Frequently ASked Questions
What are the 5 steps to better hearing?
1. Admit To Having A Permanent Hearing Problem or Concern.
2. Make A Personal Commitment To Seek Help With A Good Attitude.
3. Personal Education, Learn All I Can About My Hearing Problem.
4. Set Realistic Expectations.
5. Practice, Time and Patience.
What can I expect from a visit with Taylor Hearing Centers?
When you visit one of our 6 locations, you can expect to see a smiling receptionist to help you along with your appointment process and be available to answer any questions that you may have before your doctors visit. Each specialist you encounter is dedicated, certified, trained and excited to help understand your concerns. You will be provided with a complete evaluation, diagnosis and treatment to help you hear better. We, at Taylor Hearing Centers, are empathetic to our patients needs and are grateful to help every person suffering from hearing loss so that you can, once again, enjoy the sounds that you miss and love.
Can hearing aids help the ringing in my ears?
In addition to improving hearing and communication, hearing aids amplify background sound, so the loudness or prominence of the tinnitus is reduced. Simply taking the focus off the tinnitus means relief for many people. Hearing aids also reduce the stress associated with intensive listening by improving communication, which in turn help relieve tinnitus symptoms.
What are the signs of hearing loss?
Speech sounds like it is mumbled or garbled
Asking others to repeat
Turning the TV or radio up louder and louder
Straining to understand others often to the point of exhaustion
Trouble hearing on the phone
Why can I hear people talking but not understand the words?
Speech sounds are made of vowels and consonants. Vowel sounds are low pitch; they account for 95% of the energy in our speech but only 5% of the clarity. Consonant sounds on the other hand are high pitch, they account for 5% of the energy in speech and 95% of the clarity. For the majority of people with hearing loss their high pitch hearing is affected first and to a greater degree than their low pitch hearing. Therefore they will often report that they hear the voice but don’t understand the words.
What caused my hearing loss?
Hearing loss can be can be the result of many factors. Often more than one condition can be to blame for the loss. Causes could be but are not limited to:
Natural changes due to aging
Medications that are toxic to the ears
How do we hear?
Sound waves travel through many different mediums including air, water, and metal. These sound waves are collected and funneled by the outer ear to the eardrum. The eardrum and the bones in the middle ear (ossicles) vibrate and make the sound stronger. This mechanical energy is transferred to the inner ear where it becomes nerve impulses that are sent to the temporal lobe of the brain. Within the temporal lobe the information is decoded and meaning attached.
What are the types of hearing loss?
Hearing loss is typically typed in two categories, conductive or sensorineural. However the two can be combined and is then classified as a mixed hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss occurs in the outer or middle ear. Conditions may include ear wax impaction, collapsed ear canals, perforation of the ear drum, ear infection, Eustachian tube dysfunction, or separation of the middle ear bones. Conductive hearing loss accounts for 5% of all cases of hearing loss and can often be medically treated. If medical treatment does not restore all of ones hearing use of a hearing aid may be necessary.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs in the inner ear or along the auditory neural pathway. Conditions can include inner hair cell damage and auditory nerve lesions. Sensorineural hearing loss accounts for 95% of all cases of hearing loss and are permanent. Most patients with this type of loss benefit from hearing aids.
What other assistive devices might I need to use with my hearing aids?
Assistive listening devices (ALDs) help you to hear specific sounds better during daily activities. They can be used with or without hearing aids. Types of ALDs include:
Alerting devices that cause loud sirens to sound or lights to blink and can be activated by such things as your doorbell, telephone, alarm clock, or smoke alarm.
For telephone conversation one can use an amplified phone or text phone. A text phone, known as TTY or TDD, allows you to type your message to the other party and read their response on your screen.
ALD's for the TV send the sound from the TV to a personal headset allowing the user to adjust the volume to a comfortable level without disturbing others.
Group listening devices are often used in churches, theaters, and meeting rooms. This type of ALD allows one to hear uninterrupted sound direct from the source free from the affects of distance or background noise.
Personal communication devices work much like group listening devices but are used for one on one conversation. Again this type of device improves communication in the presence of other noise.
How is my hearing tested?
At Taylor Hearing Centers you are tested with equipment that is calibrated annually; many of the tests are preformed in our ANSI certified sound booths. The first part of our testing consists of a through case history discussion. Second we perform Video Otoscopy, Tympanometry, and Acoustic Reflex testing. Third we place the patient in our sound booth and perform Speech Reception Threshold testing, Pure Tone testing (both air and bone conduction), and Word Recognition testing. Information from these three tests is then analyzed and discussed with the patient. If the results point to a possible medical condition we will refer you to the proper doctor for treatment. Should the results indicate a permanent type of hearing loss we will then discuss hearing aids.
