Frequently Asked Questions
- How can I recognize hearing problems?
- If I had hearing loss, wouldn’t my doctor have told me?
- What new features have been added to hearing aids since I purchased my last set?
- What is the lifespan of my hearing aids?
- How often will my hearing aids need to be repaired?
- What should I do if my hearing aids do not seem to be working?
- What should I do with my old set of hearing aids after I purchase a new pair?
How can I recognize hearing problems?
Most of the time hearing problems begin gradually without discomfort or pain. What's more, family members often learn to adapt to someone’s hearing loss without even realizing they are doing it. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether you have hearing loss.
- Do I / they often ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do I / they have trouble following conversations with more than two people?
- Do I / they have difficulty hearing what is said unless facing the speaker?
- Do I / they struggle to hear in crowded places like restaurants, malls and meeting rooms?
- Do I / they have a hard time hearing women or children?
- Do I / they prefer the TV or radio volume louder than others?
- Do I / they experience ringing or buzzing in my ears?
- Does it sound like other people are mumbling or slurring their words?
If you answered yes to several of these questions, chances are you suffer from hearing loss.
If I had hearing loss, wouldn’t my doctor have told me?
Only 13 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss. Since most people with hearing impairments hear just fine in quiet environments (like your doctor's office), it can be very difficult for your physician to recognize this problem. Only a trained hearing professional can determine the severity of your hearing problem, whether or not you could benefit from a hearing aid, and which type would be best for you.
What new features have been added to hearing aids since I purchased my last set?
If your hearing aids are three to five years old you may benefit from our latest advancements in technology including faster processing speeds, improved hearing in noise, and wireless connectivity. Our new circuitry processes the sounds around you within milliseconds, preventing whistling and allowing you to hear comfortably in every listening environment. Brand new directional microphone technology and adaptive noise management systems give you the best opportunity to hear comfortably in noisy listening environments. Wireless connectivity allows you to stream audio from your cell phone and your television directly into your hearing aids.
What is the lifespan of my hearing aids?
Hearing aids are often replaced after three to five years. Hearing aids can function longer than five years but often they are replaced to update the circuitry to improve listening quality. Sometimes repairing an old instrument that is out of warranty is more cost prohibitive than replacing it with a new instrument. Cleaning your hearing devices every day and scheduling routine appointments with your hearing professional will help ensure optimal performance over the lifespan of your hearing aids.
How often will my hearing aids need to be repaired?
It is not uncommon for a hearing aid to require some degree of service each year, which is why hearing aids are sold with warranties and repair coverage. Due to their position inside your ear or behind it, hearing aids are exposed to environmental factors including: humidity, earwax, moisture, and debris. Each of those factors can adversely affect performance. Cleaning your hearing aids each and every day will drastically reduce the number of repairs they need.
What should I do if my hearing aids do not seem to be working?
There are a few things you can check prior to calling your hearing healthcare professional for an appointment. First check and change the battery. Next, check the microphones and the receiver tube, the part that enters your ear canal, for blockage. If you see any debris, use your cleaning brush to remove it and clear the pathway so sound can easily travel through the tubing into your ear canal. If that does not fix the problem, contact your hearing healthcare professional and schedule an appointment. If the office cannot repair the aid, they will ship the hearing aid to the manufacturer for repair.
What should I do with my old set of hearing aids after I purchase a new pair?
You can donate your hearing aids to the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Any make and model can be donated. Donated hearing aids are repaired and reconditioned then used to share the gift of hearing with someone in need. The Starkey Hearing Foundation has already fit more than one million hearing aids to people around the world. Sharing the gift of hearing is made possible through donations. Our founder, Bill Austin, says, “Alone we can’t do much. Together we can change the world.” You can find additional information on how to donate as well as well as stay up to date on humanitarian efforts to share the gift of hearing with the world at www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org.
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