Frequently Asked Questions
On this page, you’ll find a list of comments that we often hear regarding hearing aids, the use of listening assistance devices, and age-related hearing loss. Click on any of the comments below for our response. If we can answer any other questions for you, please call 412-347-5550412-347-5550 or schedule an appointment.
You might have a perception that audiologists give hearing tests in order to sell you hearing aids you don’t need. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In actuality, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, only one in five Americans who could benefit from a hearing aid wears one. Our job is to help increase that number so more people hear to their fullest potential.
Hearing loss is reaching epidemic proportions, according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. It’s the third most prevalent chronic condition in Americans over 65, with half of them having some degree of hearing loss. But only about 20 percent of those who could benefit from treatment seek help.
Our tests help determine the kind and severity of your hearing loss and which hearing aids may help address it. From there, we show you your options, including the kinds of hearing aids that may work for you. There’s no pressure or hard sales pitches, just information and informed answers to your questions. The choice to buy a hearing aid is yours. We just give you the tools you need to make it.
Hearing aids are amplifiers. At one time, with the way that hearing aids were designed, it was necessary to turn up the power in order to hear soft speech or other low-volume sounds. Back then, normal conversation indeed would have been too loud.
With today’s hearing aids, however, the circuit works automatically, only providing the amount of amplification needed based on the input level. In fact, many hearing aids today don’t have a volume control.
With today’s amazingly compact technology, it’s no longer a hearing aid that will make you seem older: it’s your asking people to repeat what they’ve said all the time. If hearing aids help you function like a person with normal hearing, any stigma they may have once carried is removed.
Hearing aid manufacturers are well aware that appearance is an issue for many people. That’s why we now have hearing aids that fit completely in the ear canal. This CIC style of hearing aid has enough power and special features to satisfy most individuals with hearing impairment.
More importantly, keep in mind that untreated hearing loss is more obvious than a hearing aid. Smiling and nodding your head when you don’t understand what’s being said can make your condition more apparent than even the largest hearing aid.
The need for hearing amplification is dependent on your lifestyle, your need for refined hearing, and the degree of your hearing loss. If you are a lawyer, teacher, a group psychotherapist, or anyone else who relies on very refined hearing to discern the nuances of human communication, then even a mild hearing loss can be intolerable.
On the other hand, if you live in a rural area by yourself and seldom socialize, then perhaps you may be someone who is tolerant of even moderate hearing loss.
What price are you paying for vanity? Untreated hearing loss is far more noticeable than hearing aids. If you miss a punch line to a friend’s joke or respond inappropriately in conversation, people may develop concerns about your mental acuity, your attention span or your ability to communicate effectively. The personal consequences of vanity can be life altering.
On a simplistic level, untreated hearing loss means giving up some of the pleasant sounds you used to enjoy. At a deeper level, vanity could severely reduce the quality of your life.
In the past, many people with hearing loss in one ear, or nerve damage, or a high-frequency hearing loss were told by their family physician that they could not be helped. That may have been true many years ago, but with today’s advanced technology, nearly 95% of people with a sensorineural hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids.
We think that’s a strange way to think about hearing loss, but, every day, well-meaning doctors tell their older patients that hearing loss is “normal” for people their age.
It may be “normal” for overweight people to have high blood pressure, but that doesn’t mean they should avoid seeking treatment for the problem.
Not true! Only 14% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Since most people with hearing impairments hear well in a quiet environment like a doctor’s office, it can be virtually impossible for your physician to recognize the extent of your problem. Without special training and an understanding of the nature of hearing loss, it may be difficult for your doctor to realize that you have a hearing problem.
Only 35% of people with hearing loss are older than age 64. There are close to six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss, and more than one million are school age. Hearing loss affects all age groups.
Everything is relative. Nearly all patients who believe that they have one “good” ear actually have two “bad” ears. When one ear is slightly better than the other, we learn to favor that ear for the telephone, group conversations, and so forth. It can give the illusion that “the better ear” is normal when it isn’t. Most types of hearing loss affect both ears fairly equally, and about 90% of patients are in need of hearing aids for both ears.
Many people know someone whose hearing improved after medical or surgical treatment. It’s true that some types of hearing loss can be successfully treated. With adults, unfortunately, this only applies to 5 to 10% of cases.
Rest assured, recent research with thousands of people has found that hearing healthcare professionals receive customer satisfaction ratings of 92%. And 9 out of 10 people indicate that the quality of their life has improved because of hearing aids. Overall satisfaction with one-year old hearing aids is now 78%, which is close to satisfaction ratings for most consumer electronics.
We accept most insurances, please call so we can clarify your individual coverage.