Getting a Hearing Aid is a Simple and Painless Procedure
Getting a hearing aid is something you could do on eBay with a couple of clicks and a credit or debit card. That, however, would not be a very wise move, and although you are free to ignore their advice, health authorities around the world recommend that you are professionally examined by a specialist before proceeding with any such purchase, whether online or over the counter. Just as important as the preliminary examination is some assurance that you can continue to access necessary advice and assistance, on an ongoing basis, regarding the performance and the operation of your purchase once you have paid for it.
Before getting a hearing aid, you may have had cause to suspect hearing loss, but it is imperative to determine its type and degree of severity before doing anything else. You might begin by chatting with your GP who, in turn, may perform some preliminary examinations to determine that there is no obvious treatable cause, such as a chronic infection or some medication that might cause temporary deafness. In most cases, it is likely that you will be referred to an audiologist for a more in-depth study. In fact, you don’t actually need a referral and it’s only necessary to contact your nearest Ear Institute clinic to arrange an appointment.
Before you will be getting a hearing aid, the audiologist must perform some tests, beginning, like your GP, with a physical examination of your ears. Step two will be to perform an audiogram. This is a totally non-invasive procedure and, along with the questionnaire and physical exam, the entire process should probably take no longer than 45 minutes or so. For the audiogram, you will be seated comfortably, while each ear is tested. During the test, sounds at various frequencies in the audible range are relayed through headphones and their volume gradually increased until you can hear them, at which point you press a button.
The resulting graph is important to ensure getting a hearing aid that is just right for you. Pure Tone Audiometry, or PTA as it is known, provides details of the affected frequencies, thus identifying those which must be amplified and to what extent, as well as those that may be ignored. This selective tuning of the device serves to restore the normal balance of sounds, while amplifying everything would not. Tuning your device is a necessary step that will require the intervention of a specialist. Also, in-ear models need to be carefully moulded to the unique contours of the ear, to ensure comfort and efficiency.
At The Ear Institute, we operate 20 well-equipped, expertly-staffed facilities nationwide, if you’re thinking about getting a hearing aid.