Hearing Aids NJ
How Do I Know If I Need Hearing Aids?
As we age, hearing issues may develop. If you find yourself having difficulty in various environments, such as those with background noise, consult one of our audiologists in Neptune, Manahawkin, or Holmdel, New Jersey for a hearing assessment. The audiologist will determine how your ears perform a series of tests involving sound and speech. Then, the results are plotted against a series of norms to determine whether hearing is normal or not. If the results are not standard, the audiologist will determine the need for medical intervention, such as for wax removal or surgery, or for hearing aids. Please consult appropriate health care providers to learn candidacy.
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What Should I Look For When Choosing A Hearing Aid?
- Programmability— You want your hearing aid to enhance the sounds of the frequency and type where your hearing is not within the normal range. So, your hearing aid shouldn’t simply amplify all sounds uniformly. The hearing aids you choose should have programmable capabilities, including possible pre-programmed settings such as at home versus in a restaurant.
- Style — Style may not be of the fashion sense, although that is important for some people. There are many styles of hearing aids now, from behind the ear to completely in the ear canal. If you have heavy wax production, an in-the-ear canal model probably isn’t a good choice. You want to balance functionality, ease of use, cost, and appearance when looking at the various options available to you.
- Directional microphones — Since the primary motivation for most people wanting to improve their hearing is to understand when people are talking to you, you need to be sure your hearing aids have directional microphones. These microphones are aligned on the hearing aid to provide for improved pick-up of sounds coming from in front of you with some reduction of sounds coming from behind you or beside you. This helps when talking with a person in a public place where there is a lot of background noise.
- Telecoils — Telecoils are small copper coils integrated into the hearing aid. They make it possible for you to talk on the phone without creating feedback, and you can connect to hearing loop systems. These systems are installed in movie theaters, home theater systems, concert halls, churches, and other places, and the telecoil in your hearing aids allow the sound to be transmitted directly to your hearing aid.
- Background noise reduction —This is the big improvement in digital technology in hearing aids: the reduction of background noise. Most models have this, but you need to be sure. The microprocessor in your hearing aids should be able to distinguish between high-frequency sounds like speech and low-frequency background noise, intensifying the high-frequency sounds and diminishing the low.
- Wireless connectivity — If you have a smartphone, you probably want smart hearing aids, meaning ones that connect wirelessly to your phone or other devices. That way you can stream telephone calls and music directly to your hearing aids for optimum sound quality.
- Remote controls — These allow you to adjust features without having to touch the hearing aids.
Best Hearing Aids
There are many brands of hearing aids, each with multiple technology levels. The technology levels are designed for different lifestyles, whereas more severe environments such as restaurants with significant background noise will require more advanced hearing aids. Many hearing aids also have unique features, such as Bluetooth technology, that may appeal to you.
Coastal Ear Nose and Throat partners will the leading hearing aid brands to provide you with the best care.
Will They Be Noticeable?
Many of today’s hearing aid styles are tiny and discreet. Even the more powerful hearing devices that traditionally sit behind one’s ear are available in “miniature” styles. Coastal Hearing and Balance Center in Neptune, Manahawkin, and Holmdel, New Jersey offers a wide variety of high-quality hearing device brands, styles, and levels of technology to fit your individual needs. Some patients may require devices other than conventional hearing aids, such as bone anchored hearing aids or cochlear implants to adequately rehabilitate their hearing loss. Our team of experts will carefully evaluate your lifestyle requirements and recommend the most appropriate option for you.
There are two steps to choosing a hearing instrument.
- The first step is choosing the hearing aid style that is most suitable for your hearing loss and your dexterity needs.
- The second step is assessing your lifestyle and your listening demands and expectations to determine the most appropriate level of technology for your needs.
How long will it take to get used to wearing a hearing aid?
You don’t simply pop a hearing aid into your ear and happily move on to great hearing — there is an adjustment period. Human hearing is incredibly rich and detailed, and hearing aids won’t return your hearing to normal, natural hearing quality. You have to remember, hearing aids are amplifying sounds you want to hear. This is a process of relearning how to hear. The learning curve is quite variable depending on the person, taking anywhere from six weeks to six months.
Patience is important. These are a few issues you may find yourself dealing with. Your own voice will sound different, and it may sound too loud. You’ll hear environmental sounds that you have not been hearing, and much of it you may not really want to hear. Your brain needs time to acclimate to hearing better.
