Questions and Answers About Hearing Testing and Hearing Aid Devices
Our patients ask many questions to find the hearing solution that is right for them. To help others, we have compiled the most common hearing loss questions answers on our FAQ page. Get the facts on hearing aids, hearing testing, accessories, and other forms of treatment.
- Page 1
How often should I have my hearing tested?
While hearing tests are regularly given to newborns and throughout childhood, once people reach adulthood, a hearing test is not usually part of an annual physical or check-up. It is a good idea for all adults to have their hearing tested regularly, however, as early diagnosis of hearing loss can lead to more effective treatments.
When to Have Your Hearing Tested
As with any health issue, there is no one-size-fits-all model for hearing testing. You should discuss concerns about your hearing with your doctor and decide on a lifetime plan for hearing screenings and care. In general, healthy adults aged 18 to 40 who do not notice any hearing loss should have their hearing tested by a professional every three to five years. Those who should have their hearing tested more often include the following:
- People who are exposed to loud noises. Noise-induced hearing loss affects people of all ages. Loud concerts, gunfire and explosions in combat, noisy work environments, and yard-work tools can all damage hearing suddenly or over time. If you are exposed to loud noises regularly—no matter what your age—you should have your hearing tested at least once a year and should discuss custom-made ear protection with your hearing specialist.
- People with hearing loss. If you suspect you have lost some hearing ability—especially if it is a sudden loss—you should have your hearing tested as soon as possible. Once you have been diagnosed with a hearing loss, you should be tested every year.
- People over the age of 60. Because age-related hearing loss is so common, once you reach the age of 60, you should have a hearing screening on an annual basis. Of adults age 65 to 74, 25 percent have a disabling hearing loss and 50 percent of people 75 and older suffer from a disabling hearing loss. Early screenings and diagnoses result in much better outcomes for older people.
- People with hearing aids. Being fitted with hearing aids is not the end of the hearing care process. Your hearing can change and continue to deteriorate and should be checked every year so that your hearing aids can be adjusted or upgraded as necessary.
True Sound Offers Free Hearing Tests!
No matter what your age or hearing ability, it’s always a good time to get a hearing screening. At True Sound Hearing Aid Center, we will give you a free, comprehensive hearing evaluation and recommend the next steps you should take. Don’t put it off any longer! Use the contact link on this page to get started.
How much will my new behind-the-ear hearing aids cost?
The cost of your hearing aids will depend a great deal on the level of your hearing loss, the technology and features you want, and the type of hearing aid your hearing aid provider recommends. Generally, there is a hearing aid for every budget, and fear of cost should not prevent you from getting your hearing checked and learning more about your options.
Pricing the Three Most Popular Types of Hearing Aids
Depending on factors such as severity of hearing loss and physical dexterity, your hearing care professional will recommend one of the following types of hearing aid, all of which have options at a variety of price points. When you purchase a hearing aid from True Sound Hearing Aid Center, the cost of the device includes professional services such as a hearing evaluation, selection, fitting, training, and care.
The three main types of hearing aids are:
With this model, the receiver is either in the ear canal or in the outer ear and connects to a second unit containing the batteries and controls which rests behind the ear. This model allows for significant amplification across many frequencies.
The entire device is placed in the outer ear with this type of hearing aid. While it is visible to others, the custom earmold makes it comfortable and unobtrusive to the wearer while still offering the features of a behind-the-ear model.
In this model, the entire hearing aid unit fits into the ear canal, making it invisible to others and easy to insert and remove. Because of its design, some of the features available on other models are not available on an in-the-canal model.
Regardless of the model, our professionals can help you find a hearing aid that fits your budget.
True Sound Hearing Aid Center Is Dedicated to Helping You Get the Hearing Aids You Need
Given that Medicare and most health insurance plans do not cover hearing aids, you may be worried about being able to pay for this much-needed medical device. At our comprehensive hearing care clinic, we offer a wide range of prices, and financing is available. Do not let a price tag keep you from a life with better hearing. Schedule your free hearing evaluation now.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of my hearing aids?
