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Frequently Asked Questions

What insurance do you accept?

Do you accept Medicaid?

  • Unfortunately, at this time, our office is not on the Medicaid contract.

Does insurance pay for hearing aids?

  • Most insurance plans will cover the cost of the hearing evaluation (although the coverage may be applied to your deductible or coinsurance). However, many insurance plans do not offer a benefit for hearing devices. We recommend you contact your insurance company and request a eligibility of benefit for hearing devices and hearing evaluation prior to your visit.

Why do hearing aids cost so much?

  • The price point of hearing aids depends greatly upon the performance of the device. As is true with most technological devices, higher levels of functionality increase cost.  With hearing aids, devices that perform better in noisy environments and have more speech in noise adaptive technology will generally be of a higher cost.

What type of hearing aid works the best?

  • Hearing aid recommendations are based on what each individual user needs. They come in many unique styles and sizes. An appropriate recommendation will be made based on your individual hearing loss, listening environment demands, cosmetic concerns, and budget.

Do I have to wear a hearing aid in both ears?

  • If you have hearing loss in both ears, it is highly recommended you treat the hearing loss in both ears. You will receive a greater benefit with the hearing in noise. Also, wearing a hearing aid in one ear would be like wearing a contact in one eye, it could throw off your balance and ability to localize where sounds are originating from.

How often should I get a hearing test?

  • If you have a known hearing loss it is recommended, you have your hearing tested every year to be sure it is not changing.
  • It is recommended adults over the age of 45 have their hearing checked every two years.

What is a Sensorineural hearing loss?

  • Damage to the little “hair cells” (organs) in the inner ear or auditory nerve. This type of hearing loss is NOT reversible and, in some cases, progressive. Treatment for this type of hearing loss is use of hearing aids.

What is a Conductive hearing loss?

  • Hearing loss caused by a disease that blocks the transmission of sound to the cochlea (the hearing organ). This type of hearing loss is often treated with medical intervention with an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician.

Is hearing loss caused by aging?

  • Although hearing loss is common as we age, there are often other factors that contribute to many different types of hearing loss. Some of these factors include: noise exposure, ear infections, head or ear injury, genetics, medications, heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.

I hear fine, but other people mumble.

  • If you feel that everyone around you is constantly mumbling and if they would just speak up or speak clearly, the problem is likely due to damage to your hearing organ. Damage to the hearing organ may be specific to certain frequencies and tones, when there is any loss of sound to the brain, you must try to put the missing pieces together to understand what is being said, when the brain cannot fit the puzzle pieces together, the result is poor understanding of speech.

What manufacturers do you work with?

  • We work with all major manufacturers of hearing aids. We service most makes and models of devices including: Widex, Starkey, Signia, Siemens, Oticon, Phonak, Unitron, and Resound.

How long do batteries last?

  • Life of a battery depends on size of battery, how much power is pushing through the hearing aid, and how much streaming is occurring. Typically, battery life will last between 3 to 5 days for size 10 batteries, around 7 days for size 312 batteries, and between 7 and 10 days for size 13 batteries.

What happens if I lose my hearing aid?

  • Most hearing aids have a loss and damage insurance with a deductible, valid for the term of the warranty laid out in your purchase agreement no matter where you bought your hearing aids. If you lose your hearing aid during this time, call our office to determine if you have a loss and damage coverage.

How often should I have my hearing aid cleaned?

  • We recommend you have your hearing aids clean by a professional every 3 months.

What is tinnitus:

  • Tinnitus is also known as “ringing in the ears”. Although you may hear hissing, roaring, chirping, cicadas, and more. These sounds are generally referred to as phantom sounds from the brain. Tinnitus can be caused by a great many things including but not limited to wax impaction, noise induced hearing loss, some medications, ear or sinus problems, head or neck trauma, or other ear related diagnosis. We recommend you obtain a full hearing evaluation to determine the cause of the tinnitus.

Is there a cure for tinnitus?

  • Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are treatment options that can help you deal with the tinnitus. A full tinnitus evaluation is recommended so that an appropriate recommendation can be made.

How long do hearing aids last?

  • General lifespan of hearing aids is 5 to 7 years, although, many hearing aid users elect to upgrade as soon as 3 years for recent technology upgrades.

Do you offer financing for hearing aids?

  • Financing is available in our office from Wells Fargo Patient Financing. We offer 12 months no interest option as well as other longer interest-bearing loan terms.

What is the difference between an Audiologist and Hearing Aid Dispenser?

