What Does a Hearing Instrument Specialist Do?
When it comes to seeking answers about your hearing, then your regular doctor alone may not be enough. The healthcare world is full of specialists, each of which can offer different services. For issues like hearing loss, a hearing instrument specialist may be able to provide all the help you need.
Here, we’re going to look at what, exactly, a hearing instrument specialist, such as those at Palmetto Hearing Healthcare, provides. We’re going to run down the different services and when you may need them.
Earmolds and earplugs
Proactive protection of your hearing is one of your best defenses against hearing loss, especially noise-induced hearing loss. Any sounds over 85db can be harmful to your ears. For reference, city traffic and snow blowers both measure on average at 85db. Louder noises and longer exposure can make it even worse.
There is a range of hearing protection devices, including disposable earplugs and earmuffs, available for those who live, work, or commute in noisy areas or enjoy loud recreational activities, such as music concerts. The most effective ones, however, are custom molded earmolds and earplugs. A hearing instrument specialist can create the cast of your ears that’s used to make these hearing protection devices, offering your ears the safeguard that they need. Many in the ear and behind the ear hearing aids use custom earmolds, as well, which can also be made by your hearing instrument specialist.
If you’re concerned that your hearing has changed, or you simply haven’t had a hearing test in a while, it’s important to know how exactly your hearing health is. Most adults need to have a hearing test every three years, on average, but those over 65 or those with preexisting conditions that might affect their hearing should have one every year to make sure there are no changes.
The hearing test includes gathering information about your hearing and general health, performing a visual inspection of the outer ear and carrying out tests designed to learn the range of your hearing. These results help to create an audiogram, which can show whether you have hearing loss and, if you do, how severe it is.
Hearing aid evaluations
The hearing aid evaluation uses the results from an audiogram to see which kind of hearing aid you may need. Not only does the severity of your hearing matter, however, but your budget does as well. Most important are your lifestyle needs.
For instance, your hearing instrument specialist may ask what your home life is like, where you work and any hobbies you might have. Hearing aids are incorporating more and more sophisticated features such as Bluetooth connections, wind masking, directional microphones and more. Someone who works in a busy, loud environment may need a different hearing aid than someone who spends most of their time alone in a much quieter home. The hearing aid evaluation is designed to help you find the best devices for your individual needs.
Hearing aid fittings
Once you’ve selected the right hearing aid, you’ll schedule your fitting appointment. During this appointment, your hearing instrument specialist will teach you a number of different things about your device. This includes making sure that you understand how to properly insert and remove your hearing aid, as well as how to care for and maintain it. They will also walk you through the steps of changing the battery and discuss the best type of hearing aid battery for your device.
Additionally, the hearing instrument specialist will test the functionality of your hearing aid and will adjust it as needed. They will program it to your specific hearing loss needs and will test to ensure you’re getting the best listening experience possible.
The fitting includes a follow-up appointment to make sure that you are adjusting to your hearing aid well and to address any problems you might experience. The hearing instrument specialist can also provide plenty of information and advice on how to use and care for your hearing aid.
Hearing aid repairs
Even if you ensure you clean your hearing aid every day and protect it as best as possible, sometimes they do malfunction. If you experience any problems with your hearing aid, you are welcome to bring it to your hearing instrument specialists. They can make a wide variety of fixes there on the spot and recommend accessories or habits to protect it better in the future. For those problems that they can’t fix there and then, they can get in contact with the manufacturer for more complicated fixes and replacement parts.
If you want to learn more about what a hearing instrument specialist does or you believe that you are in need of their services, then don’t hesitate to call Palmetto Hearing Healthcare Center at our Summerville office, (843) 571-0744, or our Charleston location at (866) 571-0744. The sooner we can start helping you, the sooner we can improve your hearing health journey.
Please answer the question below to the best of your ability. After you choose your answer, the next question will appear. At the end of the survey, you will be provided with a score, and you may send this score to us so we may discuss any hearing loss issues you are having.
Are there situations in which you find it difficult to hear clearly?
Do you have to strain to understand conversations?
Do you have a problem hearing over the telephone?
Do you have trouble following a conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time?
Do you have trouble hearing conversations in a noisy background such as a restaurant or a group gathering?
Do you have dizziness, pain, or ringing in your ears?
Do family members or coworkers remark about you missing what has been said?
Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?
Do you find it hard to hear someone when they talk in a soft voice or whisper?
Do you find understanding women and children particularly challenging?
You received a score of