Disorders, Devices, and More: Common Questions About Hearing Loss
Patients often have a lot of questions about hearing loss conditions and devices, but our specialists have the answers. In fact, we have compiled a list of the most popular questions asked by hearing loss sufferers and left them on our FAQ page to help customers in their quest for knowledge.
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How long can I expect my hearing aid to last?
Now that you are happily wearing the perfect hearing aids for you, you probably know more about hearing aid technology than you ever thought you would. As you selected the features you wanted and learned about how to properly care for your new device, you realized that today’s hearing aids really are tiny technological marvels and are also rather delicate. For these reasons, hearing aids cannot be expected to last forever. In most cases, hearing aids will last from three to five years. Where your devices fall in that range is mostly up to you.
How to Extend the Life of Your Hearing Aids
Hearing aids really are delicate devices. The inner workings contain the smallest and most finely-tuned sound systems in use in any technology in the world. To make the devices as light and comfortable as possible, these electronics are housed in very thin plastic casings. With time, these parts wear down and eventually stop working. Exposure to grit and moisture can speed up the decline, so it is very important to keep them as clean and dry as possible.
Taking the time to do the following each night can extend the life of your hearing aids:
- Clean off wax build-up with a small brush or wax pick.
- Remove the ear mold from the hook and clean it with soapy water.
- Open the battery compartment, remove batteries, and brush out any debris.
- Wipe the entire device to remove dirt and moisture.
- Consider using a dehumidifier to remove moisture at the end of each day.
Be thorough but gentle with your cleaning routine and always use the tools provided by your hearing care professional. Using protective sleeves when exercising or around water can also extend the life of hearing aids.
Do You Really Want an Old Hearing Aid?
Even if you are able to extend the life of your hearing aid with proper care, you might want to consider replacing it to take advantage of new and better technology. New hearing aids with new features are being released every year. Along with allowing you to hear better, newer models offer compatibility with your smart phone, better water resistance, and a more comfortable fit. Also, most people with hearing loss find that their hearing continues to get worse over time. The hearing aid that worked so well for you initially may not be the best choice as your hearing changes.
We Will Work With You
At Hear Again Hearing Aids, we understand that you don’t have an unlimited budget for your hearing care. We will help you find a hearing aid that is affordable and work with you to help them last as long as possible. When it comes time to replace them, we will explain why and help you make another budget-conscious choice. Call us any time with questions at (866) 330-3991.
Why does my hearing aid whistle?
Hearing aids can greatly improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss. For those who struggle to follow conversations, can’t hear the TV at the same volume as others in the household, or avoid going out because it is too hard to socialize, hearing aids can be a life-saver. However, when hearing aid wearers experience high-pitched whistling from their devices, they may begin to doubt the benefits.
Whistling Is Caused by... Feedback
Like any electronic device with a speaker and a microphone, hearing aids are prone to feedback. Feedback happens when the sound that travels through the microphone to the speaker is picked up by the microphone and re-amplified. This re-amplification manifests in hearing aids as a squeal or whistling sound. Hearing aids are designed to avoid this feedback loop, but the following problems can cause feedback:
- Improper fitting. To channel the sound correctly from the receiver to the amplifier, the hearing aid’s ear piece must be fitted correctly to the wearer. If there is too much space around the ear mold, feedback—and therefore whistling—can occur. Even if a hearing aid is fitted correctly initially, various factors can change the fit, including weight gain or weight loss. If you notice an increase in the frequency of unwanted squeals, visit our office to check the fit.
- Ear wax. A build-up of wax in the ear canal can also change the fit of a hearing aid ear mold and lead to feedback. Removing wax from the ear canal should be done by a professional. Do not attempt to clear the wax out yourself.
- Full volume. If you are wearing your hearing aids on full volume, that could be the cause of the feedback. Turn the volume down to stop the whistling in the short term and schedule an appointment with one of our audiologists to discuss a new hearing aid.
- Damaged tubes. If the tube connecting the hearing aid to the ear mold is cracked or hardened, this can lead to unwanted noises. Replacing the tubes can fix the problem.
- Temporary loosening. Chewing, talking, putting on a hat, brushing your hair, and even receiving a hug can cause your hearing aid to loosen in the ear canal and squeal.
- Damaged hearing aid. If none of these issues seem to be the cause of the whistling in your hearing aid, the device itself may be damaged. Schedule an appointment with us for an evaluation.
We Are a Full-Service Hearing Healthcare Center
If you are struggling with your hearing aids in any way, we are here to help. We offer routine hearing aid checks, re-fittings, help with self-care, and anything else you need to be satisfied with your hearing. Call us at (866) 330-3991 to schedule an appointment for any reason.
Does Insurance cover hearing aids?
There are some insurances that provide a partial benefit for hearing aids. However, most insurances do not cover hearing aids. The staff at Hear Again will inform you at your consultation whether your insurance has any hearing aid benefits and/or if we are providers for your insurance.
Do hearing aids help with the ringing in the ears?
Ringing, buzzing or whistling or many various sounds coming from the ear is called tinnitus. The primary function of hearing aids is to improve hearing. However, the amplification provided by the hearing aids can sometimes “mask” the tinnitus. There are also certain hearing aids designed to produce a non repeating tune that helps “mask” tinnitus.
What do hearing aids cost?
The cost of hearing aids varies with the type of technology. Hear Again offers various prices levels for all the different lifestyles, preferences and budgets. Our audiologist or dispenser will help you make an informed decision based upon your personal circumstance.
Should I wear one or two hearing aids?
If the hearing loss is in both ears, in most cases it is best to wear two hearing aids. We have two ears for a reason. Our brains are wired to process sound from both ears. Two hearing aids restore stereophonic hearing, making speech clearer. Sound localization, or the ability to determine the direction of the sound can only be accomplished by using two hearing aids. Finally, the use of two hearing aids prevents the occurrence of auditory deprivation. A condition that occurs when a lack of sound stimulation from the unaided ear causes the brain to lose the ability to process sound information.
Do hearing aids work?
Absolutely! A recent survey determined that 8 out of 10 people are satisfied with their hearing aids. However, hearing aids cannot return your hearing back to normal. Every case is different and some hearing losses are more difficult to treat than others. Many factors including motivation level, severity and type of hearing loss, age on onset, years living with hearing loss can all determine your overall experience. The staff at Hear Again, will review your personal hearing exam and lifestyle to determine which hearing aid best meets your needs. We will also explain and counsel on the realistic expectations of a hearing aid with your particular hearing loss.
How do I know if I have hearing loss?
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have hearing loss. Contact Hear Again for a consultation if you…
- Feel people mumble or speak softly
- Are being told your TV is too loud
- Have problems understanding women & children
- Have problems understanding is small groups or in noise
- Have ringing in the ears
- Ask people to repeat
What causes hearing loss?
- NOISE: Affects people of all ages and occurs slowly over time. It can be due to work, hobbies or recreational activities
- AGE: Also called presbycusis, or a gradual onset of hearing loss as we get older. It can vary from mild to severe
- HEREDITARY: Inherited from the parents genes
- EARWAX: a blockage of the ear canal from a buildup of wax
- INJURY: Trauma to the ear, middle ear or head
- EAR INFECTIONS: Middle or external
- OTHER MEDICAL CONDITIONS