Hearing loss affects 48-50 million Americans from all walks of life regardless of gender, age, education, occupation, nationality, religion, and more.
When confronted with hearing difficulty, the first best step in the process is to schedule an appointment with a private practice board-certified & licensed audiologist for a complete audiological evaluation. If the results of this evaluation indicate binaural amplification (hearing aids) are needed, then follow through on this recommendation.
Once the order is placed, teamwork is critical. Your hearing healthcare team is assembled to ensure your success.
Teamwork requires each member to communicate effectively and constructively to solve problems, increase productivity, and reach your goals. Since you are the patient wearing hearing aids, your support network will do all that is necessary and required.
The leader of your hearing healthcare team is your audiologist. This professional has a doctorate in audiology. They will handle: A) The paperwork with you for the sales agreement; B) Complete the form required for placing the order for the new devices; C) Secure the amplification; D) Schedule the initial fitting session to program the hearing aids according to the objective (software formula) and objective (your preference for frequency response and intensity); E) Provide a customized program for you in tailoring the counseling and aural rehabilitation aspects for care & maintenance of the devices, proper graduated effective use over time, and listening strategies for optimal receptive speech communication; F) Additional follow-up visits for computerized adjustments, service, and counseling review for your success.
The second member of your hearing healthcare team is the manufacturer. This hidden, behind-the-scenes entity produces the device best suited to enable you to hear and understand speech. The hearing aids crafted will process speech and sound through a miniaturized digital component enabling you to hear in a variety of settings with and without noise. Their technical expertise with cutting-edge state-of-the-art technology is key to maintaining the integrity of the input in accordance with your residual hearing in a variety of environments.
The third member of your hearing healthcare team is your family physician. Your personal doctor most likely detected your need for referral to an audiologist for this healthcare issue. They want to know of your follow through on their recommendation to better your health and the progress thereof. Their medical intervention is focused upon your quality of life.
The fourth member of your hearing healthcare team is your spouse, family member, or friend. Often the best meter stick to initially detect hearing difficulty is one of these people. They are with you, in your environment, at home and during activities in which they notice your hearing difficulty. Some of their observations include, but are not limited to witnessing: A) Television volume control set at a higher than normal level; B) Your request for repetition of what was previously stated; C) Noticing your inability to understand speech in the presence of background noise; D) You mistaking some words for other words; E) Inappropriate responses to questions or comments, and E) Seeing that your poor hearing may affect your safety within your environment.
The last member of your hearing healthcare team is YOU! You are the patient with the handicapping condition surrounding your hearing deficit. Your audiologist, family physician, spouse, family member, and friend cannot do the work for you. It takes you consistently daily effort to follow through with the professional guidance concerning effective use of your new amplification in order to achieve a better quality of life. If you need professional assistance, your audiologist is a telephone call away. If you have a preference to alter or change the device, the manufacturer is more than happy to do so. If you are concerned about the lack of better health, then your physician will provide guidance on what needs to be addressed, including your hearing and the steps you need to take to heal. During your everyday routine, your spouse, family, or friend provides you with positive reinforcement, support, encouragement, and feedback. Their input is not to badger you into using your hearing aids. They wish to share in your success from the investment you made so you will participate in activities and conversations, find joy in personal interactions, and understand what is said to you.
If you suspect a hearing loss or are having difficulty understanding, schedule your appointment with a private practice audiologist today!