Dr. Jackson and Experienced Ear Professionals: Top Ear Care in Orange County Exclusively for 25 Years
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is an Audiologist? An Audiologist is a professional who specializes in evaluating and diagnosing individuals with hearing and balance disorders. Audiologists are University trained and have the skills to evaluate adults, teens, infants, and children of all ages. An Audiologist will conduct a variety of tests to determine the nature and origin of an individual’s hearing loss. In addition, Audiologists prescribe, fit, and dispense hearing aids and other amplification and hearing assisted technologies.
What are some causes of hearing loss? There are many causes of hearing loss that can accumulate over a lifetime. Some of the most common ones include:
Noise exposure to loud noise (military, hunting, music, industrial, power tools, lawn mowers) Presbycusis (hearing loss with age) Heredity Certain chemotherapy and radiation treatments Ototoxic medications Head trauma Earwax Ear infections Viral infections
What are the different kinds of hearing loss? There are three primary types of hearing loss:
Conductive Hearing Loss: Results from a problem with the conduction of sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can result from wax build up, ear infections, fluid in the middle ear, or other problems with the eardrum or bones the conduct sound through the middle ear space.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Involves deterioration of the inner ear, hearing nerve, or auditory pathways. This type of hearing loss can be caused by presbycusis (hearing loss associated with aging), noise exposure, some cancer treatments, and illnesses.
Mixed Hearing Loss: Involves symptoms of both the conductive and sensorineural hearing losses.
What are some symptoms of hearing loss? Hearing loss is experienced differently because hearing is unique to the individual. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:
You miss words, confuse words and/or misunderstand conversation You ask for frequent "repeats" of what has been said You have increasing difficulty understanding conversations on the telephone You have difficulty following and understanding converation in groups or in the presence of background noise (i.e. restaurant) Family members of friends have expressed concerns about your hearing You avoid certain social situations (i.e. restaurants, parties, theatre) because it is difficult to hear The volume on the television or radio is at levels that is too loud for others
If I had hearing loss, wouldn’t my doctor tell me? Not necessarily. Only about 13% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss. Many people with hearing loss can function just fine in quiet environments (i.e. your doctor’s office), and it can be difficult for your physician to recognize any problem. Only a trained hearing care professional can 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 help to improve audibility of sounds that would otherwise be missed due to hearing loss, making them easier to hear. However, they do not restore normal hearing functioning to the ear. I have hearing loss in both ears.
Is it necessary to wear two hearing aids? Two hearing aids can be better than one for the following reasons:Increased speech understanding Improved hearing in background noiseImproved localization (knowing the directions sounds are coming from)Gives a sense of balance between the earsMost people benefit from wearing two hearing aids even when hearing is worse in one ear but exists in both ears
How much time is needed to adapt to hearing aids? While each person's experience will vary, hearing aids allow a person to hear sounds they have not heard before (or for many years). Re-learning takes place in the central auditory system, and the brain needs time to learn to use the new sound(s). You will have a trial period that allows you to adjust to the new sound and evaluate your benefit from the hearing aids.
Does health insurance cover hearing aids? Typically, standard health insurance does not cover hearing aids. However, there are infrequent occasions when special hearing aid benefits are included in health care coverage. Check with your insurance company or Audiologist to determine if your medical insurance includes hearing aid benefits.
Why do hearing aids cost so much? You can expect to pay from $1500 to $3800 per hearing aid. Generally, the more features or technology a hearing instrument has, the more costly it will be. The cost is reflective of the research and development of the hearing aid technology, warranty, and follow-up visits.
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