Although hearing loss is often associated with aging, hearing loss is clearly present in newborns, children, teenagers, young adults and adults. Healthy human ears can perceive an enormous range of sounds in terms of pitch and loudness. Hearing is the primary sense through which we learn speech and language. The ability to hear clearly from birth is extremely important with regard to normal development of speech and language skills, auditory processing skills, a sense of self, as well as normal emotional and psychological well-being and more. Causes for acquired hearing loss include a genetic predisposition, ear disease, noise exposure (including music, industrial, military and more), ototoxic medicines, head trauma, and others. (AAA, 2011)
The choice of hearing aid styles and features is based on several factors including the exact type and degree of hearing loss, your individual needs (such as communication requirements, lifestyle, and manual dexterity), and your medical and audiological history and related findings.
One or Two Hearing Aids
Maintenance and Insurance
Your audiologist will review with you the details of your insurance coverage (if available), financing options, loss, theft and damage insurance, warranty, service protocols, maintenance advice, as well as introductory periods and return policies.
As with all electronics, hearing aids require care and maintenance. This includes handling them carefully, not exposing the hearing aids to water and chemicals, and keeping them very clean. Your audiologist will discuss and demonstrate proper daily care as well as maintenance techniques and maintenance products. The hearing aid user’s manual will review many of these same points. Given the hostile conditions (temperature extremes, high levels of humidity, ear wax, etc.) under which hearing aids operate, daily cleaning and maintenance is recommended. Proper care and maintenance clearly reduces the need for repair. (AAA, 2011)
Expectations and Outcomes
Untreated hearing loss impairs memory and may cause difficulty related to learning new tasks. Untreated hearing loss may result in decreased job performance and has been shown to negatively impact wages and earnings. Hearing loss treated with hearing aids has been shown to decrease fatigue, irritability, risk to personal safety, and withdrawal from social situations. Further, in many research studies, hearing aid use has been shown to increase the wearer’s quality of life. (AAA, 2011)