Hearing Aid FAQ’s
At Worth Hearing Center, our goal is to offer you options for hearing aids that will be best for your particular hearing loss, while also fitting your budget. Most patients have questions about hearing aids and how they help with hearing loss. We hope the following list of frequently asked questions answers some of your questions, but please ask your Worth Hearing audiologist about others you have when you schedule your appointment at either our Albuquerque or Rio Rancho office.
What should I consider when buying hearing aids?
There are many considerations. As you think about a hearing instrument, consider these questions: how important is it that the hearing instrument is hard to see? What cost parameters do you need to adhere to? What lifestyle factors are important to you? Talk with your Worth Hearing Center audiologist about those factors. Please know that hearing aids won’t restore normal hearing but will improve hearing by amplifying frequencies that you are having trouble hearing. A successful experience with hearing aids also depends on how well they are fit to you; at Worth Hearing, we promise expert care to fit your hearing aid properly and ensure it’s working well.
How much do hearing aids cost?
Hearing aids can range from about $995 to $3,500 each. Our costs include our professional services, not just the hearing aids. Our comprehensive approach depends on the balance of three important elements: 1. Your unique listening and lifestyle needs, 2. Access to the most extraordinary technology, and 3. Your provider’s expertise. We are happy to offer a “test drive” on your hearing aids so that you can make sure it helps improve your hearing.
Why are some hearing aids more expensive than others?
It is important to know what you comparing when looking at prices for hearing aids. There are devices on the market that are not hearing aids at all, but personal sound amplifiers (PSAs), that may be as little as a few hundred dollars. They look like hearing aids and are often marketed as such. However, they are different than hearing aids in that there is no prescription value in them. They are simply amplifiers that are not individualized to your unique hearing needs.
Also, check if the professional fees are included in the price or is the price for the hearing aids only. Worth Hearing Center includes our professional fees during your warranty period, which may be one to three years.
Advancements in technology in the last few years has brought about huge improvements in the instruments’ ability to provide more natural hearing; newer technology costs more because it provides more.
Hearing devices are little computers. The devices are making calculations based on the sounds coming into the instruments and making adjustments on what you are listening to. Generally, the more basic computer (hearing aid), the less expensive it is. The more advanced the computer (hearing aid), the more expensive it is.
Why is it better to get two hearing aids and not just one?
The brain is accustomed to hearing sound from both sides so if hearing loss affects both ears, having just one hearing aid creates more difficulty for the brain to try to properly process sound. We understand that the use of one hearing aid is usually a financial issue; we’ll do everything we can to help on the financial side while helping improve your hearing. In fact, it is so important to hear with two ears that it is better to have two less expensive hearing aids than one of the most expensive hearing aids.
What factors should I consider if I am thinking about buying hearing aids?
We think the most important factors are finding a hearing care provider who offers quality service and helps solve your hearing issue with appropriate treatment, and the kind of life to style you want to lead. It’s more than just technology. If you want to live a more active life, knowing that ahead of time can help your hearing care provider or audiologist determine what hearing aids are right for you.
Do my hearing aids have a warranty?
Most hearing aid manufacturers offer one to three-year warranties that will cover repairs and a one-time loss and damage. At Worth Hearing Center, our professional fees are including during your warranty period.
How long do hearing aids last?
A hearing aid can last from four to six years. They will require cleaning, recharging or battery replacement, and possible fine-tuning so plan on seeing your audiologist at least two times a year to extend their lifespan.
What do I have to do to maintain my hearing aids?
Your hearing provider or audiologist will clean and check your hearing aids regularly. Outside of this, your hearing aids should be cleaned several times a week as instructed by your hearing health care provider. When not using your hearing aids, they should be stored in a dehumidified area to prevent moisture damage.
Can I sleep with my hearing aids in?
This depends on how comfortable it is for you. Your hearing aids may fall out while you sleep. You also have to decide if sleeping with your hearing aids on is a good use of battery life, or if you would prefer to charge them overnight.
Can my hearing aids get wet?
Generally, hearing aids are not waterproof and should not be worn when swimming or showering. However, most are “moisture resistant,” which means they can withstand slight exposure to moisture. There are a few, such as the Lyric hearing aid, which are designed to wear while sleeping, showering, and exercising that are more water resistant than the regular hearing aid.
What should I do if my hearing aids get wet?
