Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Aids
At your first appointment we’ll begin by inspecting your ear to check the health of your ear drum and canal. We’ll complete an air and bone hearing loss test. Then we’ll conduct a speech test. A speech test allows us and you to understand that hearing loss involves both hearing sounds and being able to understand them. We’re happy to answer any questions about hearing loss and hearing aids.
We recommend blocking one hour out of your schedule to allow plenty of time to complete the video inspection, hearing test and speech test.
During your appointment, particularly the speech portion, having a familiar voice allows you to recognize the difference with and without hearing aids.
Which hearing aid is right for you is dependent on your unique hearing loss and lifestyle. No matter your budget we are confident we can help you achieve your goal of hearing better and experiencing life more fully.
Both the initial hearing test and all follow-up service appointments are free of charge. We want to help you hear!
No, there are many styles and colors of hearing aids, some can’t even be seen! We’d be happy to show them to you and help make the correct decision for you.
Imagine being at a concert where your favorite artist is performing. You waited the hours in line to finally get in to see them. You’re finally in your place, and at last the artist comes out on stage. You hear the familiar sounds of your favorite song. The artist finally opens their mouth and you see the lips move, but no sound is coming out. You can’t hear your favorite song, because three vital parts of the artist’s equipment are missing.
The first thing you need is a microphone. Without the microphone, there’s no way for the artist to have their singing captured. The second vital piece of equipment missing is the amplifier. Because the song has to travel so far, the artist needs their voice amplified so that all are able to hear it. The last thing needed in order for you to hear your favorite song is a speaker. The captured, amplified song needs an outlet, a way for the audience to hear it.
There are many parts to hearing aids, but three main things are in all styles. That is, a microphone of some kind, an amplifier, and a speaker. It may be that favorite song on the radio you want to hear, or it may be the sound of your children or grandchildren talking for the first time; no matter what it is, the hearing aid, with itsmicrophone, amplifier, and speaker help you to be able to hear those precious sounds you’ve been missing.
After meeting with the hearing aid specialist and finding out your degree of hearing loss, we will suggest a hearing aid that will be the best option for you. The type of hearing aid you may require depends on a lot of factors, but the degree of your hearing loss is a main factor in the kind you’ll need.
When people find out that they need a hearing aid, a lot of times they think of a big visible piece of equipment sticking out of their ear, and they get discouraged. At House of Hearing, we have many kinds of hearing aids from large ones to smaller ones that are less visible to the naked eye.
One style of hearing aids used is what they call a BTE hearing aid, or behind the ear hearing aid. Typically this type has a case that fits behind the ear; then a tube is connected over the top of the ear to the mold inside the ear canal. This type of hearing aid is used in all different degrees of hearing loss, especially when the hearing loss is severe; this is because this type of hearing aid sometimes has the feature of a directional microphone, which helps you hear voices in a noisy room. This style comes in a mini as well.
Another kind of hearing aid is an ITE or in the ear hearing aid. This is where the case fits in the outer part of the ear. This is typically not used by children because the case has to be replaced as the child grows .This kind of hearing aid is used from mild to severe cases of hearing loss.
There is also an ITC or CIC style of hearing aid. The ITC is in the canal, where the hearing aid is made to fit inside the ear canal. In the CIC, or completely in the canal style, the whole hearing aid fits inside the ear canal. These are the less visible style, and historically used in minor to mild cases of hearing loss. However, with todays advances even severe hearing losses can be fit with these small instruments. No matter the degree of hearing loss you may have, we’ll fit you with the hearing aid that’s best for you.
- You sometimes have difficulty understanding speech on the telephone or TV.
- You frequently ask people to repeat what they said.
- You don’t laugh at jokes because you miss too much of the story or the punch line.
- You frequently complain that people mumble or do not speak clearly.
- You need to ask others about the details of a meeting you just attended.
- You play the TV or radio louder than your friends, spouse and relatives.
- You cannot hear the doorbell or the telephone.
- You find that looking at people when they speak to you makes it easier to understand.
