An audiologist is a person who has a masters or doctoral degree in audiology. Most Audiologists today have a clinical doctorate. This has been the entry level degree for the past 5 years. Doctors of Audiology (Au.D.) have extensive training academically and clinically. Audiology is the science of hearing. In addition, the audiologist must be licensed or registered by their state to practice audiology, after obtaining over 2000 supervised hours of clinical experience.
Virtually all patients wearing hearing aids complain about background noise at one time or another. There is no way to completely eliminate background noise.
The term digital is used so often today, it can be confusing. When a hearing aid is termed digital, it generally means the hearing aid uses 100% digital processing. In other words, the hearing aid is indeed a complete computer.
All batteries are toxic and dangerous if swallowed. Keep all batteries (and hearing aids) away from children and pets. If anyone swallows a battery it is a medical emergency and the individual needs to see a physician immediately.
Hearing loss occurs to most people as they age. Hearing loss can be due to the aging process, exposure to loud noise, certain medications, infections, head or ear trauma, congenital (birth or prenatal) or hereditary factors, diseases, as well as a number of other causes.
Middle ear implants are surgically implanted devices. The FDA has approved specific middle ear implants and the FDA is still reviewing others. The middle ear implant is a useful hearing instrument and is quite different from traditional hearing aids.
There are essentially three levels of hearing aid technology. We refer to these as analog, digitally programmable, and digital.
There are many styles of hearing aids. The degree of the hearing loss, power and options required, manual dexterity abilities, cost factors, and cosmetic concerns are some of the factors that will determine the style the patient will use.
There are many assistive listening devices available today, from sophisticated systems used in theaters and auditoriums to small personal systems.
ALDs can increase the loudness of desired sounds, such as a radio, television, or a public speaker, without increasing the loudness of the background noises.
Results of the audiometric evaluation are plotted on a chart called an audiogram. Loudness is plotted from top to bottom. Frequency, from low to high, is plotted from left to right.
Hearing aids work very well when fit and adjusted appropriately. They are designed to make words and the conversations easier to understand in all situations, without making sounds appear to be too loud.
Tinnitus is an abnormal perception of a sound which is reported by patients that is unrelated to an external source of stimulation. Tinnitus is a very common disorder.
Cochlear implants are a means of surgical amplification for patients with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. There is an internal and external device as part of the implant. Appropriately-identified adults and children with severe to profound hearing loss can be implanted starting as early as 12 months of age.
Tinnitus, often described as ringing, buzzing or hissing sounds in the ears, is a symptom that can be related to almost every known hearing problem. Tinnitus can be temporary (acute) or permanent (chronic).