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Hearing loss and hearing aids

Licensed audiologists can help identify the underlying cause of a hearing loss and determine if hearing aids are right for you

Hearing loss that is not treated can affect communication with family and friends, as well as at work. Over time, this can lead to isolation and depression. Research shows that about 17 percent of adults in the U.S. have problems with hearing loss.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you think you might need hearing aids:

  • Do you ask people to repeat themselves often?
  • Do you lean forward to hear better in more difficult listening environments?
  • Do others complain that you have the television or radio up too loud?

If you think you need hearing aids, make an appointment to see your primary care provider. He or she may want you to see an audiologist (hearing specialist) to have a hearing test.

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What to expect from your visit

After you have had an appointment with your audiologist and have determined you need hearing aids, he or she will schedule a time for you to have a hearing aid fitting.

During your fitting appointment, your audiologist will:

  • create the settings in the hearing aids that are best for your hearing loss
  • make sure the fit of the hearing aids is right
  • show you how to work the hearing aids
  • show you how to take care of the hearing aids
  • help you practice putting in and taking out the hearing aids

You will have a test called real ear measurement at your hearing aid fitting or one of your follow-up appointments. During this test, your audiologist will measure the sound in your ear to make sure the soft sounds can be heard and the loud sounds are not too loud.

You will have 45 days to try your new hearing aids. During this time, you will be able to make sure that you have the right style that fits your needs. Talk with your audiologist if you are unhappy with your hearing aids.

It is important that you keep all of your follow-up appointments. During your follow-up appointments, your audiologist will make sure you have best technology and style to fit your needs. He or she will also discuss with you whether additional options or features are needed, and clean and check your hearing aids to make sure they are working well.

At Allina Health

Our audiologists are licensed. They can help identify the underlying cause of a hearing loss. They work with ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors to test for hearing-related conditions that may need further evaluation or possible treatment.

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Source: Shannon Garlitz, AuD, audiologist
Reviewed by: Shannon Garlitz, AuD, audiologist

First published: 11/27/2017
Last reviewed: 11/27/2017