Get Answers | FAQ
What is a hearing aid?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device worn in or behind your ear(s). This device has a microphone, and amplifier and filter circuits built into a tiny housing, plus a speaker (or receiver) that sends the improved louder sound to your ear drum.
How can hearing aids help?
Do I need a hearing aid?
Do all hearing aids work the same way?
The use of analog processing in hearing aids is virtually extinct today.
Digital aids convert soundwaves into numerical codes, similar to the binary code of a computer, before amplifying them. Virtually all the music you hear today has been digitized. In hearing aids, the aid can be specially programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others. Digital circuits gives a hearing professional more flexibility in programming the aid to a user’s needs and to certain listening environments. These aids also can be programmed to focus on sounds coming from a specific direction using tiny directional microphones built into housing.
Digital circuits are now amazingly complex, and hearing aids borrow from smart phone technology breakthroughs. A modern digital hearing aid is a tech marvel. The number of circuits combined, of course, impacts the price of the hearing aid. Quality digital aids are not cheap, despite what you may see and hear in advertisements.
Which hearing aid will work best for me?
We work with you to select a hearing aid that best suits your lifestyle and needs, and that also fits your budget. Style and circuits can affect cost and the most expensive hearing aid may not always be the best suited device for you. A person who spends the day at home watching TV has different needs than someone in the work force who attends meetings and uses technology. We will not sell you features you don’t want or need.
A hearing aid will not restore your normal hearing. Using hearing aids takes some getting used to. With practice and our guidance, however, hearing aids will improve your life and get you back into the conversations, enjoying the laughter, re-connecting with family and friends. You will want to wear your hearing aid regularly, so we help you to select one that is convenient and easy for you to use.
What questions should I ask before buying a hearing aid?
- What features would be most useful to me?
- What is the total cost of the hearing aid?
- Is there a trial period to test the hearing aids? Ours is 30 days, no risk.
- What fees are nonrefundable if the aids are returned after the trial period?
- How long is the factory warranty?
- Can the warranty be extended?
- Will loaner aids be provided when repairs are needed? Ours are free to Premium Club members.
- What instruction and services will the hearing professional provide? This is our Service.
How can I adjust to my hearing aid?
Become familiar with your hearing aid’s features. Work with your us until you are comfortable and satisfied. This is our great advantage, as Parker Hearing Institute is renowned for our empathy and patient hearing care.
How can I care for my hearing aid?
- Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture. Ask about a Store-n-Dry from us.
- Clean hearing aids as we instruct you. Earwax and ear drainage can damage a hearing aid.
- Avoid using hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
- Turn off hearing aids when they are not in use. Open the battery door when not in your ears.
- Replace dead batteries immediately.
Are new types of aids available?
A bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is a small device that attaches to the bone behind the ear. The device transmits sound vibrations directly to the inner ear through the skull, bypassing the middle ear. BAHAs are generally used by individuals with middle ear problems or deafness in one ear. Because surgery is required to implant either of these devices, many hearing specialists feel that the benefits may not outweigh the risks.
Can I obtain financial assistance for a hearing aid?
Medicare does not cover hearing aids for adults. However, hearing tests are covered if they are ordered by a physician for the purpose of assisting the physician in developing a treatment plan. That’s the bad news, the good news is we can finance the devices for you, and bill you separately from our clinical follow-up service. Talk to us at the office, we will walk you through your coverage and payment options.
What research is being done on hearing aids?
In hearing aids, and in life in general, an important consideration of quality is Signal-to-Noise ratio (s/n). This means the wanted sound or signal must be “lifted” from the unwanted noise floor surrounding it (background noise, street noise, crowd noise, etc). We all need more signal and less noise. Consider the sounds of a busy restaurant with hard walls and music playing in the background. Hearing one speaker at your table is very difficult even for persons without hearing loss. Hearing aid circuitry must, somehow, identify that one speaker, amplify his/her voice and subdue (or turn down) the background noise. Each new environment presents it’s own challenges, so some aids store presets for filters and amplification.
Directional microphones are great for making it easier for people to hear a single conversation, even when surrounded by other noises and voices. Some aids feature “sound zones” that you can turn up or down from your smart phone, and some aids have GPS memories to store frequented locations where specific filter presets are important. If you like tech talk, visit our research room here.
What is the difference between an Audiologist and a Hearing Instrument Dispenser?
Audiologists are not the only people allowed by law to dispense hearing aids. The hearing aid specialist (also know as a hearing aid dispenser) is licensed to perform basic hearing tests for the purpose of selling and servicing hearing aids and related products. This individual has a minimum of an associate’s degree (in whichever major they chose) that includes four hearing-related classes.
We have both kinds of Providers here at Parker Hearing Institute, and they work together to bring you the best service possible.
How do I know if I have hearing loss?
You may have hearing loss if…
- You hear people speaking their words are mumbled.
- You don’t laugh at jokes because you miss too much of the story or the punch line.
- You understand men but not women and children
- You need to ask others about the details of a story you just heard.
- You play the TV louder than your friends or family.
- You cannot hear the doorbell or the telephone.
- You find that looking at people when they speak helps.
Why should I get two hearing aids?
People cannot hear well using only one ear. Binaural hearing allows a quality of “spaciousness” or “high fidelity” to sounds, which cannot occur with monaural (one ear) listening. Understanding speech clearly, particularly in challenging and noisy situations, is easier while using both ears. Additionally, using two hearing aids allows people to speak with you from either side of your head – not just your “good” side!