Advances in Hearing Loss Treatments

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Updated: 10/07/2013 4:29 pm Published: 7/13/2012 3:44 pm

If you or a loved one have been reluctant to wear hearing aids based on the experiences of your parents or grandparents, you may be surprised how much hearing aids have changed over the years. Shohn Armstrong, owner of Armstrong Hearing Aid Center, stopped by GDGC to answer some of our questions about today’s hearing aids.

Why do you think most people shy away from wearing hearing aids?

Most people don't know what to expect from hearing aids. Misperceptions and second-hand experience with bulky, whistling, old-fashioned analog hearing aids continue to influence the way people think about all hearing aids. But hearing aids have changed dramatically, from outward appearance to internal technology—making them vastly more appealing and effective.

What should you expect your hearing aid to sound like?

Your experience begins the first time you wear hearing aids. You should expect a dramatic improvement in hearing, but remember that the quality of the sound you hear is subjective and may take some getting used to.
  • Your ability to hear and understand others should be improved. Other people’s voices shouldn’t sound distorted, harsh, tinny, raspy, sharp, booming, muffled or artificial.
  • The sound of your own voice should be “normal,” not tinny, harsh, or distorted. Your own voice should not sound like you’re in a barrel or have an echo.
  • The intensity and quality of familiar sounds should be sharp, bright and clear—not dull or irritating.
  • The amount of sound you hear should match the environment. In a crowded room with many people talking at once, sound will be loud but not deafening.
  • Hearing aids should help you distinguish speech from noise. Hearing aids can be adjusted to optimize this feature.
  • When properly tuned, hearing aids should help you identify the location of a sound or voice.
What should you expect your hearing aid to feel like?

If you've never worn hearing aids, you won't know what to expect in terms of fit. Just like a shoe or another item of clothing, your hearing aids must be comfortable in order to ensure you can and will wear them.
  • You should not feel as though your ears are plugged nor should you experience pressure or discomfort of any kind.
  • Hearing aids should not move or whistle when you chew, swallow or smile.
  • Hearing aids should not whistle, buzz or give you feedback.
How should you expect hearing aids to work?

Hearing aids should help you understand and communicate in a variety of sound environments. Depending on the level of technology recommended by your hearing professional, your hearing aids may switch automatically or manually between memory settings for different sound environments.
  • Hearing and communicating in quiet environments (home, work, doctor’s office) should be improved.
  • Your ability to hear and understand speech in environments with background noise (restaurants, dinner parties, environments with fans or A/C running) should be improved.
  • Your hearing aids should help you understand speech in larger environments where there is reverberation (lecture halls, worship spaces, movie theaters).
  • Loud sounds (sirens, traffic, construction sounds) should not be uncomfortable, but you should hear them clearly.

Armstrong Hearing Aid Center
6130 E. 71st St. #18
(SE Corner of 71st & Sheridan)

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