Hearing Loss FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Of course, it is only natural that you are going to have questions about what you can expect from our audiology services. That’s why Dr. Rinn has provided a short-cut guide to some of those that are heard most often.

What is an audiologist?
An audiologist is the professional who specializes in the hearing evaluation and treatment of patients with hearing and balance disorders.

Can nerve loss be treated?
Yes. The phrase “nerve loss” has been used to describe sensor neural hearing loss. This is a loss of hair cell function in the inner ear. The hair cells are nerve endings that stimulate the auditory nerve, which then carries the sound information to the brain. In most cases there is not complete hair cell loss, and the residual hair cells can be stimulated and amplified with hearing aid amplification.

The manufacturers of hearing aids have harnessed the latest technology to enable hearing centers to address even the most difficult types of hearing loss. The newest hearing aids on the market have resulted in considerable advances in hearing rehabilitation.

Do I have to wear two hearing aids?
Wearing hearing aids will not necessarily resolve everything. However, improving hearing through the use of hearing aids can contribute to improved overall health and quality of life. If an individual has hearing loss in both ears, and is a candidate to use hearing aids, then he/she will hear best by using hearing aids in both ears. Our brain functions by receiving information from both sides of our body.

If it only receives information from one ear it will not process as proficiently as it would with sound coming from both ears. This is why humans have two ears, two eyes, etc.

How often should I have a hearing evaluation?
It is recommended that an individual has a hearing test every year. If an individual is going to order hearing aids, the audiologist must test hearing within 6 months prior to ordering the hearing aids under Colorado State Law.

Should I buy my hearing aids off the internet?
This would be similar to buying your eyeglasses without a prescription lens. How would you know what strength of lens you need for the glasses? What would you do when you get them and you cannot see with them? Who would you call for follow-up care?

Hearing aid fitting is even more service oriented because the prescription often does not correspond to what the patient can use during the trial part of the adjustment process. Furthermore, because hearing aids are custom fitted to your ear shape, it is often necessary to make modifications in order for it to function properly and feel comfortable in the ear.

If hearing aids are purchased on-line, it appears to be less expensive. However, in the long run, it will usually cost more to find a hearing care provider to make necessary hearing aid adjustment and other modifications. Hearing aids purchased on-line do not come with professional service and follow-up care.

Can a hearing aid restore my hearing back to normal?
No. Neither digital hearing aids nor in canal hearing aids can restore hearing back to normal hearing levels. Hearing aids are designed to amplify residual hearing function in order to enable an individual to detect sound that is not audible with their current hearing. Although hearing aids cannot fully correct hearing loss, proper use of amplification can improve an individual’s mental health, personal relationships, and quality of life.

Is the ringing in my ears life threatening?
Most likely, no. Tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears”, is very rarely caused by a life threatening condition. The cause of tinnitus is not always known. But a visit to an ENT doctor or audiologist for an evaluation is a good way to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing the tinnitus. Most audiologists can help address tinnitus when no medical condition is found.

What causes hearing loss?
Some common causes of hearing loss include; the aging process, loud noise exposure, trauma, hereditary factors, middle and inner ear disease and some medications.

Are hearing aids helpful in noisy environments?
Today hearing aid technology can help hearing impaired individuals hear more effectively with background noise. Digital hearing aids offer several different features that help make a hearing aid perform better in noise, some of these include: Noise reduction, dual/directional microphones and smart phone apps that allow the hearing aid user to adjust and fine tune the hearing aids themselves!

How can hearing aids help me?
The use of hearing aid amplification to address a hearing problem can improve an individual’s overall mental and physical health, relationships, emotional well-being, and restore an individual’s communication confidence.