All that you need to know about identifying a hearing problem, finding the right audiologist , choosing the right hearing aid, maintenance of your hearing aid and health Insurance coverage for hearing related issues.
What should I do if a loved one or if I have a hearing problem?
Get your hearing tested by your qualified Audiologist. This will help determine the nature and degree of your hearing loss and rule out any condition that may require medical attention.
If there is a problem in both ears, should two hearing aids be worn?
Binaural amplification (i.e., when hearing aids are worn in both ears) allows you to set volume control lower than when wearing only one hearing aid. This allows you to hear sound at a more comfortable level. Wearing two hearing aids gives you better sound clarity especially in a noisy environment and in group situations
How long does a hearing aid last and how often should we give our hearing aid for service?
This is different for everyone. Some people keep their hearing aids for four years before replacing them and others replace them after seven years or more. The hearing aid lasts for a minimum of 4-5 years. The life span of a hearing aid depends on how well the hearing aid is taken care of and maintained.This can be done by giving your hearing aid for a yearly servicing, ensuring that it is not dropped or exposed to water/dust/heat and using branded batteries.
How important is it to treat hearing loss in children?
A child who cannot hear will do badly in school and will find it difficult in social situations, resulting in feelings of isolation. Hearing loss can be corrected by hearing aids, allowing a child to live a normal life and to his full potential.
At what age is it advisable to treat a child’s hearing loss?
The sooner a hearing loss is discovered and treated in your child the better the opportunity for him to socialize, communicate and learn. These children should begin using hearing aids at a very early stage. A child with an untreated hearing loss will develop speech impairment.
How do I make my child wear his/her hearing aid?
Since the sounds in the environment will be very new for your child,there may be a reluctance to wear the hearing aid. The child should use the hearing aid at first in a quiet environment and later gradually move to noisier places. Initially coax the child to use the hearing aid for about 30 min to 1 hour a day and then gradually increase the duration as the days progress. Whenever you are putting a hearing aid onto the child ensure his/her hands are occupied and he/she is in a playful and happy mood.Distraction is the key to success here.
How often should I change the battery for my hearing aid?
The battery will last for around 15-20 days. The frequency of changing the battery does depend on the duration or the number of hours the hearing aid is being used in a day. Whenever you are not using the hearing aid, open the battery compartment and remove the battery and keep it outside the hearing aid.
How long does it take to adjust to a new hearing aid?
Just as it takes time for anyone to get adjusted to a new device so too with using a hearing aid. It depends from person to person. For some a month will suffice and for others it may take around 2 months to get adjusted to the hearing aid in all the environments
Does the warranty cover maintenance and repairs?
The warranty is for any problem found in the internal parts of the hearing aid. However any damage to the hearing aid caused by careless handling such as dropping it or exposing to moisture/water/heat will not be covered in the warranty. The warranty does not cover the maintenance such as the change of battery/ ear mould/ tubing.
Is the hearing aid provided for a trial period?
The hearing aid will be provided for a trial period of around 3-5 days at the discretion of your Audiologist.
Can the hearing aid be covered in Health insurance?
No, at present in India, hearing device are not covered under any health insurance schemes.
Will my hearing ability be restored after using the hearing aid?
If the hearing loss is of asensory neural type/ mixed type, then the loss is irreversible and hearing loss cannot be restored with the use of a hearing aid. However you will have better speech understanding because of the auditory stimulation to the nerve fibers and there will be no more sound deprivation.
Which is the best model/ brandof hearing aid?
The Audiologist will advise on the best model of hearing aid depending on the auditory and lifestyle requirement of the individual. This is because the technical features vary from model to model and brand to brand.
Can I clean my ears using a cotton bud?
No, your ears should not be cleaned with a cotton bud. Most cleaning attempts using a cotton budmerely push the wax deeper into the ear canal, causing a blockage. There are no proven ways to prevent ear wax accumulation, but inserting a cotton bud or other objects in the ear canal is strongly advised against. If you are prone to repeated wax accumulations, consider seeing your doctor every 6 to 12 months for a checkup and routine cleaning.
Are there any side effects of wearing a hearing aid?
Hearing aids are helpful devices that can improve the lifestyle of those with a hearing loss and provide them with more independence and confidence. Using a proper hearing aid is essential for deriving the maximum benefit and avoiding discomfort or frustration. However,not using the optimal hearing aid or not using it in the correct way could lead to some side effects such as headache, improper sound quality that may bother you and make you feel uncomfortable. However, this can be easily avoided and fixed with the assistance of your qualified Audiologist.