- You miss environmental sounds such as birds or leaves blowing.
- You find it difficult to follow a conversation in a noisy restaurant or crowded room.
Communicating over the telephone is especially challenging for many people with hearing loss because the sounds are often unclear and typically there aren’t any visual hints to aid in comprehension. Fortunately, hearing loss sufferers can take advantage of the variety of telephone amplifiers and other amplification devices available which were developed specifically to address this common issue.
While some hearing aid styles (completely-in-the-canal or open fit, behind-the-ear instruments) require no special features or adaptations for using the telephone, other models need a telecoil or automatic telecoil feature to pick up telephone signals directly. With this feature, wearers can hold the telephone directly against the ear without experiencing feedback or whistling. Users of this feature will need a hearing aid compatible telephone or an adaptation accessory that attaches to the telephone handset.
Cell phones can cause radio frequency interference with hearing aids, leading to static, buzzing or other distracting sounds. Cell phone manufacturers are required, by law, to make hearing aid compatible models. When purchasing a new cell phone, ask the salesperson to show you the models compatible with hearing aids and make sure you test out various cell phone models, prior to purchasing, to determine the best fit for use with your hearing aids.
In addition to hearing compatible phones, there are also a variety of amplified telephone solutions available. Amplified telephone devices increase the volume of the sound from your phone’s receiver. Some models include extra features that enhance high frequency sounds, which are often difficult to hear. Many different kinds of phone amplifiers exist, so you’ll need to do your homework to choose the best one for your listening situation.
If you're having difficulties hearing on the phone and need knowledgeable and caring guidance on this or any other hearing loss concern, call House of Hearing. We want to help you enjoy ALL the sounds of life.
Conduct a few simple tests on your own and take notes about how and when your hearing is most affected to determine if you should get a hearing test.
Are you able to hear what’s being said in the conference room? Do your business associates have to constantly repeat things for you? Do you turn the television volume up as high as it will go while others in the room beg you to turn it down? If you and a friend have lunch at a café, can you easily understand the conversation and respond to his (or her) questions correctly?
Can you understand the waitress and place an order without assistance? Do you find yourself shying away from conversations, movies or groups because you find that it’s just too hard for you to comprehend and decipher sounds? If you struggle to hear and understand what’s going on around you when placed in similar situations, don’t hesitate to schedule a hearing test.
Improving your hearing is a positive start to enjoying life and the wonderful relationships we develop along the way. When you get your hearing tested and find the hearing device that’s right for you, you’ll join the ranks of other satisfied, hearing aid wearers that enjoy increased independence and a vital social life. Are you ready to join them? Call us today for a complimentary hearing test!
Have you ever left the doctor’s office only to later wonder “Why didn’t I ask the doctor that?” There are many things to consider when purchasing hearing aids. To help you remember everything you need to know, write down all of your questions and concerns beforehand and take the list to your hearing appointment.
One item you might want to check off your list before your trip to House of Hearing is a call to your insurance company. Many health care providers do not cover the cost of hearing aids, but yours might and it’s worth a call to find out what, if any, benefits may apply.
Make sure you understand your hearing test results and what they mean for you as well as how it will affect your choice of hearing aids. There are many different sizes and styles of auditory devices and you’ll want to make sure you get the one that’s just right for you. For example, if you have arthritis, a small, ITE (in the ear) hearing aid may be a challenge to operate. Or, if you spend most of your time in a loud environment, hearing aids with directional microphones might work best for you. Ask a lot of questions about which type of hearing device will offer the most benefit in your particular situation.
Other important questions to put on your list include:
Pricing – Get it in writing for a set time period so you can think about it for a day or two
Warranties – How long will it last? What does it cover?
Return Policies and restocking fees - By Federal Law, you should be able to return your hearing aid within thirty days of purchase, but you’ll want to make sure you’re not going to be paying an unreasonable restocking fee.
