What are the Education Requirements for Tucson Audiologists?
Within the United States, an audiologist will need a doctoral degree in audiology. They will also have to undergo extensive testing in Tucson before they are granted the necessary licensing to practice in their field. On average, they will have to serve up to a year as an intern before completing the proper education that they receive within the classroom setting.
These professionals are trained to do many forms of testing to help determine just how severe one’s degree of loss is, as well as any potential problems relating to the ear canal. Most of the time, the audiologist will be a member of the American Board of Audiology.
Review your current Medicare policy to see if hearing evaluation testing and hearing aids are covered or partially covered. Most Medicare policies will not cover hearing tests or hearing aids. There are some HMO Medicare policies that may cover some of the these costs, however.
How Do You Get Free Hearing Aids in Tucson?
Sufferers of hearing loss can get hearing aid assistance from numerous groups, including business, medical and charitable organizations. The cost of a hearing aid should not prevent individuals from seeking treatment. Free high quality hearing aids are available for qualified individuals.
Start searching for a free hearing aid by discussing the matter with a healthcare professional. A doctor’s diagnosis is necessary to qualify for hearing aid assistance, and healthcare professionals are some of the best sources for assistance information.
Contact the Lions Club International. The Lions club provides assistance for hearing loss sufferers who cannot afford the proper care. Many chapters of the Lions Club have hearing aid banks for people in need.
Go to an implant center. Many cochlear implant centers can help the less fortunate obtain hearing aids. Although the centers are profit-making businesses, they provide many services for needy people in Tucson.
Get in touch with the manufacturers directly. Some manufacturers of hearing devices provide free hearing aids, especially for children. Families with children in need should contact the Miracle Ear Children’s Foundation.
Find a private foundation. There are many small private foundations that provide hearing aid support on a case by case basis.
Ideally you should be able to wear your hearing aid, forget about it and never have to worry about it falling out of your ear. Some behind-the-ear hearing aids and mail-order hearing aids use a foam or silicone insert—attached to the hearing aid—to fit inside your ear. These types of inserts come in generic sizes and are more likely to fall out of your ear. However, with patience and a little trial and error, you can find a generic ear piece size that will comfortably stay in your ear. Custom fit hearing aids are made using a silicone impression or laser scan or your ear; this process produces a hearing aid that should fit down in your ear canal--unable to fall out.
Things You'll Need
- Hearing aid owners manual
- Various sizes of ear domes
Make sure you are inserting the hearing aid properly. Custom made hearing aids need to be inserted into the correct ear; normally you'll find a red mark on the right hearing aid and a blue mark on the left hearing aid. When properly inserted, the ear piece will sit flush in your ear canal; larger hearing aids should be flush with your outer ear lobe—not protruding out past your ear lobe. You should feel your ear piece slide in place--down inside your ear canal. If you do not feel the hearing aid go in place, or if it feels funny or uncomfortable, take your hearing aid out and try again.
Have someone check your hearing aid, after you've put it on, to make sure it's flush with your outer ear and looks like it's in your ear properly. You can also use a mirror to check; the key is to do a visual check to make sure your hearing aid looks properly inserted.
Refer to your owner's manual or contact your hearing health care provider's office for instructions on properly inserting your hearing aid. Most hearing aid user guides have step by step instructions—with pictures—on how to properly insert your hearing aid. Set up an appointment at your hearing aid provider's office and have a specialist go over proper insertion with you.
Determine when your hearing aid is falling out: is it during a certain activity or time of day? Sometimes you'll be sure you put your hearing aid in properly, and later in the day it's falling out of your ear. A hearing aid or ear mold can be loose in your ear canal. As you move throughout the day, chewing, talking and bending can cause ill-fitted hearing aids to pop out or fall out of your ear.
Do not put up with an ill-fitted hearing aid. Hearing aids and ear molds come with manufacturer's warranties. If your hearing aid is still under warranty—usually two to three years after purchase—make an appointment with a hearing aid provider selling the same brand of hearing aid you own. A new ear impression or scan may be necessary to re-fit your hearing aid. Even when out of warranty, you can get a hearing aid re-fitted for about $300.
Try different sizes or styles of ear pieces until you find the best fit. If you're wearing a hearing aid with a changeable foam or silicone dome ear piece, you may need a different size tip to stop your hearing aid from falling out of your ear. A dome that is too large will be hard to insert and will slowly move out of your ear canal throughout the day. A dome that is too small will slide in easily; but if you bend over or shake your head from side to side, the dome will come out of your ear. You can get a variety of different sized ear buds from your hearing aid manufacturer or hearing aid provider. Refer to your owner's guide for how to replace the foam or dome on your hearing aid.
