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What is an Audiologist and why should I see a professional for
hearing aid service?
Audiologists have, at minimum, a Master’s degree and many have earned either a Clinical Doctorate (Au.D.)
or Academic Doctorate (Ph.D). The minimum entrance degree for Audiology is now the Au.D. This means your
services are being provided by a professional who has between six and eight years of college education with
two to four of those years spent exclusively in the areas of ear and hearing disorders. There are no other
professionals better trained or able to serve your hearing needs.
How do I know if I need a hearing aid(s)?
The results of the audiologic evaluation are a critical factor in helping to determine the need for hearing aid(s), the type of hearing aid(s) and whether one or two aids are needed. The audiologist will review the results of your evaluation and weigh personal preferences, lifestyle, and overall health to provide various options and recommendations for remediation, if needed.
What kind of hearing aids are available?
Hearing aids are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, from instruments that fit behind the ear to instruments that fit completely within the ear canal and are minimally visible. Electronic circuitry has advanced significantly in the recent past, allowing patients greater sound comfort and improved speech recognition in noisy situations. Digital hearing aids, which are adjusted via a computer, provide the most flexibility, allowing the audiologist to custom fit the response of the device to a specific hearing loss. Digital hearing aids can be modified if hearing changes or as your listening needs change. Your audiologist will help you choose the best instrument according to your needs and your budget.
What level of hearing improvement is reasonable?
This varies from one individual to another. Despite advances in hearing aid technology, no hearing aid has been designed that will filter out all background noise. However, directional microphone technology and improved signal processing can significantly improve word understanding in many noisy situations. We will be happy to discuss reasonable expectations during your hearing aid consultation.
I know people that have hearing aids and do not wear them. Will this happen to me?
Properly selected and fitted hearing aids are very successful. We recognize however, that it is important that every hearing aid patient have a thirty-day trial opportunity. This provides ample time for you to learn about amplification. It also allows time for adjustment to improved hearing and affords the audiologist time to fine-tune your instruments. At the end of the thirty days, you will have a realistic appreciation of hearing aid performance. If you are not completely satisfied, the hearing aids can be returned for a full refund minus a professional service fee for time and materials.
Does Medicare or Medicare supplemental insurance pay for hearing aids?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Hearing aids are generally an out-of-pocket expense.
Does traditional health insurance cover hearing aids?
Typically, standard health insurance does not cover hearing aids. However, there are infrequent occasions when special hearing aid benefits are included in health care coverage. Check with your insurance provider or human resources department to learn if your insurance includes hearing aid benefits. If hearing aids are covered, ask if pre-authorization is required and specific information about the extent of the benefits.
Speak with an audiologist concerning your specific needs.