Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Hearing Aids

Q: What is hearing protection and why do I need it?

A: Hearing protection is the active defense against potential auditory damage and future hearing impairment, generally with a specific focus on avoiding Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.  Preventive measures generally incorporate some type of hearing protector – either plugs or muffs – but on the most basic level protection can involve nothing more than simply limiting one’s exposure to severe or prolonged environmental sounds that are too loud for a healthy human ear.  Along with their function in noise reduction, hearing protectors can also serve as primary guards against airborne dust and pathogens, as well as excessive wind, water, and pressure.

Q: Where can I buy ear plugs and ear muffs?

A: Ear plugs of various types and prices are available at a variety of large retailers, audio specialty shops, and even gas stations.  Likewise, protective ear muffs can be purchased online, at sport and hunting stores, or from individual dealers.

Q: How do I know if a cochlear implant would benefit me or someone I know?

A: Since cochlear implants require surgical alteration to the auditory system and ear, they are almost always employed in treating individuals with profound impairment or hearing loss, and often only after less invasive approaches have been attempted or dismissed.  As with any concern regarding damaged or problematic hearing, the first step of the correction process should always be to contact your local audiologist for an examination and consultation.

Q: What type of hearing loss are cochlear implants designed to treat?

A: Cochlear implants are a much more intensive response to hearing loss than hearing aids and other therapies, and are generally prescribed to those patients for whom less aggressive treatments have been unsuccessful or whose hearing loss is more severe and complete.  The typical candidate for the procedure is an individual with profound sensorineural hearing loss, meaning that the root of the dysfunction lies in the nerves of the inner ear or the processing centers of the brain.

Q: What are the different parts of cochlear device?

A: A cochlear implant has five essential components which function together in order to restore a level of perception to patients suffering from severe hearing loss or auditory disorder:  the microphone, the speech processor, the transmitter, the receiver/stimulator, and the electrode array.  Working together, these pieces create an auxiliary auditory network, which conveys environmental sound from outside of the ear, through the cochlea, and via the auditory nerve system to the brain.

Q: How is a cochlear implant different from a normal hearing aid?

A: A cochlear implant is a less flexible and more permanent assistive device than a standard hearing aid, and it is not simply “worn,” but has parts which must be surgically connected beneath the patient’s skin.  Whereas a hearing aid is generally a relatively simple piece of external hardware, a cochlear implant comprises several components, both external and internal, which function together to stimulate auditory nerve function and improve the reception and separation of different sound frequencies by the user’s auditory system.