What are the signs of hearing loss?
People complain that you did not hear them, you say "what" a lot., you ask people to repeat what they said, or the TV is turned up loud.
What causes hearing loss?
Aging, exposure to loud sounds any time in your life, ear infections, head injury, certain medications.
Are there different types of hearing loss?
Yes. Most hearing losses are sensorineural (often called "nerve deafness") located in the inner part of the ear. Sometimes the middle ear is involved, which would be called a conductive hearing loss.
What can be done for hearing loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss is almost always permanent and is best helped with hearing aids. Conductive hearing loss may improve with medical or surgical treatment.
Can hearing loss be prevented?
Usually not, however protecting the ears from loud sound and prompt attention to signs of ear infection will help.
What should I do if I think I have a hearing loss?
Schedule an appointment for a hearing test with an audiologist. You will then know how much hearing loss you have and what is recommended for you. The next step will be up to you.
Do I need to see a doctor first?
You may wish to, especially if you have ear pain, drainage, or a history of medical problems with your ears. Otherwise, your appointment with the audiologist will indicate if there is a need for the medical referral.
Can I have a hearing loss without needing hearing aids?
Yes, it depends on how much difficulty your hearing loss is causing you. Some people with hearing loss are not yet candidates for hearing aids. However, once hearing aids are recommended by an audiologist you need to consider them seriously.
How much do hearing aids cost?
Anywhere from $800 to $4,000 per hearing aid, depending on size and technology.
Do I have to have two hearing aids?
Most people will hear best with both ears aided. You will want to discuss this question further with your audiologist. Ultimately, the choice will be yours.
Will my insurance cover hearing aids?
Medicare does not pay for hearing aids. Medicaid is not currently covering hearing aids. Some Blue Cross plans, (autoworkers, teachers) cover hearing aids, but many Blue Cross plans do not provide the coverage. Other insurances may or may not cover.
What styles of hearing aids are available?
They range from the smallest completely-in-the-canal aid, to larger in-the-ear and behind-the-ear aids. What you get is a decision you make with your audiologist, and depends on your hearing loss, your ear anatomy, your cosmetic and handling concerns, and your price concerns.
What kind of technology do hearing aids have now?
More and more hearing aids have digital circuits, although some analog circuits are still very good. Most hearing aids now are programmable, which means they hook up to a computer and are programmed to meet your needs by your audiologist. Some hearing aids have a directional microphone to help with background noise.
How do I go about getting hearing aids?
After the hearing test, a hearing aid evaluation determines which hearing aids are best for you. Impressions are taken and the hearing aids are ordered. You return for your hearing aid fitting, when you are taught how to use and care for the hearing aids, and counseled about what to expect from them.
How will I know that the hearing aids are helping me?
You will hear better! You should say "what" less often, understand more of what's going on around you, feel more part of the conversation, and realize what a noisy world we live in!
For more information about DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital’s audiology and hearing services or to make an appointment, call 313-966-4725.