Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why can’t I hear in crowds? 

Most people tend to lose their high frequency consonant sounds first, such as /t/ /k/ /s/ while they maintain their vowel sounds such as /o/ /e/ /a/. The vowel sounds make up the background noise and the consonant sounds make up the clarity. When these sounds are missing the listener tends to mix up the words ‘cat’ and ‘cap’. They also report people sound like they are mumbling, they cannot hear when they are not looking at people, they cannot understand females and children as well, and they cannot hear in background noise. 

 

Why do I hear better when I look at someone?

Naturally, everyone uses some speechreading cues. As we age, we lose consonant sounds /t/ /k/ /s/ making us rely even more on watching people’s mouth movements to differentiate between words like ‘cat’ and ‘cap’.

 

Why can’t I hear women or children?

Most people tend to lose their high frequency consonant sounds first, such as /t/ /k/ /s/ while they maintain their vowel sounds such as /o/ /e/ /a/. The vowel sounds make up the background noise and the consonant sounds make up the clarity. When these sounds are missing the listener tends to mix up the words ‘cat’ and ‘cap’. They also report people sound like they are mumbling, they cannot hear when they are not looking at people, they cannot understand females and children as well, and they cannot hear in background noise. 

 

When should I get hearing aids?

You and your Audiologist will decide on hearing aids when the time is right. If hearing loss exists and it is impacting your lifestyle, it is important to try hearing aids. Hearing loss can lead to higher rates of depression, isolation, and have negative health consequences. The sooner we get hearing aids the better. Remember, at Denison Hearing, you will have a risk-free trial with hearing aids so there is no harm in trying. 

 

Can ear wax cause hearing loss?

Yes, ear wax can cause temporary hearing loss. Your audiologist is trained to remove wax. 

 

I only miss words occasionally, do I need hearing aids?

Many factors go into the decision to get hearing aids. One big factor is lifestyle reports. Your Audiologist will work with you to collect information about your lifestyle and hearing health. If hearing aids are recommended, it is ultimately your choice to make sure they are improving your quality of life before you commit to owning them. You will always have a risk-free trial at Denison Hearing. 

Will my hearing get worse over time?

As we age, likely, our hearing will slowly deteriorate. The longer our brain goes with decreased hearing, the harder it is to get it back. The important thing is that our comprehension does not decrease. To help prevent this it is important to get hearing aids sooner rather than later and to continue to have your hearing tested annually. 

 

What are the signs of hearing loss?

  • Difficulty understanding certain words, especially in background noise.

  • Trouble hearing consonants (e.g. ‘s’, ‘t’, ’k’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’ etc...)

  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.

  • Report of people “mumbling”.

  • Needing to turn up the television volume louder than others watching.

  • Withdrawal from conversations and social settings.

  • Losing high pitch sounds like alarm beeps or birds.

  • Feeling tired after conversations due to high levels of concentration.

  • Mixing up words.

  • Difficulty hearing on the phone.

  • Things sound unclear.

  • “I can’t hear you if I cannot see you”.
     

How can I prevent hearing loss?

Hearing loss cannot always be prevented however you can make sure you are making the best decision for your hearing health. If hearing aids are recommended, get them. The sooner you get hearing aids, the better. This is not only important for your ears but moreover your brain and quality of life. If you are around loud sounds such as a concert or a lawnmower, use hearing protection. Remember to have annual hearing tests done to continue to monitor your hearing health. 

 

What are the causes of hearing loss?

Aging and genetics are two of the most common causes of hearing loss. Also, noise exposure leads to hearing loss. Some temporary hearing loss causes could be fluid in the ear or wax build-up. Less common causes of hearing loss could be linked to medications, diabetes, or high blood pressure. 

 

How common is hearing loss?

Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the US. 1 in 8 Americans suffer from hearing loss. It is not just the elderly either. Hearing loss is most noticeable and severe in those over 65 years of age, however, 65% of those with hearing loss are under the age of 65, and 60% are still in the workplace or school.

 

Do I need hearing aids?

Your audiologist will test your hearing first and then evaluate functional listening abilities and collect more information on your lifestyle. If hearing loss exists, it is causing you difficulty in real-world situations, and it is affecting your lifestyle, you may be a candidate for hearing aids. Often others notice we are having increased difficulty hearing before we do, so bring a significant other to your appointment for additional information. 

 

Will hearing aids restore my hearing to normal?

No, hearing aids cannot restore hearing back to normal but they can make it easier to hear. Hearing depends on the brain. The sooner we get hearing aids, the easier it is to rehabilitate our hearing. Typically, the brain has more comprehension damage the longer we wait. If we don’t use it we lose it!

 

Do I have to wear my hearing aids all the time?

It is a good idea to wear your hearing aids from the time you get up to the time you go to bed. Patients who only wear their hearing aids when they go out to a restaurant do not perform well with hearing aids. The brain needs practice in easy environments first. You wouldn’t run a marathon without running a mile first. 

 

How expensive are hearing aids? 

Hearing aids range from $1250 per hearing aid to $3250 per hearing aid. This does not depend on the size or power of the device. Some insurances may cover part or whole costs of the devices. If finance is a concern communicate that with your audiologist. If hearing aids are needed, we would rather fit you with hearing aids in your budget than have you forego them completely. 

 

How long do hearing aids last?

The average life of a hearing aid is 5 to 7 years. You will continue to have your hearing aids cleaned and adjusted and the audiologist will recommend new devices if needed. It is not uncommon to have repairs within this time frame. 

 

How to know if I need new hearing aids? 

Your audiologist will inform you of the capabilities of hearing aids. Most can grow with you for a long time. If a repair is needed, cost and warranty will be discussed against the cost of new devices. Remember, at Denison Hearing, you can always partake in a risk-free trial with hearing aids and compare the difference yourself. 

 

What brand of hearing aid should I get? 

There are several good brands of hearing aids available. At Denison Hearing or top two manufacturers are Oticon and Phonak. They are leading hearing aid manufacturers and the ones we specialize in. 

 

Why do hearing aids cost so much?

When purchasing hearing aids you are not just purchasing a device but years of service and warranty. The hearing aids will continue to be serviced and programmed as your hearing continues to change year after year. Extensive research and development go into the design of hearing aids. Remember, hearing aids are a lump-sum purchase for a long-term result towards improved health and increased quality of life. 

 

Can I get just one hearing aid?

If you have hearing loss in both ears it is a good idea to get hearing aids for both ears. We use both ears to filter out background sounds and to tell where sounds are coming from. In addition, we do not want the ear without the hearing aid to decrease comprehension ability.