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Is an Open-Fitting Hearing Aid Right For You?

Choosing a hearing aid feels like a major decision. After all, you want to invest in a device that will help you re-engage with the world around you as seamlessly as possible.

For many, the best option is an open-fitting hearing aid. This is a type of “receiver-in-the-canal” (also known as “receiver-in-the-ear”) hearing device that allows for more sound to enter and exit the ear, making listening with a hearing aid just a little more natural. Here’s how it works.

What is an Open-Fitting Hearing Aid?

An open-fitting hearing aid is an adaptation of the “receiver-in-the-canal” device. Like most hearing aids, a unit fits on the back of the ear and connects to a receiver inside the ear by a wire. The speaker wire delivers the sounds into the ear canal. We then fit a dome within the ear.

“Open-fit” describes the piece we attach to the wire within the ear canal. This piece, called a dome, is crafted with vents so the ear doesn’t feel closed up. We also place the dome to be less occluding in the ear canal.

Advantages of an Open-Fitting Hearing Aid

Open-fitting hearing aids allow people to hear sounds more naturally. While no hearing aid sounds 100% natural, the vents and placement of an open-fitting hearing aid help improve the quality of the sound.

Because the ear canal isn’t blocked, people hear sounds similar to the way they did before their hearing began to fade. When the ear canal is blocked, your own voice can sound like you’re in a well — it has an echo. By opening up the ear, lower frequency sounds come in and out naturally and improve the quality of sound. This incorporation of natural sounds allows patients to adapt a little easier.

open fitting hearing aid

Disadvantages of an Open-Fitting Hearing Aid

While an open-fitting hearing aid works best for most patients, there is a potential need for adjustments or extra care in some cases.

If you have severe high-frequency hearing loss, there’s a chance you’ll hear feedback with an open-fit device. This occurs because of the vents or holes in the inner earpiece. Because these vents are supposed to make hearing more natural, they allow sound to escape. When the sound leaks out of the ear through the vents, it can be re-amplified by the hearing aid itself.

For some, the hearing aid whistles when they’re in close contact with others. If this occurs, we need to change the programming or replace the open-fit dome to improve sound retention.

Patients experiencing drainage in the ear may find cleaning to be more cumbersome. An open-fit and other receiver-in-the-ear style hearing aids require extra cleaning with any type of ear drainage.

Does An Open-Fitting Hearing Aid Work for Everyone?

Depending on the type of hearing loss, someone may or may not be a candidate for an open-fitting hearing aid. However, it’s usually our first choice for a majority of patients needing a hearing device.

Related: 4 Signs You Need to See an Audiologist

If you have fairly good hearing in the lower frequencies but are experiencing moderate hearing loss in the mid-to-high frequencies, an open-fitting hearing is often a good option. Those with higher-frequency hearing loss are usually bothered by the occlusion effect of hearing aids. Open-fitting domes allow us to minimize the feeling that the ear is blocked.

If hearing loss is severe in the high-frequency range, the open-fitting device may have problems with feedback, depending on the patient’s ear shape and size. If this occurs, your hearing aid specialist may be able to find a better fit. Hearing aids have a variety of domes, tips, and sizes that we select for patients. There’s a generic size, but we can choose variations of vent size, tiers to the dome, and shapes to better fit the patient’s hearing loss, hearing needs, and ear canal shape and size. It’s all customizable.

However, if you’re experiencing significant low-frequency hearing loss, an open-fitting hearing aid probably isn’t your best option. Instead, we need to plug up the ear to keep the low-frequency sounds inside. Then, we can amplify them properly.

Misconceptions About Open-Fitting Hearing Aids

When you read about open-fitting hearing aids online, you may be intrigued by the promise of the natural sound it delivers. While there is undoubtedly an improvement in the sound quality when you have an open-fit because low-frequency sounds come in and out naturally, no hearing device will deliver 100% natural sound.

All hearing aids use a microphone to detect sound and amplify it through a speaker. While open-fit hearing aids improve the quality of sound, you’re still listening through a hearing aid. Patients typically get used to this over time, but it initially sounds somewhat artificial. Yes, an open-fitting hearing aid produces sound that’s less artificial than other types of hearing aids, but it’s still artificial sound.

What’s Your Next Step?

If you’re interested in seeing if an open-fitting hearing aid is right for you, start by seeing an audiologist. They’ll test your hearing to see if you’re a candidate for hearing aids in general, and can help you know if open-fitting hearing aids would work best with your type of hearing loss.

