Good for you, you are getting a hearing evaluation! You have placed yourself in a good statistical place. Studies show many Americans wait five to seven years to get treatment for hearing loss. Think of what you would miss in that time! And, there are so many things that you put yourself at risk for if you don’t treat your hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss can cause hypertension, higher risk of stroke, increased risk of falling, longer hospital stays if you do get injured and other issues such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Here’s what you can expect at your first consultation and here’s some suggestions on what to ask so you can have all the information you might need.
THE HEARING EVALUATION
The evaluation will have a couple of parts. We’ll ask about your health history and your family history because this information plays a part in your diagnosis. There will be a physical exam of your ears. Then we will conduct a series of tests to determine your level of hearing and speech comprehension. Each ear is tested separately and you get results for both ears. We will explain the results in language you can understand.
WHAT TYPE OF HEARING LOSS DO I HAVE?
Understanding which type of loss you have will help you understand any recommendations for treatment. It will also help you understand how treatment will protect your remaining hearing.
There are three types of hearing loss.
Sensorineural is the type of hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the nerve path to the brain from the inner ear. This kind of hearing loss is permanent but can be treated very effectively with hearing devices.
Conductive hearing loss happens when sound travels poorly through the outer ear canal to the eardrum. This could be due to blockage from ear wax, an ear infection, allergies or even a benign tumor. Many times, hearing is restored when the blockage is removed. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of the two.
IS THE LOSS IN BOTH EARS?
There are dozens and dozens of hearing aid models. Some go inside the canal; others go inside the inner ear and some sit behind or over the ear. Some need batteries and some are rechargeable. Part of your initial consultation will include questions about your lifestyle so we can use that information to help you pick a model that is right for you. It is important to address both ears if there is a hearing loss in both.
SPECIFICS OF YOUR HEARING AIDS
Depending on the model you get, hearing aids do eventually wear out. You may want newer ones if the technology changes. There are different warranties for different models and we will go through that with you. Call Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ at 772-286-4327 to schedule a free hearing evaluation with our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist.