As a result, you should seek a complete medical and audiological examination from a competent physician or audiologist. Your family physician or otolaryngologist can give qualified medical opinions and treatment either medically or surgically regarding your loss of hearing. An audiologist is a professional who is certified or licensed to provide assistance concerning communication problems associated with hearing impairment. An audiologist specializes in preventing, identifying and assessing hearing impairment, rehabilitating the hearing impairment, and fitting hearing aids and training individuals in their use.
Some hearing aid dealers use the title Certified Hearing Aid Dispenser.
This title is given to them by their national trade association, the National Hearing Aid Society (NHAS), after completing several weeks of study, and passing state licensure. Hearing aid dealers are sales personnel who can fit hearing aids, help you understand how to use a hearing aid and can explain problems associated with hearing aids. But, remember they are not professionals who can diagnose and solve hearing impairments.
A hearing aid is an electrical device designed for one purpose.
To increase the sensitivity of the sound being delivered to the ear. It cannot select the particular sounds you want to listen to, nor can it interpret sounds for you. Therefore, during the first few weeks that you are a hearing aid owner, you will have the responsibility of learning to become a hearing aid user. You will, in effect, be retraining your brain to adapt to new sounds. To ensure satisfaction and adjustment to your aid, make sure your dispenser offers a 30-day trial period, allowing for the return of an unsatisfactory product.
The capabilities of some hearing aids have been clearly oversold.
Some hearing aid manufacturers have been accused of misleading advertising regarding the benefits of their products. This has resulted in the negative emotions some hearing-aid consumers have.
Hearing aids themselves are not the problem.
Hearing aids – if they fit and are worn properly – can have a profoundly positive effect on people’s lives. Hearing aids help people, but those seeking amplification need to be told the truth about what to expect from hearing aids and they need to be properly evaluated. It has been estimated that over one half of all people with hearing aids have not been properly evaluated (including a medical evaluation) before the fitting. No wonder the success rates of hearing aids are so low.
As a result, it is in the person’s best interest to seek qualified professional help in seeking proper hearing healthcare, and audiologists are uniquely qualified to this end. Audiologists can give complete and accurate information on hearing impairment and provide a full range of hearing healthcare services.
Hearing aids vary widely in price and function.
Aids may cost from $950 each up to $2,700 each and may contain electronic circuitry ranging from linear to computerized digital sound. Superior sound quality may be realized from any level of hearing aid circuitry if fitted and counseled properly.
Sometimes a hearing aid is not appropriate for certain losses.
When this is the case, assistive hearing devices are a viable alternative.