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Hearing Aids FAQs

Explore Hearing Health frequently asked questions

Hearing Loss and Causes

What is the most common cause of hearing loss?

The most usual reason people have trouble hearing as they get older is because of aging. Our ears naturally get older too, and that can make it harder to hear some sounds. This often starts with difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds or understanding what people are saying in noisy places. It's called age-related hearing loss or presbycusis. While it's a common part of getting older, it can be frustrating. But the good news is that hearing aids can often help improve hearing and communication for those with this kind of hearing loss.

What can cause hearing loss?

Hearing loss can happen for lots of reasons. Sometimes it's because of too much noise, like being around loud music, noisy machines, or even using headphones at really high volumes. Other times, it can be due to things like ear infections, medications, head injuries, or health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Even our genes can play a part – some people might be more likely to have hearing problems because of their family history. So, hearing loss isn't just about getting older; it can be caused by many different things. It's important to take care of our hearing and get help if we notice any problems.

Do headphones cause hearing loss?

Yes, listening to music or other sounds through headphones at very high volumes can harm our hearing over time. That's because the loud sound goes directly into our ears, and if it's too loud, it can damage tiny hair-like parts inside our ears that help us hear. To keep our hearing safe, it's a good idea to listen to music at a comfortable volume, not too loud. Taking breaks and not using headphones at high volumes can protect our ears from damage.

How does exposure to loud noise contribute to hearing loss?

Being around really loud noises, like at concerts, construction sites, or even from everyday things like traffic, can hurt our hearing. When we're exposed to these loud sounds for a long time, they can damage the sensitive parts inside our ears. These parts, called hair cells, help us hear by sending signals to our brains. When they get damaged, our hearing can get worse. So, it's important to protect our ears by wearing earplugs or earmuffs when we're in noisy places, and by keeping the volume down on our devices like headphones.

Can earwax blockage cause temporary hearing loss?

Yes, sometimes our ears can get blocked by earwax, which can make it hard to hear. Earwax is like our ears' way of keeping them clean, but sometimes it builds up and gets stuck. When this happens, it can stop sounds from going through our ear canal to the eardrum, causing temporary hearing trouble. The good news is that this is usually easy to fix. A doctor can gently remove the earwax, and then our hearing should go back to normal. So, if you ever feel like your hearing is muffled, it might just be earwax, and it's a common and fixable issue.

Hearing Aids

How much does a hearing aid cost?

Hearing aids can vary in price, but they're often a bit expensive. Some start at a few hundred dollars each, while others can be several thousand dollars. The price depends on the kind of hearing aid and the features it has. It's important to talk to an audiologist to find one that fits your budget and works best for your hearing needs. Discover our affordable OTC hearing aids that offer high-quality sound at budget-friendly prices.

Can everyone hear with a hearing aid?

Hearing aids can be highly effective for many individuals with hearing loss, but their success depends on several factors. The type and degree of hearing loss, the quality and type of hearing aid, and individual factors like ear anatomy play a role. Hearing aids are most effective for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. For those with severe to profound hearing loss, cochlear implants might be a more suitable option. An audiologist will assess your hearing and recommend the most appropriate hearing aid based on your unique needs. Our advanced hearing aids are designed to provide effective solutions for individuals with various degrees of hearing loss. Explore our range to find the perfect fit for you.

Can you wear hearing aids 24 hours a day?

While hearing aids are designed for extended wear, wearing them continuously 24/7 isn't necessary and can lead to discomfort. It's generally recommended to remove them during sleep to allow your ears to rest and reduce the risk of skin irritation. Most people find it comfortable to wear their hearing aids during their waking hours and remove them at night.

Why are hearing aids so much money?

The cost of hearing aids reflects several factors, including the advanced technology and research that goes into developing effective hearing solutions. Additionally, the price often includes professional services provided by audiologists, such as hearing assessments, custom fitting, and ongoing adjustments to optimize performance. While the initial investment may seem high, hearing aids significantly improve the quality of life for those with hearing loss, making the cost worthwhile for many. Some individuals may also have insurance coverage or financial assistance options to help with the expense.

Can you talk on the phone with hearing aids?

Yes, many modern hearing aids are designed to work with phones, both landline and mobile. They often have features like Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to wirelessly connect to your phone and hear calls directly through your hearing aids. This technology makes phone conversations much more comfortable and clear for individuals with hearing loss.

What is the difference between OTC hearing aids and regular hearing aids?

The primary difference lies in how they are obtained and fitted. Regular hearing aids require professional fitting and adjustment by audiologists or hearing specialists. OTC (over-the-counter) hearing aids, as the name suggests, can be purchased directly by consumers without the need for professional fitting. OTC hearing aids are typically designed for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss and offer a more affordable and accessible option. However, they may not be as suitable for complex hearing issues or severe hearing loss.

What are the advantages of OTC hearing aids?

