Hearing aids are a common non-invasive treatment option for hearing loss. A hearing aid is a small electronic device that is worn in or behind your ear and amplifies sounds so they can be heard better and listening and communicating with others is made simpler. The device consists of a microphone, amplifier and speaker. The sounds are received through the microphone and then increased in power by the amplifier, which then sends the signals to the ear through a speaker.
Hearing aids magnify sounds based on the severity of a patient's hearing loss. Hair cells within the ear detect these magnified sounds and convert them into signals to pass to the brain. There is a limit on how much amplification can be given to sounds, so hearing aids are not for everyone.
There are 3 basic styles of hearing aids that vary in size, placement and degree of amplification. Determining which is best for you depends on the severity of your hearing loss
Aside from the different styles, hearing aids also work in different ways depending on how they are programmed electronically.
You can talk with your doctor to decide which type of hearing aid is best for you. Most manufacturers allow for a 30-60 day trial period to make sure that your hearing can benefit from a hearing aid. They can be a costly investment, but many people are willing to pay the price to relieve hearing loss and be able to communicate with others.
What if I need custom ear plugs?
We make custom ear mold impressions for swim ear molds, hearing protection, scuba divers ear molds, and sleeping ear molds. All ear sizes can be fit with custom impressions.
What If You Need Hearing Aids?
We give our patients appropriate recommendations for their particular hearing loss. What may work for one patient, may not work for another. The visit for obtaining hearing aids is very individualized for each patient and their needs. We work with our patients to assist in the process of learning and adapting to the new experience hearing aids bring. Time, practice, and patience are key to any new experience.
What do they look like?
Hearing aids also vary in their size. Sometimes this is based on the degree of hearing loss. For the most part, they have become very discreet and small to fit every patient’s needs. There are many styles of hearing aids, including Behind-the-Ear, Receiver-in-Canal, In-the-Ear, Completely-in-the-canal, and Invisible-in-Canal. Every style is not for everybody, it is based on the degree of hearing loss, the ear canal, and patient preference. Your audiologist can help with this decision.
How much do they cost?
Hearing aids vary in their cost based on their technology level, features, and, sometimes, size. Speak with our audiologist about your options and she can give you an honest opinion on which technology would best suite your lifestyle. We make the patient our primary concern and will never make you feel pressured into a hearing aid you don’t need.
Does insurance cover hearing aids?
At this time, Medicare does not contribute towards hearing aids. There are select insurance companies that provide hearing aid benefits to patients, although there is usually an out-of-pocket cost either way. For the most part, hearing aids are an out-of-pocket expense. Check with your insurance company for Hearing Aid Benefits. If you do have benefits, we will be happy to help you with the claim process.
CareCredit offers special financing on purchases of $200 or more for healthcare costs not commonly covered by insurance, including hearing aids. CareCredit offers deferred Interest/no interest if paid in full promotional financing options – meaning no interest will be charged on your promotional balance if you pay your balance in full by the promotional due date. If your promotional purchase is not paid in full by the end of the promotional period, interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date.
With so many options out there, how do I know what’s best for me?
Your hearing loss is specific to you, just like your fingerprints. A person could have your exact audiogram (hearing test results) but have very different hearing needs than you do. We don’t hear with our ears, we hear with our brain. Your audiologist can make appropriate recommendations based on your hearing loss, lifestyle, social needs, and financial concerns, among others.