Q. How do I know if I have a hearing loss?
A. If you notice any of the following symptoms you may have a hearing loss:
• Speech and other sounds have a muffled quality.
• You frequently ask others to repeat themselves or to speak up.
• You have difficulty hearing or carrying on conversations in noisy places.
• You like the volume on the TV or radio higher than others do.
• You can hear better with one ear than the other.
• You withdraw from some social situations because you have trouble understanding others.
• Your family or friends have told you they are concerned about your hearing.
• You have to strain to understand when some people are talking.
• You don’t always laugh at jokes when others do because you’ve missed some of the story.
• You find that more and more people are mumbling.
• You don’t always hear the doorbell or telephone.
• Looking at people when they talk makes it easier to understand them.
Do I really need hearing aids?
If you have any of these concerns more than occasionally you should come see us, to have your hearing evaluated. Your Audiologist will examine you and advise if you require a hearing aid.
Q. Do I need to be referred by my Doctor?
A. No, you do not need a referral to visit an Audiologist. Simply call and make an appointment. Anyone concerned about their hearing health can visit an Audiologist.
Q. How much do hearing instruments cost?
A. Hearing instruments range from $1200 to $4000 each. Prices vary due to features, technology and size.
Q. What is the difference between a $1200 hearing aid and a $4000 hearing aid?
A. Price differences relate to features and capabilities, just as with luxury versus economy cars. Hearing aids today use digital technology. Their ability to assist hearing is very good at every price level. But some hearing situations are more challenging than others. Hearing aid manufacturers have developed more complex sound processing technologies to improve hearing effectiveness in these situations, for which they charge more money. The most expensive hearing aids are highly automated; switching sound processing modes automatically as the wearer moves through different sound situations.
Q. Can I have the smallest hearing aids?
A. Not everyone can have small hearing aids. Your unique hearing loss, physical ear size & shape, vision and manual dexterity dictate what size of hearing aid is best to meet your needs. If your hearing loss is significant, smaller hearing aids may not provide you sufficient amplification or the proper hearing benefit. If you have small ears or narrow canals, the manufacturer may not be able to put all the parts & components needed into the hearing aids. Some people also have over active jaw movements that cause the hearing aids to slowly move out of their ears. If you have limited vision & or problems with dexterity, smaller hearing aids may not be the best for you. Remember, the larger the hearing aids, the fewer the problems. Smaller hearing aids come with a higher price & fewer features.
Q. If I have a hearing loss in both ears, do I really need two hearing aids?
A. Audiologists usually recommend two hearing aids for people who have hearing loss in both ears. A “stereophonic” effect takes place when people wear two hearing aids, much like the sound quality difference between monaural AM radio and stereophonic FM radio. Two hearing aids help to improve hearing in noise, localize sound and improve clarity and sound quality. For these reasons, numerous scientific studies have shown that people are happier with their hearing aids when they wear two rather than one.
Q. How long do hearing aids last?
A. How long your hearing aids will last depends on the style of the aid, how much you wear it, amount of earwax produced etc. On average, it is expected that most hearing aids will last five to seven years before they need replacing.
Q. Can digital hearing aids eliminate background noise?
A. Digital hearing aids that offer directional microphones combined with noise reduction, offer very sophisticated ways of processing sound to reduce as much background noise as possible. However, background noise is not usually completely eliminated by any hearing aid.
Q. How do I decide which style of hearing aid to purchase?
A. There are so many different hearing aids available today that choosing the one to purchase can be overwhelming. There are several factors that will affect your decision: the degree of your hearing loss, the shape of your ear, what special features you want or require in the hearing aid, manual dexterity, cosmetic preference, listening needs, lifestyle considerations, and of course, cost. We will help you understand the different choices so that you can make the decision that is best for you.
Q. How long will my batteries last?
A. Battery life depends on a number of factors: the length of time you wear your hearing aids, the size of your hearing aid, the type of circuit you have, the size of battery you use, etc. While you are deciding on a hearing aid style, we will advise you on the estimated life of the batteries for that style.
Q. Will hearing aids amplify my tinnitus and make it louder?
A. No. In fact, just the opposite can be true for some lucky people! It is not uncommon for people who experience tinnitus to experience relief by wearing hearing aids. This is known as the “masking” effect. Trying out a hearing aid is the fastest and best way to know for certain if your tinnitus will be masked.
