The Effects of Hearing Loss and Sound Voids™ can be minimized if:
- Your problem is correctly diagnosed
- You receive the right type of treatment
- You and your hearing care team are committed to solving the problem
Step One: The Interview
Purpose: To help your audiologist determine the extent of your problem and uncover any specific areas requiring further attention.
Some Typical Questions:
- Has anyone else in your family had hearing loss?
- Have you had any illnesses or injuries that might have affected your hearing?
- Have you taken any medications that might have affected your hearing?
- Have you been exposed to loud noises in your job or leisure activities?
Step Two: The Examination
Purpose: To help your audiologist determine whether the hearing difficulty you are experiencing could be caused by an obstruction or damage to the ear canal or ear drum. Your audiologist will use a special instrument called an otoscope or video otoscope to inspect the outer ear.
Step Three: Hearing Tests
Purpose: To help the hearing care professional determine the nature of your hearing loss. Tests, like the following, may be used depending on their assessment of your needs:
- Audiometric pure tone evaluation to measure your hearing at different frequencies.
- Speech evaluation to measure how well you hear and understand ordinary conversation at different volumes.
- Immittance, or middle ear evaluation, to measure how your ear drum reacts to varying degrees of air pressure.
- After these tests are completed, your results will be documented on an audiogram.
Step Four: Treatment Options
Hearing aids come in a variety of designs, with a wide range of functions and features to address an individual’s specific needs. The most basic components include a microphone, an amplifier, a receiver, and (in the case of digital hearing aids) a small computer. The unprecedented effectiveness of modern digital systems comes from a powerful combination of professional expertise, software, and hardware.
Surgery & Implants
Devices surgically inserted into the ear to improve hearing, facilitate lip-reading, and make it easier to distinguish certain sounds. Typically, these are most helpful to deaf or profoundly hearing-impaired people unable to use hearing aids.
A few examples of surgical implants:
- Cochlear Implants
- Middle Ear Implants
- Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids
- Auditory Brainstem Implants
Assistive Listening Devices
Specialized technologies that help people with all degrees of hearing loss. These devices can facilitate improved face-to-face communication, reception of electronic media, telephone reception, and reception of important warning sounds and situations. Popular assistive listening devices include: amplified telephones, TV Ears (amplified personal headphones for listening to the television), and visual/vibrating alarm clocks and smoke detectors.