FAQs

Q?

Are there different types of hearing loss?

A.

Generally, hearing loss is separated into three kinds. Sensorineural loss (nerve deafness) is the most common type and conductive loss is the second most common type.
Sensorineural Loss – occurs when “hair cells” in the inner ear are damaged. Nerves are unable to transfer the sound vibrations to the brain, resulting in hearing loss. Aging, noise exposure, disease, birth defects and nerve damage are all associated with this form of hearing loss. Sensorineural loss can be improved by using hearing aids.
Sensorineural symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty understanding when people speak if there is background noise
  • Sounds seem unclear or people sound like they are mumbling
  • Difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears

Conductive Loss – happens when there is damage to the outer or middle ear. This prevents sound waves from moving properly, and sound energy that reaches the inner ear is incomplete or muffled. Infections, earwax or fluid buildup, fractured ear bones, a perforated eardrum or ear canal obstruction can all cause conductive loss. Earwax removal, medicine, surgery or hearing devices may relieve conductive hearing loss.
Symptoms of conductive loss:

  • Speech and other sounds sound distant or stifled
  • Pain, pressure in or discharge from the ear
  • A feeling of “fullness”

Q?

How do I know if I have lost my hearing? In general I think I hear fine.

A.

While hearing loss occurs in most people as they age, other factors can also play a role. This can include being exposed to loud noises, certain medications, infections, head or ear trauma, a family history of hearing loss and a number of other causes
(http://www.betterhearing.org/hearingpedia/signs-hearing-loss)

There are many common indications for people experiencing hearing loss. These include:

  • Straining to hear and understand muffled voices
  • Finding it harder to hear in restaurants, malls or other noisy environments
  • People complain that you have the radio on too loud
  • Ringing in your ears
  • You need to watch people's faces more intently when they speak with you
  • You are withdrawn from social situations because of difficulty hearing

Q?

What do hearing aids do?

A.

Most hearing aids can make it easier to understand speech, amplify sounds and improve communication – and quality of life. Hearing aids can’t cure ear damage or let you selectively pick what you want to hear (although you can adjust them). There are also personal amplification devices that are different from hearing aids.

Q?

Why should I get my hearing tested?

A.

The information we gain from a diagnostic hearing assessment tells us several things: the degree of your hearing loss and the location of your issue. Our staff uses that information to decide which assistive devices to try so we can see what will give you the most improvement.

Q?

Will my insurance or Medicare/Medicaid cover hearing aids?

A.

Although you need to check with your individual plan (we can help you), as with glasses, many insurance plans do not cover hearing aids. We are happy to assist you in filing reimbursement forms or addressing other hearing-related insurance questions. We have several insurance partners and payment options. Traditional Medicare and Medicaid do not cover the cost of hearing aids. A few choice plans include hearing – please contact us for more information.

Q?

Do hearing aids need batteries? How long do they last?

A.

Yes. Batteries can last for a long time depending on the amount of amplification, the type of battery and how many hours you use the device each day.

Q?

What is tinnitus?

A.

Tinnitus has several causes, which include exposure to abnormally loud noises, ear infections, foreign objects in the ear and allergies or other issues that create fluid or wax buildup. Genetic hearing loss may cause tinnitus, and some seniors experience tinnitus as they age. People may experience tinnitus due to a side effect of medications, including antibiotics, cancer drugs, antidepressants and over-the-counter medications like aspirin. However, the most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss.

Q?

What is an Audiologist?

A.

Audiology is the science of hearing. An audiologist is a person who has a masters or doctoral degree in audiology. In 47 states (including New Jersey), audiologists must be licensed or registered by their state to practice audiology.

Q?

Do hearing aids work when there is background noise?

A.

While they can’t completely eliminate unwanted sound, modern digital hearing aids filter sound to minimize background noise. Tailoring an aid to your needs is part of the assessment/fitting process.

Q?

What are digital hearing aids and the technology behind them?

A.

Digital hearing aids have microphones that “hear” sound waves and convert them into digital signals. Minute computer chips process those signals within the hearing aids and amplify the sounds accordingly.

While features vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, some options include:

  • Directional microphones, which amplify the sounds that come from the direction you are facing while reducing sounds coming from the sides or behind. This helps filter voices in a noisy environment.
  • Noise reduction – Using digital processing technology, a hearing aid can determine if the signal contains extraneous background noise. Reducing distracting background noise improves results for the hearing impaired.
  • No more whistling! The feedback management feature reduces or eliminates whistling sounds, so patients are comfortable hearing the sounds they want to hear.
  • We can’t reduce the wind, but we can reduce the noise it creates in the microphones of the hearing aids. Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? This feature will improve your quality of life.
  • Hearing aids with data logging and learning can actually track and learn a hearing aid wearer's preferences in various types of listening environments. This means that the professionals at Total Hearing Care can adjust your hearing aid to adapt to your preferences. That’s AI at its best!
  • Got Bluetooth®? - This technology establishes a wireless connection to compatible devices such as smartphones, certain land-line telephones and televisions.

Q?

Why is an impression of the ear taken?

A.

(https://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/health/docs/hearing_guide.pdf)
Depending on which hearing aids you get, the hearing care provider may take impressions of your ears to get their exact shape. The process, which is easy and painless, involves inserting a soft plastic mold into your ear canal. It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes and is done in our office.

Q?

What are cochlear implants?

A.

Middle-ear implants (cochlear implants) are hearing instruments that are different from traditional hearing aids and are surgically implanted.

Q?

How can I get my hearing checked?

A.

Make an appointment with your local professionals at Total Hearing Care or call 1-855-MYHEARING.