Communication Matters

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A

Recent Posts

Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids - What You Should Know

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on August 08, 2022

The announcement by the Food and Drug Administration finalizing the ruling that allows for Over-the-Counter (OTC) hearing aid sales is good news for increased access to hearing health care. It will provide increased access to hearing aids for adults (ages 18 and older) who have mild to moderate hearing loss. This can be an initial step to the acceptance and treatment of hearing loss, much like reading glasses for eyesight. OTC hearing aids are not appropriate for children or those with moderate to severe or profound hearing loss.

As an agency with a 101-year history of providing access to hearing health care for all people including marginalized and vulnerable populations, Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) believes this is a step in the right direction for a more global acceptance of the treatment of hearing loss and with Baby Boomers hitting retirement ages, it could not be timelier.

However, at CHSC, we encourage people to undergo an audiologic evaluation (hearing test) before purchasing any hearing aids. A proper diagnosis of the degree of hearing loss results in a more accurately programmed hearing aid – much like a proper prescription for glasses. A hearing evaluation will also identify any underlying medical conditions that may be causing the hearing loss.

CHSC's commitment to hearing health will continue into the next century. We will continue to provide professional audiology services to those who purchase their hearing aids – now including OTC aids - but may find they need additional support.

In addition, CHSC will continue to provide our full range of hearing aid services for all degrees of hearing loss and all ages. Low-cost and no-cost options for hearing aids may include health insurance with hearing aid benefits such as some Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid, and our Audiology Patient Assistance Program (APA).

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Tags: Hearing Aid, Audiology, Hearing Aids, Hearing, Hearing Loss Prevention, Hard of Hearing, Hearing Loss, "ears", Communication Access, Medicare

Hearing Health Care and Medicare Advantage Plans

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on September 09, 2021

At Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) your hearing health care is of primary importance to us. In addition, we are here to help you investigate your options for any expenses associated with your care. Many insurance plans now cover hearing aids, including some Medicare Advantage plans. These plans may offer hearing aids at low or no cost to you. Traditional Medicare does not provide any hearing aid benefits.  

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Tags: Audiology, Hearing Aids, Hearing, Medicare

Top 10 Tips to Adjust to New Hearing Aids

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on May 05, 2018

For most people, hearing loss occurs very gradually. The process of getting hearing aids, however, is not gradual. You walk into the audiologist's office, and a few minutes later you're hearing! It takes the brain time to get adjusted to the new sounds you'll be hearing through the hearing aids. To make the adjustment process a little easier, start with easy situations and work your way up to more difficult listening environments.

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Tags: Hearing Aid, Audiology, Hearing Aids, Hearing, Hard of Hearing, Hearing Loss

Communication Strategies for People with Hearing Loss

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on May 05, 2018

Hearing loss may make conversational speech seem very soft, or may prevent a person from hearing certain speech sounds at all. This is why people with hearing loss often say they can hear people talking, but can’t understand what they’re saying. They may be able to hear some sounds, so they can hear the person’s voice, but the hearing loss is blocking out the sounds that are vital to understanding. Usually, when a person is diagnosed with a hearing loss, hearing aids are recommended. Hearing aids are designed to amplify the sounds that the person needs the most, the sounds that they are unable to hear due to the hearing loss. Unfortunately, hearing aids have limitations and will not restore hearing to normal. Hearing aids are only part of the hearing loss puzzle. The best solution to increase hearing and understanding at the same time is to pair hearing aids with effective communication strategies.

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Tags: Hearing Aid, Hearing Aids, Communication, Hearing, Hard of Hearing, Hearing Loss

How to Choose a Hearing Aid

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on May 05, 2018

When choosing the technology that goes into a hearing aid, you may think the most important consideration is your hearing loss. Although your degree of hearing loss is a significant factor, your lifestyle is also plays a critical role.

Two people can have exactly the same type and degree of hearing loss, but because they live very different lifestyles, an audiologist may not recommend the exact same hearing aid. When deciding which features, or level of technology, are most appropriate for you, consider these factors:

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Buying Hearing Aids: CHSC Audiologists vs. Online or Over the Counter

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on May 05, 2018

Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center audiologists are highly trained professionals. We have Doctoral and Master’s degrees in audiology and we have devoted our careers to helping you hear better. At CHSC, We believe that life is improved by successful communication. We are dedicated to helping people hear better so they can fully enjoy the people and activities that bring meaning to each day.

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Tags: Hearing Aid, Audiology, Hearing Aids, Communication, Support, Hard of Hearing, Hearing Loss

Ordering Your Hearing Aids

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on April 04, 2018

Your Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC) audiologist can place an order for your hearing aids. Before you can order a hearing aid, you must have your hearing tested. Once this testing is done, you should talk with your audiologist to decide which hearing aids are best for you, your hearing loss, and your lifestyle. Next, the audiologist will take an impression of your ear. During this process, she will put a putty-like material in your ear for about five to ten minutes. This material will harden to the shape of your ear so the hearing aid company can make your custom hearing aid.

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Tags: Hearing Aid, Audiology, Hearing Aids, Hearing, Hearing Loss

Causes & Treatment of Infant Hearing Loss

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on April 04, 2018

Infant hearing loss affects approximately 2-3 out of 1,000 live births (NIDCD).

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Tags: Audiology, Hearing, Hearing Loss Prevention, Support, Hearing Loss

Infant/Toddler Hearing Checklist

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on April 04, 2018

As of July 2004, all babies born in the state of Ohio receive a free hearing screening before they go home from the hospital. The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) legislation has been helpful in detecting hearing loss sooner and allowing families to begin helping their babies earlier. Typically, hearing is tested at birth, and, if it’s normal, is not tested again until approaching age 4. This usually takes place on a visit to the pediatrician. Hearing is screened again when the child enters school. Many schools then alternate between vision and hearing screenings during the school-age years.

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Tags: Speech, Audiology, Communication, Hearing, Hearing Loss Prevention, Support

What is Hearing Loss?

Bridgid M. Whitford Au.D, CCC-A | Posted on April 04, 2018

Impairments in hearing can happen in either frequency (the high or low pitch of a sound) or intensity (the volume of a sound), or both. For example, a person may not be able to hear very high-pitched noises like a whistle, or they may not be able to hear the TV unless the volume is turned up – or both. Hearing loss severity is based on how well a person can hear the frequency or intensities most often associated with speech. Severity can be described as mild, moderate, sever, or profound. Hearing loss can be congenital (occurring from the time of birth) or acquired (developing later in life after a period of normal hearing). Hearing loss can affect one or both ears – and in different degrees of severity in each ear. A loss that affects one ear is called a “unilateral” (one-sided) hearing loss. A loss that affects both ears is called a bilateral (two-sided) hearing loss.

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Tags: Audiology, Hearing Aids, Hearing, Hard of Hearing, Hearing Loss



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