Approximately 30 million Americans of all ages suffer from hearing loss. Communication difficulties caused by hearing loss can put a strain on relationships, negatively impact job performance and earnings, create feelings of isolation, and diminish quality of life. If hearing aids have been recommended for you, we want to help. You deserve to hear better now.
University Otolaryngology is your source for comprehensive hearing aid services. The audiologists are committed to helping our patients move forward on a path to better hearing. We offer compassionate, professional care and feature a wide selection of hearing aid styles and technologies.
Because University Otolaryngology is home to a unique team of surgeons and audiologists, we can provide a variety of implantable hearing solutions (like cochlear implants) as alternatives to conventional hearing aids.
Please see our Learning Center below for answers to some common questions about our hearing aid program.
Common Symptoms of Hearing Loss
- You often complain that people mumble.
- You frequently ask people to repeat what they’ve said.
- Your friends or family members tell you that they suspect you have hearing loss.
- Looking at people when they talk to you makes it somewhat easier to understand, especially when theres a lot of background noise.
What is a hearing aid evaluation?
A hearing aid evaluation is a no obligation one hour appointment during which the audiologist will review your hearing test and ask questions about your lifestyle to determine your listening needs. Appropriate amplification options will be presented to you. We offer a full range of hearing aids styles and technologies from a variety of manufacturers to assure that you get the best hearing solution for your listening needs. We strongly encourage you to bring a family member to this visit. Once you have decided to purchase hearing aids, we arrange for a hearing aid fitting appointment approximately one to two weeks later.
Prior to coming to the office for the hearing aid evaluation, you should check with your health insurance carrier to find out if you have a benefit for hearing aids.
What happens at the hearing aid fitting appointment?
At the fitting, you will learn how to use your new hearing aids. Many patients prefer to have a family member with them at this appointment. The audiologist will make sure you are able to put them on and take them off, change batteries and clean them. We’ll discuss what you should expect as you get accustomed to hearing more sounds in your world. You will schedule an appointment to come back in approximately two to three weeks to talk about your experience, review any questions you may have, fine tune the hearing aid settings if necessary, and set a schedule for future follow up appointments. Payment for hearing aids is due at the fitting appointment.
Is there a trial period for hearing aids?
Yes. When you purchase hearing aids from University Otolaryngology, you will get a 30 day trial period. All hearing aids come with a 2 or 3 year manufacturer’s warranty for repairs and a one time loss and damage replacement. Professional services are included in the cost of the devices.
Does University Otolaryngology offer alternatives to conventional hearing aids?
Yes. Depending on individual circumstances and hearing loss, you may be a candidate for non-traditional amplification. We provide cochlear implants, bone conduction implants, and the fully implantable Esteem system. If any of these options is appropriate for you, the audiologist and otolaryngologist will let you know.
What is a cochlear implant?
A cochlear implant, or CI, consists of components surgically implanted in the inner ear (cochlea) and under the skin behind the ear as well as an external sound processor. For people with severe to profound hearing loss, a CI may offer greater benefit than a conventional hearing aid. Additionally, people with severe to profound high frequency loss but better low frequency hearing thresholds may be candidates for new hybrid CI technology that combines electrical and acoustic hearing. Potential candidates for CI go through a rigorous medical and audiological evaluation to determine if CI is the right solution.
What is a bone conduction implant?
Sometimes referred to as BAHA (bone anchored hearing appliances), bone conduction implants may be considered for patients with two types of hearing problems: conductive hearing loss and single sided deafness (SSD).
A conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the ear canal, eardrum, or middle ear bones that prevents sound from reaching a relatively healthy cochlea (inner ear). Surgery or conventional hearing aids help some people with conductive loss, but for others a bone conduction implant may be more appropriate. Bone conduction implants utilize a tiny screw surgically implanted in the bone behind the ear. The screw connects to an external sound processor that collects sound and transmits it via vibrations through the skull to the cochlea.
SSD occurs when one ear hears normally but the other ear has a severe to profound loss that cannot be helped with a traditional hearing aid. A bone conduction implant would be surgically implanted on the poorer side. The sound processor would pick up sounds from the poor side and send the vibrations to the opposite, healthy cochlea. A bone conduction implant cannot make you hear in the deaf ear, but by sending sound to the good ear you regain awareness of things you’ve been missing on the bad side.
Cochlear Corporation’s bone conduction implant, the Baha 4 system, now has two methods of connecting the internal screw to the external sound processor: Connect, which is an abutment that protrudes through the skin, and Attract, which uses a magnet to keep the external processor in place. If you are considering a bone conduction implant, the otologist and audiologist will discuss both methods and let you know which is right for you.
What is Esteem?
Esteem is a fully implantable hearing device for people with moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss. Esteem is a surgical option for people looking for an invisible hearing solution that can provide improved hearing 24 hours a day, even while exercising or swimming.