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Health Watch – Is it time to consider hearing aids?

If you think you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to get it checked out with an audiologist and undergo a baseline hearing test (audiogram) to determine if there’s a problem. The sooner you address it, the better.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you qualify for a baseline hearing test:

1) Do you struggle to hear on the phone? Do you have the volume setting on high?

2) Do people tell you that your TV is too loud?

3) Do you struggle to keep up with conversations?

4) Do you say “what” a lot?

5) Do you frequently misunderstand what people are saying to you and get frustrated?

Hearing tests are painless and non-invasive. They occur in a quiet, sound-treated room (booth) designed to keep out any other noises. You’ll wear headphones or soft earplugs with wires connected to an audiometer. You’ll be asked to listen to tones at different pitches and volumes and push a button or raise your hand when you hear them. The test measures the very softest sounds you can hear at each frequency tested. This part of the test is called pure tone audiometry. Speech audiometry is another component of most hearing tests, and it uses recorded or live speech instead of pure tones.

If you recently had an audiogram that indicated significant hearing loss, you may be eligible for a hearing aid. Today, the hearing aid options are much different than those of your grandparents’ generation. There are countless styles and manufacturers available depending on your lifestyle, needs and budget. SLUCare audiologists can help you determine the best hearing aid for you.

If you’ve just found out you have hearing loss, you’re not alone. Nearly 38 million Americans have some level of hearing loss.

For many people, hearing aids are the best option to help correct untreated hearing loss and resume a better quality of life. Better yet, today’s hearing aids aren’t like the ones you remember your grandparents wearing. They are tiny technological marvels with state-of-the-art capabilities. Some are even compatible with iPhones or smart phones.

Choosing the right hearing aid for you can be overwhelming. That’s why we recommend that you ask the following key questions to help determine what’s best for you:

1) Based on my audiogram, what style of hearing aid should I consider?

2) How long do the batteries last in certain styles?

3) Do I need to have my hearing aids adjusted on a regular basis? Is there a cost?

4) Is there a warranty? What if I lose it? Can it be insured?

There are two main styles of hearing aids: in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE). The ITE style are virtually invisible; however, the BTE versions today are much smaller and more discreet than previous versions.

Dr. Dave Harris, a SLUCare Audiologist says, "In most cases, people need two hearing aids. If you have a hearing loss in both ears, we hear in stereo."

Many of today’s hearing aids use wireless technology, which allows two hearing aids to operate together as one complete system, instead of acting as two independent devices. This mimics the way two properly functioning ears work with the brain to process sound. Additionally, wireless technology gives hearing aid wearers a greater ability to customize their experience and program their devices.

SLUCare offers a vast selection of hearing aids from a number of different manufacturers. That way, you can be assured that you’ll find the best hearing aid for you.

To learn more or to book your appointment, click here.


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