Hearing Questions & Answers

Hearing can be a confusing subject. Here, we answer questions about your hearing!

Q. How Can I Tell if I have Hearing Loss?

A. This simple quiz can help get you started on your path to understanding your hearing health. Take a few minutes, consider each question carefully and honestly, and maybe this will help you understand your hearing range.

1. Do you have trouble hearing with a lot of background noise?


Q. Are there programs available to help you get your listening understanding back?

A. We do offer speech or language processing training, a program that can take 8 to 10 visits. If you are interested in these programs to work on memory, speech learning, and speech understanding, let us know.

Q. How is tinnitus diagnosed and treated?

A. First, we must properly assess whether your tinnitus is a result of noise exposure, a medical condition, an issue with blood flow or a lack of oxygen supply. The next step involves getting into the physical and emotional support that's needed to manage the tinnitus with the patient. The good thing is that for folks that have both hearing loss and tinnitus, the vast majority of the time, treating the hearing loss and working with mask programs can very effectively treat the tinnitus as well.

Widex Zen Tinnitus Therapy

The process is more involved for the smaller population with pathological tinnitus and no hearing loss. In that case, the treatment plan involves cognitive behavior therapy and psychological/emotional support.

Q. How can family help support someone with hearing loss?

A. We try to involve the family as much as we can, beginning with the testing process. We share our assessments and the results from the test with the family, which often makes it easier for family members to understand what their loved one's experience is like; it can be an "aha" moment for everyone. We spend a lot of time on aural rehabilitation with the family and the patient during which we go over listening strategies and other techniques that both the patient and family can use.

Couple at hearing appointment getting advice

It's important to remember that hearing aids are not an immediate cure. Be patient with your loved one as they adjust to their new hearing aids. Try to speak clearly and make it easier for your loved one to hear and understand you. We will walk you through what you need to know and how you can help your loved one with their specific needs.

Hearing Aid FAQ

Hearing aids are one of the best ways to restore hearing, but still, there are a lot of questions on the subject. Read below to see our answers to some common questions regarding hearing aid technology.

Q. How do hearing aids work?

A. The technology behind hearing aids is complicated, but the general idea can be simplified. A microphone picks up sound in the world around you and sends that sound in the form of an electrical or digital signal to an amplifier. The amplifier makes the sound louder and may also process the data to make the sound easier for you to understand — for example, higher-end technology can distinguish between voice and background noise and process the sound so that you can more clearly hear the voices instead of the noise. This data is then converted back into sound by a receiver (like a speaker), which delivers the sound into the inner ear for your brain to hear and interpret.

Q. Do I need two hearing aids, or can I save money and use only one?

A. Using only one hearing aid may save money, but two hearing aids are much more effective if you have hearing loss in both ears. Binaural listening (hearing in both ears) will give you the best hearing experience. Your brain needs information from both ears to best understand the world around you, including where sounds are coming from. Two hearing aids working in tandem at a lower volume can be just as clear and easy to understand as a single hearing aid at a higher volume — and the lower volume is more comfortable to listen to and is less likely to cause additional hearing damage.

Two hearing aids on two ears

Q. Why should I see an audiologist instead of buying my hearing aids online?

A. Hearing aids are not a one-size-fits-all device. Think of them more like prescription glasses than reading glasses. Every individual has different needs and different ears, and an experienced professional has the knowledge to understand what hearing aids are right for you based on the specifics of your hearing loss and your lifestyle. An experienced professional like Dr. Sotiropoulos can also physically fit your hearing aids to your ears and change the programming of your hearing aids to be most effective. Professionals also offer follow-up visits and can support you through the entire life of your hearing aids.

Q. How will having hearing aids change my life?

A. Hearing loss can affect your relationships, making it harder to connect with other people. It can also make the things you once loved seem less enjoyable. Getting your hearing back with hearing aids can help you re-establish those connections and pick back up what you might have grown distant from. People with hearing aids report easier, warmer communication with family members, better job performance, and more enjoyment of hobbies and social activities.

Starkey Halo hearing aids

Q. Will hearing aids make my hearing exactly like it was before my hearing loss?

A. One of the biggest misconceptions is that if you have a hearing problem, getting a hearing aid will fix any problem you have. The truth is that hearing aids are an important part of the process, but they're just one part. Your hearing will never be exactly the way your natural hearing used to be, although it can be very close depending on the level of your loss and how long you had hearing loss before getting hearing aids. If your word recognition is 100 percent, you'll have an easier time and have better results than someone who has a severely reduced level of word understanding. There are steps you can take to ensure that your hearing environment is in your favor.

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Kankakee Location

1455 W. Court St
Kankakee, IL 60901


Hearing Rehabilitation Center Kankakee

Office Hours:

Monday & Wednesday: 9:00am - 4:30pm (Staff only)
Tuesday & Thursday: 8:30am - 5:00pm (Doctor sees patients)
Friday: 9:00am - 1:00pm (Staff only)
Friday: 2:00pm - 5:00pm (Doctor sees patients)
Closed for lunch 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Steger Location

29 West 34th Street
Steger, IL 60475


Hearing Rehabilitation Center Steger

Office Hours:

Monday & Wednesday: 8:30am - 5:00pm (Doctor sees patients)
Tuesday & Thursday: 9:00am - 4:30pm (Staff only)
Friday: 8:30am - 12:00pm (Doctor sees patients)
Friday: 1:00pm - 4:30pm (Staff only)
Closed for lunch 12:00pm - 1:00pm

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1455 W. Court St.
Kankakee, IL 60901
29 West 34th St.
Steger, IL 60475
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