You may be surprised to learn that most health insurance policies do not cover the cost of hearing evaluations and hearing aids, especially considering the many related health benefits of correcting your hearing. Only 19 states mandate insurance coverage for children—Florida is not one of them—and only New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Arkansas mandate coverage for children and adults. Wisconsin also mandates coverage for cochlear implants for children.
Low-income families and people with disabilities who are covered by Medicaid can find some relief when it comes to hearing care. In Florida, Medicaid does cover hearing evaluations and hearing aids. This coverage includes the following:
- One hearing evaluation every three years
- One hearing aid per ear every three years
- No coverage for repairs during warranty period
- No coverage for batteries or routine cleaning and maintenance
Prior approval is required for additional hearing evaluations or hearing aids before the three-year period is up.
While Medicaid coverage is quite good in Florida, the same cannot be said for Medicare. Medicare does not cover hearing aids for seniors, but it does cover hearing exams when they are ordered by a doctor. Medicare Part C may provide some additional coverage for hearing aids, depending on the policy.
Why Don’t Insurance Companies Provide Coverage?
Insurance companies will say that hearing aids are elective, and therefore are not a covered benefit, much like elective surgery would not be covered.
However, a more likely reason is that, according to statistics, a large number of people will eventually experience hearing loss. One in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 experiences some degree of hearing loss, while half of people over 75 have age-related hearing loss. Add to this the number of younger people with noise-induced hearing loss and genetic conditions leading to deafness, and insurance companies would be paying out more money than they collect in premiums. For these reasons, it is not likely that insurance companies will offer coverage any time soon.
Making Hearing Aids More Affordable
You may be able to purchase a special insurance policy to cover hearing care, but you would have to do your research. Special payment plans and financing options may help make these devices affordable. You might also consider a more affordable hearing aid that, while doing an excellent job of correcting your hearing loss, may not offer the bells and whistles of more expensive models.
Visit Professional Hearing Care Clinic for More Information
The hearing care professionals in our Lakeland office can talk to you about various options for making hearing aids affordable. Schedule a free hearing evaluation now so we can assess your needs and discuss your options.
How long will my hearing aids last?
You’ve had the same refrigerator since 1987, so you were surprised when your hearing aid specialist told you your new hearing aids will probably only last for three to five years. Why do so many major purchases—kitchen appliances, electronics, even cars—easily function for 10 to 15 years, but this tiny hearing device only lasts five?
We get this question all the time, and, believe it or not, there is a reasonable explanation.
Hearing Aids Are Engineering Marvels
If you are new to hearing aids, you may not have been overly impressed with the options and designs now available. However, if you’ve worn hearing aids in the past, you understand how far the technology has come in the last ten years. Today’s hearing aids can do more than anyone could have imagined even a few years ago. Weighing only a few ounces, these devices contain advanced technology, including the smallest precision microphone and speaker found in any technology anywhere. These parts are extremely delicate and inevitably wear with time and use. Unlike your solid old refrigerator, these tiny parts cannot feasibly be repaired or replaced.
Newer Is Better
You probably would not be happy with an older model hearing aid for very long anyway. Like with computers and smartphones, new features and options come along every year that you could greatly benefit from. If your hearing aid is already a few years old, you may be surprised to learn that new devices offer the following:
- In-the-ear, nearly invisible designs
- Digital technology
- Bluetooth technology to connect to your smartphone
- Smartphone control of settings and adjustments
- Waterproof designs
- Semi-permanent devices
- Compatibility with TV and movie theater sound systems
Along with getting better features, you may find that, as your hearing gets worse, you need a new hearing aid for optimum hearing ability anyway.
We Help You Get the Most Out of Your Hearing Aids
At True Sound Hearing Aid Center, we are dedicated to meeting your specific hearing needs and working within your budget. We will never push you to replace a hearing aid before you absolutely need to. We will educate you and help you take care of your device to extend the life as far as possible. When it is time to replace your device, we will discuss a range of options and price tags. Call us at 877-284-5133 with any questions.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is not a disease but the term given to the symptom of hearing of noises such as buzzing, cicadas, ringing, whistling, pulsing or hissing which seem to originate in the head or ears. Tinnitus is extremely common with around 10% of the population having this problem, with around 1% being severely bothered by it. Most people will experience short term or temporary tinnitus at some stage in their lives however it normally lasts for a short period.
