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Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss (or deafness) is the inability to hear certain frequencies/pitches completely or partially in one or both ears. There are different types and causes of hearing loss. Depending upon the severity and which frequencies are affected, hearing loss can make hearing and understanding speech very difficult. Hearing loss can also interfere with day-to-day communication and cause patients to struggle with daily activities (at work, with family, watching TV, talking on the telephone, going out to eat, etc). The National institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (part of National Institutes of Health) created a questionnaire to help the public identify signs of hearing loss.

Ten Ways to Recognize Hearing Loss 1

  1. Do you have a problem hearing over the telephone?
  2. Do you have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time?
  3. Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?
  4. Do you have to strain to understand conversations?
  5. Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy background?
  6. Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves?
  7. Do many people you talk to seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)?
  8. Do you misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately?
  9. Do you have trouble understanding the speech of women and children?
  10. Do people get annoyed because you misunderstand what they say?

Answering yes to 3 or more questions may indicate the presence of hearing loss. You should schedule an appointment for a full hearing evaluation with our audiologist, Dr. Thackrey, to better understand your hearing loss, how it effects your communication and any hearing aid recommendations. A medical evaluation with Dr. Scolaro may also be recommended to determine if more evaluation or medical treatment is necessary.

Hearing Aids

types of hearing aidsHearing aids can provide more access to speech sounds, possibly improving hearing and speech comprehension for patients with most hearing losses. The selection and fitting of hearing aids is a very individualized process. Hearing aid recommendations are based on many factors in an effort to select the hearing aids which fit your hearing loss, lifestyle, physical capabilities, and financial criteria. For a personalized hearing aid recommendation, please call our office to schedule a hearing test 2 and/or free hearing aid consultation (including demonstration) with Dr. Thackrey.

Behind the ear (BTE)

BTE hearing aids are worn behind/on top of the ear and are connected to tubing and an ear piece that fits into the ear. These hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be programmed to fit a wide range of hearing losses. BTE hearing aids can feature directional microphones, multiple program options, and volume control.

Micro behind the ear (m-BTE)

m-BTE hearing aids are the smallest BTE hearing aids available and are often less conspicuous than the hearing aids that fit in the ear. The hearing aid is still worn behind/on top of the ear and connected to a thin wired tube and earpiece. These hearing aids come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be programmed to fit a wide range of hearing losses. m-BTE hearing aids can feature directional microphones, multiple program options, and volume control.

In the ear (ITE) and In the canal (ITC)

ITE hearing aids are customized to be worn in the ear. They range in size from just at the entrance of the canal to filling up most of the "ear bowl.". These hearing aids can also fit a wide range of hearing losses. ITE hearing aids can feature, if available, directional microphones, multiple program options, and volume control.

Completely in the canal (CIC)

CIC hearing aids are worn completely in the canal.  Usually only a minimal portion of the hearing aids are visible. These hearing aids are very small; therefore, have limited battery life, fit a smaller range of hearing losses and do not have directional microphones. Some CIC hearing aids, depending upon ear canal size, can have multiple program options and additional features.

Our office works with several major hearing aid manufacturers, listed below. Please click on the link to be directed to the manufacturer's website for more detailed hearing aid information.

1 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2008). Ten ways to recognize hearing loss. In Hearing loss and older adults. Retrieved May 18, 2010, from http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/older.asp.

2 a fee may apply with the hearing test





CareCreditYour medical, surgical and hearing care needs can be financed through CareCredit. CareCredit offers a healthcare financing plan developed to assist both the patient and physician. Click on the CareCredit logo to learn more.

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