Answers to Questions About Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids
How do I know if I have hearing loss?
Hearing loss usually develops gradually without discomfort or pain, making it hard to recognize. Family members often notice it first, and people with hearing loss often find ways to compensate.
Take the online hearing quiz. If you answer yes to several of these questions, you likely have some form of hearing loss and should call us to get your hearing tested.
What is a hearing aid?
How do hearing aids help?
Most types of hearing loss are classified as sensorineural hearing loss (where the nerve cells of hearing have become damaged due to disease), exposure to loud noise or aging. The bad news is that hearing loss of this kind cannot be naturally recovered, but the good news is that you can make better use of the hearing you still have with the right hearing aids.
Hearing aids send an amplified signal to your ear; your surviving hair cells then detect the signal and send the amplified sound to your brain. Your brain then perceives the sound as being louder–resulting in enhanced, effortless hearing.
The best way to see if hearing aids will help you is to talk to us and demo a pair for free.
Who treats hearing loss?
- Audiologists are professionals with a master’s or doctorate degree in audiology, the study of hearing. They specialize in testing, evaluating and treating hearing loss and balance disorders, including the fitting of hearing aids.
- Hearing Instrument Specialists are trained in testing, fitting and dispensing hearing aids. Hearing Instrument Specialists undergo extensive educational and clinical training and are often state-licensed and board-certified to test for hearing loss and fit hearing aids.
- Otolaryngologists are medical doctors that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, head and neck disorders. Otolaryngologists are also known as ENT doctors.
- Some practitioners have obtained advanced training and are Tinnitus Care Providers holding a Certificate from the International Hearing Society TM while others may have earned the designation of Audioprosthologist through the American Conference of Audioprosthology (ACA).
How can I find out if a hearing aid will help me?
What are the different styles of hearing aids?
There are many styles of hearing aids; some sit behind the ear while others fit completely inside the ear canal, making them nearly invisible. Today’s hearing aids also come equipped with a host of features that allow you to talk on the phone, stream music, and listen to conversations in noisy environments.
Talk to us. Our hearing experts can help you find the right one for your specific needs and lifestyle.
Do all hearing aids work the same way?
All hearing aids amplify sound, but the electronics used may be different. The older analog hearing aids amplify sound, converting the sound waves to signals that are passed on to the inner ear.
Digital hearing aids are like miniature computers, taking the sound waves and converting them into bits of information that the computer can manipulate and amplify.
These new digital hearing aids provide our hearing experts with more flexibility to custom tune the signals based on your own unique hearing loss. As a result, digital hearing aids can filter out background noise and enhance speech recognition in ways that analog models cannot.
Which hearing aid will work best for me?
It depends on several variables. The right hearing aid will be selected based on the characteristics of your hearing loss, which can only be determined with an audiogram (hearing test) performed by a hearing care professional.
Once we have your hearing test results in hand, we’ll know how much amplification you’ll need and which features will be beneficial to you and which won’t. For example, you may need two hearing aids if you have hearing loss in both ears, you may need telecoils if you speak on the phone a lot, and you may want completely-in-the-canal hearing aids if appearance is a concern.
What questions should I ask before buying a hearing aid?
Before you buy a hearing aid, ask your hearing specialist these important questions:
- What features would be most useful to me?
- What is the total cost of the hearing aid?
- Do the benefits of newer technologies outweigh the higher costs?
- Is there a trial period to test the hearing aids?
- How long is the warranty?
- Can the warranty be extended?
- Does the warranty cover future maintenance and repairs?
- Will loaner aids be provided when repairs are needed?
- What services are provided after the hearing aid purchase?
Why should I get two hearing aids?
How long will it take before I adjust to wearing my hearing aids?
The benefits of better hearing are worth the effort, but you need to understand that, like anything new, it’s going to take some time and patience to get used to them. On average, most hearing aid users feel comfortable in their new hearing aids within a couple of months.
You may experience some issues with discomfort, distracting background sounds, or the amplified sound of your own voice. This is normal, and problems can either be corrected by fine-tuning the hearing aids or just slowly adapting to the new sounds.
How do I care for my hearing aids?
Proper maintenance and care will extend the life of your hearing aids. Make it a habit to:
- Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture.
- Clean hearing aids as instructed. Earwax and ear drainage can damage a hearing aid.
- Avoid using hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
- Turn off hearing aids when they are not in use.
- Replace dead batteries immediately.
- Keep replacement batteries and small aids away from children and pets.
What are some advances in hearing aid technology?
Can I get financial assistance for a hearing aid?
Financial assistance is usually available in some form. Check with your insurance provider to see if they can offer any assistance. If not, financing is usually available through your hearing specialist.
Can I buy hearing aids online?
The effectiveness of your hearing aids is dependent on how they’re programmed, which is, in turn, dependent on the unique characteristics of your hearing loss. Even if you know exactly which hearing aid you need, the key to making it work is in fitting and programming it, something only a trained hearing expert can do. Making a purchase without having your hearing tested is a big mistake and you’ll likely end up with a hearing aid that won’t work for you. The smart move is to seek the help of a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist. Our professionals are highly trained in testing hearing and fitting hearing aids.
All of our patients are tested with their hearing aids in their ears to verify that the devices are meeting the specific needs of each individual ear, therefore reducing the chances that you will suffer from auditory deprivation due to inappropriate hearing aid programming. Auditory Deprivation is a condition that occurs in individuals suffering from hearing loss where their brain loses the ability to interpret words due to a lack of stimulation over an extended period of time. You and your ears have to be here in order for us to verify your programming. You can’t do that online.