Get new hearing aids or ear molds if your current set is over five years old. After years of wearing a hearing aid, your ear canal begins to change. Your ear canal gets larger and stiffer. This is why a hearing aid that fit your ear so well for years could now start falling out of your ear. Hearing aids and ear molds need to be replaced every five to seven years. If you enjoy the hearing you receive from your device, you could just have a new casing or shell made; if you wear a behind-the-ear device, you could just have your ear mold replaced.
Tips & Warnings
- If you're wearing a hearing aid using foam tips, the tips need to be replaced every two to three weeks. Silicone domes need to be replaced every four to six months.
- Earwax build up could be pushing your hearing aid out of your ear. Have your physician check for earwax.
- Weight gain or loss--as little as seven to 10 pounds--can change the fit of your hearing aid.
- Don't try using tape or glue to keep your hearing aids in place. The chemicals in adhesives aren't good for your skin or your hearing aids.
- Hearing aids are expensive. If you put off fixing a hearing aid that keeps falling out, you may eventually lose your hearing aid.
If you have had a cardiac pacemaker installed, it is possible that you may also wear a hearing aid, especially if you are elderly. Since both of these devices operate electronically, and a hearing aid is operated by a wireless battery that is often kept, for convenience, in a breast pocket near where a pacemaker is most likely installed, there is some concern about whether your hearing aid battery might affect the function of your pacemaker.
How Does a Pacemaker Work?
A pacemaker monitors and helps control your heartbeat by means of a battery, a computerized generator and wires with electrodes or sensors at one end. The generator is powered by the battery, and both are encased in a thin metal box. The wires, at the end of the box, connect the generator to your heart. The pacemaker works by electricity, detecting the electrical activity of your heart and then, if your heart beats abnormally, sending electrical impulses to shock your heartbeat back to normal. It also records the ongoing electrical activity of your heart, so your doctor can monitor both your heart and the pacemaker.
How Does a Hearing Aid Work?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that helps to amplify sound. Every electronic hearing aid has a receiver, an amplifier, a battery and electronic circuitry. Most use a remote control device (RCD) to power the hearing aid. There are at least four distinct types of remote control hearing aid devices: FM, electromagnetic induction, tones and infrared to generate a signal.
Hearing Aids and Pacemakers
The question is whether the electrically powered RCD battery of your hearing aid might cause any interference with, or even completely disrupt, your electrically powered pacemaker. This is of concern, since pacemaker function has been known to react negatively to signals from cell phones, electronic surveillance equipment and other wireless technology.
Some product literature for hearing aid RCDs carry warnings that say if you have a pacemaker, you should not keep the remote control for your hearing aid near where your pacemaker was surgically installed. A good example of where not to carry your RCD, according to the literature, would be a breast pocket in a shirt or a suit.
The April 2001 edition of the Hearing Journal carried an article by Levi A. Reiter and Jorge Camunas on "Hearing Aid Remote Control Devices and the Pacemaker Patient." In the article, the authors described two studies they had done on hearing aid devices and pacemakers. The first was a study on a single patient at a pacemaker center, with his physician present. The second was an exploration of the effects of several types of RCDs on several varieties of pacemaker, done within an artificial chest cavity. The authors noted that no published studies or research existed at the time of the article on whether pacemaker/hearing aid proximity might create electronic interference that could adversely affect the pacemaker. Four hearing-aid RCDs were chosen for the second study and operated in four different positions: directly over the pacemaker site, over the site but about 18 inches away, one inch away from the atrial lead wire and one inch from the ventricular lead wire. None of the remote control devices tested in either study interfered with the pacing of the heart or the sensing function of the pacemakers in operation, and there was no stoppage or interference with the regularity of pacing with any RCD used. There was some loss of remote sensing and measuring of heart data (which your doctor would use to check your heart and the working of the pacemaker), at the one inch distance from the pacemaker with the FM and the electromagnetic induction models. The authors of article concluded that no function of the pacemaker was interfered with by normal operation of any of the RCD devices that were tested in any proximity to the pacemaker. But since remote sensing was affected by FM and electromagnetic induction models, product literature warnings should still be observed as to proximity.
Premier Audiologist & Hearing Aids Arizona