WHO TO SEE and HOW IT IS DONE is very important. (even more than the devices themselves!)
Becoming a user of hearing aid(s) is a big deal. It is a very exciting opportunity, but at the same time it can be stressful. Seeing an experienced Doctor of Audiology is the first step in making an informed decision. Well-fit hearing aids will surely help improve a persons hearing, but an incorrect or poorly fit amplification can damage system further. The hearing care industry is like a melting pot of medical professionals and sales persons who are both called Hearing Care Professionals (HCPs) - and both claim they are licensed and certified.
Without a long explanation, an accurate diagnosis is most important. Medicare - only allows licensed audiologists to perform this step. On the other hand many private insurance companies allow any "HCPs" to do the job. It is a consumer's job to choose the right professional for their best care.
Prescribing the most effective treatment plan for each individual is important.
Diligent verification and validation of the outcome while administering the treatment plan is important.
So to make a wise decision, you might want to ask 'Who should I see for my hearing concerns?' before asking what brand or which model or which store.
It is important to know that hearing aids are medical devices that either can improve your symptoms or hinder your hearing when it is incorrectly dispensed.
Knowing how delicate our auditory system is, and hearing loss by a damaged sensory organ is irreversible in current medicine, so you don't want to visit a "store" and shop "online" because they might know the devices and how to use them from a computer and give them to you - but they might not understand physiology or pathophysiology of the auditory system. (Audiologist vs Hearing instrument specialist vs ENT general physician, Otologist, Neurotologist.)
In summary, we believe that it is more important who will diagnose, prescribe and fit your amplification devices, and help you rehabilitate your hearing - than which device you will be fit with.
We specialize in digital hearing aid technology. Which means options are endless and you should take advantage of that by avoiding sales driven stores. Dr. Arnold holds a Masters degree in Engineering as well as her Doctorate and Masters degrees in Audiology. Her education and experience will help you make the best decision for your unique hearing needs.
What is it and why is it necessary?
Hearing (auditory) rehabilitation is a process of regaining the auditory functions that was under-used or not-used for a extended time.
It can be as easy as learning how to use hearing instruments correctly and how to care of them. Also it is important to learn what to expect in terms of hearing through instruments so that you seek a solution when devices are not working properly.
Hearing aids are advanced electronics. Your hearing system ('auditory pathways') and brain coordination aren't that simple or quick in some people. Many factors are contributing to this, such as the age of intervention, duration of impairment, types of hearing loss etc. Especially when the hearing is impaired for a long time, and changes in the sensory causes stimulation deprivation, in turn, the changes in central auditory pathway cause further changes in the peripheral sensory system.
When speech reignition ability is impaired, and aided score is less than 'excellent' in quiet, listening training will be recommended.
Computerized Listing Training -when your aided speech recognition is fairly low and/or your auditory processing worsens by challenging situation, such as a fast speech, listening in noisy environment, our audiologist will recommend this program.
Don't be fooled by advertisements that says all you need to do is you wear their devices, and that will solve all your hearing problems. That might be true for those who have chronic conductive hearing loss whose sensory system is faintly intact/ but for most HA users that isn't true. Research has shown significantly better outcomes as well as satisfaction when users were guided by audiologists for hearing assessments, counseling, and treatment. Hearing aid(s) is the first step for hearing rehabilitation, not the final solution.
At AAHA, we will listen, and guide you towards the best direction to fit your individual needs and we will always strive to maximize your benefits and your satisfaction.