Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know if I have hearing loss?
  • Take a hearing self test
  • Why is it important to see an Audiologist at The Hearing Clinic for my hearing healthcare?
  • What are the different types of hearing loss?
  • If I do have hearing loss, how do I know if I could benefit from hearing devices?
  • Do I buy one hearing device or two?
  • What types of hearing devices are available?
  • ow often do I need to buy new hearing devices?
  • What can I expect as I adjust to my new hearing devices?
  • How often should I have my hearing evaluated?

If you have more questions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or schedule an appointment to consult with our Doctor of Audiology. Call: 440-3323

If you have more questions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or schedule an appointment to consult with our Doctor of Audiology. Call: 440-3323

How do I know if I have hearing loss?

Hearing loss often occurs so gradually that the individual may not be aware of a problem. Sometimes it is difficult to ask ourselves whether we are becoming a burden to our family and friends, even if we do not personally recognize difficulty hearing. Knowing if you are experiencing difficulty hearing or are having increased stress and strain in your daily life may include a few potential indicators such as asking people to repeat things, having difficulty with hearing in background noise, difficulty hearing women and children, if others seem to be mumbling and if the TV needs to be louder. Is the ability to hear, but not understand, adequate for your daily communication needs? If you or a family member suspects that you have a hearing problem, contact The Hearing Clinic for an appointment and we will be happy to help you through this process. Addressing a hearing problem early is one of the most important things you can do. You can compare your hearing to your muscles, the more stimulation you can get, the better.

Take a hearing self test

The following test can help to determine if it is time for you to be evaluated by our Doctorof Audiology.

1. Do you find it difficult to understand people if more than one person is talking?
2. Do you find it difficult to understand someone if they are not facing you?
3. Do people need to raise their voices in order to speak to you?
4. Do you have difficulty understanding people over the telephone?
5. Do you have any ringing or noises in your ears?
6. Do you remember a recent time (within 2 years) when you felt your hearing was significantly better?
7. Do you ever for dizzy without a logical reason why you feel this way?
8. Do you ever have any pain or fullness feelings in either ear?
9. Do you feel your hearing in one ear is better than at the other ear?
10. Do you ever have bleeding in your ears?

If you ever answered yes to any of the above questions, it is probably time to schedule an appointment with our Doctor of Audiology.

Why is it important to see an Audiologist at The Hearing Clinic for my hearing healthcare?

Education, Experience & Expertise: An audiologist is a professional who assesses, diagnoses and rehabilitates hearing loss for patients of all ages. Not just any Audiologist will do. The audiologist at The Hearing Clinic had 8 years of college and graduate school and has received her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degrees from accredited university graduate programs in audiology. She has 15 years in the field of Audiology and is focused on providing excellent customer service. The amount of time spent by an audiologist with a patient is very significant. This time is particularly critical for new users, to assist during the acclimatization process. At The Hearing Clinic, the audiologist is devoted to meeting your communication needs and she is easily accessible at a convenient location with flexible office hours.

What are the different types of hearing loss?

There are three different types of hearing loss, conductive, sensorineural and mixed hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss: Caused by injury to, or problems with, the bones, eardrum and membranes, which carry sound from the external ear through the middle ear to the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can sometimes be medically or surgically corrected. Examples of possible causes of conductive hearing loss include ear fluid, impacted earwax, infection in the ear canal, presence of a foreign body, or absence or malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear.

Sensorineural hearing loss: Occurs when the bones, eardrum and membranes are intact but the inner ear (cochlea) deteriorates. Examples of conditions that may cause a sensorineural hearing loss include the aging process or degeneration of nerves leading from the inner ear to the brain, noise exposure, heredity, genetic syndromes, drugs that are toxic to the auditory system and head trauma.

Mixed hearing loss: Includes elements from both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This occurs when there is damage or disturbance to the outer or middle ear as well as damage to the inner ear.

If I do have hearing loss, how do I know if I could benefit from hearing devices?

It is important to realize that recognizing a hearing loss is the first step toward improving the quality of your life. The goal of hearing devices is to help you obtain the best hearing possible in most situations given the conditions of your impairment. Only 10 percent of hearing losses may be helped medically and the remaining 90% can benefit from hearing devices. It is important to understand that even the most advanced hearing devices cannot keep your hearing from changing or completely restore your hearing to normal, but the latest technology is designed to provide amplification to improve your hearing considerably and therefore improve your quality of life.

Amplification may not only help with hearing better in the situations that are important to you such as being with family and friends, but may also simply relieve the strain of hearing and the often resulting fatigue. They can make soft sounds audible, while at the same time making moderate or loud sounds comfortable. Hearing devices are designed to provide relief in both noisy and quiet situations. Wearing hearing devices can put you at ease during conversations and make you less likely to have to ask others to repeat themselves. They can help you re-establish connections to the world.

It is advisable to arrange to try hearing devices within your own unique listening environments in order to determine whether the benefits received are what is desired. The Hearing Clinic offers in office demonstrations, a 30-day evaluation period as well as real ear verification measures.

Do I buy one hearing device or two?

We hear in our brain, not in our ears. The ultimate goal of hearing devices is not only to send sound into the ear but also to retrain the central auditory system in the brain. Hearing with both ears is what nature intended; it allows the brain to process sounds naturally so we hear sounds accurately as well as get a sense of balance and direction. Hearing loss causes the brain to misinterpret sounds.

