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Frequently Asked Questions

Hearing Aid Questions

Hearing aids are priced according to performance capabilities. As with most technology, the devices that do more, cost more. In general, noise reduction capabilities improve as cost rises. Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance will work with you to match the right technology to your lifestyle, listening needs, and budget.

Hearing aids come in many sizes and styles and are packaged according to performance capabilities. Your individual hearing loss, listening environments, options needed, cosmetic concerns, manual dexterity, and budget factor in finding the best individual solution. Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance will take the time to guide you through the process.

Almost all medical insurance covers the cost of the hearing evaluation. Some medical insurance plans provide coverage for a portion of the expense for hearing aids. Generally, you pay something out-of-pocket for better hearing. Our staff can assist you with discovering if, and to what amount of coverage is available.

The following tips will extend the life of your hearing aid: 1) Clean hearing aids as instructed. Wax buildup can damage your hearing aid. 2) Avoid hairspray and other hair products while wearing your hearing aids. 3) Power off hearing aids when not in use, this will also extend battery life. 4) Keep your hearing aids away from moisture and heat. 5) Replace dead batteries immediately. 6) Store your hearing aids and replacement batteries in a secure location: away from pets and small children. 7) See your audiologist every few months for a hearing aid check up. 8) Call Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance with any questions you may have. Our friendly and well trained staff will be happy to assist you. Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance provides on-site repairs, hearing aid supplies/accessories, and hearing aid cleaning for all patients.

Follow-up care is the most important aspect of any hearing aid fitting. Hearing aids require a period of re-training your hearing. Follow-up visits are always part of your treatment plan. Periodic adjustments may be needed to optimize performance as characteristics of your loss change over time and to accommodate your preferences in various hearing situations. Your hearing aids should also fit comfortably. Hearing loss should be managed over time throughout your life. If you experience changes in your ability to hear or problems with fit, you should call Rocky Mountain Hearing & Balance to set an appointment immediately.

Yes, you will hear better by allowing your brain to receive more speech information. Digital advancements in hearing aids allow for selective reduction of competing sound, allowing you to hear more of the desired conversation and making hearing in noisy situations much more comfortable.

Hearing Loss Questions

Most hearing loss can be categorized as conductive, sensorineural, or mixed. Treatment options vary for the different types of hearing loss.

Mixed hearing loss is the combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, which can involve damage in the outer, middle, and inner ear simultaneously.

Sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the neurons within the inner ear or auditory nerve dysfunction. It is typically irreversible and permanent. It affects the intensity (or loudness) of sound, but more often results in a lack of clarity of sounds, particularly speech. The treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is prescriptive sound amplification through advanced hearing aids.

Conductive hearing loss is caused by a condition or disease that blocks or impedes the movement of sound waves throughout the outer or middle ear. The result is a reduction in loudness or clarity of sound that reaches the inner ear. The treatment for conductive loss can vary and may include medical or surgical intervention. Your audiologist has been trained to make the appropriate medical referral when appropriate.

While hearing loss is common as we age, there are many factors that can contribute to hearing loss. The ear is a complex system. It requires oxygen and the many nutrients of the blood supply to remain healthy. Anything that disrupts the blood supply or alters the body chemistry may cause auditory side effects. Some common causes of hearing loss include: 1) Excessive Noise Exposure (prolonged loud music, gun shots, noisy machinery) 2) Infections 3) Head Injury 4) Genetics or Birth Defects 5) Drug or Treatment Reaction (antibiotics, chemotherapy, radiation) 6) Heart disease 7) Diabetes 8) Stroke.

Hearing loss may be worse in certain pitches than in others. When you have a hearing loss, the brain is always plugging in missing information (redundancy), allowing you to understand what is said. This process is very similar to a spell check on a computer. When the brain no longer has enough of a signal to plug in the missing information, the result is poor understanding of speech.

Hearing aids can be programmed to treat your hearing loss in the specific pitches regions that you need. The result is a greater understanding of speech in a variety of environments.

Hearing Testing Questions

A hearing test is simple for the patient and the cost is covered by almost all medical insurances, including Medicare. It takes most people years to notice the gradual onset of hearing loss. So if you are starting to have problems hearing certain voices, if you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves, if others seem to mumble, or if you need to turn the TV volume up to a level uncomfortable for others to enjoy – these are signs that it’s time to test your hearing. Hearing loss is not something to hide or ignore. In fact, untreated hearing loss is more visible to others than hearing aids. Hearing loss can negatively affect one’s emotional and social well being, which can lead to depression, isolation from others, strained relationships, and insecurity.

Audiologists are health-care professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders. Doctors of Audiology typically obtain their degree following a four year bachelor’s degree and an additional four year doctorate degree.