How do I know if I have a hearing loss?
Typically, age-related and noise-induced hearing losses occur gradually over several years, making it difficult to realize that hearing loss is even occurring. However, there are some early signs of hearing loss. If any of these symptoms below describe you, it may be in your best interest to have a hearing evaluation done by an audiologist. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty understanding on the phone
- Difficulty understanding in groups or crowds
- Frequently needing others to repeat themselves
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Misunderstanding what people say and responding inappropriately
- Failing to hear someone when talking from behind
- Turning up the volume
- Withdrawal from conversations or social activities
I think that I may have some hearing loss. What should I do?
If you suspect you may have a hearing loss, contact our office for a comprehensive evaluation by one of our audiologists. Our doctors are trained to diagnose and manage hearing loss, as well as recognize other medical conditions that require further evaluation by a physician.
What is a comprehensive audiologic evaluation like?
A comprehensive audiologic evaluation includes a detailed case history and visual examination of the outer ear. Following this, the audiologist will take you into our sound-proof booth to determine the softest sounds you are able to hear and your ability to understand speech at various levels. Further testing may include evaluations of the middle ear to rule out any conditions that would require a medical referral. Directly after testing, we will go over the results with you and discuss a treatment plan with you.
Does insurance cover hearing aids?
At this time, Medicare does not cover any costs associated with hearing aids. Private health insurance plans may or may not cover hearing aids. If you have private health insurance or a secondary health insurance plan, please check your individual plan’s coverage to determine whether you have any hearing aid benefits.
Can I try hearing aids before buying them?
At Clear Sound Audiology, we give patients the opportunity to try hearing aids in the office. For a nominal fee, patients may take the hearing aids home for 1-2 weeks before making the decision to purchase the hearing aids.
Can I return the hearing aids if I’m not satisfied with them?
Yes. Florida law requires audiologists and hearing instrument specialists to provide at least a 30-day trial period.
How long do hearing aids last?
With proper care and maintenance, most hearing aids last approximately 4-5 years. There are some patients, however, that purchase new hearing aids sooner due to improved technology that has become available.
Why are hearing aids so expensive?
Today’s hearing aids undergo significant research and development before being released to the public, raising manufacturing costs. Each hearing aid has its own processor, similar to a computer, as well as wireless capabilities, similar to Bluetooth. At Clear Sound Audiology, the price of our hearing aids also includes comprehensive services for your hearing aids for 1-5 years, depending upon the technology level of the hearing aid. When purchasing a hearing aid from us, the cost includes our clinical expertise in programming and fitting the hearing aids to your individual ear canal, hearing loss, and physical abilities. Any further hearing evaluations, programming, hearing aid cleaning, and hearing aid supplies (including batteries), are also included. With no other additional costs for the maintenance of your hearing and hearing aids, most patients are investing on average $4.50 per day in improved hearing.
I’ve seen hearing aids advertised on TV for $199.99. Are these just as good?
Most devices advertised for less than a few hundred dollars and mailed directly to your home are not hearing aids, but are Personal Sound Amplification Products or PSAPs. These are typically not programmed according to your hearing loss, have little to no noise reduction, and are not custom-fit for your ear. Unlike hearing aids, PSAPs have not been approved as a medical device by the Food and Drug Administration; they are classified as wearable electronic products for occasional, recreational use by consumers who are not hearing impaired.