"Dr. Ledbetter is the best. Very professional, caring and attentive to the patient." — William M.
If you have any concerns or questions, we encourage you to reach out to us. Learning about hearing loss is new to many of our patients, and we're here to help you better understand your hearing and your treatment. We make ourselves available to you if you ever need our help — our audiologist is happy to answer questions via phone call, text, or email.
Here are some of the most common questions about hearing aids that our patients ask.
A. Not all hearing loss can be treated by hearing aids. For example, if you have what is called a conductive hearing loss, it means that something is physically blocking the sound in your ears. A hearing aid won't help with that kind of loss. If that is the case for you, we may remove the blockage if it's caused by cerumen (earwax), or we may refer you to an ear-nose-throat physician if the cause is something else.
Typically, hearing aid patients have sensorineural hearing loss, which means that there has been damage to your hearing nerve. This can be caused by exposure to loud noises, or it can be a symptom of aging.
A. Hearing loss happens to people of all ages. We regularly fit hearing aids on small children! Wearing hearing aids does not mean that you are old, and if people see you wearing hearing aids, they'll know you are taking steps to hear better. If anything, you will seem younger because you won't need to ask people to repeat themselves and you'll be more comfortable getting involved in conversation.
A. Hearing aids won't make your hearing worse. Your ears and your brain do not become dependent on hearing aids. If people who have hearing aids seem hesitant to be without them, it's because they know how much they'll be missing without hearing aids. There's no dependency, just a preference for hearing the world better!
A. Nothing can make your hearing perfect or restore it to how it was before you had hearing loss. However, hearing aids will give you back so much of what you've been missing. Modern hearing aids have smart technology that processes sound before sending the signals to your brain, making it easier for you to understand what you hear. This is particularly helpful when it comes to understanding what people are saying.
A. That really depends on what you're having trouble with. Some people say that they don't like how their own voice sounds with hearing aids. It's like listening to your own voice on a recording. But you'll get used to it and may not even notice it after a little while.
With new sounds, your brain will adapt and soon you won't notice what once seemed a bit uncomfortable! We recommend that you write out a list of concerns when you first get hearing aids and bring those back to us in the first few weeks. Tell us what you're having trouble with and we can make adjustments if necessary.
A. Hearing aids can really improve your life and make it easier for you be part of the world around you. But you can also take steps to help your hearing aids do more. Small lifestyle changes and listening behavior modifications can make a big difference. For example, if you go to a restaurant, try sitting with your back to the wall to reduce background noise, and choose a table in a quieter area. We will go over some of these tips at your appointment. Additionally, if you make these changes to help yourself hear better, they'll also help the people around you hear better whether they wear hearing aids or not!
A. You cannot force someone to wear hearing aids if they're not ready. Don't push your loved one into something they don't want. Gently and lovingly point out situations where they are having trouble hearing, and encourage them to get a hearing test. It's up to them to decide if they want hearing aids or not, and you can tell them we won't force them to get hearing aids if they choose not to. A hearing test simply lets them be aware of whether or not they have a problem. Then we can revisit with them in a few months to see if they are ready for hearing aids yet.
Aside from questions, there are a few myths that get tossed around a lot; see below for the facts!
Fact: Firstly, advanced technology is so discreet that nobody will be able to tell your wearing them. While current hearing aid devices do have an outer ear component, most models are very small and barely noticeable. Some models are mostly within your ear which creates an almost invisible profile. Regardless of the appearance, people of all ages wear hearing aids. What tends to age people is when they have to constantly ask, “huh?” or “what’s going on?” instead of being actively engaged in the conversation.
Fact: This is not true. In fact, using a hearing aid can help preserve your residual hearing. When you use a hearing aid it doesn’t create a dependence, it helps your brain re-learn how to hear clearly in the world. If you’ve been living with hearing loss for a while, your brain has overcompensated to try and hear. When you use a hearing aid, your brain has to learn how to hear clearly and correctly again, but this does not mean your hearing is dependent on your hearing aid. It means you are getting back to hearing properly again.