answers
How do I choose a hearing aid?
McCool Bhuta ENT

How do I choose a hearing aid?

I Don't Hear Well. What Should I Do?
What Should I Expect?

Because some hearing problems can be medically corrected, first visit a physician who can refer you to an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat specialist). If you have ear pain, drainage, excess earwax, hearing loss in only one ear, sudden or rapidly progressive hearing loss, or dizziness, it is especially important that you see an otolaryngologist who will provide a complete evaluation of your ears, including a hearing test.  Many otolaryngologists have an audiologist in their office who will assess your ability to hear pure tone sounds and to understand words. The results of these tests will show the degree of hearing loss and whether it is conductive or sensorineural, and may give other medical information about your ears and your health.

 

Read a Consumer's Report article on hearing aids >>

 

Conductive Hearing Loss

A hearing loss is conductive when there is a problem with the ear canal, the eardrum and/or the three bones connected to the eardrum. Common reasons for this type of hearing loss are a plug of excess wax in the ear canal or fluid behind the eardrum. Medical treatment or surgery may be available for these and more complex forms of conductive hearing loss.

 

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

A hearing loss is sensorineural when it results from damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve, often as a result of the aging process and/or noise exposure. Sounds may be unclear and/or too soft. Sensitivity to loud sounds may occur. Medical or surgical intervention cannot correct most sensorineural hearing losses. However, hearing aids may help you reclaim some sounds that you are missing as a result of nerve deafness.

 

Where Do I Purchase Hearing Aids?

Because federal regulation prohibits any hearing aid sale unless the buyer has first received a medical evaluation from a physician, you will need to see your physician before you purchase a hearing aid(s). However, the regulation says that if you are more than 18 years old and are aware of the recommendation to receive a medical exam, you may sign a waiver to forego the exam.  This is not recommended, and any suspected hearing loss should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist. An otolaryngologist and their audiologist can dispense hearing aids. Hearing aids should be custom fitted to your ear and hearing needs.
*Consumer Reports has stated that the most satisfied hearing-aid users are those patients who received their hearing aids from an otolaryngologist (July, 2009).  Click here to read more.

 

 

 

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