Columbus Ophthalmology Associates has been offering state of the art eye care for over 25 years in Central Ohio and surrounding areas. Our patients’ overall wellness has always been important to us and we are constantly searching for new ways to offer more convenient services. Realizing the relationship between vision loss and hearing loss in the aging process, it became evident that offering hearing services to patients would be beneficial and cost effective for them.
Hearing loss is a pervasive problem affecting approximately 50% of older Americans. Only arthritis and hypertension affect more senior adults. Baby boomers are experiencing hearing loss as much as 20 years earlier in life than previous generations. Unfortunately, 80% of people with significant hearing loss are undiagnosed and untreated. Comprehensive diagnostic testing by a licensed hearing instrument specialist will offer us the ability to treat 90% of patients suffering from hearing loss.
Unfortunately, statistics suggest that only about 15% of family doctors address hearing loss.
The onset of symptoms is gradual and your family doctor is likely to be concerned about other immediate health issues. As specialists in vision care, we are acutely aware of the importance of evaluating and treating sensory losses that affect everyday living.
Patients that meet certain criteria will be asked to complete a Hearing Questionnaire during their office visit. The form is short and will only take a few of minutes to complete. During your initial work up our technicians will perform a simple complimentary hearing screening to determine if any hearing loss is present. Based on the screening findings, your doctor may recommend you have a hearing evaluation performed by our licensed hearing aid specialist.
More than 30 million Americans suffer from hearing loss, and as many as 80% are either undiagnosed or untreated. As our population continues to age, the problem is only worsening.
Untreated hearing loss is linked to clinical depression, anger management, social withdrawal and isolation. More simply stated, hearing loss can change your personality and affects your relationships with everyone you know and with whom you have contact.
While vision loss affects only you, hearing loss affects everyone. It becomes exhausting to try to hear and follow conversations or events and it is equally frustrating for everyone else around you. Hearing loss can take away the precious moments of life from you and your loved ones.
An appointment will be scheduled with our licensed hearing instrument specialist for a complimentary hearing evaluation. During the evaluation, state of the art diagnostic testing equipment will be used to perform a comprehensive audiogram. The audiogram measures your ability to hear pure tones at various frequencies and to hear and understand speech. In addition, our hearing specialist will obtain a detailed history of your experience (if any) with classic symptoms of hearing loss and any sudden or unusual progression that would indicate the need for an evaluation by a specialist in otology. Test results, recommendations and treatment options will be reviewed with you by our hearing specialist in complete detail. Testing is performed in a comfortable setting and takes 45 to 50 minutes.
After the exam, our sophisticated equipment will generate a detailed report which the hearing specialist will interpret and then explain the relevant findings to you. The hearing specialist will answer any questions you may have and make recommendations based on your unique test results. After the examination, you should have a clear understanding of your hearing capabilities and your treatment options.
Every case of hearing loss is different. For approximately 90% of all cases, hearing instruments of some kind are the only treatment option because the problem is not medically or surgically correctable or reversible. In some cases, further consultation by a specialist in ENT/Otology is appropriate. Our hearing specialist will discuss this with you following your evaluation.
Just as in our eye care, our patients deserve only the most advanced treatment for their hearing loss. Once it has been established that a hearing aid will be beneficial to you, the hearing specialist will review the many styles that are available to determine which may best fit your lifestyle. As technology continues to evolve, most hearing aids offered today are virtually invisible and extremely comfortable. This is primarily due to our access to the latest digital technology which utilizes miniature components.
Because you have two ears, you naturally hear in stereo. Most patients require two hearing aids because most hearing loss occurs symmetrically in both ears.
Once the evaluation is complete and a style of hearing aid has been chosen, a fitting appointment will be scheduled. Since every individual is different, it may take several fine adjustments and several weeks to reach the optimal settings.
No, unfortunately most private health carriers and Medicare do not pay for hearing instruments just as they do not pay for contact lenses.
Currently, our hearing services are only being offered at our East Broad location on Tuesdays and one Friday per month. As our patients’ needs for hearing services continue to grow, more hours and locations may be offered in the future.