Read our FAQs below for more information about our clinic.
What is an Audiologist?
An audiologist is a University-trained professional with an advanced doctorate degree and skills to perform diagnostic assessments of hearing and balance and rehabilitative therapies for hearing and balance disorders. Audiologists evaluate all ages from infants to seniors by conducting non invasive office tests to determine the nature and origin of an individual's hearing loss or balance impairment. We also prescribe and fit hearing aids, hearing assistive technologies, custom ear plugs and molds, and other ear items.
What are some causes of hearing loss?
There are many contributing factors to hearing loss that can accumulate over time. Some of the most common factors include:
Exposure to Loud Noise (Military, Music, Hunting, Power Tools)
Presbycusis (Hearing Loss from Age)
Certain Chemotherapy and Radiation Treatments
Earwax or Foreign Bodies
Bacterial, Fungal, and Viral Infections
Metabolic Conditions such as Hypertension, Diabetes, and Autoimmune Disorders
What are the different kinds of hearing loss?
There are three primary types of hearing loss:
Conductive Hearing Loss: reduced conduction of sound from the outer ear through the middle ear to the inner ear; such as occluding wax, infections, fluid in the middle ear, or problems of the ear drum or ossicles (hearing bones: malleus, incus, stapes).
Sensorineural Hearing Loss: deterioration of the inner ear hair cells, hearing nerve, or auditory pathways; such as can be caused by presbycusis (hearing loss associated with aging), Meniere's Disease or hydrops (elevated inner ear fluid pressure), noise exposure, some cancer treatments, and generalized illnesses.
Mixed Hearing Loss: Involves components of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
What are some symptoms of hearing loss?
Hearing loss is experienced differently among individuals, since it is a perception that can be unique to an individual and a listening environment. Often, people with a hearing reduction will notice that they don't hear conversations clearly which sometimes makes them think that others are mumbling. Some of the most common signs of reduced hearing sensitivity include:
Misunderstanding, Not Hearing, or Confusing Words and Conversation
Difficulty Following Group Conversations or Understanding Words in Background Noise or Group Settings
Friends and Family Expressing Concern about Your Hearing Words or Conversations Incorrectly
Avoiding Group or Social Situations like Parties and Movies
Turning the TV or Radio Volume Up Too Loud for Others Nearby
If I had hearing loss, wouldn't my doctor tell me?
Not necessarily. Only about 13% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss, and many people with impaired hearing can function satisfactorily one-on-one while facing one another while in quiet, well-lit environments like a doctor's office. Because of this, physicians in a usual examination might not recognize that a patient has reduced hearing clarity in a group or the low level background noise of everyday living. It takes a trained hearing professional to test each ear over the range of base to treble sounds and for words to determine the severity of your hearing loss and whether or not you can benefit from hearing aid(s).
Will a hearing aid restore my hearing to normal?
Hearing aids improve the audibility of sounds and speech to the brain, that would otherwise be missed due to hearing loss; improving sound awareness and speech understanding. They neither restore normal hearing to the ear nor create a "dependency" on amplified sound that can worsen one's underlying hearing.
Is it necessary to wear two hearing aids?
Two hearing aids are typically recommended for the following hearing goals:
Increased Speech Understanding, (as our brain is conditioned to integrate, or "put together" and make sense of sounds from both sides of our head).
Improved Hearing with Background Noise, (hearing "binaurally" with 2 ears helps the auditory brain pathways separate speech from background noise sounds).
Improved Localization, (Knowing the Directions Sounds are Coming From).
Giving a Sense of Balance Between the Ears, so localization is not thrown off and speech loudness is not distorted.
Improved Conversation Understanding when Hearing Loss is present in both ears and One Ear is Worse Than the Other.
How much time is needed to adapt to hearing aids?
While each person's experience is different, hearing aids allow people to hear sounds they may not have not heard for many years or perhaps, ever. The brain takes time to re-learn and process these new sounds in the central auditory system. After being fit with your hearing aids, there will be plenty of time to gradually adjust to the new sounds. Fine tuning and adjustments by your hearing specialist are to be expected as the patient adjusts. We will also take verification measures to ensure your satisfaction with sound quality and benefit with the hearing aids.
Does health insurance cover hearing aids?
Typically, standard health insurance does not cover hearing aids. However, there are some plans that have a hearing aid benefit. Be sure to check with your insurance plan to see if your health insurance includes a hearing aid benefit. If you prefer, we are happy to check your insurance for a hearing aid benefit for you on your behalf.
How much do hearing aids cost?
You can expect to pay from $1500 to $3800 per hearing aid for a properly fit instrument with current technology that includes services and fine-tuning during the initial phase of wear. Generally, the more features and technology a hearing instrument has, and the more customized your chosen style is, the higher the price. Hearing aid cost reflects the research and development of the technology, complexity of electronics, features you need or choose, warranty, insurance, and the expertise of your licensed hearing professional who provides your service at each visit.
Ear & Balance Clinic, Carol Jackson M.D., and Ashley Beko Au.D.