If you suspect you may have a hearing loss and would benefit from hearing aids, call Dr. Peter Fan at Advanced Audiology Care. Dr. Fan will be glad to conduct a thorough hearing evaluation for you to assess your needs. If hearing aids are recommended for your specific hearing loss, he specializes in fitting advanced digital hearing aids and aural rehabilitation. Hearing loss treatment is a process and Dr. Fan will guide you every step of the way.
Hearing aids pick up sound using a microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.
Digital hearing aids use digital sound technology to improve hearing aid performance. They convert sound waves into digital binary code (0’s and 1’s), which helps to produce an exact duplication of each sound. They also use computer chips to analyze speech and other sounds, allowing for more complex processing of sounds during amplification.
With the advancement of digital technology, manufacturers have enhanced the functionality of hearing devices, offering patients several benefits, such as
- They can be programmed with noise reduction algorithms to help reduce background noise;
- They are highly programmable for various listening environments; and
- They can be adjusted to meet specific user needs.
Hearing aids are available in many different sizes and styles thanks to advancements in digital technology and miniaturization of the internal components. Many of today’s hearing aids are considered sleek, compact, and innovative – offering customized solutions for hearing aid wearers.
A wide range of technology and a host of features are available in each hearing aid style. Generally, the cost of hearing aids depends on the technology and the number of features the instrument has, not necessarily on the style selected. Today’s digital hearing aid styles are typically offered at various levels, such as basic, entry, advanced, and premium. Within each level, different technology and features are available.
Basic digital hearing aid styles generally require the wearer to make some manual adjustments in certain listening environments. For example, they may need to turn a volume control up or push a button to change listening programs. In contrast, a premium or more advanced hearing aid responds automatically to changes in the listener’s environment, making changes based on the signals detected by the hearing aid. The hearing aid wearer is not required to make any manual changes. As the level of technology increases in hearing aids, so does the availability of advanced features.
There are three basic types of hearing aids: behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) with the following variations in style:
Dr. Fan will help you select the hearing aid style that is right for you. He considers the following factors to ensure you get the right hearing aid for your needs:
- The degree of hearing loss (power requirements)
- Manual dexterity and visual abilities
- Patient budget
- Skin sensitivities
- Anatomical/medical considerations
At Advanced Audiology Care, Dr. Fan works with all the major manufacturers, including:
Hearing aids help to improve hearing and speech comprehension for people who have hearing loss. A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The more severe the hearing loss, the greater the hearing aid amplification needed.
Whether or not a hearing aid will work for you usually depends on your type and degree of hearing loss. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids.
At the time of your hearing evaluation, Dr. Fan will complete a case history for you to determine the extent to which your hearing problem impacts your day-to-day life as well as the lives of your family members. He will also review your medical history and ask when and how your hearing loss started, if there is ringing in your ears (tinnitus), and if you experience dizziness.
The results from your hearing evaluation will provide Dr. Fan with an outline of what sounds you may be missing or hearing. In addition, the personal answers about your daily life and your perception of your hearing will provide the basis for a more comprehensive hearing evaluation. If Dr. Fan feels you need further medical follow-up based on the results of your hearing evaluation, he will refer you to an otolaryngologist before hearing aids are recommended.
If your hearing test reveals permanent hearing loss, Dr. Fan may recommend a hearing aid for one or both ears. He will explain what sounds you are not hearing and what a hearing aid (or hearing aids) can do to help. It is usually at this appointment that you will get to see and touch different styles of hearing aids. In some cases, you may even be able to demo a hearing aid (or hearing aids). Dr. Fan will help you choose the best hearing aid style, features, and level of sophistication based on your degree of hearing loss, your lifestyle, and your financial circumstances. The final decision, however, regarding which hearing aid to purchase is yours.
If you think you may need a hearing aid, contact Advanced Audiology Care at (848) 231-6637 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fan for a hearing evaluation. You may also request an appointment online.