Imagine trying to fall asleep every night with the sound of a roaring motor or high-pitched whistle playing in your ears. For many of the more than 25 million Americans who experience tinnitus -- or ringing in their ears -- this is a reality.
It is no wonder that these "phantom sounds" can lead to anxiety, annoyance, concentrationproblems, depression, fear, stress, and sleep disturbances. For those with tinnitus, there have been few clinically viable and effective treatments in the past. Most patients are told that "there's nothing you can do about it," or that they will "just have to learn to live with it."
Dr. Ann Rasmussen, a tinnitus expert and an Audiologist at Decibels, explains that, "Audiologists hold Masters or Doctoral degrees from accredited universities. They are highly trained, must complete a full-time internship, and must pass a national competency examination as required by their state. By virtue of their graduate education and professional certification, Audiologists are the most qualified to evaluate and treat hearing loss and tinnitus."
Dr. Rasmussen is no stranger to hearing loss and tinnitus. She lives with tinnitus herself, and she treats several members of her close family for hearing loss, including her sister and her daughter.
Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
Approximately 90% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss. Both conditions involve the ear and the brain. Untreated hearing loss can lead to more than tinnitus -- it can leave you without the ability to understand speech.
How Do Tinnitus Devices Work?
The new tinnitus devices available allow the Audiologists at Decibels to treat just tinnitus, just hearing loss, or both at the same time with one type of device. Computer software allows our Audiologists to customize devices for patients.
Not everyone with tinnitus needs tinnitus therapy; some find that correcting their hearing with a hearing aid will alleviate tinnitus. This is why tinnitus evaluation is so important. There is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. The goal of tinnitus therapy, though, is habituation, or the process of "ignoring" a stimulus without exerting any conscious effort.
Tinnitus treatment involves several steps, including an initial interview, a hearing test, and a tinnitus evaluation. From there, the Audiologist and the patient establish a treatment plan and tinnitus therapy can begin.
How Much Does It Cost?
A device that can correct hearing and incorporate tinnitus therapy begins at $4000 for a pair and goes up from there, depending on the level of technology the patient requires. High end, extremely sophisticated devices can be as much as $7000 a pair. The more sophisticated the device, the more precisely a patient will be able to function in challenging environments, such as restaurants or parties.
Tinnitus doesn't have to frustrate or annoy you anymore! As an audiology-based practice, we have university trained Audiologists and the best technology to help you! Give us a call or contact us to schedule a free consultation.
At Decibels Audiology and Hearing Aid Center, our goal is to make patients feel comfortable in a no-pressure environment. We feel this is important in an industry that is often confusing to consumers. Patients are often unsure about when to get a hearing test, or whom to trust with their hearing health care. The earliest sign of hearing difficulty is often the complaint that "I can hear, but I can't understand." While this type of comment may seem contradictory, it makes a lot of sense to audiologists and ENT physicians.
Dr. David Greene, M.D. FACS, is the director of the Florida Sinus Institute in Naples and is Board Certified in Ear, Nose, Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery. He explains that "Hearing aids are critical to improving your brain's ability to decode speech. If hearing loss is left untreated, speech discrimination decreases over time. This is because the part of the brain that decodes speech is not getting any exercise. Like a muscle without exercise, the ability to decode speech will atrphy, but unlike a muscle, you can't get it back. This is why it's very important to get a hearing aid when you need one rather than waiting until you can't hear at all."
Great hearing devices can give you back speech clarity without an overwhelming amount of volume or background noise. But the hearing device is just one part of the equation. Customer service is just as important. Our patient protocol at Decibels Audiology is outstanding -- we want our patients to be happy and to tell their friends! We know the power of word of mouth, and we are dedicated to exceptional customer service. From day one, we established a set of values that we continue to adhere to. It's certainly fun and exciting to win awards, but what is really exciting is hearing our patients say, "I actually love my hearing aid!"
For more information on Decibels Audiology and Hearing Aid Center, or to schedule an appointment, call us at (239) 631-2035 or contact us through our website by clicking the link below.