These are the kinds of things you’ll need to adjust to, and your brain will need to adjust too. It’s a process, but you’ll love being able to hear more effectively again.
How do you know if you need a hearing aid or a cochlear implant?
The determination depends on the severity of the hearing loss. Most hearing losses can be effectively treated with hearing aids, allowing for a clear understanding of various situations. However, certain hearing losses are too severe for hearing aids. As a hearing loss gets greater and greater, the ability to understand amplified words declines. After ineffective trials with hearing aids, a patient may be evaluated for a cochlear implant. A cochlear implant is an invasive surgery that can be performed by special doctors called neurotologists.
Common Hearing Aid Questions
How long do hearing aids last?
Hearing aids come with a warranty that covers malfunction for the first 1-3 years, depending on the level of technology. Once the warranty expires, the hearing aids typically can be repaired at an additional cost. As the aids become older, they are more likely to breakdown and the cost of the repairs becomes higher. Manufacturers may stop making the parts or stop repairing devices once they are several years old. As technology advances so quickly, it is often recommended to try new hearing aids after 5 years to determine if hearing can be further improved.
Do I sleep with my hearing aids in?
You can wear your hearing aids when sleeping, but you shouldn’t. There are two reasons why they need to be on the dresser and not in your ear. First, tossing and turning and contact with the pillow can create feedback in your hearing aids and it causes unnecessary wear and tear on the devices. Second, your ear canals need a chance to get some air and take a break from your hearing aids. When you remove your hearing aids, open the battery compartment, as this will allow them to fully dry out; plus, it will save battery power. They should be kept in a safe place (i.e. in the case) and away from animals and small children when not being worn.
Can I wear my hearing aids when showering, in the bath, or swimming?
Nope. While your hearing aids are water resistant, in case of the occasional drop of rain or sweat, they are not designed for full water contact. These are highly engineered electrical devices, so keep them out of the water. This includes even being in the bathroom when you’re showering, as your hearing aids don’t need the humidity. And if you’re using hairspray or other styling products, put your hearing aids in after using the hair products.
Does insurance cover hearing aids?
Hearing aids formerly were not covered by health insurance, but that is changing as the population ages. Some health plans now have some degree of hearing aid coverage. At Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat, we find out your insurance benefit for hearing aids and provide you with the information at the time of the hearing aid consultation so that you are informed.
Where can I get hearing amplifiers?
Hearing aids can be acquired in many environments, including ENT offices, private practices, or hospitals. However, please be sure to go to a location with licensed hearing professionals like Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat in Neptune, New Jersey who can perform and interpret hearing tests. These locations will be the most beneficial when it comes to choosing a specific hearing aid.
How Do I Clean My Hearing Aids And How Often Should I Clean Them?
Get The Right Tools
You’ll need a wax pick and brush. Plus, a bulb blower is necessary for tubing in the behind-the-ear style. On receiver-in-the-ear devices, wax traps and domes are replaceable components that you can change yourself at home if they become blocked with ear wax.
Get In The Habit
Be sure you don’t set up your hearing aids for accidental water damage. If your hygiene routine of showering and washing your face is a morning thing, then leave your hearing aids out of the bathroom so that you don’t accidentally leave them in when showering or knock them into the sink.
Clean Them Every Day
The time to clean your hearing aids is every night before bed. Don’t use chemical wipes or alcohol. Cleaning them before bed gives the hearing aids several hours to air out before returning to duty.
Cleaning in-the-ear hearing aids:
1) Clean the openings in the aids, including the microphone ports. Use a soft hearing aid brush to clear away built-up wax. When cleaning these openings, face the openings downward, so debris falls out rather than lodging inside.
2) Use a wax pick to clear anything out of the holes that didn’t come out with the brush.
3) Wipe the entire device with a clean, dry cloth or tissue.
Cleaning behind-the-ear hearing aids:
1) Give the aid a once over examination and remove any debris from the device with a soft brush or dry cloth.
2) Remove the earmold from the hook to clean it. Wipe the earmolds clean daily, and soak them in warm soapy water once a week. Allow the earmolds to dry completely overnight before putting them back on. They should not have a strong odor, as that is a sign of an infection growing in the earmold.
3) Force any remaining water out of the tubing with a bulb blower before allowing them to dry overnight.
Contact Us Today!
Coastal Ear Nose and Throat has locations in Neptune, Manahawkin & Holmdel, New Jersey providing patients with hearing aids. Visit our Contact Us page if you have any questions or to request an appointment today!
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