Get a comprehensive audiogram or hearing test performed by an audiologist who specializes in diagnosing, evaluating and treating hearing loss. About 10% of individuals need medical or surgical intervention such as cochlear implants however, the vast majority of people with hearing loss are best served with hearing aids. Your doctor will recommend the type of treatment you need that is appropriate.
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Hearing loss doesn’t just impact the person whose hearing is diminished. Everyone who loves them and lives with them suffers from circumstances like TV on too loud or resorting to repeating one’s self to “What?” “Huh?” “I beg your pardon?” Untreated hearing loss will continue to be a problem and not go away. So encourage your loved one to seek professional help early. Provide additional support by making the appointment to get their hearing checked and accompanying them to the doctor.
Today’s modern hearing aids are more advanced than in previous years. They are smaller and more discreet, can be fashionable when desired such as “leopard” color. They are also sophisticated with connect and communicate wireless capabilities where your hearing aids can be paired with your phone, computer and television. Hearing aids come in different styles: behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-the-canal (CIC) and extended wear hearing devices such as the Lyric®. Your perfect style depends on your prescription, lifestyle, listening preferences, and more.
Cost for hearing aids can start at about $700 for a good basic model and range up to a few thousand dollars for the most superior and advanced technology. Hearing aids are NOT one size fits all. Factors to take in to account are your individual prescription or level of hearing loss, the style you choose for your lifestyle and listening goals, the number of channels, circuitry and other technological features such as bluetooth compatibility with your mobile phone, computer or television.
You’ve likely seen personal sound amplifiers or PSAs advertised on TV. PSAs and hearing aids can both improve one’s ability to hear. However, based on the FDA only hearing aids are intended to make up for impaired hearing. Choosing a PSA as a substitute for a hearing aid can lead to more damage to your hearing. It can cause a delay in diagnosis of a potentially treatable condition. And that delay can allow the condition to get worse and lead to other complications.
Learn more about the difference between PSAs and hearing aids by reading this article from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.