Choosing the best hearing aid for you

choosing-the-best-hearing-aid-for-you

Choosing the best hearing aid for you

When you or a loved one has a hearing loss, it can be a difficult and emotional time.

You, the patient, will always come first, and we are here to help guide you through your hearing journey. This includes helping you choose the best hearing aid for you, should you need it. Audiologist Candice van Heerden loves being able to help patients and their families by bringing sound and hearing back into their lives.

We also charge within medical aid rates and are able to process claims directly to the medical aid – saving you time and stress.

With a range of top hearing aid products at Candice van Heerden Audiology, we provide hearing aid evaluation and selection, trial fitting of hearing aids with follow ups, as well as repairs and servicing.

CVH Audiology: Choosing the Best Hearing Aid for You

Hearing Aid Evaluation and Selection

Once a diagnostic hearing test has been completed and the cause and severity of your hearing loss is identified, we will assist in selecting an appropriate hearing aid for you.
Choosing a hearing aid is based on a number of factors, including type and severity of hearing loss, lifestyle, patient needs and financial status.

Should you wish to trial and compare one or more different products, you will be offered the opportunity to have a trial fitting.

Trial Fitting of Hearing Aids

Many patients are skeptical to wear a hearing aid based on personal past negative experiences, or their friends and family expressing dissatisfaction with hearing aids.

The reason for this dissatisfaction could be owing to a number of factors, but primarily because of older, less effective hearing aid technology.

A trial fitting allows you to wear a demo hearing aid for two weeks to experience the improvement in hearing and quality of life. Many patients find that they are unaware of what sounds they are missing until we are able to bring these sounds back to them.

Hearing Aid Fitting and Follow Ups

Your hearing aid will be set according to your hearing levels as well as your previous hearing aid experience. Hearing aids are always set slightly softer than necessary at the initial fitting in order to allow the brain and patient time to adjust to new sounds that they haven’t heard for a while.

You will need to return for a follow up 2 weeks after fitting where we will fine tune your hearing aid to appropriate levels once your brain has adjusted to the new sounds.

Hearing aid settings can be changed all the time. If you go home and find that the aid is too loud or some sounds are too sharp for example, we will be able to change the settings to be more comfortable for you.

Hearing Aid Repairs and Servicing

If a hearing aid is faulty, we will send it to the hearing aid manufacturer where it will be repaired. This usually takes 3 – 5 working days. It is recommended that all hearing aids are serviced annually. This is important to ensure accurate functioning of the hearing aid at all times.

A service will entail a clean and check and possible repair if needs be. The majority of hearing aids carry a two-year warrantee. During this time, any service or repair will be free of charge. Should the warrantee no longer be valid a quote will be sent to you for approval before any repair work is done.

Hearing Aid Products

All hearing aid manufacturers have hearing aids in different styles and technology levels. The difference between these technology levels is the sound quality of the hearing aid and how they function in the presence of background noise.

We stock and are able to assist patients with all major international hearing aid brands:

  • Oticon
  • Starkey
  • Siemens
  • Phonak
  • Unitron
  • Widex
  • Signia

Custom hearing aids styles

There are three common hearing aid styles amongst all hearing aid manufacturers.

Custom hearing aids come in varying styles:

  • CIC (Completely in the Canal)
  • ITC (In The Canal)
  • ITE (In The Ear)

Hearing aid selection

We will discuss which of these styles is best suited to you, taking into account the severity of your hearing loss, ear canal size and needs regarding buttons and volume controls.

In certain instances, we may find that you are not a suitable candidate for a custom hearing aid due to your lifestyle or other ear related conditions such as an ear drum perforation.

View a more detailed explanation of the various hearing aid styles.

Hearing Aid FAQs

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about hearing aids. If you have any other questions about hearing aids, please email candice@cvhaudiology.co.za

How much do hearing aids cost?

We offer a range of hearing aid brands with different levels of technology to suit your lifestyle. Candice will discuss your lifestyle requirements and budget with you to determine the best hearing aid for you.

How much do medical aids pay for hearing aids?

Each medical aid is different, which is why we will contact the medical aid at your first appointment to see how much they will pay for hearing aids.

Is there a trial period for hearing aids?

Yes, we offer a FREE 2 week hearing aid trial.

What support do you offer after I purchase a hearing aid?

You are welcome to come back for 2 free follow up appointments to make sure you’re comfortable and happy with your hearing aid.

The hearing aid supplier’s warranty as well as yearly servicing and maintenance policy will also apply.

Why do I need to wear two hearing aids?

When diagnosed with a hearing loss, many patients ask whether they must wear one hearing aid or two. The answer: if you have a hearing loss in both ears you need to wear two hearing aids. There are a number of reasons any reputable audiologist would recommend wearing two hearing aids:

  1. We have two ears for a reason, to assist us in balance and most importantly localization of sound. Localization refers to the ability to identify where sounds are coming from. It is important to localize sounds in order to orientate ourselves. A real life example would be hearing emergency vehicles when driving. When we hear a siren we need to be able to localize the sound and determine where the vehicle is approaching from.
  2. When a hearing loss is left untreated it causes auditory deprivation. When we have a hearing loss the auditory nerve is not adequately stimulated and becomes lazy over time. The point of a hearing aid is to stimulate and exercise the auditory nerve ensuring it remains active and responsive to sounds. Wearing a hearing aid in one ear will ensure the auditory nerve for that ear remains active whilst the other ears nerve will continue to weaken without amplification.
  3. Research shows us that one hearing aid is effective in improving hearing abilities in quiet listening situations, however it falls short in noisy environments. This is because both ears are important when listening in challenging and noisy environments.

I’m not deaf, my hearing loss isn’t serious, why do I need hearing aids?

The need for hearing amplification is dependent on your lifestyle, your need for refined hearing and the degree of your hearing loss. If you are a lawyer, teacher or psychologist where very refined hearing is necessary to discern the nuances of human communication, then even a mild hearing loss can be intolerable. If your hearing interferes with your ability to hear and understand others in any of your life situations, then you should pursue hearing amplification. There are also risks such as auditory deprivation if you leave a hearing loss untreated.

When we have a hearing loss the auditory nerve becomes lazy due to a lack of stimulation. Hearing aids ensure the hearing nerve receives adequate stimulation and provides “exercise to the auditory nerve”. Therefore, wearing a hearing aid ensures that your hearing nerve remains active which provides improved hearing aid outcomes. If someone waits too long to wear a hearing aid the hearing nerve can die away and therefore no hearing aid will be effective in improving the individuals hearing ability.

Surely the consequences of hiding a hearing loss are better than wearing hearing aids?

Your hearing loss is more conspicuous than your hearing aids. If you miss the punch line to a joke, or respond inappropriately in a conversation, people may have concerns about your mental acuity. Latest research has revealed that individuals with an untreated hearing loss are up to 30% more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s, Dementia and other progressive neurological diseases. This is because parts of the brain are not adequately stimulated when someone has a hearing loss which causes the brain to weaken over time. It is important to realize the greater implications involved in choosing to leave a hearing loss untreated.

I think I need a hearing aid. Where do I start?

If you think you have a hearing loss or that you may need a hearing aid, please book an appointment with Candice to assess your hearing and discuss possible treatment options.

To book a diagnostic hearing test at Candice van Heerden Audiology in Bedfordview or Benoni, please call our office on 011 615 3047 or email candice@cvhaudiology.co.za

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