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Audiology FAQs

    Audiology Frequently Asked Questions

    Audiology & Hearing Aide services are available at our Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Ridgefield offices.

    There is wear and tear on hearing aids. Think of the environment in which they’re used – the ear canal – there’s humidity, debris, bacteria, earwax. And though the technology does change and improve, it’s more likely that your hearing needs, and the shape of your ears and ear canals, will change over time.

    During your Hearing Aid Evaluation your audiologist will:

    • Explain your hearing test results
    • Learn your communication needs (ie: social, occupational)
    • Discuss different levels of technology and sizes of hearing aids
    • Help you to establish realistic expectations
    • Inform you of a 45-day trial period
    It varies quite a bit from person to person. As hearing loss tends to occur gradually, so does readjusting to the world of sound. You may wish to progress from easier to more difficult listening situations as you get used to your hearing aids. Adjusting to hearing aids requires some patience and effort. It takes time to relearn hearing skills, longer for the more difficult situations, such as restaurants or parties. Your expectations must be realistic.
    Noisy environments are tougher to hear in whether you wear hearing aids or not. Hearing aids do not eliminate background noise, but they can help the person with hearing loss to hear well. If you have hearing loss in both ears, most people will need two hearing aids. Noisy environments, in particular, can sound chaotic with only one ear. For certain situations, some people need more than hearing aids – a special adapter or pick-up for the telephone; doorbell and smoke alarm alerting devices; infrared television amplifiers as examples.
    There are many styles of hearing aids – Completely in the canal hearing aid; in the canal hearing aid; in the ear hearing aid and behind the ear hearing aid. We can help determine which is better for you.
    The best pair of skis will not make you an Olympic skier. Practice and the right coaching will get you there. Your natural abilities, however, are enhanced by better equipment. Hearing aid technology has improved dramatically over the past few years, especially in the way devices are adjusted to compensate for the natural patterns of hearing loss. The most sophisticated devices now use the same advanced technology as found in the microchips of computers.
    Unfortunately, hearing aids do not cure hearing loss, nor prevent it from getting worse. Hearing aids do improve the sound reaching the ears so that the brain can receive the proper information to do its’ job of hearing. At the same time, hearing aids do not cause hearing to get worse.
    From reputable practices like ours it is all included. Hearing aids come with a trial period, warranty and follow-up services. Custom fitting and setting of hearing aids by your audiologist can take a few visits to ensure maximum benefit. You don’t buy a hearing aid, you purchase a comprehensive plan for hearing improvement, which should include counseling and follow-up care.
    You won’t get it with mail-order hearing aids. It is vitally important to stay in contact with your audiologist during the trial period (and afterwards) if any questions or concerns arise. In fact, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact the audiologist who fits your hearing aids – most people require more than one visit for adjustments, fine-tuning and counseling.
    What’s good for your neighbor is not necessarily what’s good for you. There is no simple way in advance to tell which hearing aids will work best for a given person. We are all individuals with individual hearing patterns and requirements. Considered is your degree of hearing loss, your physical abilities and limitations, as well as those of your ears. This is why devices sold through the mail or over the Internet are likely to be ineffective (or even harmful)!
    If it’s not for yourself, accompany your loved one going for their appointment. Make sure they’ve understood what was said, and that the audiologist’s recommendations make sense. Offer your loved one plenty of encouragement and support all the way through, from initial consultation through the follow-up and adjustment period.

    Yes, and here’s the good news: most hearing losses can be helped, medically, surgically, or with hearing aids. In fact hearing aids nowadays are specifically designed for sensorineural or ‘nerve loss’.

    So, if I can go to the drugstore and buy some reading glasses off the rack, why can’t I do that with a hearing aid?

    Hearing aids are dispensed by licensed professionals only. Fitting a hearing aid is much more complex than fitting eyeglasses. Ears and eyes work differently. And, similar to dentures, hearing aids are a substitute for a natural function of the body. Just like dentures, or even new shoes, it takes time to get adjusted to new sensations. It doesn’t happen overnight.

    Ask your doctor! You are likely to be referred to one of our audiologists or ear, nose & throat physicians. Investigation of hearing loss begins with an examination of your hearing loss with the audiologist. Certain types of hearing losses may indicate a medically treatable cause, for which you’ll see the ear, nose & throat doctor.
    If your family says you need a hearing aid… you probably do! Problems usually develop slowly and subtly, hardly noticeable to ourselves. It’s normal for people to go through a period of denial about their hearing problems. But you cannot hide your hearing loss… your loved ones, friends, clients and associates already know you have it!

    Advanced Specialty Care, P.C. has qualified staff that can answer questions, perform testing and make recommendations based on findings.

    Please call us at (203) 830-4705 to schedule Central Auditory Processing Disorder testing.