After an audiologist tests your hearing, you’ll need a hearing aid consultation. During this visit, your audiologist will discuss hearing aids, demonstrate the hearing aid, and allow you to try both open-fit and more occluding-fit domes so you can experience which you’d prefer. By trying out your different hearing aid options, you’ll be able to work with your audiologist to identify which hearing aid manufacturer, type of programming, sound qualities, and ear tips work best for you.

The Audiologist’s Guide to Hearing Aid Care & Cleaning

Hearing aids are like your teeth — you need to brush them every day to keep them clean.

A device like a hearing aid requires special care. And while that care isn’t necessarily complicated, it does need to be regular. Here’s how to clean your hearing aids… and why it’ll make a difference.

Why Do I Need to Clean My Hearing Aid?

Out in West Texas, we’re no strangers to dust. Our time outside often puts us in high winds that blow the dust and dirt in all directions. If you’re wearing a hearing aid, the dust likely gets into the microphone and other surfaces of your hearing device as well.

In different climates, people might be exposed to pollen or other air debris. But even those who stay inside are regularly exposed to debris that can interfere with the function of hearing aids. Hairspray, other cosmetic products, and skin cells can also get into the microphones of the hearing aid.

No matter what kind of climate or conditions you face daily, cleaning your device with a small brush can help it function at its best.

How To Clean Hearing Aids

You have to keep the microphone and speaker clean to best hear from the hearing aid. Each night, brush over the surface of the hearing aid (with the small brush that comes with the hearing aid or a baby toothbrush) to make sure the microphone stays clean of debris.

This easy daily process is the best way to care for your hearing aid. Dust, debris, and hair products can quickly plug up the microphone, causing the hearing aid to sound weak… or not work at all. If uncleaned, this buildup can lead to repairs that could be avoided with daily brushing.

7 Tips For Caring For Your Hearing Aid

While daily brushing is a must, you should also practice these habits to keep your hearing aid functioning optimally:

1. Don’t expose it to moisture.

Avoid storing it in the bathroom.

2. Don’t shower or bathe with it.

The hearing aid should not get wet. But, we know accidents happen. If you accidentally expose it to water, toss the battery and let it air dry, or put the hearing aid in a dry-aid kit or dehumidifier as soon as you can.

3. Place it in a dehumidifier regularly.

We give our patients a dehumidifier at the end of their trial period. This electronic device blows warm air to dry out hearing aids. Normal usage can cause a little moisture to build up, but keeping it dry helps a hearing aid work like it’s supposed to. It also helps prevent rust from forming in the device.

4. Clean the inner ear speaker and filter.

The microphone behind the ear isn’t the only piece that needs cleaning. The speaker inside the ear canal at the end of the wire needs cleaning too. This receiver port must stay clean of debris (ear wax, dead skin, drainage). If debris builds up in the port, sound can’t come out and you can’t hear anything.

As a part of your routine, look at the speaker every night and see if there’s any debris. If you see anything, brush or pick it out (depending on your tool and hearing aid set up).

If you have a filter, replace it when it seems full.

5. Wipe down the device 3 times per week.

At our office, we offer pre-moistened wipes safe for hearing aid use. Patients should wipe down the hearing aid a few times per week to help remove sticky wax residue from the hearing aid.

6. Never heat the hearing aid.

Do not put the hearing aid in the microwave or oven to dry it out. Also, avoid leaving it on the dashboard of a parked car. It can melt – especially under the Texas sun in the summer.

7. Check the battery compartment regularly.

If you have disposable batteries in your hearing aid, occasionally open the battery door and clean out the battery compartment with the brush. If uncleaned, debris and rust can build up inside this compartment, creating poor battery contact.

What To Do When Something Breaks

Most of the parts that break on a hearing aid need to be fixed in the office. However, if a supply piece like a dome or a tip tears during cleaning, a patient may be able to replace these at home. We often give our patients extra pieces so they can easily fix these on their own if they so choose. However, we also can replace domes or tips in the office. If a battery door snaps off, we can replace that in the office as well.

For more significant damage to the hearing aid, we send the device to the manufacturer to fix the issue for you. We recommend using the manufacturer for all significant repairs as they provide the best service for their specific devices.

How To Store Your Hearing Aid

When you are not wearing your hearing aids, put them in a safe place where you can remember them. Make sure this place does not expose them to moisture.

Also, make sure they’re not in a place where they can be accidentally brushed into the floor or handled by a pet or kids. Hearing aid batteries are highly toxic. Lithium-ion batteries are even more toxic than older-style disposable batteries. We want to make sure these don’t accidentally get ingested by pets or children.

