Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be referred by a doctor to be seen by Eastside Audiology?
While the majority of our patients are, in fact, referred by doctors – you do not need a referral to be seen by us. We are proud to say we have many ‘word of mouth’ referrals. To make an appointment either call us at Regina: (306) 359-3277 / Moose Jaw: (306) 691-3277 or go to our Appointment Page
My hearing loss is normal for my age.
Isn’t this a strange way to look at things? Do you realize that well-meaning doctors tell this to their patients every day? It also happens to be “normal” for overweight people to have high blood pressure. That doesn’t mean they should not receive treatment for the problem. Only 14% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Since most people with hearing impairments hear well in a quiet environment like a doctor's office, it can be virtually impossible for your physician to recognize the extent of your problem. Without special training, and an understanding of the nature of hearing loss, it may be difficult for your doctor to even realize that you have a hearing problem.
Why do hearing aids cost so much?
Everything is perspective. The reality is that much of the cost in manufacturing hearing aids is from the research needed to continue making technological advancements. Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by the industry to improve how these devices perform. When you purchase a hearing aid through Eastside Audiology, the price includes all of the professional services that go along with the fitting. Fitting hearing aids is a process that begins with a hearing evaluation and continues throughout the lifetime of the hearing aid. Your hearing ability may change, your hearing aid may need repair and you may have questions from time to time that you need answered. Keep in mind that you are making an investment in the professional, as well as the hearing aid technology.
At Eastside Audiology we deal with approximately 9 different manufacturers. Why do we do this? Because individual people require individual solutions. In our opinion, we feel that not every manufacturer can deal with every type of hearing loss. Each manufacturer has a portfolio ranging anywhere from 5 to 10 different circuits and every one of these manufacturers approaches hearing loss from a different perspective, such as using their own proprietary algorithms inside their own proprietary circuit. Different algorithms affect hearing loss in different ways. This is also why it is exceedingly difficult to answer a basic “how much?” question. We consider so many different factors - starting with *your* specific hearing loss - when we prescribe a hearing aid that you really do need to come down to find out for yourself. We are proud of the fact that we can fit almost any lifestyle from the thrifty, economical, bargain hunter to those that need to have the latest and greatest.
At the end of the day, hearing aids are an important purchase. You will always have to weigh the potential benefits with the costs associated with them, but it's crucial to think of how they'll positively impact your quality of life. The professionals at Eastside Audiology will walk you through every stage of the journey from the initial diagnosis, through the selection process, and through the lifetime maintenance of the aids. You will always have multiple options to best combine your technology needs with financial responsibility, in a non-threatening non-commission environment. We encourage family members to come to the appointments and, as always, we encourage lots of questions. We are all about educating our patients. This is all about you. We believe that when you consider the communication, social, relationship and health benefits that you get from wearing hearing aids, most people agree that it is well worth it.
source elements: healthyhearing.com
“Hearing aids are not fitted based on the degree of hearing loss necessarily, but on the degree of hurt—and only when that hurt is great enough, whether socially, economically, financially, or psychologically, does this individual become a candidate for hearing aids”
Does Eastside Audiology have payment plans?
Yes. However, some restrictions apply. Call the office for details
Regina: (306) 359-3277 or Moose Jaw: (306) 691-3277
Hearing aids didn’t work for a friend of mine, so they probably won’t work for me…
There’s a certain type of irony here: we absolutely adore “word of mouth” referrals (it’s actually a BIG part of our practice) but we absolutely cringe when we hear the “negative friend experience”. Every one of these friends are well meaning and they really are trying to help you out, but there are so many variables involved with hearing aids that it would make your head spin! For example, two people could have the EXACT SAME hearing loss and have vastly different experiences with hearing aids (different ear canal shape, size, wax production, biochemistry, ear development, were they a fulltime or part-time user? etc, etc, etc,).
Adjustment to hearing aids can take many months. Realistic expectations regarding your hearing aids are critical to your success. You must wear your hearing aids on a regular basis to allow your brain to adapt faster to the “new” world of sound and improve your ability to focus on speech. Keep in mind that you will be hearing sounds that you haven’t heard for years. A positive attitude is absolutely one of the keys to success. While your friend may be well-meaning, their experiences really have no audiological bearing on your personal success.
Hearing aids are only for “old” people and I’m not THAT old, right?
You might want to sit down for this one: Hearing loss is not just an age-related disability. The reality is that hearing loss is affecting people at younger and younger ages. A study for WorkSafe BC found that 25% of young people entering the workforce already had the early warning signs of hearing loss, with a further 4.6% showing “abnormal” results on hearing tests (WorkSafe BC, 2005). Only 35% of people with hearing loss are older than age 64. There are close to six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and more than one million are school age. Hearing loss affects all age groups.
source elements: WorkSafe BC, Kochkin, Betterhearing.org
If I get hearing aids will my hearing be "normal" again?
In a word: nope. Everybody is unique and so are their losses and ear structures. We’ll get you hearing better than when you walked in the door but the reality is that no hearing aid is able to completely restore your hearing. Having said that, the advancements in technology in the past few years has been nothing short of “amazing”. We encourage demo trials if you’d like to - ‘hear’ - what we are talking about.
