Audiologists at Duke's Hearing Aid Dispensary conduct hearing evaluation, and dispense the latest hearing aids and assistive listening device technology to people of all ages, from newborns to adults.
Advanced hearing aid technology
If you experience hearing loss, our audiologists help you select the best hearing aid technology for your listening needs and lifestyle. We help improve your ability to communicate effectively using a variety of amplification options including hearing aids, FM listening systems, as well as recommendations for personal amplifiers, telephone amplifiers, and alarm or warning systems.
Digital hearing aids are the most advanced hearing aid technology and can be worn comfortably by hearing-impaired people of all ages, from infants as young as two months to the elderly. Digital hearing aids are available in a variety of price ranges and styles, including tiny inside-the-ear models that are virtually invisible.
Some digital hearing aids feature technology to improve your hearing in specific situations. Your options may include:
- Directional microphones. Makes it easier to hear in loud social settings, such as a party or noisy restaurant. This technology uses two microphones, one picks up sounds from all directions, while the other makes sounds from one direction louder. If you are having a face-to-face conversation, you can activate the directional microphone to turn up the volume of sounds in front of you, such as the other person’s voice. The other microphone can be turned down to reduce background noise.
- Telecoil. Also known as a T-coil or telephone adapter, this lets you switch between normal hearing aid settings and a special setting that improves your ability to hear phone conversations. The technology works with landlines as well as hearing-aid compatible cellular phones.
- Wireless and Bluetooth technology. Links your digital hearing aids to your cellular phone, television or MP3 player.
- Feedback cancellation systems. Automatically blocks annoying squealing and whistling (feedback) before you hear it.
- Multiple memories. Many digital hearing aids have several listening programs stored in their circuitry. This lets you select various microphone or hearing aid settings via a remote control or program button on the hearing aid. You can use different programs for noisy or quiet settings, or while listening to music or watching television.
- Digital speech enhancement. Increases the relative intensity of certain components of speech to make it easier to understand conversations.
Hearing aid dispensary services
During your initial consultation, your audiologist will evaluate your hearing loss and discuss which style and hearing aid technology are best for your listening needs. For a precise fit, we may need to take impressions of your ears. It takes about two weeks to receive your hearing aids.
Your hearing aid fitting appointment includes fitting, programming, and education about the care of your hearing aids. You learn how to use your hearing aids, including inserting and removing them, the best way to clean and maintain them for optimal performance, and how to change the batteries. Payment in full is due at your initial hearing and fitting appointment.
Your hearing aid purchase includes:
- Thirty-day trial period. If you choose to return your hearing aid within 30 days of the original fitting date in good working condition, you will receive a refund minus the dispensing fee.
- One- to three-year warranty, depending on your hearing aid.
- Unlimited office visits during your warranty period.
- Two-hour auditory rehabilitation course. Covers how to make the best use of your hearing aids, other assistive devices that may be helpful in certain situations (such as personal FM listening systems to use at lectures or in classrooms), tactics to communicate and listen more effectively, and other information on coping with hearing loss.
- Listening and communication enhancement (LACE). A DVD listening program trains your brain how to listen to new sounds.
- The Hearing Aid Dispensary also offers repair services, including reprogramming, cleaning and adjustments.
Please call our office at 919-684-3859 to set up an appointment for a hearing aid repair or you can drop off your hearing aids at the front office to be evaluated. We will contact you within 24 hours to let you know the status of the hearing aids. Some repairs can be done in-office, while others require us to send your hearing aids to the manufacturer for repair. If your hearing aid(s) are no longer under warranty, charges for the repair will be discussed with you prior to the repair.
To determine the type and degree of your hearing impairment, and if hearing aids are the best treatment option, our audiologists will perform a comprehensive hearing evaluation that includes these painless, noninvasive tests,
Measures how well sound travels through the air to your inner ear and auditory nerve. You listen to sounds of various pitches (pure tones) played through headphones and signal when you hear them. The volume of each tone is reduced to determine the faintest level you can detect with each ear, with the results plotted on a graph called an audiogram.
Performed while you wear a vibrating, headband-like device over the mastoid bone behind your ear. This test measures how well sound travels through your skull to your inner ear. We compare the softest sounds you can hear with this test with the results of your pure tone audiometry to determine which part of your auditory system is responsible for your hearing loss.
This two-part test, performed while you wear headphones, measures your ability to understand conversation. You will be asked to repeat a series of common words spoken at varying degrees of loudness to determine the faintest volume at which you can detect speech and also how accurately you can repeat common two-syllable words.
A series of tests that assess the function of the eardrum and middle ear structures. They involve placing a soft tip in the ear canal to measure changes in air pressure.
Measures the brain stem’s response to sounds that are presented to the ears. Assesses hearing when behavioral testing cannot be performed due to age, cooperation, or developmental level. During the non-invasive procedure, your audiologist will place electrodes on your forehead and ears. A sound will then be presented to both ears through earphones. The response generated by the auditory neural pathway is recorded and analyzed by the audiologist. May require general anesthesia or sedation when performed on children.
Measures hair cell function of the inner ear to estimate hearing sensitivity. A small plug is inserted in your ear while you listen to a series of tones or clicks. The test takes place in a quiet environment.