Approximately 80 percent of patients with hearing loss have it in both ears. Studies show that even when a hearing loss is worse in one ear, wearing two hearing instruments produces the most benefit. When a hearing loss affects both ears and only one ear is amplified, the brain is only receiving half of the accurate information. While it is uncertain whether the ability to hear soft sounds will decrease if your ear is not stimulated adequately, research now suggests that there can be changes in the way in which your brain processes sound when it is “starved.” The ear not amplified can become fatigued from straining to hear. Binaural amplification (wearing two hearing instruments) can help us hear as nature intended.

We have two ears for a reason. Amplifying both ears allows for better hearing in noise, increased ability for speech understanding as well as improved localization ability (detecting where sounds are coming from).

Better Hearing in Noise: An individual’s hearing in noise can be improved if the signal reaching each ear arrives at a slightly different moment in time. When the brain receives slightly different, yet still audible signals at the two ears, it has the ability to cross correlate and process the primary signal (usually speech) better than if the signal is received monaurally.

Increased Ability for Speech Understanding: Sound loses intensity (loudness) as it travels across your head particularly for the high frequencies which are the most important for understanding of consonants, such as /s/, /t/, /f/, and /sh/. If you have a hearing device on only one ear, say the left one, and the person you wish to hear is speaking to you from the right side, the consonants may be decreased by nearly 20 decibels by the time it gets to your aided ear. Unfortunately, noise in the room may occur from any or all directions, so while the noise level is not decreased, the speech level is. Wearing two hearing devices ensures that the speech sounds will not be diminished any more than necessary because of your position in the room.

Improved Localization Ability: When the brain receives sound from both the right and left ears it makes it easier to locate the direction of sounds (localization). We determine where a sound is coming from on the basis of the time sound arrives at each ear, difference in loudness and pitch of the sound at the two ears. When there is a large difference in hearing between two ears (as might occur when a person with similar hearing in both ears only wears one hearing aid) the brain cannot make use of these subtle differences and their ability to locate sounds may suffer. Localization is important in daily situations including being able to tell from which direction traffic is coming.

Binaural amplification is more beneficial than ever with the latest digital hearing instrument technology.

What types of hearing devices are available?

Hearing technology has advanced significantly over the years, allowing patients’ greater sound comfort and improved speech recognition in noisy situations than ever before. Digital hearing devices are adjusted using a computer and provide the most flexibility, allowing your audiologist to custom fit the response of the device to your specific hearing loss. Digital hearing devices can be modified if your hearing changes or as your listening needs change. Your audiologist will help you choose the best instrument according to your hearing loss, communication needs and lifestyle. It is important to keep in mind that no two people have exactly the same hearing loss so a hearing solution can’t be a one-size-fits-all.

Hearing devices are available in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes, from instruments that fit behind the ear such as the new open fit products to instruments that are custom designed and fit completely within the ear canal.

How much do hearing devices cost?

The cost of hearing devices varies depending on if you choose an optimal or an adequate solution for your hearing loss. Purchasing hearing devices is not just a one-time transaction; it involves a relationship between you and your audiologist. Audiologists know that the most important consideration in hearing device selection is not the hearing itself; rather, it is the skill and knowledge of the professional dispensing the hearing device. The audiologist’s responsibility is to ensure that a suitable device is selected based off of your hearing loss, communication needs, personal preferences and lifestyle as well as to provide an understandable explanation of its benefits and limitations. The Audiologists at The Hearing Clinic are committed to your aural rehabilitation because they know that it is the most essential part of your hearing healthcare. Mail order and discount centers may sell hearing aids at lower prices because they are often placed on the user with minimal or no instructions and/or adjustments. Sales people with minimal technical training often staff these discount centers. It is important to do your research.

The reality is, communication is one of the most important skills humans have. So if wearing hearing devices allows you to resume activities you enjoy, improve relationships with family and friends, and retain your independence, the cost becomes a lot more justifiable.

How often do I need to buy new hearing devices?

Generally speaking, hearing devices typically last about five years. The need for new hearing devices may occur if a patient’s hearing status changes, however with the flexibility of the new digital technology for adjustments, purchasing new devices can typically be prolonged.

What can I expect as I adjust to my new hearing devices?

Learning to listen with hearing devices takes time and patience in the beginning. You may need to learn to filter out unwanted sounds, just as you used to do with normal hearing. Your listening skills should improve gradually as you become accustomed to amplification. It’s also important to be realistic and not to expect 100-percent hearing in every situation.

Besides helping you to hear and understand voices better, properly adjusted hearing devices will allow you to hear sounds that previously may not have been audible. The sound of wrinkling newspaper or water running may be annoying at first, however, after about 2-3 weeks, you will notice an adjustment to these sounds. Gradually increasing the amount of time you wear the hearing aids and following the schedule provided by your audiologist will result in an easier transition to amplified sound. During the initial adjustment period, you may be asked to visit your audiologist several times so that she may monitor your progress and adjust the controls of your hearing devices, if needed. These follow-up visits are crucial to your success with amplification.

How often should I have my hearing evaluated?

Hearing evaluations are recommended annually just like eye exams. Hearing evaluations are especially recommended if there is a family history of hearing loss, history of noise exposure or if you are noticing any changes in your hearing. A baseline hearing evaluation is recommended at any age.