OTC (over-the-counter) hearing aids offer several advantages, including accessibility and affordability. Here are some key benefits: Cost-Effective: OTC hearing aids are generally more budget-friendly than traditional hearing aids, making them a more accessible option for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. Convenience: OTC hearing aids can be purchased directly by consumers without the need for professional appointments, reducing wait times and making them more convenient to obtain. Quick Access: OTC hearing aids are readily available, allowing users to address their hearing needs more quickly. Self-Adjustment: OTC hearing aids are designed for self-fitting and adjustment, giving users more control over their hearing experience.

Why are OTC hearing aids cheaper?

OTC hearing aids are typically more affordable than traditional hearing aids for several reasons. They skip the professional fitting and adjustment process provided by audiologists, reducing associated fees. OTC hearing aids are designed to be self-fitted, which also contributes to cost savings. While they are generally less expensive, OTC hearing aids may have fewer advanced features compared to traditional hearing aids, which can impact the price.

What do OTC hearing aids look like?

OTC hearing aids come in various styles and designs, much like traditional hearing aids. They are typically small and discreet, with some models designed to fit inside the ear canal (invisible-in-canal) and others placed behind the ear (behind-the-ear). The exact appearance of OTC hearing aids can vary depending on the brand and model, but they are generally designed to be inconspicuous.

Is it safe to wear hearing aids all day?

While it is generally safe to wear hearing aids throughout the day, it is advisable to remove them during sleep to allow your ears to rest and reduce the risk of skin irritation. Most people find it comfortable to wear their hearing aids during waking hours and remove them at night.

How many hours a day can you wear a hearing aid?

Hearing aids are typically designed for full-day wear, allowing you to wear them from morning until evening. However, it's important to take short breaks to allow your ears to rest and prevent any discomfort. Most users find it comfortable to wear their hearing aids during their waking hours.

How long does it take for your brain to adjust to a hearing aid?

The adjustment period when using a hearing aid can vary from person to person. Some individuals adapt to hearing aids within a few days, while others may take several weeks. It's important to be patient during this process, as your brain needs time to get used to the improved hearing clarity provided by the hearing aid. Regular use and follow-up appointments with your audiologist can help ensure a smoother adjustment.

What is the most comfortable hearing aid to wear?

Comfort with hearing aids is subjective and can vary based on individual preferences and needs. Many modern hearing aids, including OTC models, are designed with user comfort in mind. The "most comfortable" hearing aid varies from person to person, so it's essential to work with a hearing specialist to find the right fit and style for you. Experience comfort like never before with our range of comfortable hearing aids designed for all-day wear. Try out our new AudixLife AI.

What is the most intelligent hearing aid?

Hearing aids have become more technologically advanced over the years, incorporating features like noise reduction, Bluetooth connectivity, and adaptive sound processing. "Intelligence" in hearing aids often refers to their ability to automatically adjust to different listening environments. The most intelligent hearing aid for you depends on your specific needs and lifestyle, which can be discussed with a hearing specialist. Our state-of-the-art hearing aids feature intelligent technology that adapts to your environment for a seamless listening experience. Try our new AudixLife AI, with artificial intelligence.

Which hearing aid is best for old age?

The best hearing aid for older individuals depends on their unique hearing profile, lifestyle, and preferences. OTC hearing aids can be suitable for seniors with mild to moderate hearing loss, providing an affordable and accessible solution. However, it's recommended to consult with a hearing specialist to determine the most appropriate hearing aid based on individual needs.

Hearing Loss Detection and Symptoms

How do I test myself for hearing loss?

For a quick and convenient way to assess your hearing from the comfort of your laptop or mobile device, we recommend visiting our site and clicking on "Test your hearing." Our online hearing test is designed to provide valuable insights into your hearing capabilities. It's a user-friendly tool that guides you through a series of sound checks, helping you gauge your hearing acuity. Keep in mind that this test serves as an initial assessment and should not replace a professional evaluation. Take the test here:

What does losing hearing feel like?

Losing hearing can be a gradual process, and it doesn't always feel the same for everyone. Common experiences include difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds, muffled or distorted speech, and struggling to understand conversations, especially in noisy environments. Some people may also notice tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sensation in the ears. While hearing loss itself may not cause physical discomfort, it can lead to frustration, social isolation, and communication challenges.

What are three warning signs of hearing loss?

Difficulty Understanding Speech: Struggling to understand what others are saying, especially in noisy or crowded places, is a common early sign of hearing loss. Increasing Volume: If you find yourself frequently turning up the volume on the TV or asking others to speak louder, it may indicate hearing loss. Social Withdrawal: Avoiding social situations, gatherings, or conversations due to difficulty hearing or understanding can be a warning sign. Hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation.

How do you know if you have mild hearing loss?

Mild hearing loss is often characterized by difficulties hearing soft or high-pitched sounds. You may find it challenging to follow conversations in noisy environments or when people speak softly. You might also notice a need to turn up the volume on electronic devices like the TV or phone. If you suspect mild hearing loss, it's essential to consult an audiologist for a thorough evaluation to confirm the degree and type of hearing loss you may have. You can test your hearing to find out if you have mild hearing loss for free here:

How rare is hearing loss?

Hearing loss is relatively common, especially as people age. It's estimated that approximately 15% of adults in the United States have some degree of hearing loss. However, the prevalence of hearing loss varies depending on factors like age, exposure to noise, and genetics. While hearing loss is more prevalent in older adults, it can affect people of all ages.

