IMPROVEMENTS IN HEARING AIDS OVER THE YEARS! & FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HEARING LOSS
“We need to face it; we are all going down the same path, getting older says,” Alexandra Giordano, Audiologist at Riverside Hearing Care who has 29 years experience as an audiologist and who speaks from the heart.
“We are exposed to a world of noise,” continues Giordano, “whether it’s work related, leisure, environmental, and our hearing sensitivity will or already have decreased over time.” Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition in older adults and the most widespread disability. Aging is the number one cause of hearing loss and the incidence of hearing loss will climb dramatically as our population ages.
Communication is essential. With unmanaged hearing loss older adults may become withdrawn and socially isolated. Furthermore, research shows that older adults with unmanaged hearing loss are at an increased risk of cognitive decline.
When Giordano first started working as an audiologist, hearing aids were much simpler than today’s technology and the audiologist has always played a significant role in achieving communication success. Hearing aids used to be analog with very little fine tuning for the hard of hearing customer. Communication strategies and extensive professional counseling has always been the key to optimal amplification.
Over the last 30 years a lot has changed in the hearing aid industry!!! But one thing remains the same:
The significance of the audiologist/hearing care professional to coach each individual customer to reach optimal hearing success on an individual basis.
IMPROVEMENTS IN HEARING AIDS OVER THE YEARS
1. They became digital, with the significant advantage of allowing hearing aids to be customized very closely to the customer specific hearing requirements; sometimes achieving better than normal hearing, as described by some manufacturers.
2. They have incorporated Bluetooth technology allowing streaming from cell phones, TV, computers and other devices;
3 They are now fully rechargeable allowing a full day of hearing and streaming without having to worry about poor dexterity, battery consumption and/or amplification interruption;
4. They can be easily adjusted by the consumer via cell phone apps or remote control; the hearing care professional can verify on real time the performance of hearing aids and can fine tune and adjust hearing aids remotely! Yes, from Riversides office to the comfort of your home when needed.
5. They have decreased in size significantly and are cosmetically appealing and invisible when being worn.
6. The newest hearing aids contain Own Voice Processing technology designed to identify when the wearer is speaking, improving their own voice satisfaction.
And the list goes on with recent improvements in technology. However, none of this is possible without professional “coaching” in order to achieve success.
Have you ever come across someone who wears hearing aids and the first thing they tell you is, well, I’m not wearing my hearing aids because they are not helping me at all…or my hearing aids amplify too much noise ……or my hearing aids bother me? Without professional fitting and guidance, maybe even purchasing hearing aids over the internet as already available, will just make things worst.
No one should suffer from poor hearing or poor hearing aid performance. No matter what the hearing loss, professional counseling (which may lead to medical referral), professional fitting and the right technology will address everyone’s needs as long as the customer is willing to “listen”. Hearing aids are known to be expensive, and they can be, however remember you are not only selecting a product but a “coach” to improve your quality of life and a service. The performance and functioning of your hearing aids need to be serviced periodically.
FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN EXPERIENCING HEARING LOSS
1. Get a baseline hearing test, know your hearing! No referral necessary. Don’t wait for others to point out or question your abilities to hear. Remember, hearing loss is invisible…. others imagine or guess your disability but don’t know
2. Seek professional advice; do your research and ask for qualifications when visiting a clinic; Audiologists in Ontario are regulated Health Professionals.
3. Be prepared to pay for services when provided by qualified professionals. Unfortunately, nothing is free in life ….and if it is, there may be other hidden costs. Unfortunately, OHIP does not cover audiology services, however the Assistive Devices Program in Ontario pays up to $500 per hearing aid /per ear every 5 years!
4. Get informed! Understand your hearing loss and your hearing aids. Bring your spouse or friend or family member to the appointment, helps for your loved ones to know your hearing.
5. Don’t be embarrassed or think you are old because you wear hearing aids….be proud! You made the right choice by helping yourself in the right direction, improving your quality of life. It means you want to stay young and not miss anything.
“When someone recently asked me why I chose this profession, I simply answered, “because I love to help and improve people’s life” and when someone tells me that they are not happy with their hearing aids I reply: …. Today’s technology is unbelievable and only getting better! The challenge is to apply the technology to successfully address patient’s needs. This is where experience and professional coaching makes a difference. At RHC we are always excited about learning new things to help others.” – Alexandra Giordano, Audiologist at Riverside Hearing Care
Riverside Hearing Care is a family owned, independent, state of the art facility outfitted with the latest hearing care technology. It is conveniently located in the Riverside Medical Centre at Riverside Drive E and Lauzon Rd.
Riverside Hearing Care are passionate about their patients and feel great when helping others. They are committed to provide the best service using state of the art equipment and technology. They accommodate to their patients needs and budgets; provide extended hours for the working people and home visits for the homebound.