….see what we did there? Didja? Sorry, turns out we are also passionate about bad humour…
I’m pretty sure I’m only going to need one hearing aid because I have one good ear and one bad ear. How would you handle that?
If that truly was the case then by all means we would do a monaural (single sided) fitting! Unfortunately, the reality is that nearly every patient that thinks they have one “bad” ear and one “good” ear usually has two bad ears. Generally speaking, we often favour the ear we think is “good” and feel that it’s the most normal. Most types of hearing loss affect both ears equally. The sad reality is that for the majority of people that you see with a single hearing aid - that was a choice that was driven by finances and not audiology (there are stats as to how successful those single sided fittings are - and they aren’t great). In our opinion, there are better ways to address this problem. Our job is to get you hearing better and that usually means with a binaural (two ears) fitting. There is a reason you have two ears!
We once had a person tell us “a chimpanzee could fit hearing aids”. You just ‘pop’ them on and walk out the door. How difficult can it be?
In order to understand how difficult it can be to fit a hearing aid, you first need to be able to understand the basics of the ear: *deep inhale of breath*
“The external ear consists of the auricle (or pinna) and external acoustic meatus. The external acoustic meatus, lined with skin, leads inward from the bottom of the concha of the auricle to the tympanic membrane. The stratified epithelium of the skin in the canal is supplied with specialized ceruminous (wax) glands. The first part is supported by the cartilage of the pinna, while the medial 1.5 cm is supported by the temporal bone. Disorders of the external ear include inflammatory, traumatic, and neoplastic lesions. Congenital malformations are not uncommon.
The middle ear, or tympanic cavity, is a narrow, air-filled chamber lined with mucous membrane and is situated between the external acoustic meatus and the labyrinth. It communicates with the mastoid air cells and with the nasal pharynx via the Eustachian (auditory) tube. The auditory ossicles, forming a chain of three small bones, connect the tympanic membrane with the inner ear. The manubrium (handle) of the malleus is attached to the tympanic membrane. The tensor tympani muscle, acting on the malleus, regulates the tension on the tympanic membrane, resulting in two identifiable regions of the tympanic membrane: pars tensor and pars flaccida.
The incus is attached to the malleus and to the third ossicle in the chain, the stapes, which in turn is attached via its footplate to the oval window of the cochlea. The stapedius muscle regulates the range of motion of the stapes; the two muscles (tensor tympani and stapedius) thus regulate to some extent the amplitude sensitivity of the ear. As a result of its development, the Eustachian tube connects the tympanic cavity with the pharynx, and thus provides an important mechanism for equalizing external and internal pressures acting on the tympanic membrane. It also provides a convenient pathway for infections of the pharynx to invade the middle ear. The middle ear is susceptible to inflammatory disease, trauma, and neoplastic disease. It is also the site of the degenerative disease, otosclerosis. Congenital malformations of the middle ear frequently accompany those of the external ear.
The inner ear is called the labyrinth because of the complexity of its shape. It contains six mechanoreceptive structures: three semicircular canals, utricle, and saccule, which serve the sense of equilibrium, and the cochlea, which is specialized for detection of sound waves. The inner ear consists of two parts: the osseous (or bony) labyrinth, a series of cavities within the petrous portion of the temporal bone, and a membranous labyrinth, which is a series of communicating sacs and ducts within the bony labyrinth. The inner ear is easily damaged by intense sound, head injury, and ototoxic drugs. It can be affected by microorganisms and is susceptible to degenerative and metabolic disease. It may also suffer abnormal development.”
...got it? The last we heard, Washoe the Chimpanzee maxed out at 350 words and we’re pretty sure that ‘ceruminous’ wasn’t in that list. This isn’t to minimize what Washoe can do – on the contrary, we have a ton of respect for his accomplishments. Likewise, we believe that your hearing deserves respect. That starts with a proper diagnosis, proper remediation, and proper follow up. Hearing loss is a journey and not a ‘buy and go’ type of industry. If you aren’t prepared for that, it is our understanding that the internet or those big box stores have $20 amplifiers that may be more your speed. In our humble opinion quality care requires quality service and THAT is what we do.
Why does Eastside Audiology refer to the people they see as patients instead of clients – and why does that matter?
It may seem like a little thing to others, but to us it is a philosophy thing. We pride ourselves on our diagnostic capabilities. Our audiologists use their educational backgrounds to evaluate all of our patients clinically, and combining this with any other underlying medical conditions they will prescribe the most appropriate course of action. Hearing loss is a medical condition and sometimes that course of action involves hearing instruments but most times it does not. This is explained to our patients and no pressure to purchase a product is ever exerted by anyone at Eastside Audiology. A client, on the other hand, goes into an establishment with the underlying expectation that they are going to be ‘sold’ something. Our practice is built upon a certain level of trust between the audiologists here and the patients. We strive to ensure that our patients trust that we are prescribing what is appropriate for them, and secondly, our patients trust that we will be doing everything in our power to make the adaptation period go as smoothly as possible. In our experience once people understand this difference between ‘patient’ and ‘client’ and once the pressure to buy is eliminated, a greater level of trust can be established.