An estimated 48 million Americans have hearing loss. Hearing loss can be identified at birth or develop at any age. If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, an audiologist may suggest a treatment plan that includes hearing aids. Our HASA audiology team has put together a list of some of the most common hearing aid FAQs (frequently asked questions). Our goal is to educate you and your loved ones and put your minds at ease.
What is an audiologist?
Audiologists are licensed healthcare professionals who evaluate, diagnose, and treat hearing and balance disorders. Most audiologists earn a doctor of audiology degree through 8 years of education and clinical training. Audiologists work in various settings including:
- Hearing Health Clinics
- Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Physician Offices
- Private Practice
- Residential Care Facilities
How do I know if I need hearing aids?
There are two primary indicators that someone may be experiencing hearing loss. One is that you feel like everyone is mumbling around you. Another signal is that you, or your friends and family, notice that you’re asking them to repeat more frequently. After a comprehensive hearing evaluation, your audiologist will determine if you have hearing loss and if you might benefit from amplification.
How long does it take to get used to wearing a hearing aid?
While the timing varies, it typically takes a few weeks to adjust to your hearing aids. The adjustment to hearing aids happens in the brain, so it won’t happen overnight. Taking the time to ease into better hearing will help with overall success with amplification. After a month of consistent wear, if you are still uncomfortable with your hearing aids, contact your audiologist for a follow-up evaluation.
Do hearing aids hurt at first?
During the adjustment period, you may experience sharp, high-pitched sounds that may startle you. But do not worry, these reverberations should not hurt or affect your hearing. Simply adjusting your settings can alleviate this problem.
Are there any side effects to wearing hearing aids?
Some side effects of hearing aids include:
- Earwax build-up
- Skin irritation and itchiness
Your hearing aid settings must be adjusted accordingly. If they are set too high, it results in excessive sound intake and causes headaches. Some people are sensitive to particular materials which may cause skin irritation. Furthermore, you should never attempt to clean excess earwax with a cotton swab. If you experience any of the following side effects when using your hearing aids, schedule an appointment with your audiologist.
Will a hearing aid restore my hearing to normal?
There is no cure for hearing loss. However, hearing aids amplify sound and make hearing and understanding speech easier.
How long do hearing aids last?
The life of a hearing aid is approximately five to seven years. Like any specialized device, regular care is key to longevity. Regular appointments ensure proper functioning and programming. Hearing aids also offer a variety of warranties. Therefore, you must honor any contractual maintenance to not invalidate your coverage.
Do hearing aids use special batteries?
Hearing aids can have rechargeable or disposable batteries. If you choose a model that uses disposable batteries, you can purchase replacements at pharmacies, grocery stores, or online retailers such as Amazon.
How long do disposable hearing aid batteries last?
The battery life depends on the type and how many hours per day you wear your hearing aid. Smaller hearing aid batteries need replacing within 3 to 7 days, while larger batteries may last 10 days.
Why do hearing aids cost so much?
There is a wide variety of hearing aids available. Keep in mind that modern devices are essentially computers that you wear on your ears. The technology has advanced significantly and includes helpful features such as Bluetooth connectivity. Modern hearing aids also offer complex warranties covering loss, replacement, and repairs, which are typically included in the purchase price. While it may seem excessive, the warranties are worth the peace of mind!
HASA audiologists are trained to work with children and adults of all ages. Our expertise, compassion, and specialized equipment allow us to modify testing and treatment. We hope that by providing information – like hearing aid FAQs- that you can make an informed decision regarding the purchase of your device. Contact the HASA audiology team today for more information or to schedule an appointment.