Hearing Aids FAQ

Facilitating full understanding of your hearing loss.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hearing Aids

If you are our patient, we want to make sure you fully understand your hearing loss as well as your possible hearing solutions. It's important that you know what can be done about your hearing loss and why it will work. We don't ever want you to feel like you don't understand what we are suggesting. Ultimately, the decision of what to do about your hearing loss is yours to make, and that means you need the information to make that decision. We're here to help guide you to find what will work best for you.

Hearing Questions & Answers

Starting with hearing aids for the first time can be an adjustment. We always explain to you what you can expect from hearing aids and how they work. We're always available to talk with you about anything you don't understand or that you want to know more about. Select the question to learn the answer.

  1. Sensorineural hearing loss refers to damage to the hearing nerve, can be caused by aging, exposure to noise, or other reasons. This can be treated with hearing aids.
  2. Conductive hearing loss refers to blockage in the ear physically preventing sound from being conducted. This can be caused by earwax, illness, or other reasons and is often treated with medical intervention.
  3. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both. Usually individuals with mixed hearing loss first have medical treatment for the conductive hearing loss and then get hearing aids to address the sensorineural hearing loss.
Many people still have the perception that hearing aids correct hearing loss by making things louder. It's much more complicated than that because human hearing is complicated. Hearing aids don't just turn up the volume. Modern hearing aids also have a degree of processing that filters the sound you hear to help distinguish between noise and speech and better understand speech.
Unfortunately, hearing aids will not cure hearing loss. They are a treatment option. However, hearing aids will help you overcome the challenges of having hearing loss. They will enable to hear and understand better than you have in years, allowing you to become more involved in conversation and activities in the world around you.

You'll notice a difference immediately, but your experience the first day of wearing hearing aids is not the same as it will be over time. This happens for several reasons. First, your brain will need to get used to the sounds you can now hear. We will also be making adjustments to your hearing aids as you adapt to the hearing aids. We never start you with your full prescription because it will be too much. Instead, we set a schedule so that you can be comfortable on Day 1, then increase output as you get used to it over a period of weeks.

Sound is like exercise for the brain. If you don't exercise, you're not going to run a 25k on Day 1. It's the same with hearing and auditory processing. You'll get worn out because your brain hasn't been exercising the part that understands those sounds for a long time. Eventually, you'll be better able to handle more, but you have to work to that point first.

The most important thing is to stick with it and wear your hearing aids all day, every day. You need to give your brain a chance to acclimate to the new sounds you may be hearing for the first time in years or even decades. As long as we set your initial levels properly, you shouldn't be too uncomfortable at the beginning. Give yourself a few days with your new hearing aids to see if your brain will adjust on its own. If it's still too uncomfortable, call us and we will try to readjust to help you out.
Hearing aids generally last anywhere between 3–7 years. Usually by the time three years have passed, the technology has improved significantly. But most people aren't ready to replace their hearing aids that quickly, so as long as you take good care of your devices, they should hold up beyond three years. Usually within 4–6 years we'll start running into some maintenance issues and wear and tear. Eventually, as you get closer to the 6–7 year range, the technology has improved enough that it's more cost-effective to get new hearing aids with more advanced technology instead of continuing to repair the same outdated devices.
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