You’ve scheduled a hearing exam – that’s great news! At Palm Beach Hearing Associates, we will create a customized solution to help you regain your hearing using state of the art technology. Untreated hearing loss can cause hypertension, higher risk of stroke, increased risk of falling, longer hospital stays if you do get injured and other issues such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s. In general, here’s some things you should expect at your hearing consultation and some questions you might think about.
The Hearing Evaluation
The evaluation will have a couple of parts. We’ll need to know about your health history and your family history because this information plays a part in your diagnosis. We also need to know if you are on any medication. There will be a physical exam of your inner and outer ears. Then we will conduct a series of tests to determine your level of hearing and speech comprehension. Each ear is tested separately and you get results for both ears. We will go through the results with you and explain your options.
What Type of Hearing Loss Do I Have?
Will the hearing loss I have get worse? Understanding which type of loss, you have will help you understand the treatment. It will also help you understand how treatment will protect your remaining hearing. There are three types of hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the nerve path to the brain from the inner ear. This kind of hearing loss is permanent but can be treated very effectively with hearing devices.
Conductive hearing loss happens when sound travels poorly through the outer ear canal to the eardrum. This could be due to blockage from ear wax, an ear infection, allergies or even a benign tumor. Many times, hearing is restored if the blockage is removed.
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the two.
Do I Have Hearing Loss in Both Ears?
Your left and right ear may actually hear differently from one another. That’s why each ear is tested and graphed separately. While you may think if you have loss in one ear you should only wear one hearing aid, that’s not necessarily true. It’s easier for your brain to process amplification if you’re wearing two hearing aids. Most individuals, about 90%, need hearing aids in both ears. Recent studies have shown that each ear is actually sensitive to a different sort of sound so you need both of them processing sound together.
Which Hearing Aid Model Do I Need?
There are dozens and dozens of different models of hearing aids. Some go inside the canal; some go inside the inner ear and some sit behind or over the ear. Some need batteries and some are digital.
Part of your initial consultation will include questions about your lifestyle so we can use that information to help you pick a model that is right for you. We will talk about budget and what kinds of technology you are comfortable with.
It would be helpful if you kept track of where and what you are doing when you seem to be having the most hearing difficulties.
Specifics of My Hearing Aids
Depending on the model you get; hearing aids do eventually wear out. You may want newer ones if the technology changes. There are different warranties for different models and we can go through that with you. During your hearing evaluation we will calibrate a demo pair of hearing aids for you to try in the office. We want you to get the model that fits your unique hearing profile and also fits within your budget.
Palm Beach Hearing Associates
Palm Beach Hearing Associates staff can help you decide which model might be right for you by discussing your expectations. You probably have more questions for the professionals at Palm Beach Hearing Associates. Write them down and we’ll take all the time you need. Bring a friend with you to the appointment if you wish so you have someone to discuss what you learned. We are a patient-oriented family owned business that operates with your personal hearing needs in mind.