About Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is the most common and most frequently undiagnosed, untreated medical condition in our patient population. 1 in 4 Americans beyond the age of 65 suffer from some form of hearing loss. That’s more than 25 million people! Hearing loss can affect anyone at any age, even children. The causes of hearing loss can vary from simple wax buildup in the external ear canal to a more serious, non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss. People suffering from hearing loss usually wait much longer than necessary to get help. As with your vision, early intervention and corrective action is key to restoring your quality of life. 90% of all patients with hearing loss can be tested and treated right here within our practice under the professional oversight of our physicians. For all others, we can provide timely referrals to other specialty care within the local area.
Hearing Loss Impacts the Quality of Life
Because hearing loss is so gradual, the individual affected is frequently unaware. A spouse or loved one will typically be the first to notice. Untreated hearing loss influences all aspects of everyday life. It limits a person’s ability to be involved with friends and family, to interact in public places and to stay active and aware. Research shows that many patients experience vision and hearing loss together. If your hearing is not what you think it should be, please make an appointment (click here) with our hearing services department.
Since 1941 the doctors at West Georgia Eye Care Center have provided the highest level of vision health care and technologically advanced eye care services to the residents of West Center Georgia and East Alabama. As the region’s multispecialty eye care provider, our doctors and staff provide a full range of vision health care to all ages covering a range of disease management and surgery to include routine eye exams, refractive surgery, cataracts, glaucoma, cornea, oculoplastics and retina. These services are provided in a professional yet friendly environment where patient care is our number one priority. With the goal of providing superior health care services, we are proud to provide a clinically integrated comprehensive hearing health care program.Our hearing services are offered with the same professionalism, integrity and quality that has been the expected standard of our practice. West Georgia Eye Care Center patients use our hearing services program because:
- TRUST Our patients enjoy an established relationship with their doctor and appreciate the coordination of care. Our doctors know there can be a relationship between vision loss and hearing loss.
- CONVENIENCE Professional services for vision and hearing are all within one office. Vision and hearing, we treat them both!
- FAMILIARITY You are cared for by the same friendly staff and receive the same high quality care that you come to expect from the doctors at West Georgia Eye Care Center.
- OUR GOAL To professionally assist the patient in customizing an affordable hearing solution that supports the patient’s lifestyle and expectations. Our hearing services program provides a full range of hearing aid options from custom fit to ready to wear models from some of the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers. To provide the latest digital technologies offering the best clarity, modern design and comfort.
Viola Best, BC-HIS
West Georgia Eye Care Center offers comprehensive hearing testing using state-of-the-art hearing evaluation equipment in a spacious, comfortable room. The testing includes a comprehensive audiogram with air, bone, and speech testing along with tympanometry, acoustic reflex and evoked auditory testing.
Viola Best (BC-HIS) is our hearing instrument specialist. She is licensed in the State of Georgia, board-certified by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences and has 17 years of professional experience assisting patients with their hearing health. She is a member of the Georgia Hearing Aid Society. Prior to joining West Georgia Eye Care Center, Viola was in private practice for 15 years, serving in Columbus, LaGrange and Manchester, Georgia. Her family has served the greater West Georgia and East Alabama region for over 30 years providing professional hearing services. Viola is a caring and dedicated professional who enjoys enriching the lives of others.
A complete package includes:
- A 30-day adjustment period
- An audiologic evaluation for hearing instruments
- Ear mold impressions
- Hearing aid orientation
- Follow-up appointments for cleaning
- Annual hearing tests to monitor any changes
Payment is due at the time of delivery. You have a 30-day trial period to determine satisfaction, during which time you may be granted a refund (less a return fee) within the adjustment period. We offer an all-make repair service to all hearing aid patients. Whatever model you have, we can repair it.
Two Main Types of Hearing Loss
There are two main types of hearing loss that impact our patient population. It is important to know what kind of hearing loss you’re experiencing. The first main cause of hearing loss is called a Sensorineural Loss (or “nerve deafness”). This the most common form of hearing loss. It is caused by damage to the nerves of the inner ear. Although sensorineural loss is not curable, most people (90% of patients) can be helped with hearing aids.
The second main cause is Conductive Loss. Typically, conductive loss is caused by an injury or problems with the bones, eardrums or membranes within the ear. This type of loss is treated surgically or medically and often includes the use of hearing aids. We maintain excellent referral relationships with a number of the region’s finest ENT physicians.
Sensorineural and conductive losses can sometimes act together to form a Mixed Loss.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Signs of hearing loss include:
- Difficulty hearing conversations in crowded places
- Ringing or other “white noise” in your ears
- Other people complaining that you watch TV or listen to music with the volume too high
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
- Complaining that people are mumbling in conversation
- Difficulty understanding women’s or young children’s voices
- Trouble distinguishing where sounds are coming from
What is Involved
When you enter the office, you will be given a thorough audiometric evaluation. This includes hearing testing for air and bone conduction, speech discrimination, and impedance audiometry, which may include reflex testing and reflex decay testing and speech mapping. After your evaluation, a hearing instrument recommendation will be made based on several factors: degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, age, dexterity, cosmetic considerations, and financial considerations. Medical referral will be made if required. If you are ready to have your hearing assessed and/or would like to get an updated evaluation, please contact us today to make an appointment click here or call our office at (706) 323-3491 and choose option #4.
Sometimes hearing aids are viewed as a distraction, and people worry about how they look. However, with advancements in technology, hearing aids range in size, shape, color and treatment level (severe to mild loss). Improvements are constantly being made to help improve the lives of those with hearing loss. Investment in a hearing aid will help you to lead a more satisfying life. Our hearing instrument specialist will go over which style will work best for your lifestyle. Do keep in mind that you should be choosing a hearing aid based primarily on hearing and not appearance. There are five main styles of hearing aids:
- Completely in the canal
- In the canal
- In the ear
- Behind the ear
- Open fit
The hearing instrument specialist will go over the benefits for each one so that you can make the choice of which one will work best for you. Treatment with new digital technology allows hearing devices to provide the patient with significant, noticeable improvement in hearing clarity and understanding ability even in noisy places. New “open fit” technology produces a more natural sound quality. 100% digital signal means crisp, clear, HD quality sound all the time. Our technologically-advanced hearing aids are completely programmable to your loss – even if it changes in the future. Our hearing aids come with outstanding program capabilities such as multi-memories, directional mics and fully automatic capabilities. Ready-to-wear hearing aids can be fitted on the same day as your evaluation. Modern designs are virtually invisible. They’re so comfortable you may even forget you’re wearing one!
Some insurance companies will help with the hearing instrument costs. We will verify your insurance and provide you with the necessary information so you may file for your plan benefits (normally paid directly to you). This is best done after your initial thirty (30) day trial period when you know you are satisfied with your purchase. Additionally, for your convenience, we offer patient financing (click here) to include 6, 12 and 18 month interest-free financing.
West Georgia Hearing Services offers a value guarantee and a 1-year supply of batteries with the purchase of a pair of hearing aids (be sure to mention this web offer). Additionally, all our hearing aids come with a standard 2-year warranty at no additional charge. Warranties up to 5 years are available. If you are dissatisfied with your hearing aid you can return it within the 30-day trial period. You have the option to receive a refund (less a return fee) or exchange it for a different style.
Schedule a complimentary comprehensive hearing evaluation with our Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist at West Georgia Eye Care Center. click here to request an appointment, or call our office at (706) 323-3491 and choose option #4.