Frequently Asked Questions
It’s been our pleasure and privilege to serve more than 30,000 hearing, balance and dizziness patients since 1977. During that time we’ve received many similarly recurring questions. Those asked most frequently, along with our responses, are provided for your information below.
We welcome questions during any stage of your treatment—or even before it starts!
So if you want to know more about the Institute, its services, or what to expect as our patient, please don’t hesitate to call us at (949) 274-8399.
Questions about hearing and hearing aids
Why should I get hearing aids now? I hear alright in most situations.
Many people consider hearing as one of the greatest of the five senses! There are sounds that help us live life to the fullest, like a child’s whisper, raindrops on a windowsill, or quiet conversation with family and friends. Hearing loss occurs gradually over time and you may not be aware of how significant your loss may be. Our goal at Newport-Mesa Audiology Balance and Ear Institute is to help you hear your best in every situation.
Do I really need two hearing aids?
Many times, patients do need two because both ears can be simultaneously affected. Ears work in tandem, like the eyes. If vision on both sides needs correcting, you wouldn’t fix just one. Similarly, if both ears show a hearing loss, two devices are better in helping you understand and discriminate speech, especially in noisy settings.
I can hear one person just fine in a quiet room but in large crowds,
noise is a big problem. Will hearing aids fix this?
Recent advances in hearing aid technology have greatly improved patients’ ability to hear and discern sounds and speech, even in noisy or crowded venues. Here at the Institute, we are committed to improving your overall hearing and helping you return to the joy and sounds of everyday life. We offer several treatment options to meet a variety of hearing needs.
How long does it take to adjust to a new hearing aid?
It depends. Some people adjust quickly, others take a bit longer. Most however, do get used to it, and universally, everyone loves hearing naturally again. Your audiologist will work closely with you throughout rehabilitation to ensure a comfortable, satisfactory and successful transition.
What’s involved in maintaining my hearing aids?
Like with your car or computer, proper maintenance can extend the life of your new device and protect your investment in it. One of the easiest and most effective things you can do is keep the ear canal and the aid itself free of debris, wax and moisture. Your audiologist will show you some simple, easy ways of doing this.
Can hearing loss affect my brain?
Over time, gradual hearing loss can deprive your brain of everyday sounds, resulting in misunderstanding and misinterpretation of speech at normal levels. In most situations, after the brain is “reconnected” with missing sounds through amplification, the ability to clearly hear and understand speech improves measurably.
Will others notice that I’m wearing a hearing aid?
This is a common and understandable concern. But the reality is that it’s harder to hide a hearing problem than to hide a hearing aid. Thanks to advances in miniaturization and audio technology, today’s new devices are smaller and more discreet than ever. One type offered by Dr. Mango, the Lyric® extended wear device, is placed deep inside the ear canal and is 100% invisible from the outside. Only you will know you’re wearing it.
How much do hearing aids cost?
As with any product, prices range widely on features and design. Usually, Institute prices are much lower than what manufacturers suggest. Plus, we offer a no-risk, 30-day trial. Your purchase includes testing, fitting and follow-up care with a doctor of audiology. A warranty covering loss, damage and repair is also included. After your hearing test, you and your audiologist will select the model that best fits your needs and your budget.
Are new hearing aids that much better than the old ones?
Yes. Hearing aid technology has advanced significantly in the past two years alone. Not only are they more aesthetically appealing, their sound quality, durability and ease of use have also dramatically improved. Extended wear devices, for example, are placed inside the ear canal and are completely invisible. Unlike previous technologies, there are no batteries to change and no maintenance required.
I know I’ve lost a little hearing. But do I really need an ear exam? What’s the risk of putting it off?
Making sense of what we hear depends upon the ability to differentiate, locate and process sounds. Since hearing pathways are stimulated by use, any amount of hearing loss decreases these abilities. So, while it’s true that postponing an exam won’t accelerate hearing loss, it will keep you from knowing the severity of your loss and prognosis for the future. Avoidance may also affect your ability to adapt to a hearing aid once your time comes. Our recommendation? If your hearing’s getting worse, you owe it to yourself to come in and get it checked. Exams these days are fast, easy and painless.
Which hearing aid manufacturer is the best? Which technology?
There are nearly two dozen hearing aid makers, so the short answer is there is no “best” of either. Some are innovative and quality conscious, offering consistently superior design and technology. Others, less so.
Because of our reputation as a leading national institute, we are quite discerning about which products to recommend and which to avoid. You can be assured that the hearing aid we fit you with meets not only your needs and budget but also our exacting standards for quality, value and warranty support.
What are extended wear hearing aids?
Lyric® is the first and only extended wear hearing device that is 100% invisible. Lyric is comfortably placed in the ear canal by our audiologists and can be worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for months at a time. No surgery or anesthesia is required.
Unlike many other hearing aids, Lyric is positioned completely inside the ear canal,
so it uses your ear’s natural anatomy to provide exceptional sound quality. Schedule a hearing examination to determine whether this technology is right for you.
Questions about our Balance Evaluations
Does an evaluation require a referral from my primary care physician?
Most insurance plans no longer require such a referral. But since coverage varies greatly, it’s best to check with your insurance company first. You may also ask one of our billing representatives to check for you. We’re more than happy to make the call.
What can I expect during the balance evaluation?
The body’s balance system is quite complex. Because we want to identify and correct your condition as quickly as possible, out testing is comprehensive. Each procedure is a little different. So before beginning, we’ll let you know what we’re doing and why. We’ll also answer any questions you have to put your mind at ease. Please allow four hours for this appointment, and feel free to bring along a friend or family member.
After your tests, Dr. Mango and his staff of doctors of audiology carefully review and analyze the results, which we share with you in detail in about five to seven days. Your referring physician will also receive a copy of our report, including our observations, conclusions and recommendations. Together, you and your physician will decide the best course of action.
What is Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) and what is it used for?
The Institute uses the NeuroCom™ Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) machine for diagnosing and treating balance and dizziness disorders.
Through leading edge electronics and optics, CDP enables us to objectively assess the three sensory input systems that could be the cause of your imbalance and dizziness, including: somatosensory (muscles), visual (eyes) and vestibular (inner ear). Data derived from this diagnostic testing provides the starting point for a critical portion of your vestibular rehabilitation program. We’ll make sure you have a thorough understanding of both your condition and our recommendations.
What exactly is Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)?
VRT is a highly effective, customized therapeutic approach for treating patients with vestibular balance-system disorders. Studies show that individualized VRT is signif-icantly more effective in resolving symptoms than medication or general balance exercises alone.
How does VRT teach the brain to “fix itself”?
Our VRT exercise protocols take full advantage of the brain’s natural plasticity and ability to restore symmetry and sensitivity. The goal is to improve patients’ overall stability and motor control by enhancing the vestibuloocular reflex (VOR)—a reflexive eye movement that stabilizes images on the retina during head movement.
How long does VRT take?
The Institute’s VRT is designed as a therapeutic, clinic-directed approach with home-based exercises that patients perform independently. Patients typically visit the clinic once or twice a week for up to six weeks or until their stability returns.