Why is it important to see an Audiologist?
An Audiologist is required to obtain a master's or doctoral degree from an accredited university with special training in the identification, assessment and diagnosis of hearing loss. An Audiologist will also let you know if a referral for medical treatment is necessary. Dr. Williams-Neuman is proud to be among the first wave of Audiologists to complete her Doctor of Audiology degree.
Dr. Williams-Neuman has a genetic, bilateral hearing loss. She is the successful user of hearing aids and the mother of a young daughter with hearing loss. She has been servicing the hearing impaired population for over 15 years and with her personal and professional experience, she is your best choice for hearing healthcare.
DO I NEED TWO HEARING AIDS?
If both ears have a hearing loss then both ears need amplification. The brain does a much better job of understanding when it has equal input from both ears. When your ears work together, less volume is required. This means that a user of two hearing instruments can set the volume of each one lower, resulting in more pleasant hearing and less amplification of distracting background noises. When several people are talking at once, it results in a very difficult listening situation. When we are able to use two ears, we increase our ability to filter out some of the unwanted sound and focus more on the information we want to hear. With two ears providing information, a more balanced, natural sound quality is achieved. Listening is more relaxed because you aren't straining one ear to understand what is being said.
Also, we need two ears to tell the direction of sound. If only one ear is amplified with a hearing aid, sound will seem to always be coming from the amplified ear. This is important for safety reasons, like determining the direction of an oncoming car, and for social reasons, like determining the location of someone calling your name.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET USED TO WEARING HEARING AIDS?
You will need time to adjust to having something in your ear as well as the amplified sound from the hearing aids. Because it may have taken years to lose your hearing, you may have become unaccustomed to hearing normal environmental sounds like the hum of a refrigerator or computer, the ticking of a clock, traffic noise, background conversation, as well as the sound of your own voice.
When you begin to wear hearing aids, your brain must re-educate itself to filter out some sounds and concentrate on those you wish to hear. This process does not happen over night; most patients learn to adapt to the hearing aids in several weeks, however, for some, the process can take a month or more. That is why patients are encouraged to committing themselves to regular follow-up care throughout the first few months of obtaining amplification.