  • An Audiologist has been trained to diagnose, treat, and monitor ear disorders. An Audiologists is trained in the anatomy and physiology of the ear and auditory system.  They have extensive education in the acoustics of the ear and hearing aids.  Doctors of Audiology completes 8 years of post-secondary education which includes an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in communication Disorders as well as a Graduate degree in Audiology. Our Audiologist, Dr Johnson, is Board Certified through the American Board of Audiology, Nationally Certified, and licensed with the State of Colorado.  She completes a minimum of 60 clinical continuing education hours every three years.
  • A Hearing Aid Dispenser is licensed to perform audiometric testing for the purpose of selling and fitting hearing aids. It is NOT within their scope of practice to perform the duties of an Audiologist. Hearing Aid Dispensers are required to pass a dispensing exam. Prior to sitting for the exam they must meet certain requirements that can vary depending on which state they are licensed in.  In most states Hearing Aid Dispensers are only required to have a high-school diploma. Hearing Aid Dispensers have the ability to become Board Certified as well, only after completing 2 years of continued service and employment as a licensed Hearing Aid Dispenser.

Can I buy hearing aids online?

  • You may see hearing aids offered online through various websites and while these prices seem to be so much lower than the prices quoted through a professional, we recommend you proceed with caution. Most manufacturers (Oticon, Widex, Starkey etc) do not encourage the purchase of hearing aids over the internet and in some instances if the devices are sent into the manufacturer for repair, the manufacturers have said they will confiscate the devices as an illegal purchase.
  • It is highly recommended from the different manufacturers that consumers purchase hearing aids through a licensed professional.
  • It is also common for hearing aids to be much less expensive online because you are not receiving the services of a licensed professional. Typically the hearing aids will be “Best Fit” to your audiogram and you will have to pay for your fine tuning services through a local licensed professional.

What is the difference between a bundled and unbundled package?

  • A bundled package is one that includes the hearing aids, warranty of the devices, fitting and dispensing of the hearing devices, as well as all services associated with the provider in one purchase price.
  • An un-bundled package is one the breaks out the hearing aids with the fitting and dispensing of the hearing devices as one price and service as different options. An un-bundled package is a good choice for patients who spend part of the year home and part of the year abroad.
  • At our office, we believe you should have options, and we try to be sure to allow you flexibility and a decision in your purchase. We offer both bundled and unbundled options.

How do I know if I have a Hearing Loss?

  • Most people will gradually develop hearing loss. It tends not to be as noticeable as a gradual loss of eyesight, many people may not even be aware that they have a hearing loss because of the adaptations that have been made for them over time. Family, friends, and loved ones tend to be the ones to notice a hearing loss before the person with the hearing loss. This is more noticeable to them because they are having to speak louder, make sure you are looking at them when they speak, they are having to constantly repeat themselves, or you are answering their questions completely wrong. If you notice that you are struggling with any of the following it might be time to get your hearing checked…
    • TV or radio is being turned up louder and louder or people are complaining that they can hear your tv on the phone.
    • Having difficulty hearing speech when in background noise, restaurants, or small to large groups of people.
    • Difficulty hearing women or children more than men.
    • Things sound muffled or it seems everyone is mumbling.
    • People are always whispering
    • Trouble hearing at meeting, public speaking events, or conferences.
    • You have ringing in your ears aka tinnitus
    • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
    • Answering questions or comments inappropriately “I would love some lunch” “I would love some punch” or “Have you seen my phone” “No, I don’t have a cone?”
    • If someone tells you “You are having problems hearing”
    • You notice yourself withdrawing from social activities
    • You feel tired, stressed and anxious after having to listen for long periods of time
  • If you are experiencing one or more of these issues or someone has told you that you can’t hear it is probably time to get your hearing tested and have a base line
  • It is also recommended that if you are 45 or over to have your hearing tested every two years unless you have a hearing loss. If you do have a hearing loss it is best to get yearly testing.
  • It is better to catch a small problem before it becomes a big issue. If you suspect you have a hearing loss call to schedule your appointment with an Audiologist. They can help clarify, identify, diagnose, treat, and manage your hearing loss. If there is a medical component to your hearing loss then Dr. Johnson will referrer you to a medical specialist.

How do I know if I need a hearing aid?

  • You should have your hearing tested by a Hearing Professional
    • A full Audiological Evaluation should be done. This will tell you and your hearing care professional what type of hearing loss you have, whether it is in one or both ears, and the best type of hearing aids for you and your lifestyle. Dr. Johnson will review your hearing loss, lifestyle, budget, style preference, and insurance and make her recommendation based on all factors
  • Health and Personality
    • The evaluation can determine if you need hearing aids. Dr Johnson can recommend several different options for you but, this is not the only thing to take into consideration. Your personal preference and personality are huge deciding factors as well. If you are not ready to try hearing aids initially then you need to think about how your hearing is affecting you life and the lives of everyone around you that is making accommodations to help you hear better.