of turning up the volume in environments with background noise and for extended durations. Listeners should set the volume to a comfortable level in a quiet environment and be cautious not to turn it up to over-compensate for the background noise. It is recommended that users keep the volume under 60 decibels, which is about 2/3 of the maximum volume on most MP3 players. We also suggest you limit the listening time to less than one hour per day, wear headphones that block out external sounds and prevent the need to turn up the volume in noisy environments.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus refers to the “ringing” sensation you may experience when no corresponding external sound is present. More than 360,000 Canadians experience tinnitus and describe as a mere annoyance. However, about 150,000 Canadians find that tinnitus seriously impairs the quality of their lives. Tinnitus may have either a physiological or biochemical origin. Hearing loss, medications, injury, preservatives and stress may contribute to tinnitus. There are several treatment options available for tinnitus, such as hearing aids, lifestyle modifications, maskers, alternative therapies and tinnitus retraining therapy.
I have heard there are surgeries to help with hearing loss?
It is true that some types of hearing loss can be assisted with surgery. When your hearing assessment is complete, your clinician will advise the necessary recommendations. Surgery may be an option dependent upon the type of hearing loss and the severity of hearing loss. It is reported that 90% of those with hearing loss that cannot be treated medically can be improved by wearing hearing aids. For more information, please ask your hearing professional.
What can I do to protect my hearing?
It is critical to protect the hearing that you have by avoiding prolonged exposure to noise whenever possible. Avoid excessively loud work and social environments. Avoid using cotton swabs in your ears as this can push wax deeper into your ear canals. You should also avoid inserting anything into your ear, which may cause damage to the ear canal or ear drum, such as a Q-tip.
What should I expect with my new hearing aids?
It is important to be realistic and patient when adjusting to wearing your new hearing aids. Hearing aids are not an instant fix and will not restore your hearing back to normal. Hearing aids are designed to improve your hearing, but unfortunately, if you have hearing loss, there is no device or procedure that will bring your hearing back to normal levels. Some sounds may take time to adjust to. However, the earlier a hearing loss is treated, and the more often you wear hearing aids, the easier the adjustment process will become.