When Should I Have My Hearing Tested?
- The AMA recommends a baseline evaluation at age 50 if you have no problems and then a yearly hearing screening.
- As soon as possible if you or your loved ones have noticed a hearing problem. Turning the TV up louder than necessary for others to hear, misunderstanding speech, asking people to repeat or feeling that other people are mumbling are just a few possible symptoms of a possible hearing problem.
- Regardless of age, yearly screenings are recommended for those with a history of diabetes or thyroid problem, a family history of hearing loss, and if you are taking any medications which may cause a hearing loss (check with your doctor or pharmacist).
What Should I Expect At My Initial Hearing Consultation At Central PA Eye & Ear?
- First, I will review your completed patient information form. You will be mailed this form if time allows. It is also available on this website to print out and complete. (add link to the form if possible) The focus will be on the problems you are experiencing and the situations when you feel you are not hearing well. So be sure to complete the bottom of the form, listing the three situations where you need the most hearing help.
- Next, I will do an examination of your ears and ear canal using a video otoscope which will even allow you to see inside your ear canal. I am looking for excessive ear wax and any other abnormalities which may be causing or contributing to your hearing loss. If abnormalities or excessive ear wax are present, you will be referred to your primary care provider for treatment prior to a hearing evaluation. If you have a history of problems with wax accumulating in your ears, I recommend that you contact your doctor PRIOR to your hearing consultation so the wax can be removed.
- If no abnormalities are present, I will perform a comprehensive hearing evaluation, which usually takes 20-30 minutes to complete.
- NOTE: If you are NOT experiencing any hearing problems and have scheduled a hearing screening, this appointment may take only 15 minutes.
- The results of all tests will be explained and I will answer any questions you may have. I will also make recommendations for hearing aids if they are indicated. See the next question below regarding hearing aid selection.
- If you desire to proceed with amplification, your aids will be ordered and ear impressions will be taken if necessary. It is also possible that you could even be fit with the recommended hearing aids at this appointment.
- Last but most important – if aids are fit or ordered – there is the paperwork required to be completed! Your next appointment will also be scheduled. The time required for all of the above is approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours
Which Hearing Aid Is Right For Me?
Many factors are taken into consideration when a recommendation for hearing aids is made. These include:
- The results of your hearing evaluation – the type and severity of your hearing loss, the results of speech testing and hearing in noise testing.
- The size and shape of your ear canal.
- Your lifestyle and individual hearing needs – are you socially active and in many different listening environments vs. a lifestyle requiring only one on one communication in a quiet environment.
- Your past experience with hearing aids and your personal preference for hearing aid style.
- Physical imitations such as poor manual dexterity or vision problems.
- Cost of the hearing aids. All hearing aid purchases come with a 30 day return guarantee. If you are not happy with your hearing aids, they can be returned and the cost of the hearing aids is fully refundable. A different style or type can be ordered if so desired.
What Does my Hearing Aid Warranty Include?
Your hearing aids come with a minimum of a one year warranty. The highest levels of technology include a 3 year warranty. This warranty includes:
- The initial hearing consultation
- The office visit for the initial fitting and programming of your hearing aids. At this visit I will also teach you how to use and care for your hearing aids.
- All fitting follow-up visits – usually 1-2 weeks after the initial fit, then again in 2 weeks to one month.
- Reprogramming as needed and performance updates as released by the manufacturer. • For custom products a remake for fit issues in the first year.
- One replacement for hearing aid for loss and damage with a 25% deductible.
- Quarterly clean and checks of the hearing aids.
- All in office repairs and service.
- Repairs which require service from the manufacturer.
- Dorothy will also counsel you on the resources available to help you maximize your hearing and adjust to your new hearing aids.
When purchased at our office, I also provide a hearing aid care kit which includes a case for all your hearing aid supplies, a hearing aid dehumidifier, a carrying case, a starter supply of wax guards, cleaning tools, hearing aid cleaning wipes, a battery holder, a carton of 40 hearing aid batteries and the instruction booklet for your hearing aid.
What About Batteries, How Long Do They Last & How Much Do They Cost?
There are 3 sizes of batteries which are used in hearing aids:
- A13 (orange) – the largest size, usually last about 2 weeks; 1 week with Halo hearing aids.
- A312 (brown) – usually lasts about 1 week
- A 10 (yellow) – the smallest, usually lasts 3-5 days
Battery life is affected by the settings of the hearing aids, the amount and type of noise in your daily environment, and the amount of streaming (sending input directly to your hearing aids) on a daily basis. Cost of a year's supply of batteries is typically $ 90 - $120.