Life in Nassau County moves at a rapid pace. The sidewalks are full of loud, fast walkers, and traffic is constantly rushing by. All this background noise can make it difficult to hear someone who’s standing right next to you. If you find yourself straining to hear someone with all these noises surrounding you, there’s a possibility that you may be experiencing hearing loss. Hearing aids may help improve your ability to hear the city that never sleeps and the suburbs we call home.
How to get your hearing aids in Nassau County
Choosing hearing aids to help address your hearing loss in Long Island involves the below steps:
If you need hearing aids, you’ll need to see an audiologist or hearing aid specialist (or visit a practice that has both). Some insurance plans require you to obtain a referral from your primary care doctor before seeing these specialists, so you may want to speak with your primary care physician or your insurance company first if you need your insurance to pay the hearing aids.
Audiologists have extensive medical knowledge of hearing problems and the ear. They can establish a baseline for your hearing as it stands at the first visit, properly assess if you are experiencing hearing loss and the type of hearing loss you’re experiencing, and offer solutions and treatment plans that can help you hear better. Your audiologist will make these distinctions through tests that distinguish damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve from blockages or damage to the middle or outer ear.
Inner ear or auditory nerve damage can lead to a diagnosis of sensorineural hearing loss, which is often permanent. Middle or outer ear damage is likely due to conductive hearing loss, which may be reversible. A third type of hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, has both conductive and sensorineural characteristics. If your hearing test indicates permanent hearing loss of any type, your audiologist will schedule you for a hearing aid fitting.
Once an audiologist diagnoses you with hearing loss, you should obtain hearing aids as soon as possible. However, this task may feel overwhelming given the sheer number of hearing aids available. Your hearing aid specialist will take you through the main styles of hearing aids and help you make the best choice for your lifestyle.
The three main styles of hearing aids you should know include:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE). If your ear canal is on the small side, BTE hearing aids are a great option. Their receivers hide behind your ears, and a near-invisible tube connects the receivers to the earpiece that sits inside your ear canal.
- In-the-ear (ITE). These devices fit entirely in the outer ear, making them as close to invisible as possible. They’re thus great for people concerned about the unfortunate stigma that still accompanies the use of listening devices. To learn more about how much invisibility you’ll get with your devices, read more about the three types of ITE hearing aids.
- Receiver-in-canal (RIC). RIC hearing aids resemble BTE devices, but RIC hearing instruments have smaller housings than BTE hearing aids. Their receivers sit just outside your ear instead of directly inside it.
The right type of hearing aid for you depends on not just your aesthetic desires and personal comfort level, but the type of hearing loss you have and the severity of your hearing loss. The frequency of your exposure to background noise – which New Yorkers know all too well – is also an important factor.
In addition to the above options, bone-anchored hearing aids may be ideal for people with hearing loss in just one ear. However, many audiologists will still recommend a pair of hearing aids, as hearing aids work better when treating both ears. Consult an audiologist or hearing aid specialist to find the right device type for your needs.
You may experience itching, sweating, or discomfort when you first wear your hearing aids. In fact, you may need up to two months to fully adjust to your hearing aids. Ensuring that your hearing aid specialist properly positions your hearing aid on your ear can help you avoid problems in the first place. Make sure your hearing aid specialist helps you properly adjust your hearing aids for their best fit. If you’re still experiencing issues after about two months, you may want to consider a different hearing aid model.
Walking through a busy Times Square with well-fitting hearing aids can help you better hear the people around you. It’s not quite as nice when the chatter of the crowds around you is too loud in your hearing aid. That’s why your hearing aid specialist will adjust your hearing aid’s settings and retest your device so you can get a handle on how it works in different settings.
This step is especially important since audiologists and hearing aid specialists consider your most common environments when they adjust your hearing aids. For example, if you love sunny summer afternoons at Central Park, your hearing care team will adjust your hearing aids to elevate your friends’ voices over all the background clamor.
Hearing aids are powerful, but they aren’t perfect. Since they can’t fully restore your lost hearing, you may find that, in the real world, you’re not hearing as well as during your fitting. That’s only natural – even the most talented hearing care providers can’t perfectly capture cars zooming by on crowded Midtown streets or subways screeching below them. But a hearing aid specialist can address your challenges in a follow-up appointment. (With some hearing aid models, you can skip the office visit entirely: Select brands support remote adjustments!)
During this appointment, be upfront about what you’re experiencing so that your hearing center team can make the appropriate adjustments. This is also the right time to have your devices adjusted for comfort if need be. And scheduling and attending your follow-up appointment should be hassle-free too – especially if you choose a hearing aid fitting facility as accessible as I Love Hearing.
I Love Hearing operates several offices throughout the Nassau County. Long Island patients residents can choose from three locations: New Hyde Park, Port Washington, and East Meadow. Each location is conveniently located near highways and major thoroughfares, with plenty of on-site parking for drivers. If you’re in Long Island and need hearing aid fitting services from some of the best professionals in the area, contact us now to book your appointment.