You don't need to be scared any longer.
If you are losing your hearing, you may be feeling uncertain right now; you've got questions and we can answer them.
How do I get started improving my hearing?
You’ve already taken the first step by reading this page!
On average, adults with hearing loss wait SIX years from the time they start having problems to seeking help! The first step is to schedule an appointment with our clinic. We will meet with you and LISTEN to your concerns. We will then review your medical history and current medications to make sure they are not potentially contributing to your hearing loss. Next, I'll look in your ears to make sure there are no signs of ear wax or eardrum problems. You will then sit in a comfortable chair in a spacious, well-lit sound booth with multiple windows and have a thorough hearing test. You will wear a comfortable set of earphones and initially will be asked to press a button if you hear beeps, EVEN those that are very soft. We want to find out what is the softest sound you can hear.
We will evaluate if your eardrum is able to send soundwaves to the middle ear bones, make sure your cochlea is able to detect beeps at varying pitch and volumes and also evaluate your ability to understand speech in both quiet AND in background noise. We also have the ability to measure the movement of your eardrum to ensure it is vibrating correctly as well as evaluate acoustic reflexes to make sure your 7th and 8th cranial nerves are working correctly. Sometimes a patient’s only complaint is difficulty understanding in background noise, so we will quantify your signal-to-noise ratio hearing loss and make specific recommendations based on those scores.
Once your test is completed, we will review the results with you and your communication partner. We will explain the results in clear, non-jargon terms and, if appropriate, allow you to listen to a pair of demo hearing devices programmed specifically for your hearing loss so you can immediately experience first hand what it is you have been missing. We will discuss options and features of devices as well as financing if you are interested.
If you do decide the time is right, we also provide state of the art verification of your hearing devices while they are in your ears with live speech mapping. Your communication partner will read a paragraph aloud while we measure the sound of your hearing devices in your ears and adjust your hearing aids to make sure that your devices are set to best level to allow you to hear the important people in your life. There’s no guesswork involved.
THIS is hearing health care; I can help you hear better when you decide you are ready.
I don't live on my own any longer, who will help me with my hearing aid?
We will do our best to empower you to take care of your hearing device on your own! One of my recent crowning achievements as a practitioner was teaching a 78 year old patient that was blind since childhood to successfully use and maintain her very first pair of hearing aids so she could continue to rely on her hearing to help her navigate the world around her! When patients purchase hearing devices from Florence Hearing Health Care, you aren’t just purchasing an electronic device, you are purchasing the care my almost twenty years of professional experience and my lifetime of personal experience using hearing devices provides. I’ve even gone so far as to schedule a visit at a patient’s home to set up her Bluetooth television connection to run directly into her hearing aids! We will provide clear, easy to read instructions for all our products. And, if you run into a problem, give us a call; we are here to help! Occasionally, due to dementia or other medical issues, patients will need help with their devices. We strongly encourage patients to bring a significant other or family member with them for the initial device fitting appointment so more than one person hears the instructions for how to use and maintain the devices. If the patient lives in an assisted living facility, we are more than happy to provide instruction sheets for caregivers and can coordinate staff in-service trainings at those facilities.
How much of my hearing can I regain?
There are many factors to consider since no two hearing losses are identical. A patient with a mild high frequency hearing loss is expected to make significant improvements in addressing their concerns. A patient with a severe hearing loss will hear MUCH better while they are wearing their hearing aids, but they will still have some difficulty hearing in more challenging situations, such as understanding whispers. The important thing to remember is that hearing aids are NOT hearing cures. You will hear better, we will make sure of it with our live speech mapping, but we cannot restore your hearing to the normal levels you had when you were a kid. One huge factor that determines success with hearing devices is how long you’ve had the loss. As hearing worsens your brain gets more and more used to the artificially quiet world your hearing loss creates. Sounds start to seem less crisp, you don’t hear the tapping of keys on a keyboard, the rattle of newspapers and keys, running water is not as "rushy" sounding and the turn signal of the car fades into the engine noise. Certain speech sounds start to blend together and sound similar; did you say sat or fat? What’s insidious about hearing loss is that is occurs so slowly and gradually that you don’t notice these problems at first, your brain just adjusts to the new sound as normal. In fact, often times the person with a hearing loss doesn’t notice they aren’t hearing as well because you don’t know what you don’t hear! It’s the people around you who notice that you are driving with the turn signal on or not hearing your phone ring when you step outside onto the porch.
The longer people go without hearing like they should, the harder is to readjust to hearing the world around them when it is restored with hearing devices. “Hey, my keys are clinking, and I can hear the sound of my waterproof jacket swishing!”
These aren’t bad sounds they are just sounds your brain was missing, WELCOME BACK! This is the stuff you have been missing! Now, I realize hearing the crunch of leaves louder when you walk on them was not your goal, but along with those new sounds come better speech understanding because the letters of speech that make speech sound more clear are in the same hearing range as those "rattle-y" newspapers! Your brain WILL readjust, just as it did as your hearing was decreasing, but it takes time and patience on your part. Don’t give up! Don’t stop wearing the devices because you can hear your silverware clanking or the racket of pots and pans being washed and put away. Give your brain the chance to retrain and relearn how the world sounds, the rewards of better communication are well worth the initial annoyance!
How long will it take for me to hear results?
You will immediately notice better hearing and we will even program your hearing devices to start a little soft (training wheels, if you will) and then gradually and slowly increase to your prescription (the training wheels slowly disintegrate and fall off!). We can do this based on a timer so you don’t need to return to the clinic for this to be done! Usually most patients can easily become accustomed to their devices within 30 days and will achieve the most benefit from brain/neural pathway reorganization within six months. The trick, the secret to making sure you succeed? WEAR THEM all day every day. Your brain cannot get used to a sound if it is not consistent; the only way through is through!
How much will it cost for me to get my hearing back?
There are many elements that go into determining the cost of your hearing screening and treatment; office visits, testing, and actual cost of purchasing your hearing aids.
For many patients, their initial visit is when we do your hearing test. That visit may be covered by your insurance provider; we'll help you figure out if it is.
Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, we'll determine which hearing aids are right for you. Some patients may find a $600 (per ear) solution meets their needs, other patients will choose to add some technological "bells and whistles" (like direct connectivity with their iPhones–yes! That really is a thing.) which can increase the cost of their hearing solution up to $3,000 (per ear).
It's our job to work with you to figure out which direction best works with your lifestyle and your budget. We also offer convenient financing options and you can apply directly here.