Related: What Does an Audiologist Do? Everything You Need to Know

Learning how to clean and care for hearing aids isn’t complicated once it becomes part of your routine. Finding a safe place to regularly store them, remembering to brush them each night, and regularly checking them for cleanliness can go a long way in keeping your hearing aid functioning at its best.

Ask a Doctor: How Can You Safely Clean Your Ears in a Post Q-Tip World?

Medical professionals are known for their advice – and most of it doesn’t involve Q-tips. But as an Audiologist, the best and most universal advice I give is this: Do everything you can to protect your hearing.

With many types of hearing loss, there’s no going back once the damage is done. And one of the easiest ways to cause damage to your ears is through casual at-home cleaning.

Perhaps you grew up learning how to clean your ears with cotton swabs, hairpins, or even other small gadgets. But did you realize that each of these items has the potential to scratch the ear canal or cause it to bleed? These little devices can even shove wax further into the ear, occluding it up against the eardrum… potentially perforating the eardrum. Yikes! Who knew a Q-tip could do so much damage?

If Q-tips and other ear cleaning tools are so dangerous, how are you supposed to clean your ears? And how often are you supposed to clean your ears? Is there even a right way to do this yourself?

Here’s what we recommend:

How to Clean Your Ear Without Damaging Your Hearing

Cleaning your ears isn’t as essential as you may think. As a general rule of thumb, don’t put stuff in your ears.

This includes cotton swabs and hairpins.

If you feel like your ears are collecting wax, the safest way to remove buildup is to visit a physician, ENT, or Audiologist. Using microscopes and specifically designed tools, these medical professionals can safely remove the wax without causing damage.

Some doctors use irrigations to help flush out the earwax, but we don’t recommend this unless the eardrum is thoroughly checked first. The eardrum must be intact in order for the solution to be effective. If you happen to have a hole in the eardrum, these irrigations can make patients dizzy and lead to infection.

Perhaps you’ve heard people explain how to clean your ears in the shower. Some shower cleaning methods can also cause damage to the ear, but you can clean safely them immediately after. Using a damp towel, wipe off the entrance of the ear right after bathing. But avoid putting anything past the entrance of the ear canal as it can cause extensive damage to your ear and your hearing.

how to clean your ears

Should You Use Q-Tips?

While cotton swabs hold a variety of uses from makeup to medicine application, they shouldn’t be used to clean your ears.

In fact, put nothing past the entrance point of your ear. Just clean what you can see of the outer ear. Any time you enter the ear canal, you’re at high risk for damage, making a problem worse, causing infection or occlusion, or perforating the eardrum.

If my eardrum is intact, can I use irrigations at home?

If you have a tube in the ear, your eardrum is not intact. However, other issues lead to perforated eardrums as well. Patients can develop a hole in the eardrum from trauma, ear infections, or previous surgeries. And sometimes, they don’t even know there’s been damage.

We want to keep the ear healthy — and no chemicals or tools need to enter the ear without a doctor’s recommendation.

Putting hard tools in your ear can shove the wax down further. Over-the-counter irrigations can make the wax so soft, flushing the wax back against the eardrum, making it tougher to clean. There are also different types of earwax that respond better to specific solutions. A doctor will be able to determine which solution will work best for your specific buildup and use it in the office if necessary.

How to Get Water Out of Your Ears

After swimming (or even showering), water can sometimes stay in the ear. Rather than turn to chemical treatments or cotton swabs, use a soft facial tissue to remove it.

Take the corner of the tissue and slightly twist it into a point. Then, place the corner in your ear to wick up the moisture. Gently twist until the water is absorbed. If you still feel the sensation of fluid or a stopped-up feeling, visit a doctor — it could be a sign of an infection.

If your ears are bothering you or you suspect extensive wax buildup, visit your Audiologist, ENT, or primary care physician for an ear exam and cleaning. If you try to address the issue on your own, you’ll likely make your symptoms worse. At home, you’re only responsible for keeping your outer ear clean — the rest is up to the doctor.

Humming in Your Ears? Here Are The Four Main Types of Tinnitus

Imagine a bee buzzes in your ear for an entire day. This humming in the ear keeps you turning to see if anything is there, fidgeting with your ear, and struggling to pay attention to the world around you. Does anyone else hear this? Are you losing your mind?

Sounds irritating, right? But does it also sound familiar?

