What You Should Know About Hearing Aids
The best hearing aid for you is one you’ll feel comfortable wearing and fits your lifestyle.
Which hearing aid is right for you depends on the severity of your hearing loss, the environments where you want to hear better, how active you want to be and the technology you’re comfortable with using.
Today, there are hundreds of hearing aids on the market that are comfortable, nearly invisible and offer high fidelity sound quality. There are even extended wear hearing aids you leave in for months, and hearing aids that wirelessly connect to your TV through your smartphone, transforming your hearing aids into headsets.
Which hearing aid is right for you? We can help you choose hearing aids that match your needs. We will fit, adjust and program your hearing aids for the best hearing possible. The right hearing aids can transform your life.
Make an appointment to get your hearing tested and talk about which hearing solution is right for you today.
Choosing Hearing Aids
At your hearing evaluation, we’ll talk with you to determine the type of hearing problem you have. We’ll ask you questions about the onset of your hearing loss, and whether you’re experiencing tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and/or dizziness. We’ll also test your hearing.
Based on your answers and your test results, our highly trained hearing experts may recommend hearing aids if the testing reveals a sensorineural hearing loss, which indicates damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or nerves that run from the cochlea to the brain.
There are literally thousands of hearing aids available today. Our experienced staff will use the information in your case history and in the audiological evaluation to help narrow your choices. Which hearing aids to purchase? You’ll make the final decision.
Hearing Aid Fitting
During a hearing aid fitting, we’ll program the device to meet your specific needs. We’ll give you instructions on how to put the hearing aids in your ears and remove them, how to change batteries and how to care for and clean the devices. We’ll also review how your lifestyle affects how hearing aids function, and how to get the most benefit from wearing your hearing aids.
Wearing Hearing Aids
Hearing aids work extremely well when they’re fitted and adjusted to your liking. That’s why it’s important to come to us for professional services. Hearing aids should fit comfortably and appropriately amplify sound.
Hearing aids can dramatically improve your hearing, but they don’t provide “perfect” hearing. A hearing aid is exactly what it says — it is an “aid” to help you hear better. Our expertise and your attitude are the keys to your better hearing.
Hearing loss typically develops over many years. Becoming reacquainted with sounds while using hearing aids will take some practice. You brain will need time to adjust to the sounds your hearing aids help provide. You may need just a few days to adjust to your new hearing aids, but most of our patients take a few weeks or even several months. Try not to get frustrated. We’re here to help you through this process.
In general, the greater the hearing loss and the longer it has been present, the more difficult it will be to transition to using hearing aids. Another reason to make an appointment to get your hearing tested — call us today!
One Hearing Aid vs. Two Hearing Aids
You have two ears because you need two ears. If you have hearing loss in each ear that could be reduced by hearing aids, you should wear two hearing aids.
Wearing hearing aids in each ear will:
- improve your ability to hear in noisy settings
- allow you to determine where sounds are coming from
- improve your ability to understand speech, even from a distance
- help you hear soft sounds at lower levels
- and give sound a fuller quality.
Restaurants chatter. Road traffic. The cacophony of leaf blowers while you’re trying to enjoy your backyard on a beautiful fall day. Background noise is a problem for everyone at one time or another, whether or not you use hearing aids. There’s no way a hearing aid can completely eliminate the sounds you don’t want to hear. The good news? There are now hearing aids available that amplify the sounds you do want to hear and minimize some unwanted sounds.
Research that reveals that dual microphones effectively reduce background noise for many people with certain types of hearing loss. We can help you determine the best circuits and microphone options for your hearing loss and communication needs.
The best and most efficient way to reduce background noise is through the use of assistive listening devices such as FM technology. Ask us how this technology can work with your hearing aid to improve your ability to hear in difficult listening situations.
How much should you pay for hearing aids?
How much to invest in hearing aids can depend on your lifestyle. If you live alone in the woods, rarely talk on the phone, never listen to the radio or watch TV, and rarely venture out, then your hearing aid use will probably be low. In that case, it doesn’t make sense to opt for “top shelf” hearing aids.
On the other hand, if you spend time in meetings at work, like to watch TV, talk on the phone or listen to the news on the radio and you enjoy socializing with friends and family, your use is going to be high, even if you live by yourself. In fact, you’ll probably wear your hearing aids for 12 to 16 hours a day. You’ll want hearing aids that consistently perform well.
In that case, paying for high-quality hearing aids is a good value and an investment in your quality of life, in your ability to stay connected and to communicate well.
What Determines the Cost of Hearing Aids?
Features and function: Like any other technology, your hearing aid price depends on the features you choose and, more importantly, what your hearing healthcare professional recommends for you. The more features and the higher level of performance you’d like, the more you’ll pay for hearing aids. Almost-invisible devices that work well across a spectrum of listening environments and are designed for someone with an active lifestyle are likely to be more costly — and work better — than hearing aids that cost less.
Does insurance cover hearing aids?
Health insurance companies generally don’t cover hearing aids. However, diagnostic evaluations are covered if a physician orders them to assist in developing a treatment plan.
Similarly, Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids for adults. But Medicare will cover the cost of bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA), a special type of hearing device, if other coverage policies are met because Medicare has declared the BAHA a “prosthetic device” and not a hearing aid.
For eligible children and young adults ages 21 and under, Medicaid will pay for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, including hearing aids, under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) service. Also, children may be covered by their state’s early intervention program or State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
If you need help paying for a hearing aid, some nonprofit organizations provide financial assistance, while others may help provide affordable hearing aids with used or refurbished devices.