Communication is the key to life and to keeping relationships strong. Better hearing can improve your quality of life, yet many people do not do anything for their hearing loss. In fact, 28 million Americans have hearing loss, but less than 20% seek treatment. Better hearing can lead to an increase in socialization, stronger relationships, and a general enjoyment of life. Dr. Maresca is dedicated to helping each and every patient on their individual journey to hearing life again.
The hearing aid evaluation will last approximately 1 hour and is always free. During this appointment Dr. Maresca will explain your hearing loss, all of the different hearing aid technologies, show you the various hearing aid styles, and answer any questions. If you decide to be fit with hearing aids, Dr. Maresca will take measurements or impressions of your ears. She will write your hearing aid prescription, and order your hearing aids which should arrive within 3-5 business days. Although it is not mandatory, we do encourage you to bring a friend or family member to your hearing evaluation.
The hearing aid fitting will take about 1 hour. Dr. Maresca will fit your new hearing aids to you, go over the parts of the hearing aids, and teach you how to properly take care of them.
Hearing aid checkups generally last 15 to 30 minutes. During the first 30 days, it is very important to return for your follow-up visits. Dr. Maresca will fine tune the hearing aids so they are programmed not only for your hearing loss, but also for your specific needs. After both you and Dr. Maresca feel the hearing aids are set properly for you, we recommend you return every 6 months for regular hearing aid checkups for cleaning and maintenance.
Dr. Maresca has been fitting hearing aids for 25 years. Once determined which hearing aid is best for you during your hearing evaluation, you will return a few days later for your hearing aid fitting. This will take about 1 hour, and during that time Dr. Maresca will show you the parts of your new hearing aids, how to put them in and take them out, how to change the batteries, and how to clean them along with everyday general maintenance.
It is normal for you to have different emotions to hearing sounds again once you first put your hearing aids in. The goal of hearing aids is to make every day sounds audible, clear, and comfortable. Fine tunings can be made to the hearing aids at your first fitting if there are issues you want addressed right away. Dr. Maresca will program your hearing aids based on your prescription which is taken from the results of your hearing test. After the hearing aid fitting, Dr. Maresca would like to see you in a week to check in. When you return, Dr. Maresca will want to know how your hearing is doing. Based on this report she will make the necessary changes to improve your hearing experience if needed.
Attitude is an important key to success with hearing aids. Hearing aid studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude towards hearing aids perform better with their hearing aids. If you, or your spouse/family, approach your hearing aids with a positive outlook, you will have a much better listening experience more quickly. Keep in mind that it may take some time to get used to the sounds you were missing and by working closely with Dr. Maresca, you will get the most out of your new hearing aids.
The tinnitus evaluation is a 1 ½ hour appointment. During this appointment Dr. Maresca will discuss your general health history, your hearing health history and your tinnitus history. Together you will review anatomy and physiology so you are familiar with your auditory system, to understand the basics of the disorder of tinnitus and the specifics of your own tinnitus. Next Dr. Maresca will perform a 3 part exam. The first part is an audiological evaluation, followed by tinnitus testing for Dr. Maresca to get a good understanding of what you are hearing and ending with static testing to assess the plasticity of your system and possible treatment options. Dr. Maresca will then explain all of the results with you and discuss possible treatment options to manage your tinnitus.
Sound therapy is utilized for successful tinnitus management. The patient wears sound therapy devices throughout treatment. The initial appointment is a 1 hour fitting appointment. During this appointment Dr. Maresca will review the parts of the devices, insertion and removal, cleaning and wax management, charging or battery use and first week “conditioning” use of the devices. Understanding the tinnitus management process is key to getting the tinnitus to a point where you are no longer aware of it or hearing it.
It is extremely important for the patient to understand that tinnitus management is a process. Dr. Maresca will usually have the tinnitus cut down by half by the end of the first 3 months. However, it generally takes 2 years to complete the treatment and for the patient to no longer be aware of or hear their tinnitus. For the first month, you will be seen weekly, then moving to every other week and finally every 3 to 4 weeks by the end of the 3rd month. After month 3, when your tinnitus has improved, your will be placed on maintenance. During maintenance, you will still be using your sound therapy devices daily, but you will only have to come into the office for follow-up appointments every 3 to 4 months.