Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t be fooled by some of the advertising you see regarding hearing services. Hearing loss is a serious medical condition that calls for a complete examination conducted by a licensed audiologist.
How do I know if I have a hearing loss?
In adults, most hearing loss happens gradually. While hearing loss is more common as we age, people of any age can have a hearing loss that interferes with their ability to communicate. Most people first notice difficulty understanding others, especially in noisy environments. Others may notice they have trouble following conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time. Other common signs are asking others to repeat themselves, or feeling like people seem to mumble. If you have concerns about your hearing, seek the services of an audiologist for an evaluation. Read more » | Take the Hearing Health Quick Test
What are common causes of hearing loss?
Hearing loss in adults has many possible causes, such as disease or infection, exposure to harmful levels of noise, the aging process or drugs that are toxic to the hearing mechanism. Read more »
What kind of hearing loss can be helped by a hearing aid?
An evaluation by an audiologist will be able to determine if you are a likely hearing aid candidate or if your hearing loss may require medical or surgical treatment. Less than 10 percent of hearing problems in adults require medical or surgical treatment. Read more »
What should I do if I think I have a hearing loss?
Consult an audiologist for an evaluation and to determine if a medical referral is needed. The audiologist will test your hearing and determine if you are a candidate for hearing aids. The audiologist may also refer you to your physician or to an ear, nose and throat specialist if needed. Read more »
How can I help a spouse or friend that has experienced hearing loss?
Read our communication tips for people with hearing loss »
What is an audiologist?
An audiologist is a highly trained professional who specializes in diagnosis and management of disorders of hearing and balance. Audiologists have earned a Master’s or Doctorate degree in audiology, passed a national examination and completed an internship. In Michigan, audiologists are licensed by the state. Audiologists practice in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics and schools. When you have a hearing exam, be sure to ask for an audiologist. Read more »
Will a hearing aid completely restore my hearing?
While hearing aids can improve your hearing and listening abilities, they do not restore hearing to “normal.” Just as eyeglasses do not “cure” your vision problem, hearing aids do not “cure” your hearing loss. However, they can substantially improve quality of life by easing frustration for you and those that you communicate with. And there are consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss. Read more »
Will my health insurance cover the cost of hearing aids?
Many health care plans cover the cost of audiologic tests, and some plans provide full or partial coverage for hearing aids. Your health insurance company can tell you what your policy covers. Medicare does not cover hearing aids. Read more »
Will I save money by buying a hearing aid on-line or by mail?
Beware of mail order or on-line hearing aid sales. By working with an audiologist, you are purchasing professional care and services. This includes appropriate evaluation, referral for medical treatment if and when necessary, instruction in how to use the hearing aid, follow-up care and support and rehabilitation services.
Will a hearing aid damage my hearing?
A hearing aid that is properly fit, programmed and adjusted will not damage your hearing. Read more »
Are two hearing aids really necessary?
We normally hear with two ears, and our brains can best make use of incoming sound when it is heard by both ears equally. This is called binaural (meaning “two eared”) processing, and it is what helps us to tell which direction a sound is coming from and helps to provide a “stereo” sound. Using two hearing aids maximizes the benefits of binaural processing and provides the most natural sound quality. Because of the advantage of binaural processing, most people with hearing loss in both ears understand speech better with two hearing aids than with only one. Read more »
For more common myths about hearing loss and solutions, visit www.betterhearing.org.