    Common warning signs include:

    • not responding to someone talking out-of-view
    • acting surprised when their name has been called
    • using “what?” or “huh?” frequently
    • intently watching the faces of speakers
    • sitting close to the TV set when the volume is normal
    • increasing the TV volume to unreasonably loud levels
    • not responding to voices over the telephone
    • not being startled by intense sounds
    • The single most important sign of possible hearing loss in the very young child is the lack or delayed development of speech and language. If your child doesn’t seem to exhibit the above behavior, please call us for an appointment to test her/his hearing as this may indicate a hearing problem.Detection of hearing loss in children should occur as early in life as possible. Ideally, infants born with hearing loss should be identified by three months of age. The first three years of life are critical to speech and language development. Unfortunately, while some children’s hearing losses are detected within the first year of life, many more are not detected until they enter school (five to six years of age). For this reason, it is now recommended that all infants be screened for hearing impairment.

    3 months: a child should startle or cry at loud noises in the environment and respond to your voice

    5 Months: babies seek the sound source. Try this with your five to six month old: make soft sounds from behind and to one side as your baby looks straight ahead. Whispering should elicit a head turn towards the sound. During the first year, your baby should look for the sources of common sounds such as the telephone ringing or a musical toy.

    6 Months: Babies recognize familiar voices and experiment with speech and non-speech sounds.

    9 Months: Babies demonstrate an understanding of simple words (“mommy,” “daddy”) and turn and look when you call his/her name. At this age a baby should respond to “no” and changes in your tone of voice.

    10 months: a baby’s babbling should sound “speech-like” (“da-da-da-da”).

    12 months:, one or more recognizable words emerge and a child should understand the names of some simple items like “ball” or “spoon”.

    15 months: a child should respond to simple directions and say some simple words.

    By 18 months, babies should understand simple phrases; retrieve familiar objects on command and point to body parts (“where’s your nose?”). They should have a spoken vocabulary of between 20-50 words and short phrases (“no more,” “go out,” “mommy up”).

    By 24 months, a toddler’s spoken vocabulary should be 200-300 words coupled with simple sentences. A toddler should be able to sit and listen to read-aloud storybooks.

    Between three and five, spoken language should be used constantly to express wants, reflect emotions, convey information, and ask questions. A preschooler should understand nearly all that is said. All speech sounds should be clear and understandable by the end of the preschool period. Be alert to situations where your child is not responding well, as this may be a sign of hearing impairment.

    Advanced Specialty Care is proud to have had a neonatal hearing-screening program in effect at Danbury Hospital. As of July 1st, 2000, all babies born in Connecticut hospitals will have their hearing evaluated by state mandate before leaving the hospital.

    Our audiologist are skilled in the diagnosis of hearing impairment in children of all ages. Our ear specialists have had intensive training in treating hearing loss. We can provide the most up to date hearing aids and assistive listening devices.

    CAPD is generally evaluated by a series of behavioral tests in a sound treated room. Some of the tests include listening to a target signal in background noise and background speech, interpreting speech signals with degraded or missing auditory information, and identifying auditory tonal patterns and or/gaps in noise. The testing is approximately 1 ½ -2 hours, and breaks are given throughout testing as needed so the child or person being tested can relax and refocus. We evaluate Central Auditory Processing for individuals age 8 and older; younger children do not yet have the development of skills that are necessary to accurately evaluate their auditory processing abilities. After the evaluation, a full report detailing the test battery and areas of weakness is sent home, or to schools. The report includes recommendations that are tailored to individual needs and to strengthen auditory skills.

    For more specific questions regarding an evaluation or CAPD, feel free to contact Dr. Melissa Tatton Lev at mtatton@ascdocs.com or (203) 830-4705.

    Some most common signs and behaviors associated with CAPD are:

    1. Difficulty hearing in noisy situations
    2. Difficulty following long conversations
    3. Difficulty hearing conversations on the telephone
    4. Difficulty learning a foreign language or challenging vocabulary words
    5. Difficulty remembering spoken information
    6. Difficulty taking notes
    7. Difficulty maintaining focus on an activity if other sounds are present; child is easily distracted by other sounds in the environment
    8. Difficulty with organizational skills
    9. Difficulty following multi-step directions
    10. Difficulty in directing, sustaining, or dividing attention
    11. Difficulty with reading and/or spelling
    12. Difficulty processing nonverbal information (for example, lack of music appreciation or tone deafness).

    It should be noted that these behaviors are not unique to CAPD! Many of these behaviors are seen in other learning disabilities such as dyslexia, speech and language disorders, and attention deficit disorders. Therefore, it is recommended that other learning disabilities and weaknesses are ruled out before evaluating for CAPD.

    A Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD or APD) is a weakness in the brain’s ability to process the more complex auditory and verbal signals. A child or individual with CAPD cannot process information that they hear the same way as others because their brains are not accurately recognizing and interpreting auditory information.

    People with CAPD are thought to hear normally because they can usually detect pure tones that are delivered one by one in a very quiet environment, such as the usual hearing test or hearing screening. Furthermore, all of the organs and structures required for hearing, such as the eardrum and cochlea, are healthy and intact.

    However, the ability to detect the presence of sounds is only the first step in hearing and processing. People with CAPD do not have a loss of hearing sensitivity, but have a hearing problem in the sense that they do not process auditory information effectively.

    Central Auditory Processing (CAP) is the brain’s ability to interpret and coordinate sounds sent from the ears; in short, “what we do with what we hear”. This includes the ability to understand speech in background noise, the ability to recognize speech intonations, and being able to determine where sounds are coming from.