How do I know if I have hearing loss?
Over 30 million people in the United States have hearing loss. It is increasingly common as we get older, with 1 in 3 between 65-74 having hearing loss and almost half of those over 75 having hearing loss.
Most of the time hearing problems begin gradually, without discomfort or pain. What’s more, family members often learn to adapt to someone’s hearing loss, without even realizing they are doing it. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether you have hearing loss:
- Do I often ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do I have trouble following conversations with more than two people?
- Do I have difficulty hearing what is said unless I’m facing the speaker?
- Does it sound like other people are mumbling or slurring their words?
- Do I struggle to hear in crowded places like restaurants, malls and meeting rooms?
- Do I have a hard time hearing women or children?
- Do I prefer the TV or radio volume louder than others?
- Do I experience ringing or buzzing in my ears?
If you answered yes to several of these questions, chances are you do suffer from hearing loss.
How much do hearing aids cost?
The price of a hearing aid will vary depending on the specific model and features you need, and how effective it is in various noise environments. We make recommendations based on your lifestyle and how sophisticated your hearing aids need to be to meet your listening requirements.
The reality is that hearing treatment is an investment. Treating hearing loss with hearing aids can range anywhere from $1000 to $7000 or more. We counsel all of our patients on making a decision based on what they can afford, and most importantly, what will improve their quality of life for years and years to come. An investment in better hearing is an investment in yourself and the people you love.
Regardless of the final cost, we do offer financing options to help you afford the technology you need.
Are cheap hearing aids any good?
Many inexpensive or over-the-counter hearing aids are simply amplifiers. That means that they amplify everything, including background noise and ambient noise. They do not perform digital processing that separates speech from the noise, or that reduces noise.
Our recommendation is to always use caution when buying hearing aids based on price alone. Quite often, even if you are being fit by a “hearing professional”, the quality of both the technology that you are buying and the skill with which it is being fit will be lacking.
We have seen too many times a patient that bought a set of hearing aids simply because they are cheap, and even though they “saved” a few thousand dollars, the money they spent was a waste because they didn’t wear the hearing aids and they ended up in the dresser drawer.
A reputable Audiologist such as those at ClearLife Hearing Care, will work with you to help you understand the pros and cons of different types of technology, and work with you to find a solution that meets your budget and that you will be happy with for years to come.
Can hearing loss be treated?
The vast majority of hearing loss is permanent (about 93%). There are some cases of hearing loss from disease such as ear infections, swimmers ear, and some viral infections, that can be treated and hearing can be restored.
When you see your ClearLife Audiologist for a hearing consultation, they will perform testing to determine the type and cause of hearing loss that you have. If a medical referral is appropriate, they will send you to a qualified physician for treatment.
The majority of Americans with hearing loss are treated with hearing aids.
Will people be able to see my hearing aids?
We understand that cosmetics are a concern for our patients. We have found that for most people who were initially concerned about their hearing aids being visible, the improvement in quality of life that they received from better hearing far outweighed their concerns about aesthetics. Also, our patients are much less embarrassed to be seen wearing a hearing aid than they are to constantly have to ask for repetition or respond inappropriately because of their hearing loss.
Additionally, modern hearing aids have been miniaturized to the point that they are often unnoticeable. In fact, some devices are completely invisible.
Will I need two hearing aids?
Most age-related, noise-induced, and genetic hearing loss occurs in both ears (binaural). If you have hearing loss in both of your ears, we will recommend binaural hearing aids. Having equal hearing in both ears results in better hearing in quiet and noisy situations, and better ability to tell where sounds are coming from.
About two-thirds of Americans are fit binaurally with hearing aids. Studies have shown that patients who have hearing loss in both ears and wear two hearing aids are significantly happier than those who only wear one.
Are hearing aids better now than they used to be?
Like many other high-tech devices (TVs, phones, computers), hearing aids have experienced a major technological revolution in the past decade and especially in the last few years.
The best of today’s hearing aids are designed to virtually eliminate feedback; make listening in noisy environments easier and more comfortable; stream stereo sound from TVs and radios directly to the hearing aid itself; let you talk on your phone hands-free; and much more. All in instruments that are smaller (in some cases, invisible) and more comfortable and powerful than ever before.
What if I don't like my hearing aids?
We understand that you are making a significant investment when you purchase hearing aids, and we want to make sure that you are completely satisfied with that investment. That is why we offer a 45 day trial period with ALL of our hearing aids.
That means if you don’t like your hearing aids we can try different types of technology, or you can return the devices. We refund the full price of the hearing aids less our fitting and travel fees.
Your trust, confidence, and satisfaction is our #1 priority. On average, over 90% of our new patients decide they are highly satisfied with their investment in better hearing, and decide to keep their hearing aids. We use the most advanced and proven patient care technology and practices to ensure our patients the highest possible likelihood of success with hearing aids.
Why hasn't my physician recommended hearing aids?
Only about 13% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss. Since most people with hearing impairments hear just fine in quiet environments (like your doctor’s office), it can be very difficult for your physician to recognize this problem. Additionally, most physicians do not complete continuing education on hearing aids and hearing loss, so they are not typically aware of what technology and options are available.
Only a trained hearing professional can determine the severity of your hearing problem, whether or not you could benefit from a hearing aid, and which type would be best for you.
I think I have a hearing problem. What do I do?
Schedule a house call with a ClearLife Doctor of Audiology. We will perform a complete evaluation, and determine what the best course of action is for you.
You can reach us at 844-440-HEAR (4327) or by email at [email protected]
Our regular hours are Monday-Friday from 8-5, however after hours and Saturday appointments are available by request.
How will hearing aids improve my quality of life?
Hearing aids have been found to have a significant positive impact in multiple areas of people’s lives. Just a few examples of the reported changes after wearing hearing aids include:
- Higher self-confidence
- Better relationships with friends and family
- More likely to be socially active
- Lower incidence of isolation and depression
- Increased earning power
- Better overall sense of well-being
You can see that the potential improvement in quality of life by wearing hearing aids is significant!