Florida Hearing Matters - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Answers to Questions About Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids

How do I know if I have hearing loss?

Hearing loss usually develops gradually without discomfort or pain, making it hard to recognize. Family members often notice it first, and people with hearing loss often find ways to compensate.

Take the online hearing quiz. If you answer yes to several of these questions, you likely have some form of hearing loss and should call us to get your hearing tested.

What is a hearing aid?

A hearing aid is a small electronic device worn in or behind the ear. Hearing aids contain a microphone, an amplifier and a speaker. These components are used to detect sound, make portions of it louder and send the enhanced signal to the ear. The louder sound makes hearing easier and allows people with hearing loss to listen, communicate and participate more fully in daily activities.

How do hearing aids help?

Most types of hearing loss are classified as sensorineural hearing loss (where the nerve cells have become damaged due to disease, exposure to loud noise or aging). The bad news is that hearing loss of this kind cannot be naturally recovered, but the good news is that you can make better use of the hearing you still have with the right hearing aids.

Hearing aids send an amplified signal to your ear; your surviving hair cells then detect the signal and send the amplified sound to your brain. Your brain then perceives the sound as being louder–resulting in enhanced, effortless hearing.

The best way to see if hearing aids will help you is to talk to us and demo a pair for free.

Who treats hearing loss?

Audiologists are professionals with a master’s or doctorate degree in audiology, the study of hearing. They specialize in testing, evaluating and treating hearing loss and balance disorders, including the fitting of hearing aids.

Hearing Instrument Specialists are trained in fitting and dispensing hearing aids. Hearing Instrument Specialists undergo extensive educational and clinical training and are often state-licensed and board-certified to test for hearing loss and fit hearing aids.

Otolaryngologists are medical doctors that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, head and neck disorders. Otolaryngologists are also known as ENT doctors.

How can I find out if a hearing aid will help me?

If you think you may have hearing loss, the first step is to schedule an appointment at our office to get your hearing tested. Our hearing professionals are trained to measure your hearing loss and provide expert recommendations for treatment.

What are the different styles of hearing aids?

There are many styles of hearing aids; some sit behind the ear while others fit completely inside the ear canal, making them nearly invisible. Today’s hearing aids also come equipped with a host of features that allow you to talk on the phone, stream music and listen to conversations in noisy environments.

Talk to us. Our hearing experts can help you find the right style for your specific needs and lifestyle.

Which hearing aid will work best for me?

Honestly, it depends. Choosing the right hearing aid depends on the results of your hearing test. Some models only work well for mild to moderate hearing loss, while others are best for severe hearing loss. If you have other hearing conditions, such as tinnitus, you may need a special type of hearing aid. Finding the right model will also depend on what environments you’ll need to use them. Do you plan to go swimming with them in? Do you want to be able to sleep in them? Are you extremely active and need a pair that you can comfortably exercise in? These are some of the things you’ll consider during your hearing consultation. Schedule a call with us to go over your options.

Why should I get two hearing aids?

Even if you don’t have hearing loss in both ears, modern hearing aids are designed to be used as a pair. This is because you need both ears to locate the source of sounds and to hear frequencies correctly. Hearing aids work together to help you not only hear sounds, but to interpret them correctly.

How long will it take before I adjust to wearing my hearing aids?

The benefits of better hearing are worth the effort, but you need to understand that, like anything new, it’s going to take some time and patience to get used to them. On average, most hearing aid users feel comfortable in their new hearing aids within a couple of months.

You may experience some issues with discomfort, distracting background sounds, or the amplified sound of your own voice. This is normal, and problems can either be corrected by fine-tuning the hearing aids or just slowly adapting to the new sounds.

How do I care for my hearing aids?

Proper maintenance and care will extend the life of your hearing aids. Make it a habit to:

  • Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture.
  • Clean hearing aids as instructed. Earwax and ear drainage can damage hearing aids.
  • Avoid using hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
  • Turn off hearing aids when they are not in use.
  • Replace dead batteries immediately.
  • Keep replacement batteries and small aids away from children and pets.

What are some advances in hearing aid technology?

Just like other digital technology (computers, TVs, cell phones), hearing aids are becoming smaller, more powerful and more affordable. Today’s hearing aids are discreet (some are essentially invisible), filter out background noise, allow hands-free phone calls, stream music and sound directly to the hearing aids, enhance speech comprehension, interact with smart phones and much more.

Can I get financial assistance for a hearing aid?

Financial assistance is usually available in some form. Check with your insurance provider to see if they can offer any assistance. If not, financing is usually available through your hearing specialist, and you can also check to see what Medicaid or Medicare may cover.

Can I buy hearing aids online?

The effectiveness of your hearing aids is dependent on how they’re programmed, which is, in turn, dependent on the unique characteristics of your hearing loss. Even if you know exactly which hearing aid you need, the key to making it work is in fitting and programming it, something only a trained hearing expert can do. Making a purchase without having your hearing tested is a big mistake and you’ll likely end up with a hearing aid that won’t work for you. The smart move is to seek the help of a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist. Our professionals are highly trained in testing hearing and fitting hearing aids.