Questions and Answer about Hearing Aids and Hearing Loss
How much do hearing aids cost?
Have you ever wondered how much hearing devices cost? Since hearing devices can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars, it’s important to choose the right model based on your lifestyle, the electronic options you want and most importantly, your budget. Whether it’s a basic comfort-class hearing device or a premium device, you will find the same high level of caring from each and every staff member at Whisper Hearing.
Cost of Hearing Aids
Your hearing instrument costs will be determined during your comprehensive hearing evaluation. Each patient’s treatment plan is matched to their hearing correction needs. During your hearing assessment, you will be provided with a treatment quote, as well as financing options.
Most patients are excited to find hearing instruments are truly affordable! We’ve also found that many of our patients are pleasantly surprised when they realize there are multiple payment options!
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear is not a disease, but a symptom which can result from a wide range of underlying causes, including: prolonged exposure to abnormally loud sounds in the ear canal, ear infections, foreign objects in the ear, nasal allergies which prevent (or induce) fluid drain, or wax build-up. Tinnitus can also be noticed as part of the natural aging process, as a side effect of some medications or of genetic hearing loss. However, the most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss.
What do hearing aid do?
Hearing aids can:
- Make speech easier to understand
- Makes sounds louder
- Help improve your quality of life by offering you the freedom to communicate more effectively
- Allow you the opportunity to participate more in life’s activities
Hearing aids WILL NOT:
- Cure speech understanding loss
- Allow you to hear speech perfectly in background noise
- Permit you to selectively hear only what you want to hear
- Change sound distortion into clear sound
What are the common types of hearing loss?
Although there are many types of hearing loss, the most common type is sensorineural loss and the second most common type of loss is conductive loss. There are three types of hearing loss we encounter most frequently:
Sensorineural Loss – (also known as “nerve deafness”) is caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. The inner ear is unable to transfer the sound vibrations to the brain and it usually occurs in both ears. It is the most common type of loss and it can result from aging, noise exposure, disease, birth defects and nerve damage. This type of loss is usually treated with amplification (hearing devices).
Symptoms of Sensorineural Loss:
- Difficulty understanding speech in background noise
- Speech and other sounds seem unclear
- Trouble hearing high pitched sounds
- Persistent or episodic ringing or buzzing sound in ears
Conductive Loss – is caused by damage to the outer or middle ear. Sound waves are blocked as they move through the outer or middle ear. Since the sound cannot travel effectively, the sound energy reaching the inner ear is weakened or muffled. Conductive loss may result from infection, earwax buildup, fluid in the middle ear, damage to the middle ear bones, a perforation in the eardrum or an obstruction in the ear canal. This type of loss is usually treated with earwax removal, medicine, surgery or hearing devices.
Symptoms of Conductive Loss:
- Perceiving speech and other sounds as stifled or distant
- Ear discomfort or discharge from ear – Swelling or redness of the outer ear
- Pressure or fullness in the ear
Are hearing aids covered by my insurance?
While more and more insurance companies cover the cost of hearing aids, some do not. We will contact your insurance provider to determine if you have coverage. We will be glad to file the necessary forms for reimbursement if you are covered.
Does Medicare/Medicaid cover hearing aids?
Traditional Medicare and Medicaid do not cover the cost of hearing aids. However, Medicare Plus Choice may provide limited benefits for hearing aids. Generally, each state has different requirements for coverage. For instance, many states reserve benefits for children under the age of 18. We’ll be glad to research your benefits for you. Just bring your insurance card when you come.
Do you have a money back guarantee?
Of course! Our 30-day money-back program assures patient satisfaction.
How can I tell if I have hearing loss?
The obvious warning signs are:
- Having to ask people to repeat themselves. People just seem to mumble
- Having difficulty following conversation
- Feelings of ear fullness or pressure, ear noises (ringing, buzzing), and dizziness
- Having to turn up the TV volume to new levels which may be annoying to others
- Having problems understanding speech when there is background noise present
What should I do?
- See a hearing professional. Book an appointment for a free screening and get to the root of the problem. Discuss the following with your Hearing Care Professional:
- When did your hearing problem begin and how quickly did it progress?
- Whether there are any obvious related problems (illness, wax build up, head injury, noise exposure, etc.)
- Do other family members have hearing loss?
- A hearing professional will measure your hearing across a detailed range of sound frequencies at different noise levels. Once your hearing has been assessed, your hearing care professional will discuss the various options available to you. Early diagnosis is crucial to a better quality of life.
What if I need a hearing aid?
- Most people have pre-conceived notions about hearing aids. To this we say – “It’s no longer your grandfather’s hearing aid”. Common notions we’ve heard are:
- Hearing aids are “only for old people”
- “I don’t have a hearing loss – People just mumble”, or “People should talk clearer”
- Hearing aids are “too noticeable”
- Social acceptance, vanity and / or embarrassment will often prevent people from wearing hearing aids
The real shame is missing out on the sounds of life. The truth is that hearing loss is far more noticeable than hearing aids are. Modern technology has allowed the hearing aid sound quality to be tailored to meet a specific hearing loss type. In size they are small enough to be barely noticeable, yet powerful enough to make a huge difference to your lifestyle. Hearing aids that are completely invisible when worn in the ear canal are also available though, they are not for everyone.
Can hearing aids be almost invisible?
Yes. In the past hearing aids were clearly visible and unattractive. Today, newer models are definitely more hi-tech and even quite chic, offering Bluetooth technology and music streaming. They range in size and color and can be molded from the shape of your inner ear to be very cosmetically discreet. New models are custom fitted to reside in your ear canal’s ‘second bend’, making them invisible when worn. These again may not be right for all candidates. You can discuss all of these options with your hearing care professional.