Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about speech and hearing services from Pen Bay Speech and Hearing Center. Please let us know if you need any additional assistance. Call (207) 230-6380.
Other Mid-Coast Speech and Hearing FAQ pages include:
What is an audiologist?
An audiologist is a professional specializing in prevention, assessment, and non-medical management of hearing disorders.
The audiologist's scope of practice includes assessment and rehabilitation of balance system dysfunctions.
Audiologists must hold a graduate degree in Audiology, be certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and be state certified. They are required to pass a demanding national competency examination.
Our certified audiologists will administer a complete diagnostic evaluation and recommend the most advanced treatment available which may include hearing aid amplification. Audiologists refer patients to physicians when the hearing problem needs medical or surgical evaluation.
Why should I see an audiologist?
Audiologists hold masters or doctoral degrees from accredited universities with special training in the prevention, identification, assessment and non-medical treatment of hearing disorders.
By virtue of their education, training, and licensing, they are the most qualified professionals to assess hearing disorders.
What is a hearing aid dispenser?
A hearing aid dispenser is licensed by the state to engage in the practice of fitting and dispensing hearing instruments.
Their scope of practice is hearing aid sales and service. Dispensers are not required to have a university degree.
Please click here for Hearing Aid FAQs.
What are the symptoms of hearing loss?
• Do you frequently ask people to repeat themselves?
• Do you often feel tired or stressed during conversation?
• Do you avoid social situations?
• Do you find yourself denying hearing problems?
• Do you often misunderstand conversations?
• Do you turn up the volume on your TV so loud that others complain?
• Do you have difficulty understanding speech in noisy places?
If you experience many of these symptoms consistently, you may have a hearing loss. About one in ten Americans do. In adults over 65, 40% experience hearing loss.
Why do I have a hearing loss?
Possible causes of hearing loss include:
• Deterioration of the hearing system due to the normal aging process.
• Damage to the hearing system due to serious illness, medications, or heredity.
• Problems such as ear infections, injury, ear disease or excessive ear wax.
• Damage to the hearing system due to prolonged exposure to loud noise.
Why should I choose an audiologist for hearing aids?
This is an important question. Your audiologist can advise you if hearing aids are recommended for your hearing loss. Hearing aids alone may not be an instant answer to your hearing problems. They should be a part of a program that includes complete testing, careful counseling, instruction and follow-up.
Today's hearing aids are much more complex than in the past. To use them correctly requires a complete understanding of hearing loss. Such diagnosis is a specialty of audiologists.
If I have a hearing loss, why do loud sounds bother me?
Most people with hearing loss are more sensitive to loud sounds than are people with normal hearing. This hypersensitivity to loudness, called recruitment, is caused by the physiology of the inner ear.
Today's hearing aids are much more successful at compensating for loudness sensitivity. With the use of microchips, automatic signal processing and digital technology, today's hearing aids can provide extra amplification for soft sounds and less amplification as sounds get louder.
How does hearing loss affect my family?
Often people find it difficult to accept that they have a hearing loss. They may wait several years to seek help, causing irritation, impatience and stress within their family.Realization and acceptance can med these family challenges.
What are general affects of hearing loss?
These are some of the affects of untreated hearing loss:
• Sadness and depression
• Worry and anxiety
• Lessened social activity
• Emotional turmoil and insecurity
Will hearing aids help me hear better on the telephone or in public places?
Depending on your hearing loss, hearing aids typically help make speech over the telephone clearer. Many hearing aids also have a special "T" (telecoil) option that is specifically designed for use with wired telephones.
Telephone sounds are amplified more efficiently and background noises are better eliminated with this option.
How long should my hearing aids last?
The average life of a hearing aid is three to five years. Periodic cleaning of hearing aids can minimize repairs and extend their life.
What can an audiologist do for my balance and dizziness problems? Approximately 85 percent of all dizziness and vertigo can be attributed to an inner ear disorder.
Audiologists are trained to perform detailed evaluations of balance and equilibrium. They participate as full members of vestibular rehabilitation teams to recommend and carry out goals of vestibular rehabilitation therapy including, for example, habituation exercises, balance retraining exercises, and general conditioning exercises.
Please visit our billing and referral page for additional information.