Common Questions About Hearing and Hearing Aids

There can be some confusion when it comes to what's right for your hearing...

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can I hear but can’t understand speech?

Seventy-five percent of the speech information in English is found in the high-frequency consonant sounds. The remaining 25 percent is made up of vowels in the low and mid-frequencies. Since most acquired hearing loss is in the high frequency regions, it stands to reason that one could hear a voice by hearing the vowel sounds, yet still be unable to understand because the consonants are not heard.

Will my hearing get worse?

Whether it will worsen depends on what has caused your hearing loss. If your loss is due to a condition such as otosclerosis, diabetes, kidney disease or high blood pressure, it likely will get worse. However, seventy percent of hearing aid users without those conditions have their hearing stabilize once they are fitted and use their instruments on a regular basis. We recommend that you have your hearing evaluated every year.

Can you stop the ringing in my ears?

There is no way to stop the ringing (tinnitus) that you experience. However, your hearing aids can provide some relief. They increase the soft sounds in your listening environment. When you hear more soft sounds, you’ll experience less tinnitus because the soft sounds will compete with and overshadow the tinnitus.

Should I see a doctor before seeing you?

Audiologists are trained to identify abnormalities and medical conditions of the ear. They do not treat medical conditions. If a visual inspection (otoscopy) and/or the hearing examination results suggest that a medical condition exists, the audiologist will make a referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist or back to the referring physician.

If no conditions are present that warrant a referral, you can feel assured that there would be little gained by seeing a doctor.

What is the best hearing aid?

The simple answer is they all make the best products AND none of them make the best products. Let me explain..

How effective are disposable hearing aids?

Disposable hearing aids are inferior products because they do not address the unique needs of your hearing impairment. They are produced with identical circuits, so everybody gets the same correction regardless of the degree of hearing loss. These aids are uncomfortable, will whistle and often fall out of your ear with any head or jaw movement. For these reasons, you should not purchase disposable hearing aids.

Should you consider extended wear hearing aids?

Recently, you may have seen ads praising the virtues of new hearing aids that fit deep within the ear canal. These devices, called extended wear hearing aids (EWHAs), were developed in response to patient demand... Read more...

Would invisible hearing aids work for you?

The leading manufacturers have developed an invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) instrument. This design has been the demand of many in the public eye (actors, for example) and others who, for one reason or another, want an unnoticeable solution for their hearing loss... read more.

Won’t hearing aids make noise louder?

Digital hearing aid circuits have been designed to differentiate whether a sound is speech or noise. The hearing aid microprocessor automatically increases the speech signals it detects and, likewise, decreases the level of the background noises it senses. So, speech becomes clearer without increasing noise.

Can I sleep with my hearing aids?

We recommend that you avoid sleeping with your hearing aids. You might break them or lose them in the bedding.

Should you repair or replace your old hearing aids?

If your hearing aids are four years or older, it may be time to consider purchasing new units. Repairing your old instruments will restore their original function but never match the performance of current technology. If you decide to purchase new instruments, we recommend that you have your old units repaired for use as back-ups in the event you lose or damage the new ones.

What should I do if my hearing aids get wet?

If you have purchased hearing aids made after 2009, your products have a water repelling feature called nanocoating. This process is used in microelectronic circuitry throughout the world. Hearing aids made before 2009 do not have nanocoating, so extra care should be taken when near water.

Why is it important to use proper hearing aid batteries?

The use of premium batteries is essential to the performance of all hearing aids. Often, lower quality batteries are weak or dead in the package. Non-premium batteries can also have a reduced thickness that can cause your hearing aids to work intermittently or not at all.

Where should you store your batteries?

Hearing aid batteries are air-activated and should be stored in a fairly dry environment. Avoid storing batteries in humid or hot environments, such as bathrooms or the glovebox of your car. Never store them in a refrigerator or freezer. Cold, dry air will separate the seal and cause the battery to discharge. A dresser drawer or nightstand is a good location.

Are there payment plans available?

Hearing Aid Services of Hollywood offers CareCredit – a valuable financing program that gives our patients more control over their hearing instrument purchases.

What Can You Do When Your Hearing Aid Stops Functioning?

Hearing aids follow Murphy’s Rules of Reasoning. That is, when something is going to go wrong, it will happen at the most inopportune time. However, don’t assume the worst! There are some simple things you can do when your hearing aid doesn’t seem to work properly.

The most common reason a hearing aid will not work is that it’s plugged with earwax or other debris. A plug of wax will prevent the sound from escaping from the speaker port of an in-the-ear aid or the earmold of a behind-the-ear aid, and you’ll think the aid is dead. However, you can remove the wax plug with the brush or wax loop that came with your hearing aids. If you don’t have cleaning tools, you can use the pointed end of a straight pin to gently dig the wax out.

For those of you who have in-the-ear hearing aids that have wax guard filters installed, the cleaning process is slightly different. The filters are the tiny white plugs that fit into the end of the hearing aid that you insert into your ear canal. Replacement filters are in a 2-inch by 3-inch white or gray packet. When you snap open the top of the packet, you’ll find some black sticks.

Remove one of the sticks and you’ll notice a small white piece on the tip. This is the replacement filter. Take out the old filter with the flattened end of the black stick by pushing it into the old filter and pulling it straight out of the aid. Then, flip over the stick and gently slide the replacement filter into the spot the plugged filter occupied. Usually, this is all that it takes to get your instrument functioning again.

For behind-the-ear users, the problem is often a moisture plug inside of the tubing where the tube inserts into the earmold. You can break the moisture bubble by holding the upper portion of the aid firmly where the earmold tubing attaches to your instrument. Shake it two or three times, as if you were shaking down an old-fashioned thermometer. This force will usually break the moisture bubble and you’ll be back in business.

Of course, if these remedies don’t work, call the office at (323) 463-7109. We’re always ready to help.

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