Those experiencing hearing loss often hope with the right technology, their problem will be resolved. However, when they don’t get the desired results, they blame the underlying technology – i.e. the hearing aid.
Technology alone isn’t the problem. Even the best hearing aids in the world can’t deliver long-term results unless you properly determine the type and scope of your hearing loss.
Unfortunately, many audiologists overlook the importance of testing in noise. As a result, hearing aid selection and customization fail to factor in the unique challenges that you face.
At The Hearing Solution, we adopt a more holistic, customized approach addressing your specific needs. Our comprehensive treatment includes the following 5 steps.
1. INITIAL CONSULTATION AND ASSESSMENT
First, we sit down with you and your Frequent Communication Partner to better understand:
- Your hearing challenges.
- Your conversation habits.
- Your environment and lifestyle.
This initial consultation is crucial for determining the most appropriate hearing loss solution moving forward.
2. REAL-WORLD DIAGNOSTIC TESTING
Thereafter, we run a series of diagnostic tests:
- Traditional Hearing Test Battery- Pure tones, Speech recognition and Bone conduction
- Speech or Word Recognition in Background Noise
We run these tests in both quiet and noisy environments to simulate the real world. Nearly all hearing aids work well in calm situations, but real world testing allows us to pinpoint the exact cause of your hearing loss and how best to address it.
3. HEARING AID SELECTION
Based on the above tests, The next step is our functional hearing evaluation. This tests the top hearing aid manufacturers, Widex, Oticon, Phonak, and Unitron in background noise.
As we carefully guide you through the selection process, we explain the pros and cons of each manufacturer’s design. These recommendations are based on the severity and type of hearing loss. We also factor in your lifestyle, communication goals, and budget. For example:
- Others prefer convenience. We help them select Bluetooth or wireless hearing aids that connect directly with smart phones, and tablets, televisions and other enabled devices.
And because all of our hearing aids use digital technology, we can easily program yours to include additional features – as requested.
Just as with our diagnostic testing, this selection process uses real world simulations to help determine how your hearing aids will perform in noisy environments like coffee shops, restaurants, and family gatherings.
4. HEARING AID FITTING AND CUSTOMIZATION
On your next visit, we start the fitting process. This includes fine-tuning your hearing aid based on real-time feedback from both you and your frequent communication partner.
In many ways, proper programming of your hearing aid is more important than the actual device itself. This is why our fitting and customization also includes:
- Speech map testing
And again, all of this is done in both quiet and noisy environments to ensure you receive the best results possible. Moreover, we encourage you to “test drive” your hearing aids for a week to see how they really perform.
However, our treatment plan doesn’t stop there. There’s one final step – and it’s arguably the most important.
5. AUDITORY TRAINING EXERCISES
Even a mild hearing loss can change the physical composition of the brain as new neural pathways are created. This is why audiologists must frequently retune hearing aids over time.
But through auditory training, it’s possible to:
- Strengthen weakened areas form new neural pathways.
- Improve your hearing and how you process sound.
In fact, these training exercises are essential for long-term results. To paraphrase Joe Montano – Chief Audiologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital:
Getting hearing aids without auditory training is like getting a knee replacement without physical therapy.
At The Hearing Solution, this training focuses on 3 key skills:
- Auditory memory
- Sound processing speeds
- The ability to distinguish fine sounds
To help you master these areas, we use clEAR – a computer-based auditory training game that evolves to address your specific needs. With real-time feedback and ongoing monitoring by your audiologist, clEAR delivers measurable results to help you get the most out of your hearing aids.
READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP?
To learn more about our comprehensive approach to hearing loss correction, hearing aid selection, auditory training, and accepted insurance, schedule an appointment with us today.