What is an Audiologist?

An Audiologist is a professional who specializes in evaluating and treating patients with hearing and balance disorders.

Audiologists have completed a minimum of a Masters Degree and more commonly have completed an Au.D., Doctor of Audiology Degree.

Why should I see an Audiologist?

  • Audiologists are specially trained in the prevention, identification, assessment and non-medical treatment of hearing disorders.
  • Audiologists are required to complete a full-time internship and pass a demanding national competency examination.
  • Audiologists are certified and licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners.
  • Audiologists are required by the state of Texas and Audiology governing organizations to maintain annual continuing education for the length of their career.
  • By virtue of their graduate education and licensure, audiologists are the most qualified professionals to perform hearing tests and provide hearing rehabilitative services.

Who do they work with?

  • They examine individuals of all ages and identify those with the symptoms of hearing loss and other auditory, balance, and related sensory and neural problems.
  • Some audiologists specialize in work with the elderly, children, or hearing-impaired individuals who need special treatment programs.

 

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Hearing Aid Information

For Hearing Aid Information please call (956) 727-3801

Types of Hearing Aids
Hearing aid styles may be broadly classified as “standard” and “custom.” Standard hearing aids include behind-the-ear (BTE), mini-BTE, and receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) devices. These products are designed to fit most ears and usually require some customization of the earpiece and the connection of the device to the earpiece. Custom hearing aids include in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), and completely-in-the-canal (CIC). These products require a custom-molded shell that houses the electronics. Standard and custom hearing aids come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

The choice of hearing aid styles and features is based on several factors including the exact type and degree of hearing loss, your individual needs (such as communication requirements, lifestyle, and manual dexterity), and your medical and audiological history and related findings.

Do I wear one or two hearing aids?
If both ears need amplification, your audiologist will recommend two hearing aids. Research has shown that two hearing aids provide superior benefits for the majority of people with regard to better word recognition in quiet and noisy backgrounds, better quality of sound, better localization ability, more natural hearing. Research has also shown that when both ears are candidates for hearing aids and only one ear is fitted, the unaided ear may lose speech recognition ability more rapidly than the fitted ear.

What about maintenance and insurance?
Your audiologist will review with you the details of your insurance coverage (if available), financing options, loss, theft and damage insurance, warranty, service protocols, maintenance advice, as well as introductory periods and return policies.

As with all electronics, hearing aids require care and maintenance. This includes handling them carefully, not exposing the hearing aids to water and chemicals, and keeping them very clean. Your audiologist will discuss and demonstrate proper daily care as well as maintenance techniques and maintenance products. The hearing aid user’s manual will review many of these same points. Given the hostile conditions (temperature extremes, high levels of humidity, ear wax, etc.) under which hearing aids operate, daily cleaning and maintenance is recommended. Proper care and maintenance clearly reduces the need for repair.

Expectations and Outcomes
Even with the best technology, it is important to maintain realistic expectations. While hearing aids make sounds easier to hear, they will not restore normal hearing. Hearing aids re-introduce you to a world of sound, and it takes time to become accustomed to the new sounds. Some people adjust quickly, others take longer. Your audiologist will discuss auditory training programs, communication strategies, and hearing assistive technologies to alleviate difficulties in these situations.

Untreated hearing loss impairs memory and may cause difficulty related to learning new tasks. Untreated hearing loss may result in decreased job performance and has been shown to negatively impact wages and earnings. Hearing loss treated with hearing aids has been shown to decrease fatigue, irritability, risk to personal safety, and withdrawal from social situations. Further, in many research studies, hearing aid use has been shown to increase the wearer’s quality of life.

Educational information obtained from: howsyourhearing.org

Please call our office at 956-727-3801 to schedule an appointment to discuss your options with one of our licensed hearing healthcare professionals.

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Financing

We are convinced that no one can place a dollar amount on the ability to hear again. At Oliveira Audiology & Hearing Center, PLLC, we realize that when you want to understand and hear again, the last thing you want in your way is a dollar sign.

Oliveira Audiology & Hearing Center is pleased to offer a variety of payment options through CareCredit for a variety of budgets. From 0% interest plans to extended payment plans, our goal is to offer a solution that will help you easily integrate your treatment into your budget. Consider it an investment in your lifelong happiness and comfort. Discover which financing option is best for you!

CareCredit Financing
Offered by a stable and experienced company, the CareCredit card program offers a comprehensive range of affordable payment plan for the purchase of hearing aids. Contact us at (956) 727-3801 for a paper application or visit www.carecredit.com for more information and to apply online.

Health Insurance Plans
The first step for financial assistance for hearing aids is to check with your health insurance provider to see if there is hearing aid coverage. Some insurances may offer hearing aid benefits. If you’re unsure about your hearing care insurance benefits, contact your insurance provider, employer or state healthcare agency with specific questions.


Report Abuse

Texas State law requires any individual dispensing hearing aids to the pediatric or adult population to have a valid state license. Audiologists and hearing aid dispensers should hold a valid state license. A technician cannot dispense hearing aids in Texas.

Be Informed
You have the right to ask to see an individual’s state license, diploma, or any other criteria that show that they are qualified to fit and dispense hearing aids.

What can I do about abuse?
If you know of someone, or if you feel that you or your loved one has been treated poorly, report the individual(s) to their respective organization.

You Have the Right to Good Hearing Healthcare

State Committee of Examiners of Fitting & Dispensing of Hearing Aids

Texas Department of State Health Services

Mail Code 1982
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, Texas 78714-9347
Fax: (512) 834-6677
Phone: (512) 834-6784
E-mail: fdhi@dshs.state.tx.us
Website: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/fitters/default.shtm

Texas State Medical Board

P.O. Box 2018
Austin, TX 78768-2018
Customer Service Phone: (800) 248-4062
Customer Service E-mail: verifcic@tmb.state.tx.us
Website: http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/

State Board of Examiners of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Texas Department of State Health Services

Mail Code 1982
P.O. Box 149347
Austin , Texas 78714-9347
(512) 834-6627 (phone)
(512) 834-6677 (fax)
E-mail: speech@dshs.state.tx.us
Website: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/speech/