WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Hearing loss has many causes. It may be present at birth, caused by injury, infection or exposure to very loud noise. Some hearing loss is a natural part of the aging process.
Hearing aids can often reduce the effects of hearing loss. Hearing aids can make soft sounds louder and can make listening easier.
Although hearing aids can benefit many people, it’s important to keep in mind that no hearing aid can restore normal hearing. The expected benefits depend on many factors, including the degree of hearing loss.
There are many decisions to be made when selecting hearing aids. Making this important choice should be a team effort involving you and a hearing specialist.
First, a hearing evaluation should be completed by a certified audiologist. This evaluation is performed in a sound booth using specialized equipment, and will show the amount and type of hearing loss. The audiologist will also check how well you hear and understand speech.
An examination by a physician should be completed to rule out certain medical conditions, such as ear infections, which might be correctable.
Your family physician may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) or an otologist for this evaluation.
After these two evaluations are completed, impressions of your ears will be made, a simple process that takes about 15 minutes.
A hearing aid evaluation then can be performed to help determine which of the many types of hearing aid circuitry will be best for you.