Some years ago, an article was published by Samuel Trychin, Ph.D. Dr. Trychin had done a hearing aid workshop in the south, and one of the participants was a woman in her early seventies who appeared to be quite wealthy. He gave her a new hearing device, which allowed her to understand much more than she had in years. She kept raving about this "wonderful" device. At lunchtime, she left it in the room when they went out to a restaurant to eat. When he asked her why she didn't take it along, her response was, "Oh, it doesn't go with my outfit."
Many people don't want hearing aids for the same reason. In the world of digital technology, though, hearing devices that completely hide in the ear canal are overcoming this barrier. These devices are small and precise, and they are completely unnoticeable to others.
As hearing devices get smaller and performance gets better, we are seeing a shift in those who come into our office. These patients are young people, CEOs, bankers, teachers -- all afraid of what their employer or girlfriends will think if they wear a hearing device. Once they see the selection of devices and hold them in their hand, though, they get excited. We often hear, "Oh, that's not what I was expecting."
The variety of choices in the world of "invisible" hearing devices might surprise consumers. Originally, "invisible" analog devices were purchased on a subscription basis and were not removable by the wearer. Things have chance, and now digital devices allow for customer fitting, custom computer programming, and daily removal.
It is vital that consumers understand their options. Hearing concerns are addressable in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and prices. So many patients fear that only the most expensive hearing devices are small -- which is not true. A typical "invisible" hearing aid is a custom-made device that sits very close to the eardrum and is removed daily via a small string that sits in the ear canal. It runs on battteries, which our office provides for the life of the device. Manufacturer warranties on these devices tend to vary between one and three years and are included at no additional cost.
At Decibels Audiology, we view the process of consultation, fitting, and adjustments to the devices as a relationship -- whether patients decide to go with "invisible" hearing aids or other types of devices. Determining the right technology for each individual patient is vital. For more information on these types of "invisible" hearing aids, please give us a call! Our phone number is 239-593-5327.
Featured on Wink TV - Better Living Now – Dr. David Greene MD, FACS
Today’s Better Living Now is brought to you by Decibels Audiology.
Why is it important to see a qualified Audiologist if you think you need Hearing Aids?
Dr David Greene: Well, Audiologists are truly medical professionals and there is more to hearing loss than just needing to amplify the sound. Hearing loss has a medical dimension that a lot of people don’t think about. What Audiologists do, besides checking out the hearing and discussing hearing aids, is to look at hearing health in the larger medical arena in terms of keeping the ears healthy and picking up problems; whether it is a ruptured ear drum or fluid behind the ear, or a viral infection that has affected hearing.
As an Ear, Nose and Throat Physician what is your advice for people looking for a hearing aid?
Dr David Greene: Getting hearing aids is not just making you able to hear sounds that you want to hear. It also acts as a way of preserving your brain’s ability to decode sound. The most important thing for selecting a hearing aid is having a hearing aid that is good enough to give you good sound and good comfort. If it doesn’t give you good sound and good comfort, you’re not going to use it.
The invisible Phonak custom designed hearing aid Nano is now available at Decibels Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, LLC. It is the smallest ever Micro-In-Canal hearing aid available.
This means we can address the needs of more people for whom virtual invisibility and excellent hearing performance are the top priority.
The new Phonak Cassia Nano sets an industry leading price-to-performance level will appeal to those who appreciate value for the money products but still expect state-of-the-art design and the latest technology.
Many people with hearing impairment wish for a small and discreet solution that is invisible to those around them, but still delivers outstanding sound quality in a wide variety of daily listening environments. For them the Phonak Nano provides sophisticated Spice+ signal processing in the smallest ever Phonak custom shell.
The Phonak Nano, requires no special ear impression techniques and delivers the best hearing performance. “With Phonak Cassia Nano we are now offering a virtually invisible custom-made solution in three performance levels to suit even more end-user’s personal preferences and budget”, says Maarten Barmentlo, GVP Marketing of Phonak. “Now even more wearers can enjoy effortless hearing, with a hearing aid that is virtually invisible in the ear canal.”
