Merrill Hill
Merrill Hill, Au.D.

Merrill Hill, Au.D.

Merrill Hill, Au.D.
  • Accepting Children: Unknown
  • Accepting New Patients: No
  • Accepting Medicare: Unknown
  • Accepting Medicaid/DSHS: Unknown
Insurance Accepted:

Contact this office for accepted insurance plans.

Additional Information:

Dr. Hill blogged while on staff at Swedish. He is no longer on staff.

Medical School

University of Florida

Residency

Seattle Head, Neck & Plastic Surgeons

Professional Associations:

American Speech Language Hearing Association

Additional Information:

Dr. Hill blogged while on staff at Swedish. He is no longer on staff.

How you can get the most out of your office visit

To some, when a possible problem gets to the point where we decide to “have it looked at,” there are many questions that come up. If you are like me, I have several questions to ask. However, by the time the check in happens and all the tests are performed, I forget most of my questions. Or, sometimes, I feel like there is no more time to have them answered. Often times I make up excuses for why I didn’t ask. My frequent one is that they, or I, didn’t have the time.

Time may be limited sometimes, but asking the right questions really helps. Some of the best answers you get about your hearing come from very simple questions that you wrote down ahead of time (so nobody forgets). I have listed a few below to help us all make sure you get the answers you want, at the time you want them.

Hearing Aid Life Expectancy and Power

Our concept of age depends on the object of our attention. For example, the average ant lives to be about 45-60 days. The average fly lives about 15-30 days. The average albatross lives between 42-50 years.

Electronics must be viewed differently however. They cannot eat something and become more energetic. There is the total lifespan of the device coupled with the power required to maintain the function it was designed for. A television is expected to last about 10 years, but will not work if it is not plugged in. The average car battery will only be useful for 5-7 years. A watch battery can vary from 1 to 6 years.

With our daily electronics, we take advantage of all types of batteries. How long can you go before you need to recharge your cell phone? Now imagine you used the phone continuously. How about the electronic tablets? Technology is wonderful, but must be constantly powered. Batteries for these devices last only a matter of hours before we need to find an alternate power source. With the electronics we depend on, it is critical to know how long we can expect to use them. This is even more true when those electronics begin to age. Highly sensitive and detailed instruments are classic examples of those devices for which we need to know the total life of the device and its power consumption.

A hearing aid is an example of such a device.

Hearing aids can use both disposable and rechargeable batteries. The cost effectiveness and convenience will vary greatly. The predicted number of hours for each battery will be hearing aid, and person, specific.

Also: the ear is small. Therefore the hearing aid must be small. The battery must then be even smaller.

As with any battery driven electronic device, hearing aids last much longer than their power source. The average hearing aid lifespan will vary significantly due to the amount of care provided to it. Accidents can and do happen. When it comes to hearing aids, seven years may not appear to be a very long time, but the device is considered ANCIENT by that time. The average person is expected to replace a hearing aid every 3-5 years.

There are several reasons for this:

What you should know about your risk of falling if you have hearing loss

According to studies in Archives of Internal Medicine, the risk of falling is increased by 40% with every 10dB loss of hearing. Although this information has been researched and speculated for some time, it becomes crucial for us to consider this trend when we know people with hearing loss. This is especially important for our seniors.

How does hearing impact our balance?

It is speculated that our nervous system (specifically, the brain’s pathways) interact in such a way that one may experience “incident falls.” There are pathways which are believed to be responsible for encoding auditory and spatial information for our environmental awareness. Also, it is believed that there are pathways which incorporate auditory input into cognition and attention. To put it another way; hearing loss reduces our ability to take advantage of the auditory cues needed for knowing critical information about our surroundings. Therefore, we may fall and/or stumble more often.

As a result of a ...

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