Ask the Audiologist

Director’s Corner

Even though many people accept hearing aids as being helpful for keeping them connected to the world and for keeping their youthful quickness intact, others are fearful of taking any action.

For those of you who welcome hearing aids and know about the recent advances in hearing aids, this web site will help your awareness of the latest technology and of the improvements in performance you can expect. If you are one of those who is wary of hearing aids or some industry sales techniques, this site should arm you with the knowledge to help you proceed toward better hearing.

The people who worry me the most are those who once tried hearing aids years ago and had a disappointing experience. Too often they vow to never try them again. Hearing aids have improved dramatically, but some available even today are only slightly better than those available 30 years ago, and some hearing aid dispensers are still poorly trained. Price, by the way, does not seem to not be a good predictor of how well hearing aids will work for a given individual.

If you are having trouble understanding you owe it to yourself to do something about your hearing.

Let me offer you some of my favorite rules of thumb: 

  1. Two hearing aids are better than one if your ears are reasonably similar. This is true even if the total cost of both hearing aids is less than the super fancy single unit you might be considering.

  2. Beware of anyone who promises to make you hear as well as you did when you were young.

  3. Getting you ears tested in a test booth or quiet office situation is much better than a home visit test. The presence of background noise tends to distract the listener and obscure softer test tones so the results may overestimate the amount of loss. This results in hearing aids that are not properly designed to meet your actual listening needs.

  4. Mail order or internet purchased hearing aids are unlikely to help you much no matter how much money you save.

  5. Be as careful in selecting your hearing professional as you are at selecting the hearing aids themselves. A good honest professional can make the whole process easy and successful.

  6. A hearing loss is more visible than hearing aids. Just ask your friends, they will know about your hearing problems before you do.

Let me point out that this web site does not sell hearing aids and we are not connected with any manufacturer of hearing aids. Our goal is to help you make good decisions and to obtain better hearing.

 Solveig Ingersoll, Director