Many patients and parents who contact ASF about hearing loss issues often ask the same questions so we asked Audiologist Dr. Todd Landsberg to address these common concerns.
The day after a kidney transplant it is common for the individual to be surprised at how much better they feel. They didn’t realize just how sick they were until they could experience a healthy kidney. The effects of their disease progressed over time so the severity of the problem wasn’t always obvious right away. Hearing loss can sometimes be like that.
People generally realize their hearing is getting worse but often don’t realize just how severe it has gotten until they get their first hearing aids. Another common experience is to realize that over time they have been increasing the volume on the television. Regardless of what triggers the thought there comes a time when the purchasing of hearing aids begins to be considered. However, that process can be frustrating and confusing.
Below are five common questions we asked Dr. Landsberg:
1. “Why are hearing aids so expensive?”
As an Audiologist and Alport patient this is the most frequent question I get in my practice. The price of hearing aids is based on the provider and the hearing aid company the Audiologist selects. Most of the time the simple answer is the cost of the aids is driven by supply, demand and the research/development that goes into designing them.
It should be noted there is a wide range of price points for hearing aids today. I believe the key difference is the person fitting you correctly and adjusting the aids for each specific patient’s needs.
2. “Are there financing solutions for people who cannot afford hearing aids?”
Yes, there are, but I would say this could vary by state. The best place to find the right resources would be to check out www.hearingloss.org for support. This will provide you with the local resources in the area.
In my practice I work with the Lions Club, EPIC, Tru Hearing and any other assistance resources I can find to help people. I am a firm believer that all people who need hearing aids should be able to get them.
3. “What is the best hearing aid?”
This is another common question I get asked often. It is a challenging question!! I would first say I would strongly recommend seeing a Doctor of Audiology for your services since Alport syndrome is something he/she should be knowledgeable about. The best hearing aid, in my opinion, is one that allows you to address your specific hearing loss and works best for you and your lifestyle.
As far as technology, my opinion is you don’t always need the most expensive aids or those with the highest level of technology to get the best results. I wear a mid-level hearing aid and it works perfectly for my hearing loss.
4. “What are the best batteries to use for hearing aids?”
I personally prefer Rayovac batteries since these are made in Wisconsin and tend to be fresher than others I have used that are made in other countries. It is important that you look at the expiration date of the batteries before buying them.
One key to making the batteries last longer is to peel the sticker off and then wait five minutes. This will allow the battery to become fully charged. You can thank an 8th grader for coming up with that research!
5. “Are there any other ways that hearing aids can help with background noise?”
This is the most common complaint that patients who wear hearing aids have. The simple answer is hearing aids are not smart enough to determine what we want to hear from what we don’t want to hear. This is in part since each patient has his/her own definition of background
One solution I offer all my patients is the LACE training program. This is a simple DVD or App that trains people with a series of listening exercises. You can learn more about LACE at www.neurotone.com.
Dr. Todd Landsberg is with South Coast Hearing Center in Coos Bay, OR.
If you have any other questions feel free to contact him at [email protected].