Tinnitus is often associated with other hearing problems but it does not necessarily mean that the person has a hearing loss. Some of the more common things which are thought to trigger tinnitus include:
Middle ear infection
Exposure to loud noise
Dental or jaw problems
Some things which are thought to antagonize tinnitus include:
Caffeine (tinnitus has also been reported to be induced or worsened by caffeine withdrawal)
Diets high in salt
Nicotine (tinnitus has also been reported to be induced or worsened by nicotine withdrawal)
Tinnitus is a symptom associated with a myriad of diseases, drugs, environmental conditions etc... so if you suffer from tinnitus then it is recommended to seek help from your medical professional.
What Are The Causes of Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can generally be categorized into three types - Conductive, Sensorineural and Mixed.
A) Conductive: This type of loss is caused when something is preventing or reducing the transmission of sound from the outside world into the inner ear. That is, some type of blockage is occurring in the outer or middle ears. Some of the causes of conductive hearing loss include:
i. A severe build-up of wax
ii. Fluid or pus accumulation in the middle ear cavity
iii. A hole or perforation in the eardrum
iv. Abnormal growth of the bones (ossicles) in the middle ear (otosclerosis)
v. A foreign object is blocking the ear canal
These symptoms can often be treated medically. At times hearing aids are used to overcome the problem however it is recommended to seek the advice of your medical professional first.
B) Sensorineural Hearing Loss: This type of loss is the most common and is caused by problems within the cochlear or with the auditory nerve. Typically sensorineural hearing loss is irreversible and permanent. It reduces not only the intensity of the sounds heard but often distorts what is heard as well. The normal treatment for a sensorineural hearing loss is amplification through the use of hearing aids. Some potential causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:
i. Aging or presbycusis
ii. Prolonged exposure to loud noise (e.g.: music, construction work, gun fire, etc...)
iii. Genetic disposition or inherited hearing loss
iv. Viral infections of the middle ear invading the cochlear
v. Ossification or bone growth within the cochlear
vi. Exposure to an explosive noise
vii. Head injuries
viii. Use of certain drugs; for example drugs used in chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well as some antibiotics
ix. Sudden onset
x. Diseases such as meningitis and Meniere's
xi. Viruses such as mumps or measles
C) Mixed Hearing Loss: This is a combination of both Conductive and Sensorineural factors. Hearing aids can benefit persons with mixed hearing loss however it is recommended that they first seek advice from their medical profession before trying hearing aids.
What Are The Early Warning Signs of Hearing Loss?
Generally losing one's hearing is a very gradual process that slowly accumulates over years; because of this the early signs of hearing loss are often overlooked or brushed aside. Occasionally hearing loss can come on suddenly. If you experience a sudden hearing loss it is recommended to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Quick action can, in some cases, partially or completely reverse the hearing loss.
If you or someone you know has a hearing problem, all or some of the following might be evident:
Behavioural Indicators -
Need the TV or radio turned up louder than others prefer
Feel that other people do not speak clearly anymore or mumble
Often need people to repeat themselves
Miss the phone or doorbell and others can hear it
Sounds like birds, insects or car indicators are no longer audible or seem very distant
Have more difficulty than others when listening is noisy or group situations
Avoiding group conversations or social situations; find social situations tiring and stressful
Increased levels of stress and tiredness associated with straining to hear others
Have trouble hearing children or women
At times get annoyed or angry with people because they don't speak properly
Friends or family enquiring as to whether you may have a problem with your hearing
Historical Factors -
Another family member has a hearing loss (parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters)
Have ringing, roaring or buzzing noises in your ears (Tinnitus)
Have taken medications that are known to potentially damage the hearing system
Have diabetes, heart disease, circulation or thyroid problems
Have a history of being exposed to loud sounds over an extended period of time or a single exposure to an explosive sound