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Seeing an Audiologist About Hearing Aids

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a hearing professional is showing her patient how to use a hearing aid

In the United States alone, there are approximately 30 million people who experience hearing-related issues. While some are significant, most of them can be helped with the use of hearing aids. But before a hearing aid is considered, you must be assessed to decide upon whether you need one or not. 

There are numerous signs of hearing loss. Asking people to repeat themselves or not being able to follow a conversation is one of the first. Muffled sounds from everyday things are another. Significant social issues can also arise, such as avoiding social interaction. If you experience any of these problems, then it might be time to consult an audiologist.

What You Might Learn

Depending on your installed device, there are various ways of inserting and using it correctly. The process of inserting and removing your hearing aid might take some getting used to, but you will get used to it over time. However, it is essential that you practice doing it properly, or you might not fully use your device to its potential.

Programming and Adjustments

All hearing aids are programmable. During your fitting, your audiologist will take the time to adjust and program your hearing aid while you are there. However, your audiologist will change the settings to that specific environment. Therefore, you will need to learn situations where you might need to turn your device's sensitivity up or down. 

Keeping Your Device Clean

Given their small size, hearing aids are remarkably tough and can take a knock or two. However, like any device, they require maintenance and will degrade over time. The magnitude of which depends on how much you look after them throughout their lifetime. Because of their position behind or inside the ear, hearing aids are susceptible to small particles of skin, wax and hair buildup. Additionally, sweat can also cause salt and dirt deposits to accumulate.

Some Questions to Keep in Mind

You should ask your audiologist about the different types available:

  • In-the-Canal (ITC): Recommended for moderate hearing loss.
  • In-the-Ear (ITE): Works similar to in-ear headphones for medium-to-severe hearing loss.
  • Behind-the-Ear (BTE): The traditional hearing aid.

The technology in hearing aids is improving all the time. Some new models can also be paired with mobile devices for access to remote features via an app. And while the initial concepts remain the same, there are various types, shapes and sizes. Your lifestyle and personal preferences will dictate what hearing aid you require.

Also, consider asking your audiologist about the following issues:

  • Will I be able to do hobbies and activities?
  • What of the costs?
  • How long are they likely to last?

The answer to these is dependent on your personal situation and lifestyle.

Hearing Assessments

You may be required to attend an appointment with an audiologist for testing designed to assess the extent of your hearing loss. These tests are intended to identify the type of hearing aid you require and are an essential part of your overall hearing treatment. They aren't invasive and aren't too different from seeing an optician.

Fortunately, audiologists can be found everywhere. Consult your local directories or the internet to find your nearest one.