Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL
Hearing Loss

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT HEARING LOSS AND HEARING AIDS

How do I know if I have hearing loss?

Hearing loss usually develops gradually without discomfort or pain, making it hard to recognize. Family members often notice it first, and people with hearing loss often find ways to compensate.

Take the online hearing quiz. If you answer yes to several of these questions, you likely have some form of hearing loss and should call us to get your hearing tested.

What is a hearing aid?

A hearing aid is a small electronic device worn in or behind the ear. Hearing aids contain a microphone, an amplifier and a speaker. These components are used to detect sound, make portions of it louder and send the enhanced signal to the ear. The louder sound makes hearing easier and allows people with hearing loss to listen, communicate and participate more fully in daily activities.

How do hearing aids help?

Most types of hearing loss are classified as sensorineural hearing loss (where the nerve cells of hearing have become damaged due to disease), exposure to loud noise or aging. The bad news is that hearing loss of this kind cannot be naturally recovered, but the good news is that you can make better use of the hearing you still have with the right hearing aids.

Hearing aids send an amplified signal to your ear; your surviving hair cells then detect the signal and send the amplified sound to your brain. Your brain then perceives the sound as being louder–resulting in enhanced, effortless hearing.

The best way to see if hearing aids will help you is to talk to us and demo a pair for free.

Who treats hearing loss?
  • Audiologists are professionals with a master’s or doctorate degree in audiology, the study of hearing. They specialize in testing, evaluating and treating hearing loss and balance disorders, including the fitting of hearing aids.
  • Hearing Instrument Specialists are trained in fitting and dispensing hearing aids. Hearing Instrument Specialists undergo extensive educational and clinical training and are often state-licensed and board-certified to test for hearing loss and fit hearing aids.
  • Otolaryngologists are medical doctors that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, head and neck disorders. Otolaryngologists are also known as ENT doctors.
How can I find out if a hearing aid will help me?

If you think you may have hearing loss, the first step is to schedule an appointment at our office to get your hearing tested. Our hearing professionals are trained to measure your hearing loss and provide expert recommendations for treatment.

What are the different styles of hearing aids?

There are many styles of hearing aids; some sit behind the ear while others fit completely inside the ear canal, making them nearly invisible. Today’s hearing aids also come equipped with a host of features that allow you to talk on the phone, stream music, and listen to conversations in noisy environments.

Talk to us. Our hearing experts can help you find the right one for your specific needs and lifestyle.

Do all hearing aids work the same way?

There are a variety of features available in today’s digital hearing aids that vary among different products and manufacturers. Some of these differences include Direct-to-iPhone connectivity, rechargeable options, background noise processing, binaural communication, and many more! Your audiologist will help you determine what features are important for your listening needs.

Which hearing aid will work best for me?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” hearing aid. In fact, listening preferences vary so much from person to person, that two people with the exact same hearing loss may have different programming or even entirely different hearing aids!

Your audiologist will help determine which solution is best for you using information from your hearing evaluation, your listening needs assessment, and your budget. 
Talk to us!

What questions should I ask before buying a hearing aid?

Before you buy a hearing aid, ask your hearing specialist these important questions:

  •  What features would be most useful to me?
  • What is the total cost of the hearing aid?
  • Do the benefits of newer technologies outweigh the higher costs?
  • Is there a trial period to test the hearing aids? (Manufacturers allow a 30- to 60-day trial period during which the hearing aids can be returned for a refund.)
  • What fees are nonrefundable if the hearing aids are returned after the trial period?
  • How long is the warranty?
  • Can the warranty be extended?
  • Does the warranty cover future maintenance and repairs?
  • Can the audiologist make adjustments and provide servicing and minor repairs?
  • Will loaner aids be provided when repairs are needed?
  • What instruction does the hearing specialist provide?
Why should I get two hearing aids?

People have an amazing ability to sort through rapidly changing information and automatically make sense of what is happening. Hearing functions as a system — two ears and one brain. The ears take in a constant stream of sound information, and the brain identifies and recognizes meaningful patterns. To interpret sounds correctly, the information our brain receives must be as accurate and as detailed as possible. Using both ears together allows you to localize a sound source, focus on speech when background noise is present and provides a more full and natural sound quality.

How long will it take before I adjust to wearing my hearing aids?

The benefits of better hearing are worth the effort, but you need to understand that, like anything new, it’s going to take some time and patience to get used to them. On average, most hearing aid users feel comfortable in their new hearing aids within a couple of months.

You may experience some issues with discomfort, distracting background sounds, or the amplified sound of your own voice. This is normal, and problems can either be corrected by fine-tuning the hearing aids or just slowly adapting to the new sounds.

How do I care for my hearing aids?

Proper maintenance and care will extend the life of your hearing aids. Make it a habit to:

  • Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture.
  • Clean hearing aids as instructed. Earwax and ear drainage can damage a hearing aid.
  • Avoid using hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
  • Turn off hearing aids when they are not in use.
  • Replace dead batteries immediately.
  • Keep replacement batteries and small aids away from children and pets.

View our Hearing Aid Help videos to learn how to perform basic maintenance on your hearing aid and troubleshoot common problems.

What are some advances in hearing aid technology?

Just like other digital technology (computers, TVs, cell phones), hearing aids are becoming smaller, more powerful and more affordable. Today’s hearing aids are discreet (some are essentially invisible), filter out background noise, allow hands-free phone calls, stream music and sound directly to the hearing aids, enhance speech comprehension, interact with smart phones and much more.

Can I get financial assistance for a hearing aid?

Financial assistance may be available through some private insurers. Check with your insurance provider to see if they offer any coverage for hearing aids. Hearing Associates also offers payment plans, including financing. Learn more.

Can I buy hearing aids online?

The effectiveness of your hearing aids is dependent on how they’re programmed, which is, in turn, dependent on the unique characteristics of your hearing loss. Even if you know exactly which hearing aid you need, the key to making it work is in fitting and programming it, something only a trained hearing expert can do. Making a purchase without having your hearing tested is a big mistake and you’ll likely end up with a hearing aid that won’t work for you. The smart move is to seek the help of a licensed audiologist or hearing instrument specialist. Our professionals are highly trained in testing hearing and fitting hearing aids.

Questions?

Talk to the experts.

Call us today.

Why wait? You don’t have to live with hearing loss.

Why wait? You don’t have to live with hearing loss.

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