Maximum performance, minimum size, three budget options. Hearing more naturally is no big thing.
Since the introduction of Phonak Nano last year, thousands of cosmetically conscious wearers have benefited from the combination of sound quality, comfort and discretion. The new custom design combined with the enhanced Spice+ technology ensures that there is no compromise between size and performance. The amazingly small size was made possible by reducing the shell dimension using incredible scientific materials to create a new composite design incorporating ceramic-like reinforcement techniques. In addition, Phonak applied computer-aided 3D design and modeling to minimize contact with the ear canal in the vicinity of the sound outlet, to ensure a comfortable fit. Furthermore a new faceplate and a specially designed battery door allow for individually optimized microphone and vent placement. This results in a device that sits deeper in the ear canal. Thanks to these design innovations and enhanced Spice+ technology Phonak Nano can offer the wearer a great first fitting experience.
More about Phonak:
Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak, a member of the Sonova Group, has developed, produced and globally distributed state-of-the-art hearing systems and wireless devices for more than 60 years. The combination of expertise in hearing technology, mastery in acoustics and strong cooperation with hearing care professionals allows Phonak to significantly improve people’s hearing ability and speech understanding and therefore their quality of life. Phonak offers a complete range of digital hearing instruments, along with complementary wireless communication systems. With a worldwide presence, Phonak drives innovation and sets new industry benchmarks regarding miniaturization and performance.
Tip 1: Adjusting the volume to the situation
Modern hearing aids automatically select the appropriate volume when they are switched on. No other adjustments are necessary. If you adjust the volume manually, do not make it too loud. This rarely helps with understanding. Please do not try to understand someone speaking softly at a great distance. Even a healthy ear cannot do that.
Tip 2: Let the hearing aid be a part of your life
Just like spectacles or contact lenses, a hearing aid can feel strange at first. After a brief period of adjustment, this will change. Give yourself a little time to get used to it. However, if you experience any problems or pain, please contact your hearing care professional so that you can make the most of the hearing in your life.
Tip 3: Be an active participant in conversations
Even people without hearing loss find it difficult to follow discussions sometimes, especially if several people talk at once. Move closer to the person you would like to hear and focus on him or her. As you gain experience with your hearing aid, you will be able to master these situations with more ease and confidence. Additional listening devices can also be helpful in these situations. You can find out more and discuss this with your hearing care professional. They will be able to provide information on which additional devices are most appropriate for your needs.
Tip 4: Make Visits to Public Places
Theatres, places of worship, conference halls and similar places can present an acoustic challenge for hearing aid users. Ideally, you should find a seat in the section with the best acoustics. It is usually located in the front and centre of the room. Do not sit too closely to the speaker, but close enough to see his or her face. Some public places have special technical equipment to make hearing and understanding easier. Just ask in advance or when you get there.
Tip 5: Follow Television and Radio Programmes
Sometimes it is not possible to understand every single word. In those cases, try to concentrate on the overall context. In these situations, an appropriate additional listening device can also be helpful to facilitate your hearing aid with the most recent technology available.
Tip 6: Use Your Hearing Aid With Your Phone
As a hearing aid user, you have many options to improve your hearing and understanding of phone calls. Your hearing aid specialist can advise you, which solution is best for you.
Tip 7: Two Ears Hear Better Than One
Our two ears receive sound and then transmit these sounds to the part of our brain that processes hearing. When our ears perceive a sound, the brain determines its direction. This is possible because one ear hears the sound a split second earlier and a little bit louder than the other. This localization ability alerts us, for example, to approaching cars when we cross a street.
Another important factor is sound quality, which is much better when we hear with both ears. Speech heard with only one ear can sound flat and strange.
Hearing aids are fitted to both ears if the hearing loss occurs on both sides maximising sound quality and retaining the ability to detect which direction sounds are coming from.