Oro Valley Patient Guide

If you need to review some topics discussed at a recent appointment or you’re just curious about the importance of treating hearing loss, this patient guide is for you!

FAQsDownload Our Patient Care Guide

Our practice is dedicated to aiming for better communication and relationships through the health and rehabilitation of the hearing system.

Our team is also dedicated to giving our patients the best hearing treatments possible. Hearing loss is not only frustrating for the individual who is experiencing it; it can also bring about frustration to family members, friends, and colleagues who have to deal with communication hurdles on a daily basis.

Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Being able to connect means you can have thriving relationships and a meaningful life. Below, we answer your questions about the care you receive at Oro Valley Audiology and why hearing healthcare is an important part of reconnecting with life.

Have questions about hearing healthcare? We have answers!

Click the question to view answers to our Frequently Asked Questions on patient care!

Why is it important to talk about my hearing needs?

Talking about your hearing needs is important because it gives audiologists more information about you and what you’re looking for in terms of hearing loss treatments. In this stage, you’ll be asked by audiologists to define what listening situations you are struggling with at the moment. 

This is a very crucial point between an audiologist and a patient because it will help the former determine the right treatment for the patient’s needs and lifestyle. Honesty and frankness will be  very much appreciated during this stage and don’t be hesitant to share even the smallest or mundane details that may have something to do with your hearing loss.

How does hearing work?

Oro Valley Audiology thoroughly evaluates four different parts of the ear – the outer ear (where sound enters), the middle ear (where the eardrum and bones of the ear vibrate), the inner ear (fluid-filled and moves when sound enters), and the brain. 

Basically, all the sounds and signals received from the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear all end up in the brain, where sounds are processed in the central pathway where the hearing nerve is located.

What is an audiogram?

The audiogram is a graph that maps the pitches an individual can gear. The top of the graph shows the top pitches, the low pitches are on the left side and it goes all the way to the right side featuring the high pitches.

When hearing is tested, audiologists mark the softest sound an individual can hear at each different pitch. The lower the marks on the graph, the worst individuals can hear at that certain pitch.

Some people will end up having hearing results that are referred to as “flat”; this indicates that the said individual has a hearing loss all the way across the audiogram chart. Meanwhile, other people might have good hearing in the lower pitches and have poor hearing in the high pitches; this is referred to as sloping hearing loss. In sloping hearing loss, a person can hear sounds but they can’t understand them. Clarity of speech is the main problem of people who suffer from sloping hearing loss. Feel free to ask your audiologist if you have any questions about your audiogram results.

What are some conditions related to hearing loss?

Hearing loss is not a standalone issue; there are other conditions that affect hearing and then there are things that hearing loss can generate as well. Cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, depression and dementia are some medical conditions that are comorbid with hearing loss.

What are the social impacts of hearing loss?

When people have a hearing loss, they tend to start to avoid social activities because there’s a certain embarrassment that comes with not being able to converse with people or needing to ask for repetition frequently.

They tend to withdraw in social interactions because they’re not able to communicate effectively and it can be very frustrating for them and the people that they’re talking to. Along with that, there’s a sadness that develops because of that isolation. Another thing that people with hearing loss don’t often think about is fatigue. If their brain is working overtime all day to try and figure out the words somebody is saying, the brain ends up working more than it needs to.

The cognitive impact of hearing loss is also an important factor to discover. There is a greater risk for dementia and it increases quite drastically as the hearing loss progresses. The risk of dementia is significantly lower for individuals who use hearing aids rather than those who don’t.

What is a hearing loss treatment plan?

Once the patient is ready to try using a hearing aid, the audiology team at Oro Valley will be more than willing to help go through the process. The process of choosing a hearing aid involves a lot of factors – lifestyle, size of the hearing aid, cost, budget, etc. 

In the process of choosing the right hearing aid, a variety of options is very important. This way, hard of hearing individuals and audiologists can work together to achieve the best hearing treatment possible.If you have any questions about the patient guide or hearing in general, you can send an email to orovalley@hearintucson.wpengine.com or give them a call at (520) 825-4770.

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