What will a hearing aid do for me?
Improve your ability to hear and understand speech in most listening situations
Make communication between yourself and others easier
Enhance your ability to participate with others in group settings
Increase your awareness and safety
What might a hearing aid NOT do for me?
Restore your hearing to normal levels
Allow you to hear and understand at a distance
Clear up all speech in the presence of background noise
Make soft speech intelligible
Clear up sounds that are already distorted
Improve your hearing across the entire frequency range that your ears detect
Exactly how does a hearing aid help me hear?
A hearing aid amplifies sound so that a stronger signal is received by the inner ear. This signal is then transmitted to the brain to be decoded.
What hearing aid is best for me?
There are many factors that must be considered when choosing a hearing aid. These include your hearing test results, your listening needs/lifestyle, your ability to handle small objects, and your budget. Your Taylor Hearing Centers specialist will explain and guide you through each consideration to ultimately choose the hearing aid that is right for your life.
Why do I need two hearing aids?
Your brain takes the signal received from both ears and puts it together forming an “auditory image”. The brain uses this information so you can tell where sounds are coming from, and to focus in on what you want to hear in the presence of background noise. If one ear hears “clearer” than the other the brain may receive a mismatched signal causing you to be unable to tell where sound is coming from, which can be a safety issue, and make it harder to understand speech in noise.
Why do hearing aids cost so much?
An investment in your hearing will pay off for your life and that of those around you. The purchase of hearing aids from Taylor Hearing Centers includes much more than the instruments themselves. It includes the expertise of our staff and the specialist that will work with you every step of the way during the life of your hearing aids. All our time is included with your purchase. We like to see you a minimum of four times a year and retest your hearing once a year. During your regular check ups we will look in your ears, clean out any ear wax in the ear canals, clean/check the performance of your hearing aids and make any programming changes necessary. These visits continue for the life of your hearing aids and do not stop when the repair warranty ends. If you need anything between regular scheduled appointments all you have to do is call us and we will schedule you to come in as soon as possible. Our counseling and service do not stop the day you leave the office with your new hearing aids.
What are some of the common denials people with hearing loss make?
"A hearing instrument won't help me" or "I'm too old for a hearing instrument." Some people choose to ignore their loss because they believe hearing instruments can't help their specific type of loss. Or they incorrectly believe they are too old to benefit from amplification. In fact, 95 percent of all losses can be successfully treated. And no person is ever too old to benefit from the improved communication that hearing instruments can provide.
"My hearing loss isn't that bad" or "A hearing instrument will make me look old." Some people feel their hearing loss just isn't "bad enough" to warrant treatment. Or they believe that seeking treatment would carry the stigma of getting old. Others are simply embarrassed at the idea of wearing a hearing instrument. Keep in mind – a hearing loss is more noticeable than today's discreet, digital hearing instruments.
Think about it this way: moderate hearing loss is much like having vision impairment. Very few people with impaired vision would hesitate to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. In fact, you can't hold a driver's license without doing so. Yet most people hesitate to seek help when it comes to treating hearing loss.
How long will it take me to adjust to my new hearing aids?
Hearing loss typically occurs gradually over time. When you are fit with hearing aids a whole world of sound is brought back all at once. This can be very overwhelming. It will take your body and your brain time to adjust both to a foreign object in your ear and all of the sound. Reportedly it takes anywhere from six weeks to six months before your brain uses the new sound information it is receiving.
How can I learn to “listen” better?
Getting used to wearing a hearing aid can be trying at times. At first it can be difficult to understand speech in the presence of competing noise. Facial expressions, body motions and watching the speaker’s lips will assist in the listening process. Often positioning yourself in such a way that you are closer to the speaker where you can see their face clearly will help.
How can my family and friends help?
You might have a hearing loss but hose around you share the hearing difficulty. There are some simple things that your family and friends can do to help improve your ability to understand better.
First, minimize distractions. This includes other noises in the environment such as the TV or radio.
Remove obstacles that interfere with your ability to see the speaker's face. This will allow you to watch lip movement and facial expressions which will enhance your ability to understand.
The manner in which others speak to you will also affect your ability to understand. Getting your attention and then speaking in a normal manner while looking at you will help greatly.
Teach others what you need them to do to help you. This knowledge will make life easier for everyone.