Patients who struggle with tinnitus experience this type of low-frequency tinnitus daily. They hear roaring, ringing, buzzing, and humming — and it’s all in their head.

Except it’s real.

While no one else can hear these four types of tinnitus, these sounds are very real to the person who’s experiencing them. For some, these sounds are simply a side effect of hearing loss. For others, there’s a medical issue that needs to be addressed.

If you’re experiencing humming in the ear, particularly if it’s a pulsating, whooshing, or rhythmic sound, it’s time to visit your Audiologist to see what’s going on.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus describes an internally generated sound that’s not coming from an external source. These sounds can include a range of buzzing, roaring, humming, hissing, and clicking noises that are not in your environment. If you’re experiencing these sounds, it’s time for a hearing evaluation.

If you hear rhythmic pulsing or whooshing sounds, that indicates a hearing exam is even more important. In these cases, we’ll test your hearing and refer you for a medical exam to best identify the issue.

What Causes Tinnitus?

While the exact cause of tinnitus varies, these sounds are not typically generated in the ear. The sound actually comes from the brain. Most often, it’s the brain’s response to hearing loss. However, some types of tinnitus point to other issues that need further medical examination.

Who Does Tinnitus Affect?

While we typically associate hearing loss with increased age, tinnitus can affect people of all ages, even children.

humming in ear

What Are My Treatment Options?

If you notice humming (or other noises) in your ears that’s not environmental, you need to visit an Audiologist or ENT for evaluation. While tinnitus can indicate an insignificant issue, it can also be a red flag for other problems that need further medical investigation.

It’s best to go over treatment options with your ENT and audiologist. Tinnitus indicates a wide range of possible issues to address. Treatments are always personalized to the individual patient.

During your visit, we’ll talk to you about the different qualities of the sound and try to identify where the hearing loss is occurring. We start by conducting a full hearing test. If we see that hearing loss isn’t the source of the issue, we’ll investigate other potential causes.

What Can I Do Today?

Before you even visit your Audiologist, the best thing to do to immediately relieve this irritating sound is to try to break the hyper feedback loop. When you think about tinnitus, you heighten your awareness of it. You then perceive it to be louder and more bothersome than it would be otherwise.

To make it better, try focusing on something else in the environment to keep your active listening distracted. Then, you won’t be actively listening and paying attention to the internally generated tinnitus.

To help distract yourself, use masking noises in the environment such as noise generators, white noise, chimes, or music to keep your brain active (and not focused on the tinnitus). While distraction won’t make the tinnitus fade completely, it may help the “buzzing bee” fly a little further away.

If you’re experiencing humming in the ear or other forms of low-frequency tinnitus, schedule an appointment with your Audiologist or ENT today. We’ll identify the source. Then, we’ll move toward treatment options that provide you the relief you so desperately need.

4 Signs You Need to See an Audiologist

You can hear, but you can’t understand words clearly. You wonder if it’s you, or if other people are just quietly mumbling. If you realize it’s your hearing, you wonder what will come next… and what you can do about it.

Preventing noise-induced hearing loss is the best thing you can do. Wearing hearing protection and reducing exposure to excessively loud sounds can make a significant impact in preserving your hearing.

But some patients develop hearing loss they can’t stop or prevent.

Not all hearing loss is related to noise exposure. Inherited patterns of hearing loss, injury to the inner ear, virus in the inner ear, general “unknown” causes of hearing loss, and age-related changes all can contribute to a decreased ability to hear.

If you suspect hearing loss, it’s time for an evaluation.

Maybe you’re wondering how to tell if you have hearing loss — or if something else causing the problem. Perhaps you can hear, but you can’t understand words. Maybe you’re struggling daily in your work, school, or family environments. Maybe you have a persistent humming noise that’s becoming a more frequent disturbance.

If these symptoms start to occur, it’s time to visit an audiologist.

How To Tell If You Have Hearing Loss

1. As your age increases, your hearing decreases

Age-related hearing loss is relatively common. In medical terms, we call it presbycusis. Essentially, as a patient ages, the auditory system doesn’t function as well as it used to. This type of hearing loss typically affects higher frequencies and is gradual — patients just slowly get to the point where they’re not hearing those sounds.

Ultimately, when this loss of high-frequency hearing starts to affect a patient’s day-to-day communication, they want to come in to learn about potential solutions.

If you’re wondering how to tell if you have hearing loss related to age, you may have family members complaining the TV is too loud or accusing you of not listening — both indicators of gradual-onset high-frequency hearing loss.