Can exposure to loud music or concerts lead to hearing loss?

Yes, exposure to loud music, concerts, or other sources of loud noise can contribute to hearing loss, particularly if the volume levels are high and the exposure is prolonged. This type of hearing loss is called noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). It occurs when loud sounds damage the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear, making it harder to hear. To protect your hearing, it's advisable to use ear protection, such as earplugs, when in noisy environments or attending loud events. NIHL is preventable with proper hearing protection and safe listening practices.

Age-Related Hearing Loss

At what age do you start to lose your hearing?

Hearing loss can begin at any age, but it becomes more common as people get older. The most common type of hearing loss, age-related hearing loss or presbycusis, typically starts to become noticeable around the age of 60. It tends to affect high-frequency sounds and can make it challenging to hear clearly in noisy environments. However, it's important to note that hearing loss can also occur earlier in life due to factors like genetics, noise exposure, and health conditions.

What is the average age for hearing aids?

The average age for individuals to start using hearing aids varies, but it often aligns with the onset of age-related hearing loss, typically in the 60s. However, there is no specific age requirement for using hearing aids. People of all ages, including younger individuals with hearing loss due to other factors, can benefit from hearing aids when recommended by an audiologist or hearing specialist. The decision to use hearing aids depends on the individual's hearing needs and preferences.

Can hearing loss affect one's mental health?

Yes, hearing loss can have a significant impact on a person's mental health and overall well-being. When hearing loss is left untreated, it can lead to feelings of isolation, frustration, and even depression. Difficulty communicating with others, especially in social situations, can result in withdrawal from activities and social interactions. Hearing loss can also strain relationships, as it may lead to misunderstandings and communication challenges. Addressing hearing loss through interventions like hearing aids can improve not only hearing but also mental and emotional health.

Are there any lifestyle changes or habits that can help prevent hearing loss as we age?

While some degree of age-related hearing loss is unavoidable, there are lifestyle changes and habits that can help protect your hearing as you age: Use hearing protection: When exposed to loud environments or activities like concerts, power tools, or shooting, wear earplugs or earmuffs to reduce the risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Monitor volume levels: When using headphones or earbuds, keep the volume at a safe and comfortable level to prevent damage to your ears. Regular hearing check-ups: Schedule routine hearing assessments with an audiologist to monitor your hearing health and address any concerns early. Maintain overall health: Manage conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, as they can impact hearing health. A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet can also support auditory well-being. By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can take proactive steps to help preserve your hearing as you age.

Other Hearing Health Questions

Is hearing loss genetic?

Yes, hearing loss can have a genetic component. It means that hearing loss can run in families. Some individuals may inherit specific genetic mutations or variations that make them more susceptible to hearing loss. Genetic factors can play a role in both age-related hearing loss and congenital hearing loss, which is present from birth or develops shortly after. However, it's important to note that not all hearing loss is directly linked to genetics. Many cases of hearing loss are caused by factors like noise exposure, infections, or medical conditions.

What role does genetics play in hearing loss?

Genetics can influence hearing loss in several ways. In some cases, specific genetic mutations can make individuals more prone to hearing loss, especially age-related hearing loss. These genetic factors can affect the structure and function of the inner ear, making it more vulnerable to age-related wear and tear. In other instances, genetic mutations may be responsible for congenital hearing loss, where babies are born with hearing difficulties due to inherited gene variations. Understanding the genetic factors involved in hearing loss can help researchers develop targeted therapies and interventions in the future.

What happens if you ignore hearing loss?

Ignoring hearing loss can have several negative consequences on one's quality of life and overall health. Here are some potential outcomes of untreated hearing loss: Communication Challenges: Difficulty hearing and understanding conversations can lead to misunderstandings, social isolation, and strained relationships with family and friends. Decreased Cognitive Function: Research has shown a link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline, including an increased risk of conditions like dementia. Emotional Impact: Hearing loss can contribute to feelings of frustration, anxiety, and depression due to communication difficulties and social withdrawal. Reduced Job Performance: Untreated hearing loss can impact job performance and career opportunities, as it may lead to difficulties in meetings, phone calls, and teamwork. Safety Risks: Hearing loss can affect your ability to hear warning signals, alarms, or approaching vehicles, potentially leading to safety hazards. Increased Fall Risk: Studies have found a correlation between untreated hearing loss and an increased risk of falls, which can result in injuries. Decreased Quality of Life: Overall, untreated hearing loss can significantly reduce one's quality of life and well-being. It's crucial to address hearing loss promptly by seeking professional evaluation and considering interventions like hearing aids. With appropriate treatment, many of these negative consequences can be mitigated, and individuals can enjoy improved hearing and an enhanced quality of life.

How does hearing loss impact social interactions?

Hearing loss can strain social interactions by making communication challenging, leading to misunderstandings, social isolation, and strained relationships. It can also contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety, reducing one's overall quality of life and affecting employment opportunities. Addressing hearing loss through interventions like hearing aids can significantly improve social interactions.

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