While hearing aids have been around for well over a century, they remain one of the most commonly misunderstood medical devices. That being said, if you’re in the market for a hearing aid, you likely have a lot of questions about what they are really capable of.
In this Hearing Aid 101, we’ll cover those hearing aid basics that you’ve probably been wondering about. Here are just 5 need to knows.
1. Most common hearing losses can be treated with hearing aids.
Generally speaking, there are three hearing loss types: 1) sensorineural hearing loss, 2) conductive hearing loss, and 3) mixed hearing loss. Of these, sensorineural hearing loss is the most common.
Sensorineural hearing loss is characterized by permanent damage to the inner ear. Of the subtypes of this hearing loss, age-related hearing loss (also called presbycusis) is the most common. While it cannot be cured, hearing aids can help to improve the hearing of someone with this loss.
Conductive hearing loss, on the other hand, is caused by damage to the ear canal. This type of hearing loss can be attributed to anything from wax build-up to a benign tumor; in either case, consult a doctor. While this hearing loss may subside once the obstruction is removed, hearing aids may be able to help with any remaining hearing loss.
Finally, mixed hearing loss is a blend of the two hearing loss types. With this in mind, once the potential obstruction has been removed from your ears (conductive hearing loss), you may be able to treat the remaining hearing loss (sensorineural hearing loss) with hearing aids.
2. Hearing tests make shopping for a hearing aid easier.
Hearing tests (or audiograms) can make shopping for a hearing aid a little bit easier. While our hearing aids are pre-programmed to accommodate the most common hearing losses, a hearing test can simplify the selection process, as it gives us a better idea of your hearing loss.
To get a hearing test, visit your local ear, nose, and throat doctor. Your doctor will give you a pair of headphones, and by listening to a variety of sounds, your doctor can compare your hearing to that of a person with ‘normal hearing.’
After that, you’ll be provided with an audiogram, which will allow your hearing aid provider to help you select the best aid for you. For more unique hearing losses, like cookie bite hearing loss, it may be beneficial to purchase a programmable hearing device, like the Sonic Cheer 20.
Don’t feel like making a trip to the doctor?
While we certainly encourage you to get your hearing checked by a professional, you can always visit our Online Hearing Check to get a general sense of your hearing loss.
3. Consider your lifestyle and budget when choosing a hearing aid.
Your lifestyle and budget also play a critical role in deciding which hearing aid will work best for you. After over 20 years in the hearing industry, we’ve found that the happiest customers are ones who are honest with themselves about these factors.
At Advanced Affordable Hearing, our hearing aids accommodate a wide variety of lifestyles and budgets. For example, the HCX and Sonic Cheer 20 offer the greatest background noise reduction for those with an active lifestyle. On the other hand, for those who spend most of their time in quieter environments, the HCR3 or HC206 may be suitable.
If budget is a concern, our basic HC206 starting hearing aids cost as low as $149 per aid. Even still, our most advanced device, the Sonic Cheer 20, calls for mere $599 per aid, which is still a great deal when compared to the cost of most sold by your local provider.
4. Hearing aids require an adjustment period.
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t put on a pair of hearing aids and expect your hearing to be restored. In fact, these devices are not capable of restoring hearing that’s been lost; instead, they amplify sound to accommodate the hearing you have left.
Because your hearing aids must partner with your ears and brain to hear better, they will need time to adjust to hearing again. And most likely, you will need some time to adjust too because you’ll start hearing sounds you haven’t heard in a while, from birds chirping to the low hum of a refrigerator.
In most cases, adjusting to your new way of hearing requires somewhere between 3 to 5 weeks. While this could seem like a while, the results will be worth it in the end. To learn more, read What to Expect.
5. Treat your hearing aids well, and they’ll last you 3-5 years or more.
A common question many prospective wearers ask is how long their hearing aids will last. Even if you purchase cost-effective hearing aids, like these, you’re making an investment that you’d probably like to last.
The amount of time that your hearing aids will last heavily depends upon how well you take care of them. For example, regular cleanings and changing your tubes and domes every few months will help to maintain the condition of your hearing aids, as well as help you to hear your best.
There are other reasons you may want to change out your hearing aids early. Two of the most common reasons you may need new on are changes in your lifestyle or your hearing loss.
Got questions? We have answers!
These are just 5 of the many things to know about hearing aids. If you’re looking to purchase your very own pair, you may have more questions. To speak with one of our representatives today, call .