2. You inherited hearing loss

If your parents had significant hearing loss, you might experience it as well. Inherited hearing loss affects multiple frequency ranges, not just the high frequencies most affected with age-related hearing loss.

We see an increasing number of people being proactive with this condition. After dealing with hearing loss with their parents, these patients often come in sooner to stay on top of amplification and recommendations to prevent it from interfering in their daily life.

3. You hear a constant humming

Tinnitus is an internally generated roaring, ringing, buzzing, or humming sound… with no external source. If it pulsates (sounds like a heartbeat), it can indicate a medical issue.

If you have it, get it checked out — it can be something insignificant or it may need further investigation. We’ll ask you to describe the noise and get an idea of where the hearing loss is occurring.

For many, tinnitus is the brain’s response to hearing loss. For these patients, hearing aids may help alleviate internal noise.

However, tinnitus can also happen without hearing loss. We take steps to quickly rule out these causes or refer you for treatment at the beginning of the process.

4. You experienced sudden-onset hearing loss

If a patient wakes up one day with no hearing or a significant drop in hearing on one side, they need to visit their Audiologist quickly. We recommend an evaluation as soon as possible in case there is a need for medical intervention and to prevent permanent hearing loss. Often, this loss of hearing is accompanied by tinnitus and dizziness.

For patients with sudden-onset asymmetrical hearing loss, we start with a full hearing test, identifying the location of the problem (outer, middle, or inner ear), and then can move to either treatment or further evaluation with an MRI.

can hear but can't understand words

Can I Prevent Hearing Loss?

Only one type of hearing loss is 100% preventable — noise-induced hearing loss. Patients can develop hearing loss because they’ve been exposed to excessively loud noises in their environment, whether it be gunfire, fireworks, or daily activity such as working in an industry with daily loud sounds.

When patients know they’re exposed to loud, recurrent sounds (recreationally or professionally), they need to wear hearing protection to prevent damage to the hearing system. If you’re in construction, landscaping, agriculture, or even the music industry, protect the hearing you have.

Should I visit an Audiologist?

When it comes to hearing, timing is important. If you’ve wondered how to tell if you have hearing loss and relate to the descriptions above, schedule time with an Audiologist as soon as possible.

Remember, Audiologists are different from hearing aid specialists. Audiologists have doctorate degrees in audiology and can provide a full range of services to address hearing issues. Plus, if you’re able to visit an Audiologist who works with an ENT (as is the case with ENT Associates of Lubbock), you’ll have quick access to a physician if medical evaluation if necessary.

What Does an Audiologist Do? Everything You Need to Know

There seems to be a specialist for each body part, age-group, and issue. With so many specialists, how do you know who to visit?

If you’re having a hearing-related issue, an Audiologist is likely the best specialist to address your concerns. Does that mean you’re destined for hearing-aids?

Not necessarily.

In hearing-related services, many people wonder, “What does an Audiologist do?” In fact, they often confuse Audiologists with hearing aid technicians who often do not have much training.

But an Audiologist does much more than work with hearing aids. Audiologists have an advanced degree, usually a Doctorate or Master’s of Audiology and provide a variety of hearing-related services such as:

  • Testing hearing on adults and children
  • Testing for balance and vestibular problems in adults
  • Assisting doctors in evaluating middle ear, outer ear, and inner ear abnormalities.
  • And of course, offering hearing-aid services.

If you’re deciding if an appointment with an Audiologist is the best option for you, here’s what you need to know:

What Does an Audiologist Do, Exactly?

Audiologists treat hearing-related issues in patients of all ages.

In order to best understand what’s happening in the patient and what may be contributing to hearing problems, we rely on these three types of tests:

Basic hearing tests

Drawing from several testing approaches, we choose hearing tests best suited to the patient. Hearing testing options include:

  • Sound field tests
  • Audiograms
  • Air conduction tests
  • Bone conduction tests


By looking in the ear with an otoscope, we can more clearly see landmarks in the ear canal, identify debris or ear wax, check for drainage, and see if the eardrum is intact.


Using sound and pressure, we check to see if the middle ear and eardrum respond appropriately.

What does an Audiologist do with these tests? They use them to evaluate hearing, vestibular problems, tinnitus… and even wax buildup.

what does an audiologist do

Types of Hearing Tests

Much of an Audiologist’s work focuses on hearing testing for patients of all ages. Even in a world where some healthcare practitioners are attempting to transition to virtual practices, some tests will always need to be done in person.

For children, we do various types of hearing testing for ear infections, speech delays, or suspected hearing loss.

