Get Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions about Hearing
What are the causes of hearing loss?
Hearing Loss - A Gradual Awareness
Millions of people of all ages suffer from hearing loss. It is a physical, not a mental health problem that can develop at any time. Most often, it is gradual and painless. People may not realize for several years that this problem is affecting them because it develops so slowly that at first it may be barely noticeable. It can inhibit people's ability to experience the sounds and voices around them, which affects their own lives and the lives of those around them.
There are many causes of hearing loss, including:
- Long-term exposure to noise
- Reactions to medications
What are the symptoms of hearing loss?
Because hearing loss is gradual, you may not be aware of its extent until someone else brings it to your attention. It may be difficult to accept this news, but it is important to realize that recognizing a hearing loss is the first step toward improving the quality of your life.
Often, higher pitched sounds, such as women and children's voices or birds singing are the first sounds that begin to "disappear."
Then the person may notice symptoms including:
- Difficulty hearing in public gatherings such as concert halls, theaters, or houses of worship where sound sources are far away
- Difficulty hearing television and/or the telephone
- Difficulty understanding conversation in group settings
- Misinterpreting what others say
- Hearing noise ok, but not being able to understand speech; people seem to be "mumbling" when they are speaking
Hearing difficulties can be a source of embarrassment. Adults who experience them usually develop a variety of ways of coping in difficult listening situations, such as:
- Constantly asking others to repeat themselves or speak louder
- Turning the head to one side while listening to sounds or speaker
- Turning up the TV, radio or stereo volume to a level that disturbs others
- Avoiding social gatherings such as at restaurants or parties where background noise makes it difficult to understand conversation
What is the purpose of ear wax?
The outer foundation of the ear canal is cartilage covered with skin that contains hair and glands that secrete cerumen or earwax (a yellow or brown substance). Together the hair and earwax help prevent "invaders" such as insects, dust and bacteria from getting into the ear. Typically, the earwax traps the dirt, dries and flakes it out of the ear. The ear canal can become blocked by attempts to clean the ear and push wax deeper into the ear. Blockage can cause temporary hearing loss. Probing to "clean" the ear canal with cotton swabs can damage the fragile structures in your ear.
Ear canals should take care of themselves. Cleaning by wiping the external portion of the ear with a soft cloth or tissue over the finger should be enough. If you experience a hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), earache or a sensation of fullness in the ear, then you may have an earwax blockage. Your physician can prescribe or recommend softeners or clean the wax out in the office.
What can I expect at my hearing test appointment?
During a complete hearing evaluation, the hearing aid practitioner will ask questions about your overall health, hearing, and any concerns you may have. Then the practitioner will administer a painless and safe test that checks your ability to recognize tones and words at different volume levels. The data produces a unique hearing pattern that is recorded on a chart called an audiogram. This data helps the practitioner determine whether you might benefit from hearing aids or whether medical treatment is indicated. The appointment generally takes 1.5 hours.
Other types of tests (such as hearing screen tests or workplace tests) are quicker and have fewer components. These appointments generally take 0.5 hours. Call today to book your appointment 780-423-2116.
My doctor asked me to have my hearing tested. What kind of test do I need?
Your doctor needs information to make decisions about how to address your overall health, and to determine if you need further intervention by medical specialists. Only a complete hearing evaluation provides a full picture of your hearing ability for your doctor.
A complete hearing evaluation takes 1.5 hours, and includes a medical report if required. We make every effort to accommodate doctor-requested hearing evaluations as quickly as possible. We are committed to your hearing health!
Do I need two hearing aids?
We have two ears for a reason. Just like two eyes help calculate distance, two ears help establish direction of sound. Most people who have hearing loss in both ears find they are more successful listening in noise, understand words with more accuracy, and are less tired when they wear two hearing aids instead of one.
What brands do you carry?
We carry Starkey, Phonak, Oticon, and Unitron hearing aids, among other brands, and a wide variety of listening devices from manufacturers including Sennheiser and Williams Sound. If there is a product you are interested in, or you have a product that needs repair that isn’t on our list, call us! We are happy to help.
What if I can’t come into the clinic?
We understand that sometimes people can’t make it into our office. Contact us to schedule a home visit or discuss options.
Do you offer financing?
Yes! iFinance Medical provides fixed monthly payment plans from 6 month to 6 year terms. Contact us to find out more and to obtain an application.
Can you direct bill?
We are happy to direct bill any insurance and health plans that allow for direct billing. Check your particular plan for details.