Darlene Ballew

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Darlene Ballew
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Naples
Audiology and Hearing Specialty
Kane Hearing Care
848 First Avenue North
Naples
FL
34102

 When I speak, my hearing aid makes my voice sound hollow.  Do all hearing aids do that? 

When we speak, our head vibrates from the sound we generate. Most of that vibration is low pitch and escapes out our open ear canals. If we plug our ears, our voice sounds hollow. Many hearing aids physically plug ear canals causing this unpleasant sensation. “Open” hearing aids, which are new in the last few years, virtually eliminate your own voice from sounding hollow. If your current hearing aid is causing your voice to sound hollow to you, ask our Audiologist about new “Open” devices.

I hear people around me talking just fine, but really have trouble understanding what they are saying.  Do I have a hearing loss?

 A frequent complaint from people who have hearing loss is people don't speak clearly. Most hearing losses, especially if caused by aging or noise exposure, are high-frequency hearing losses. When we lose the ability to hear high-frequency sounds, we lose some ability to discriminate the consonant sounds (s, f, th, sh). This may cause words like fish to sound like fit or fix. Misunderstanding certain words can cause misunderstanding of an entire conversation. This can be an early sign of hearing loss. An evaluation is recommended.

What are all these new features I hear about in digital aids? 

With the advent of miniature microchips, hearing aids now have as many as 20 pitch bands to separate sound and make speech as distinct as possible. Other features include the ability to handle different loudness levels: soft and normal speech as well as loud background noises. Multiple microphones, placed strategically, enhance the listener’s ability to sort out speech in noisy situations. Feedback mechanisms handle unwanted “whistling” in the most effective manner.

 


 

 

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