Q. Why do hearing aids whistle in people’s ears?
A. This whistling is called feedback. Getting a snug fit in your ear canal is very important. Check to see if your hearing aid is inserted correctly or if the volume is turned too high. Also look for wax blocking the pathway of sound to the ear canal. If these solutions don't work, come in and we will check it out with you. In BTE hearing aids, the ear mold tubing or earhook may need replacing. For any hearing aid style, the ear mold or shell may be too loose in the ear.
Q. How many appointments will I require after the initial fitting?
A. The number of appointments will vary depending on your situation. It could be as few as one follow-up appointment, but most people do take several before they are completely satisfied. It is strongly recommended that you have at least one follow-up appointment 2 weeks following the initial fitting. As soon as you are happy with the hearing instrument’s performance and you are not experiencing any difficulty with care and maintenance, then you may not require another appointment for several months. However, we will encourage you to have one or more short-term follow-up appointments to ensure you are satisfied with your new instruments and that they are "fine-tuned" optimally for your particular listening situations.
Q. Is it difficult to adjust to wearing hearing aids?
A. Wearing hearing aids for the first time (or trying new hearing aids) requires that you re-learn how to hear, and like learning anything else, it can be challenging. Today's hearing aids are so sophisticated and flexible that they can be adjusted to almost any hearing loss or hearing environment. Adjusting to hearing aids is different for everyone. Don't let a friend or family member's experience deter you from pursuing your own hearing improvement. It is important to raise all concerns that you have with us, so that we can help you succeed. And remember, please be patient and persistent. You'll be glad you did!
Q. Is there any Government Assistance available for Hearing Aid purchases?
A. Yes, the Alberta Government offers hearing aid purchase assistance to residents under 18 and over 64 years of age, through the department known as Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL). Specific guidelines are available by contacting AADL at:
Alberta Seniors Information Line
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-642-3853
Edmonton Area: (780) 427-7876
Fax: (780) 422-5954
Hours of operation: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday except Statutory Holidays.
Also, the AADL Website is full of useful information on qualifications for assistance and the type of assistance available. Check them out at this link:
Q. I feel my hearing became impaired because of the work I do. Does the Worker’s Compensation Board provide any assistance in purchasing hearing aids?
A. Yes, the Worker’s Compensation Board in most provinces provides hearing testing funding and hearing aid purchase assistance. Guidelines are different in each province, so please check with the province where you first worked in a noisy environment. They will give you guidance as to where you should apply.
If you suffered your loss in Alberta, check out the Alberta Workers Compensation Board at: http://www.wcb.ab.ca/home/ . A good place to start is in reading the WCB Policies and Information Manual section on hearing loss, which is:
• POLICY: 03-01 PART II in the Section on Injuries. Try this link to go directly to it:
Q. How do I pay for the hearing instruments?
A. For patients with AADL, DVA, NIHB or WCB coverage, no initial deposit is required. We will bill these agencies directly for the amount of coverage they provide. For patients without such coverage, a deposit will be required at the time the hearing aid order is placed, with the balance being paid at the initial fitting of the hearing aids. Visa, MasterCard, Debit, Cash and Cheques are acceptable payments. If you wish to finance your hearing instrument purchase, ask us about financing options.
Q. What is the warranty on hearing instruments?
A. At Audia Hearing Care Centre, all hearing instruments come with a one, two or three year manufacturer’s repair warranty and one or two year loss and damage warranty (a small deductible may apply for some manufacturers). The repair warranty ensures that there are no charges to repair or replace a manufacturer's defective product. The loss and damage warranty allows a one-time replacement for loss or accidental damage beyond repair of your hearing instrument.
Audia Hearing Care Centre Inc.
205A, 1610 - 37th Street SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3C 3P1 Tel: 403-685-5571, Fax: 403-685-5591 Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved
Q. How long does it take to obtain a hearing instrument?
A. Once the hearing test is taken and the hearing instrument order is placed, a finished hearing instrument arrives in approximately 5 to 10 business days. A rush delivery of 48 to 72 hours is available for a small additional fee from most manufacturers.
The good part about WCB support is that you might have suffered your hearing loss a long time ago in another province, but don’t let that stop you from applying, because:
a) most do not have a time limit on applying for support, and
b) we can test you here in Alberta, then bill them across provinces.
When you close your eyes you see with your ears.
(Frequently Asked Questions)