Remember, you don’t have to buy a hearing aid on the spot and you should never feel pressured to do so. Your hearing specialist will probably carry a wide variety of sizes and styles. Find out the features and benefits of each hearing aid type and how they can contribute to your hearing loss situation. Being prepared for your visit to the hearing specialist will help you make the smartest decision about one of the most important aspects of life—your hearing!
As if it’s not disconcerting enough to arrive at the conclusion that you definitely need to buy a set of hearing aids, you wonder how you’ll ever choose all of the right hearing device features when there are so many to choose from.
While there are several factors to consider when choosing the appropriate features your hearing aids should have, first you need to know which components all hearing aids have in common. Basically they all have three parts: a microphone, speaker and an amplifier.
Beyond that, some hearing aids are loaded with more special features and updated technology than others and depending on your lifestyle, you may or may not need the all the extras and added expense.
To determine which features may be beneficial to your hearing loss condition, consider the many different listening situations you find yourself in throughout the day. Do you spend a lot of time in quiet offices and home environments or are you more likely to be found in noisy environments like shopping malls, restaurants and ball games.
There’s a good chance you frequently find yourself in a variety of environments with changing noise levels which can be a challenge for those who wear hearing aids. Fortunately, newer hearing devices are able to automatically adjust to varying noise levels, providing the highest level of speech understanding and comfort.
Ask your hearing specialist about digital feedback and digital noise reduction, directional microphones and automatic adaptation to sound levels.
Digital feedback reduction reduces the amount of whistling one hears with the best hearing aids allowing you to hear sounds at a comfortable level. This means that you’ll be able to concentrate on important conversations with your friends and family members with minimal sound distractions. Additionally, directional microphones help you focus your hearing aid on one person (or direction) in particular, doing away with a lot of unwanted noises.
While even the best hearing aid technology doesn’t provide perfect hearing for every hearing aid wearer in all situations, special features like digital feedback and noise reduction and directional microphones significantly enhances hearing performance and satisfaction. House of Hearing can help you determine which features will work best for your hearing loss situation. Call us today to find out what we can do for you!
Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a natural part of getting older. Already at age 20, we've lost the ability to perceive some of the sounds infants can hear. By the time we reach 30 or 40, significant losses have begun to occur. Once we reach our 80s, more than half of us suffer from significant hearing loss.
With the added factor of prolonged exposure to high intensity noise at work and at home; hearing impairment is becoming even more common at an earlier age. More than half of all people with hearing challenges today are still in the workforce.Click Here to learn more from our blog article, Top Ten Signs of Hearing Loss
It's a Noisy World Out There
Noise levels have increased everywhere. From hair dryers to leaf blowers, lawnmowers, snowmobiles, iPod®, freeway traffic, surround sound speakers and more, we constantly expose our ears to damaging levels of noise.
And that's just at home. Our work environments are becoming increasingly loud as well. Some of the noisiest workplaces are those where firefighters, factory workers, farmers, teachers, construction workers and musicians spend a significant part of their day.
Other factors that may contribute to hearing loss include:
- blockage of the ear canal by an object or accumulated cerumen (earwax)
- diseases, infections or medical disorders
- medications and treatments like chemotherapy or
- physical trauma to the ears or head
Hearing loss affects everyone differently, and it varies by degree from person to person.
The medical community recognizes four levels of hearing loss:
Mild - Soft sounds are hard to hear. Understanding speech clearly in noisy environments may be challenging.
Moderate - Soft and moderately loud sounds are hard to hear. It's often difficult to understand speech, especially when there's background noise.
Severe - Some loud sounds are audible, but communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.
Profound - Some extremely loud sounds are audible. Communication without a hearing instrument is impossible.
If you think you may be in one of these categories, contact us today and we would be happy to discuss the options you have. Our goal is to improve your hearing and improve your life. While those with profound hearing loss are certainly in greater need of a hearing instrument, those with less severe degrees of hearing loss are also in great need of hearing assistance. By simply meeting with us, you could start your way on the path to better hearing and a better life.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about your own hearing, contact us today.