Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most common causes of hearing loss?
There are many common causes of hearing loss, including infections, genetics, birth defects, aging, exposure to excessive noise and reaction to drugs or cancer treatment.
If I had hearing loss, wouldn’t my doctor have told me?
Not necessarily. Only about 13% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss. Since most people with hearing impairments hear just fine in quiet environments (like your doctor’s office), it can be very difficult for your physician to recognize this problem. Hearing loss is often a gradual process and is frequently overlooked in routine visits to your doctor. Only a trained hearing professional can determine the severity of your hearing problem, whether or not you could benefit from hearing aids and which type would be best for you.
What if my hearing loss occurred very suddenly?
Sudden hearing loss may respond to medical treatment if addressed right away. Consult your physician immediately if you have noticed a recent sudden change in your hearing.
How often should I get my hearing tested?
Just as you get your vision tested and your teeth cleaned and examined regularly, you should have your hearing tested by a hearing professional regularly. People over the age of 50 should have their hearing screened annually by a qualified clinical professional. Many times, patients are not aware of the early signs or they don’t recognize them as hearing loss. It is common to think people are mumbling or the television or telephone is not functioning properly. The earlier you address potential hearing loss the better, not only for your quality of life but also for keeping all of your treatment options open.
Doesn’t hearing loss only affect old people?
Hearing loss can occur at any time, at any age. In fact, most people with hearing loss (65%) are younger than age 65! There are six million people in the U.S. ages 18-44 with hearing loss, and around one-and-a-half million school-aged children.
How do I know if I need hearing aids?
Our free hearing assessment and consultation will provide you with information about whether you are a good candidate for hearing aids. Our consultation gives honest, no-pressure guidance about what would be best for your individual situation.
Can I just get one hearing aid instead of two?
In most cases, if you have hearing loss in both ears, then you should get hearing aids for both ears. Nature gave us two ears to help us localize sounds and separate important signals like speech from other background noise. Additionally, leaving an ear untreated can lead to poorer processing ability in that ear, a phenomenon known as ‘auditory deprivation.’
How will hearing aids improve my quality of life?
Research on people with hearing loss and their significant others has shown that hearing aids play a significant factor in a person’s social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being. More specifically, treatment of hearing loss has been shown to improve1:
- Communication in relationships
- Intimacy and warmth in family relationships
- Ease in communication
- Earning power
- Sense of control over your life
- Social participation
- Emotional stability
When you consider all the benefits of better hearing, you can see that hearing aids hold great potential to positively change your life. 1 Source: www.betterhearing.org
Will hearing aids restore my hearing?
While no hearing aids can restore your hearing to normal (except in cases of very mild hearing loss), our hearing aids are designed to let you hear soft sounds that you couldn’t hear before, and prevent loud sounds from becoming uncomfortably loud for you. They are also designed to improve your ability to understand speech, even in noisy environments.
I’m not sure what having hearing aids will be like. Can I try them before I decide whether I’d like to keep them?
Yes. All of our hearing aids come with a trial period. During this time period, we will verify that you are benefitting from your hearing aids. After the trial, you can decide if you’d like to keep the hearing aids you’ve been testing. Or, if you’d like to try different hearing aids, you can begin another trial for those hearing aids.
Is there an adjustment period to wearing hearing aids?
Yes. Most people need an adjustment period of up to four months before becoming acclimated to their new level of hearing and receiving the full benefit of wearing their hearing aids. However, you should expect to notice obvious benefits during the trial period.
What can I expect when using hearing aids for the first time?
When you first start wearing your new hearing aids, you’ll be hearing a lot of sounds you may not have heard in a long time, if ever. Music may sound fuller and richer, voices may become more distinct, and movies and television may suddenly become clearer. But, with all the good sounds you’ll be hearing anew, there may be one or two that you might have happily forgotten about. Some customers complain that air conditioners suddenly sound too loud or that they find vacuuming tiresome. Brains do adapt quite well, and most people do get used to these types of ambient noise with time. Family members of people with hearing impairments often get accustomed to speaking loudly to make sure they are heard, so it may take a while for that habit to change.
How long are my hearing aids going to last?
Most customers keep a given pair of hearing aids for about five years, though most manufacturers will repair them for up to seven years past the date of purchase. However, with advances in technology, many people choose to update their hearing aids more often than that. Three years is a good time to consider updating your hearing aids with new technology.
Is there anything I can do to restore my hearing? Is there anything I can do to protect my hearing?
Usually hearing loss is permanent. However, there is much you can do to protect the hearing you have and to prevent further hearing loss. Noise at work and home, exposure to loud music, and the use of personal electronics all increase the risk of hearing loss. A variety of options are available to protect your hearing. We would be happy to discuss which of these options might make most sense for your situation.