Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Aids
Individuals with hearing loss experience unique challenges and concerns. Here are several questions our team frequently receives, along with our expert answers. You may have your own questions that are not covered here. We are happy to answer all hearing aid related questions during your initial device discussion. We will ensure you get answers and help you find a hearing support system that you feel comfortable with.
What You Need to Know
- Hearing aids cant restore hearing back to normal, but will assist in making in making things easier to hear.
- The life of a hearing aid is around five to six years.
- Two hearing aids are better than one.
- The Johns Hopkins audiology team can help you decide which type of hearing aid is best for you.
How do I know if I need hearing aids?
Many people with hearing loss first notice they are asking their friends and family to repeat more frequently, or they feel everyone around them is mumbling. Getting your hearing evaluated is the first step to treatment. Your audiologist will test your hearing to help determine if you have hearing loss and if you can benefit from amplification.
Will a hearing aid restore my hearing to normal?
Hearing aids can make understanding speech much easier. However, they do not restore the natural functioning of your ear.
How long will my hearing aid last?
The life of a hearing aid is about five to seven years. It is important to have regular appointments to ensure your hearing aid is functioning and programmed properly. Hearing aids also come with different warranties, typically two to three years, covering repair and loss replacement. Many hearing aids are still functioning well after seven years, while others may need re-programming, repair, or replacement.
Do hearing aids use special batteries?
Hearing aids can have rechargeable batteries (lithium ion) or use disposable batteries (zinc air). Rechargeable hearing aids come with a charger that plugs into an outlet or USB for patients to charge their hearing aids overnight. If you chose a model that uses disposable batteries, the batteries can be purchased at most pharmacies and grocery stores as well as online retailers, such as Amazon.
How long do hearing aid batteries last?
This depends on the type of battery and how many hours per day you wear your hearing aid. Smaller hearing aid batteries need replacing within 3 to 7 days, while larger batteries may last 10 days.
I have hearing loss in both ears. Is it necessary to wear two hearing aids?
Here’s why two hearing aids can be better than one:
Better hearing in a noisy environment:
Research has shown that speech understanding in noisy environments is optimized when the brain receives sound input from both ears.
Improved ability to localize sounds:
The brain uses the sound input from both ears to help determine the direction of the sound source. Having a hearing aid in only one ear can alter this sense of direction making it more difficult to localize sound.
How long does it take to get used to a hearing aid?
Each person’s experience will be different. Hearing aids can help you hear sounds you have not heard before (or have not heard for many years). Relearning takes place in the central auditory system, and the brain needs some time to sort out any new information entering the ears. You will have a 60-day trial period that allows you time to adjust to your hearing aids and evaluate their benefit. Based on your experience, programming changes can be made to help with the adjustment process. Most patients require several weeks of consistent hearing aid use to adjust to their new hearing aids.
Why do hearing aids cost so much?
Hearing aids are essentially computers that you wear on your ears. The technology has been miniaturized and includes helpful features such as rechargeability and Bluetooth connectivity. Hearing aids also come with typically a two to three year warranty covering loss replacement and repairs, which is included within the purchase price.
What style of hearing aid I should wear?
Your audiologist can help you make an appropriate choice based on your degree of hearing loss, the shape of your outer ear, the size and shape of the ear canal, your ability to place and adjust the device, any special features you need and any issues with excessive wax or drainage from the ears.
What brand should I choose?
Most audiology practices work with a variety of hearing aid manufacturers. Our clinic works with multiple manufacturers based on the quality of their products and their customer service. Some companies provide unique products with more advanced technology or specialized features that can be recommended by your audiologist.