If your hearing aid gets wet, turn it off and remove the battery from the device. If you own a dehumidifier, place your device in the dehumidifier for about 24 hours, or three to four drying cycles. If you don’t own a dehumidifier, shake your hearing aid to clear the water, dry your device and battery with a cloth, and place both on an object that is warm to the touch (like a heating pad) for several hours to dry them out.
I don’t really want to deal with all the time it takes to insert my hearing aids, maintain them, and remove them. What can I do instead?
Worth Hearing Center will clean and check your hearing aids for you and this is no charge during your warranty period. However, you have to insert and remove your hearing aids and change their batteries on your own. It is important to establish that as a daily routine so you can hear your best. Our team is here to help you learn and understand how to maintain your devices.
How do I clean my hearing aids?
Your hearing care provider or audiologist can walk you through how to clean your devices. You will need a brush tool that cleans the areas where dirt, dust, and ear wax are trapped. You should wipe your hearing aid off daily with a moist cleansing wipe and use the brush when the microphone or earmold areas are dirty or blocked.
How often should I wear my hearing aids?
You should wear your hearing aids daily for as long as you feel comfortable so your ears can adjust to them. Most hearing aid batteries will allow you to wear your devices for 12 to 16 hours each day. There is a “breaking in” period as you adjust to wearing hearing aids; please don’t be discouraged after just a few days. Our providers will schedule follow-up appointments during your first few weeks and months to help you through this process.
Are hearing aids comfortable?
Your hearing devices should be very comfortable; you should be able to put them in and forget they are there. Many hearing aids today are molded specifically for your ear, which makes them fit cleanly and comfortably. Other types fit over the ear, with a thin conduit that fits into the ear canal. Your audiologist will help you determine which type of hearing aid will fit your lifestyle better. If you experience any discomfort with your earmold or hearing aid, talk to your hearing care provider or audiologist about a new earmold material or having your hearing aids remolded to your ears.
Why do I have a problem hearing when there is background noise?
It is important to note that a person with normal hearing hears only about 65% of speech in background noise. It is a hard task to do. Fortunately, today’s hearing aids are designed to amplify speech and reduce the volume of background noise, but it is not perfect. Your hearing aids will not completely cure all the issues you may encounter when trying to hear with background noise. Make sure to communicate face-to-face with people to help your hearing aid focus on the sounds in front of you and block out the background noise.
Can hearing aids make my hearing worse?
You must have a proper hearing loss diagnosis and an accurate hearing aid fitting for your hearing aids to help your hearing. If your hearing aids amplify the too much sound or a wider range of frequencies than necessary, it can damage the hair cells in the inner ear and exaggerate the hearing loss. That’s another reason it’s so important to have an audiologist evaluate and fit your hearing aids instead of a hearing aid dispenser.
What is the best way to remove earwax?
We do not recommend any over-the-counter solution that is used to loosen cerumen and a rubber bulb to squirt warm water into the ear canal to remove the wax. Our audiologists can inspect the ear canal and safety and carefully remove ear wax, whether it’s interfering with your hearing loss or not.
Is it bad to use cotton swabs in your ears?
It is recommended that you use other cleaning methods in your ear, not cotton swabs. Cotton swabs can cause damage if they are pushed too far into the ear and can clog the canal if the ear wax is hard.
How often should I take a hearing test?
We recommend having a hearing test every year if you are over the age of 55. Until then, a good rule of thumb is to have your hearing evaluated at least every three years and if you feel your hearing has changed for any reason. If it has been more than three years since your last test, schedule a hearing test with us today.
My ears itch when I wear my hearing aids. What can I do?
If you are a first-time hearing aid user or have purchased a new hearing system, it is common for your ears to itch for the first few days. If the itching persists for longer than that and you have no skin allergies, speak to us about getting a different sized speaker tip. If you have a custom earmold, your itching could be caused by moisture and bacteria in the shell of the mold. A hearing aid dryer with a UV light can be used to kill the bacteria, which should stop the itching. If none of these options succeed, talk to us about other options.
How long do hearing aid batteries last?
The life of a battery depends on the size of the units you use. If you have a small hearing aid, it will use small batteries which have a short life. Larger hearing aids use larger batteries that last longer. Batteries generally last from three to nine days.
Are there rechargeable hearing aid batteries?
Yes, there are some very good and reliable rechargeable hearing aid solutions as this time. You simply place the devices in a charger overnight, take them out in the morning and will have about 18 hours of battery life on a charge.
Should I store my hearing aid batteries in the freezer?
Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place, but not in the freezer. Some types of batteries have small holes; storing them in the freezer allows moisture to enter which cuts into the battery life.