Hearing Aid FAQ

Hearing aids are advanced pieces of technology. There are many different styles, brands, and models that can be a lot to take in at once. However, even beyond the basics of what kinds of hearing aids exist and how they work, we often receive tons of further questions about them. There are many common questions that have to do with specific concerns and functionality.

 

Here are the most common questions our clients ask us about hearing aids.

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  • How Do Hearing Aids Work?
      At the most basic level, hearing aids work by amplifying and processing sound through three important components. First, a microphone picks up sounds from the environment then a computer chip processes and converts the sound waves into digital signals. Second, the digital signals are analyzed and filter the sound in a way that optimizes your hearing based on your hearing loss and the level of the speech and other sounds around you. Finally, the improved sounds are converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ear through a speaker (also called a receiver).

  • Can a Hearing Aid Stop Tinnitus?
      Hearing aids can’t stop tinnitus, but they can help relieve tinnitus. Hearing aids allow wearers to hear sound they might be missing or that was softened, which could mask the sounds from tinnitus. When you’re able to hear everything going on around you the tinnitus doesn’t sound so loud. Additionally, many hearing aids have a tinnitus masking feature that can be programmed into the hearing aids to help alleviate symptoms.

  • How Often Do You Have to Replace a Hearing Aid?

      People often replace their hearing aids three to five years after they have purchased them. Hearing aids can function longer than five years, but they are often replaced because new technology has come out in the time period which has improved the listening experience.

      Here are some signs that it might be time to replace your old hearing aids:

       

      • Your hearing ability has changed
      • Your hearing aid keeps quitting
      • Your lifestyle has changed, and your hearing aid has a hard time keeping up
      • Your hearing aid is out of warranty and is more cost effective to replace the hearing aid than repairing it

       

      Cleaning your hearing devices every day and scheduling routine appointments with your hearing professional will help ensure optimal performance over the lifespan of your hearing aids.


  • How to Choose a Hearing Aid Provider?

      Some people who notice they are experiencing hearing loss start by going to their doctor or an otolaryngologist – a board-certified doctor who specializes in ear, nose and throat problems, then get referred to a hearing healthcare professional. 

       

      You should see a hearing healthcare professional that can determine whether you might have an underlying medical issue that is causing your hearing loss and refer you to a physician if necessary.

       

      Here are somethings to look for when working with a provider:

      • The provider should ask about your manual dexterity and vision problems that could affect your ability to handle the hearing aids
      •  They should also discuss realistic expectations and ask about your lifestyle, which can affect the recommendation of the right  device for you 
      • The office should do a comprehensive test of your hearing  in a soundproof booth and explain the results to you.
      • The provider should say which hearing aid brands they work with, why they recommend a particular brand for you, and review the pros and cons of the different hearing aid style
      • The provider should verify that the hearing aids are working effectively for you by performing real ear measurement evaluation (REM) 

  • Which Hearing Aid is Best for Me?

      Your hearing care professional will help you determine which hearing aid best suits your needs. There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding which hearing aid is best for you, including:

       

      • The nature and degree of your hearing loss, as some styles are not as effective for some hearing losses
      • If you have difficulty seeing or working with small objects, as there are hearing aid models that can make adjusting your hearing aids easier
      • The size and shape of your ear and ear canal, as it can dictate if you can wear that style of hearing aid 
      • Your lifestyle as this will help determine what features you want in your hearing aids

  • Can Not Wearing A Hearing Aid Make Hearing Worse?

      If you don’t wear hearing aids your hearing won’t necessarily get worse as your hearing loss may gradually decline whether you wear hearing aids or not. Though your ability to understand speech is likely to get worse faster than if you were to wear hearing aids.

      When you leave your hearing loss untreated, even if you’re able to hear speech, overtime you won’t be able to understand speech because your hearing nerves aren't functioning well. However, when you wear hearing aids, your brain receives enough stimulation to continue functioning properly. So, the longer you wait to get hearing aids, or to wear them, the less stimulation your hearing nerves get and the worse you become at recognizing speech. 

      Not wearing hearing aids can also affect your health. Wearing hearing aids can also improve your balance which decreases your risk of falls.


  • What Levels of Hearing Loss Require a Hearing Aid?
      All levels of loss can benefit from use of a hearing aid. The type of hearing aid that may benefit you will change depending on the level of hearing loss you are experiencing. Your hearing healthcare professional will be able to recommend what hearing aid would best suit your level of hearing loss.

  • Can You Sleep With Your Hearing Aids In?

      Sleeping with your hearing aids in is not recommended as it can damage your hearing aids and cause discomfort. Outlined is a few reasons why we recommended taking your hearing aids out of your ears when you go to sleep:

      • Let your ear and hearing aids air out
      • It isn’t comfortable
      • You might hear feedback
      • If you have rechargeable hearing aids they need to charge. If you have disposable batteries it conserves battery life

  • Can I Buy a Hearing Aid Without A Test?

      Unfortunately, getting a hearing aid isn’t as cut and dry as it might seem. When buying a hearing aid, you will want an aid that works for your level of hearing loss. This will require you to take a hearing test which will measure the degree of hearing loss.

      Once the hearing test is complete a hearing care professional will review the results of the test with you and discuss which hearing aids would work best for you. If you require a hearing aid it will need to be programmed based on those results by a hearing healthcare professional.


    Request an Appointment

    Do you have a question about hearing aids that we didn’t cover on this page? Click below to select our clinic nearest to your postal code to speak with a local hearing healthcare professional about your questions. There are 45 Helix Hearing Care clinics located across Ontario and Manitoba. You can request an appointment at your Helix clinic at any time.

    Request an appointment at the nearest Helix Hearing Care location

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