Ask the Audiologist

About this web site

Welcome to our revised Hearing Center site. We hope that it contains information that is revellent to your search for better hearing.

First of all, your hearing is important to you and your family. Untreated hearing loss is a major cause of conflict within families and even is statically related to poor health and lower lifetime salaries. The solution of choice for most hearing problems is hearing aids. However, buying hearing aids is a difficult process for many people.

Let me point out parenthetically, that we do not sell hearing aids or anything else on this web site. My opinions are still biased, but at least I'm not getting paid for them.

The most important decision you will face in getting the proper hearing aids for yourself is in choosing the professional who will help you with your selection. I think you should choose your audiologist based on her experience and knowledge, but also on her facility and on the brands of hearing aids she has available.

For example, if the hearing test is not performed correctly, nothing else she does really matters. So first of all, is the test performed in a quiet location? Just recently I was in a test location where the noise of a near-by bathroom fan could be heard by the patients right inside the test booth and inside their headphones. Everyone appeared to have a low frequency hearing loss because they heard the fan and not the test tones. Someone fitted with hearing aids based on those test results would say the the hearing aids were too loud at those frequencies.

Another up front decision is does the audiologist have several brands of hearing aids at her disposal? The different brands of hearing aids are not all the same and some of the unique features available may be just the ones you need. For example, there is a high quality digital hearing aid available that uses a rechargeable battery, and it is recharged by just dropping the hearing aid into a charging box every night. Another new, high tech hearing aid has the ability to shift high frequencies down into lower frequency bands. Thus if you have a severe high frequency loss and really can't hear anything in the higher frequencies, this hearing aid can move those important high frequency sounds down to where you can hear them. Another brand of digital hearing aids has a totally different approach to directional hearing, using one hearing aid for listening to the front and the other for listening to the back and sides, somewhat like the contact lenses that people use when their eyes can no longer focus for different distances.

Since you will see a lot of opinionated information here, I feel you should know a little about my background. I am recently retired from my four office practice in Maryland, but I still take classes and maintain my audiological license. To give you a feeling for my age, I was the first audiologist graduated from George Washington University. During my career I received many honors and served on many committees and boards. For example, I was the chairman of the Maryland licensing board for Audiologists, Speech Pathologists, and Hearing Aid Dealers. But enough about me, this site is about your hearing.

I will try to educate you with this web site, and you can then go make smart decisions. Please don't be discouraged. A good hearing professional can help you through the process and possibly can improve your hearing dramatically. Good Luck.

Solveig