Hearing Aids FAQ
This is the million dollar question! Individuals with hearing loss often find themselves asking people to repeat themselves, have a difficult time understanding what people say, and struggle hearing in noise. To determine if a hearing aid is needed, a hearing evaluation provided by a licensed audiologist or hearing care provider is required. This evaluation will determine if hearing aids are the best route for tackling a person’s hearing difficulties.
Hearing aids typically last between 3 to 5 years. Hearing aids are ever evolving, which means new technology is introduced every couple of years. Due to new technological advances, hearing aids usually have a 2 to 3 year warranty that can often be extended for another year. After the warranty is expired, hearing aid maintenance can become expensive, which is why they last up to 5 years.
Hearing aids are costly due to the technology within the device. Hearing aids are more than an amplifier that will turn up the sounds around you. They are tiny computers that analyze sound samples at the thousands every second. This allows a hearing aid to recognize the environment it is in and adjust accordingly. However, there are different levels of technology to better fit a person’s lifestyle needs and budget.
More and more insurance companies are providing hearing aid benefits. To determine if your insurance will cover the cost of hearing aids or apply a benefit to help cover the cost of hearing aids, we would look into your insurance plan. This would determine if there is a financial benefit that can be applied to your purchase.
Hearing aids are tools which allow people to participate in their normal activities. They are not a cure for hearing loss. Though you wear a hearing aid, it does not mean that your hearing is restored to completely normal levels.
Hearing aids have come a long way with helping hear in noisy situations. They absolutely can help people better understand in those difficult environments. However, not all hearing aids are the same when it comes to noise reduction. Typically, entry level technology provides very little noise reduction. As you advance in technology levels, more help in those environments are provided within the hearing aid. To better determine the amount of help someone would need in noisy environments, a hearing evaluation is recommended.
Tinnitus is a common phenomenon that most people will experience at some point in their lives. In many cases it will go away on its own, but in other cases hearing aids are a great tool to reduce the constant noise. Often when someone has tinnitus and they wear hearing devices, their tinnitus will diminish over time, but in other instances more help may be needed. Hearing aids can have specific programs added to play therapy sounds in a person’s ear to distract the brain from the noise. So more often than not, hearing aids do have the capacity to help with tinnitus.
Your hearing loss will determine if one hearing aid is necessary or two. Most of the time a patient with hearing loss will have hearing loss in both ears, which would mean it is necessary to have both ears fit with devices. In some cases only one ear has a hearing loss, so only one hearing aid would be necessary. If there is a hearing loss it is important to have the proper sound amplification in each ear to have a more successful hearing experience.
There are many different types of hearing aids that range in size, shape, and color. Some hearing aids go over the ear and others go completely in the ear. To determine the best type of hearing aid for you, the Audiologist and/or Hearing Aid Specialist will take into consideration the severity of hearing loss, lifestyle, and patient request.
Many hearing aids on the market have the ability to connect to mobile devices through Bluetooth, but not all. Phone connectivity depends on both the hearing aids and the phone model. Newer smart phones typically have the capacity to connect to your hearing aids, but that will have to be determined by the Audiologist or Hearing Aid Specialist during the initial hearing aid consultation.
We work with Phonak, Resound, Widex, Oticon, and Starkey hearing aids.