For children between the ages of six months and three years old, we use sound field testing to evaluate hearing. Since a child at this age is too young to raise their hand to indicate when and where they hear a sound, we use sound to cue behavioral responses. Children sit in a booth while we play sounds from speakers on either side of the child to reinforce their head turns. When they turn and look towards the sound, they indicate they hear a noise. We then compare their responses with how children of a similar age with normal auditory function and development respond.

When kids come in with an ear infection or fluid on their ears, we start with a baseline hearing test. This helps us evaluate what kind of hearing they have with the active fluid and infection. We then test again after treatment to evaluate if hearing has returned to a more normal level.

If there is no infection, we may need more specific tests to understand the child’s hearing. In these cases, we work directly with an ENT for ear-specific testing, especially if there’s a concern of more permanent hearing loss.

School-aged children (ages 5-18) typically visit an Audiologist when they fail a school hearing screening. Most school systems conduct annual tests to evaluate for hearing loss. When they see an abnormality, they screen the child again. If the child still doesn’t pass the hearing test, they refer them to an Audiologist for additional testing.

For these students, we conduct a full audiogram, tympanogram, and examine their ears. If they have an ear infection or fluid on their ears, we send them to the physician for medical treatment.

If we see hearing loss unrelated to infection, we try to determine what kind of hearing loss the student is experiencing:

  • Conductive hearing loss — related to the outer or middle ear
  • Sensory Neural Hearing loss — related to the inner ear or the pathway from the inner ear to the brain

These results help the physician address the issue and make recommendations to the parent and school system about how to best support the student.

For adults, we follow similar testing procedures as with older children. We conduct multiple hearing tests and a full ear exam to best evaluate what type of hearing loss the patient is experiencing. This information helps determine the patient’s next steps.

Vestibular Problems

We also evaluate patients with vestibular symptoms, including dizziness and balance. However, if you’re experiencing these issues, we always recommend seeing your primary care doctor first. A primary physician needs to evaluate potential cardiac, pulmonary, medication or migraine involvement before we evaluate for inner ear issues.


Tinnitus is a way of describing the sound a person hears that’s not in the environment. It’s typically centrally generated and occurs most often in patients with hearing loss.

Wax Buildup

Ear wax is naturally produced by the ear. It’s supposed to be there — but for some, it accumulates and negatively impacts hearing. When you have ear wax occlusion, you can’t hear well.

However, we don’t recommend patients digging in their ear — with anything, including Q-Tips.

You have a sensitive tympanic membrane — we all do. If you damage it, you’ll experience pain and perhaps hearing loss.

If you have significant wax buildup, visit your primary care doctor, ENT, or Audiologist to have the wax removed under a microscope. We’ll protect the eardrum while cleaning the ear as much as possible.

Just don’t do it yourself. There’s simply too much risk for damage or infection.

How to Prepare For Your Audiologist Appointment

If you’re coming in for the first time, bring any results from previous hearing tests. We can use this information to track any pattern or progression of hearing loss. Otherwise, just be ready to tell us your history and we’ll direct you through the testing.

Also, be careful what you read online. Most patients are not dealing with the worst-case scenario of their symptoms. It’s best to consult with your primary care doctor, then come see us if necessary so we can accurately identify what’s going on.

What to Expect If You Need a Hearing Aid

When a patient comes in complaining that hearing loss is affecting their daily communication, family life, or work environment, we ask patients to sit in for a full hearing test so we can identify the type of hearing loss they’re experiencing.

First, we want to check to see if they have a need for medical evaluation. If they have sudden-onset hearing loss, sudden-onset tinnitus, active fluid or infection, sudden-onset dizziness, or asymmetric hearing loss, they may need further evaluation or medical treatment. We always address medical issues before we even consider hearing aids.

Once we determine a patient does not need medical treatment, we move to a hearing aid consultation. During this free consultation, we talk about hearing loss in detail, helping the patient understand the anatomy of their ear, and what hearing aids will and won’t do. Hearing aids are an amazing assistant device that gives patients more access to speech and environmental sounds, but they don’t return hearing to normal. Hearing loss results from damage somewhere along the auditory pathway. That damage is not going to be repaired with a hearing aid. However, hearing aids will give you more access to sounds that help you better communicate with family, friends, and coworkers.

If you suspect hearing loss or another hearing-related issue, an audiologist may be just the specialist you need. We’ll do our best not only to identify the source of your problem, but to help you find a solution that makes your daily life a little easier.


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