Tennessee Valley Audiology Fits Hearing Aids with a Personal Approach
Hearing Aid Fitting with a Personal Approach at Tennessee Valley Audiology
Hearing aids have gotten better than ever before. At Tennessee Valley Audiology we offer a wide range of hearing aid technologies to meet the individual needs of our patients. We have hearing aids that can distinguish between speech sounds and other sounds with the goal of trying to make the speech signal more distinct and clear. Some hearing aid technologies help you to hear better in social situations by recognizing the direction of sound and down playing interfering background noise.
When you are seen at our Knoxville clinic, Drs. Dennis and Patricia Earl make every effort to assess and understand your hearing problems and offer an individual solution for your hearing loss. We carefully discuss how we may be able to help you and try to give you a realistic idea of what you may expect from the hearing aids. You need to remember that no hearing aid will restore hearing to normal so trying to create an understanding of what may be realistically expected from the hearing aid fitting is critical to success.
We are often asked whether one or two hearing aids are indicated. Most of the time two hearing aids will deliver the best result especially in the area of hearing in social situations (background noise). The reason for this is that our brains need a balanced input from two ears in order for us to hear in background noise, especially if the background noise is also speech.
We classify hearing aids into five levels of technology: economy, basic, mid-level, advanced and premium level technology. On top of the five levels, we now have iPhone hearing aids which gives the user even more control and connectivity. How we determine which hearing aid technology is most appropriate for a patient depends on several factors including degree of hearing loss, word recognition ability, listening situations where help is needed and financial concerns.
Financial concerns can dictate that less than ideal amplification strategies are chosen. Although more simple technologies do not offer the same benefit in noisier situations, they do offer help in many everyday listening environments. Economy hearing aids are priced around $1000; a basic technology aid from $1600 to $1900; mid-range technology is $2000 to $2200; an advanced hearing aid ranges in price from $2300 to $2650 and premium technology hearing aids range from $2700 to $3500 per aid. We accept various forms of payment including cash, check, Visa, Mastercard and Care Credit to help in financing hearing aids.
At Tennessee Valley Audiology we use all digital hearing aids from the most respected manufacturers including Widex, Oticon, Phonak, GN Resound, Unitron, Rexton, and Starkey. Each of these companies offer fine hearing instruments, but we do believe that all hearing aids are not the same and certain hearing aids work better for specific types of problems. Today, approximately 85% of hearing aids fit are of the behind the ear type (BTE). Prior to 2006, most hearing aids were some type of custom in the ear (ITE) style. Slim tube and receiver in the canal (RITE) hearing aids allow for the ear canal to remain open. By keeping the ear canal open the hearing aid does not occlude the ear canal which eliminates several problems that have been associated with hearing aids. Today, most hearing aid manufacturers have this type of product. With custom hearing aids and traditional BTEs, the external ears are mostly blocked which can cause a change in the sound of your own voice when you talk or amplifying sounds of chewing. These new open BTEs have greatly changed how hearing aids look and work.
Size of hearing aids and features are important considerations. You have to think about whether you want hearing aids that are fully automatic or do you want to control them. (Even if you control the hearing aids, they still automatically adjust to changes in sound around you.) Most small hearing aids limit features such as telecoils and program buttons which may be needed or desired. Some hearing aids use remote controls which allow you to control hearing aids which are too small to put the manual controls which allow you to manually operate the features on your hearing aids. Remember, it is important to know yourself and to think about whether you would prefer aids which are fully automatic or ones that you can control. These are things to discuss at your visit with Dr. Earl.
Taking the step to purchase hearing aids is often a big step for many people. To ease into the decision Tennessee Valley Audiology has a demo hearing aid program. With this program we have hearing aids from most major manufacturers which can be fit on a demonstration basis allowing patients to "test drive" hearing aids. The hearing aids are selected for demonstration based on a person's hearing test and their specific needs. All of the demo hearing aids are of the receiver in the ear type. After the demonstration fitting, you and Dr. Earl will select the best type and style of hearing aids for your hearing loss and concerns.
We currently have the following demonstration hearing aids:
Oticon Opn 1 and Opn 2, Oticon Alta 2 Pro, Nera 2 Pro and Oticon Dynamo SP 10; Widex Unique Fusion 440, Fashion 440 and Dream Passion; Phonak Audeo B90 R, Phonak Audeo B90 Direct, Audeo V90, Naida V90 UP, Naida Q90 RIC, Audeo Q 90, Phonak Naida Q 90; Rexton Emerald S; GN Resound Linx 2; Starkey Halo 2, Starkey Muse RIC, Starkey Xino Tinnitus; and Unitron Passport.
In addition we have wireless peripherals for many of these aids which can also be tried in the office to see what they can offer. These devices give improved hearing of TV, cell phones, and land line phones. We also have remote microphones your companion wears which greatly helps you hear them at a distance and in background noise. Several of the hearing aid models can use remote controls for increased flexibility to enhance your hearing.
We are providers for most insurance companies, but unfortunately, most insurance policies do not have a hearing aid benefit. At Tennessee Valley Audiology we accept various forms of payment for hearing aids including cash, check and credit cards. In addition we offer financing for your hearing aids through CareCredit. Click on the logo and you will be taken to the CareCredit site to explore financing options.