What kinds 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 totally fit 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, to name a few. Digital hearing aids, which are adjusted via a computer connection, 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.
Lyric® is the first and only extended wear hearing device that is 100% invisible. Lyric is comfortably placed completely inside the ear canal by the audiologist and can be worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for months at a time. Like conventional hearing aids, Lyric will be programmed for your specific hearing needs. You will be able to adjust the settings and volume on your device as needed, as well as turn the device on and off.
What level of hearing improvement is reasonable?
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 this option during the hearing aid consultation.
I know people that have hearing aids and do not wear them. Will this happen to me?
Properly selected and fit hearing aids are very successful. We recognize however, that it is important that every hearing aid patient have a forty-five 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 forty-five 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 small trial fee.
How much do hearing aids cost?
Prices vary greatly depending upon circuit technology and hearing aid size. Prices range between eight hundred dollars and thirty-five hundred dollars per hearing aid. There are programs available that will provide a hearing aid to those that otherwise cannot afford one.
Does Medicare or Medicare supplemental insurance pay for hearing aids?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Hearing aids are not considered “necessary or reasonable” according to Medicare guidelines and 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 agent 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.
What devices, other than hearing aids, are available to help me?
A wide range of products, often referred to as assistive listening devices (ALDs), are available to help people hear better in specific situations. For example, assistive listening devices are available to improve hearing while watching television or for group-listening situations such as movies, lectures or religious services. Specific devices are also available for individuals who have difficulty hearing the doorbell, car signal, or emergency alarms. Telephone amplifiers are available for individuals who are experiencing difficulty understanding speech while using the telephone. Speak with your audiologist concerning other ALDs that may be beneficial for your specific situation.