Hearing Aids FAQ

How do I know if I suffer from hearing loss?
What are the different types of hearing loss?
What are the different types of hearing aids?
What should I consider when buying a hearing aid?
How much do hearing aids cost?
What is a disposable hearing aid?
How long do disposable hearing aids last?
Do I need a hearing exam to buy disposable hearing aids?
Should I wear one or two hearing aids?
Why are zinc air batteries used in hearing aids?
What type of battery does or will my hearing aid need?
How long do hearing aid batteries last?

How do I know if I suffer from hearing loss?
To determine whether you suffer from hearing loss it is best to consult a licensed medical professional or audiologist who will properly assess your hearing ability. Often, people who suffer from hearing loss recognize that they have a reduced ability to communicate as they find speech or conversation more difficult to follow. This may result in frustration as one feels others are mumbling, needs to ask others to repeat themselves or may avoid social situations because of embarrassment. Some people find that others complain about how loud they listen to the television or stereo. There are many signs of hearing loss, and if it is suspected, then do be sure to have tests done to ensure it is diagnosed and treated properly and to also ensure that it is not a symptom of another ailment or disease.

What are the different types of hearing loss?
Conductive hearing loss is caused by interference with sound or transmission through the outer and/or middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is often called nerve loss and is caused by disorders of the inner ear or auditory nerve itself. One can also suffer from mixed hearing loss which involves both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

What are the different types of hearing aids?
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) - Sits behind your ear and is connected to an ear mold placed inside your ear via tubing. BTE devices are fastened on the ear with an ear hook and the ear molds are custom made to fit the user's ear.

In the Ear (ITE) - These are placed in the ear of the wearer.

In the Canal (ITC) and Completely in the Canal (CIC) - With ITCs and CICs, the whole hearing aid is placed inside the canal. ITCs are often larger than CIC devices. CICs are extremely tiny in size and are almost invisible.

Body-worn hearing aids - These aids use an external box worn by the user. The user wears an ear piece which is attached to the box by a wire.

There are also disposable hearing aids available which have a built-in battery and, after the allotted hour or time usage, the user simply replaces the entire aid.

What should I consider when buying a hearing aid?
The type of hearing aid devices recommended for users will greatly depend on the nature and extent of hearing loss and the size and shape of the outer ear and canal as some conditions (e.g ear drainage) may prevent a person from wearing hearing aids that block the ear or canal.

Aesthetic considerations play a large role for some wearers who may prefer wearing nearly invisible aids, while others prefer an aid that although visible blends with their skin tone. Small hearing aids (ITCs or CICs) also have tiny batteries and those with limited dexterity or sight problems may find these difficult to operate.

It is beneficial to examine the hearing aids' warranty stipulations and consider insurance options for your device. Trial periods to ensure the person is happy with their purchased product can be useful to the customer, but it is best to ask whether or not there will be a charge if it is returned. A purchaser must also consider repair options and whether you can access a loaner during times of reparation.

Assistive listening devices are compatible with certain aids, so it is best to determine what functions will be needed to ensure that the aid has the capabilities that will suit the user both now and in the future.

How much do hearing aids cost?
There are many factors that need to be considered when estimating the price of the hearing aid: What type of aid is it? What accessories does it have? Is it digital or analogue? Is it programmable? Did I get my hearing consultation and other services with the aid? What are the capabilities and product features?

One hearing aid can cost $50 (for disposable aids) to $5,000 for models with the most cutting-edge technology.

What is a disposable hearing aid?
The disposable hearing aid has a built-in battery and, after the allotted hour or time usage, the user simply replaces the entire aid.

How long do disposable hearing aids last?
Songbird currently makes aids that last 400 hours or 90 days (whichever is reached first) and 600 hours or 120 days (whichever is reached first).

Do I need a hearing exam to buy disposable hearing aids?
There is no hearing exam required for the Songbird 400, although anyone who suspects hearing loss or believes they need an aid should consult a licensed professional first.

Should I wear one or two hearing aids?
Because every person has a different extent of hearing loss with a different type, this is difficult to answer. Some believe that there are benefits to wearing two aids. Obviously they provide for a more balanced hearing by better directing sound from different areas. Some believe that two aids provide more clarity and allow the user to hear better in noisy locations.

A licensed professional or audiologist will best be able to recommend whether one or two aids will work best for you.

Why are zinc air batteries used in hearing aids?
Hearing aids require a lot of power and energy. For this reason zinc air batteries are most often used because they produce a large amount of energy despite their very light weight and small size.

What type of battery does or will my hearing aid need?
Every hearing aid takes a specific size battery. Companies now have a new-color coded system to help customers better remember and match their battery with their aid. Look through your hearing aid manual to determine the size. For future reference just remember your color to purchase the correct size.

Red - Size 5, Yellow - Size 10 (230), Orange - Size 13, Brown - Size 312 and Blue - Size 675.

How long do hearing aid batteries last?
This depends on how much energy and power the hearing aid needs, how often you use it and what type of hearing aid it is. Some batteries may last days while others can last weeks. Consult your hearing professional and read through information supplied by your battery manufacturer to ensure that you follow the steps to maximize the life of the batteries.
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