Expert Answers from Hearing Healthcare Providers

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What types of hearing aids does the VA offer?

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Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Fredericksburg

23 April 2016 - 15549 Views

The Veteran’s Administration has contracts in place with six major hearing aid manufacturers - GN ReSound, Oticon, Phonak, Siemens (Signia), Starkey, and Widex. The VA uses the manufacturer’s premium levels of technology-the same hearing aids that sell for the highest prices in the private sector. There are several styles of hearing aids available, from the smallest - Invisible in the Canal (IIC) to the largest and strongest - Power Behind the Ear (BTE), and the very popular Receiver in the Canal (RIC) - made to fit most hearing losses while... Read more

How do hearing aids help tinnitus?

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Paula L. Schwartz, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Edina

05 December 2016 - 3936 Views

Many people find that amplification alone addresses the tinnitus.  One of the many theories of tinnitus is that it is neurological activity resulting from cochlear damage or hearing loss. Therefore, address the hearing loss and potentially address the tinnitus. Secondly, amplification of the ambient environment presents contrast sound making the tinnitus less noticeable and therefore less bothersome.  For some persons with intrusive tinnitus, the limbic system (emotional system) is involved and amplification alone is not sufficient.  All of the... Read more

How much do hearing aids cost?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Easley

11 January 2017 - 5258 Views

This is a common question with a very complex answer. Depends if you're paying just for hearing aids or if you're also paying for your care. Imagine the dentist giving you wire and glue and telling you to put your braces on youself- doesn't seem to make much sense does it? Hearing aids and technology require different, but equal expertise.There are two models to consider: bundled and unbundled. Most providers bundle their services with the cost of the hearing aid. This will typically increase the price that you're paying but you are getting... Read more

Is it possible to upgrade my current hearing aid without purchasing a new device? I wear Phonak.

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Christopher S. Frink, MS

Audiologist in Salem

14 November 2016 - 1564 Views

Currently, the only company offering technology that can be upgraded is Unitron, a sister company to Phonak (both are owned by Sonova) which has technology that parallels them for the most part (about 95% of Phonak technology is available in Unitron products, and vice versa).  Other companies may offer upgradeable technology in the future, particularly if Unitron is successful with this program, which has been out for approximately three years.The advancetage to the consumer of upgradeable technology is that they aren't stuck with the technology that... Read more

I am looking to get hearing aids for my grandmother, but I was wondering, are there any traveling audiologists that will come to her? Or does she need to go to a audiologist’s office with a sound proof booth?

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Abram Bailey, AuD

Doctor of Audiology, Hearing Tracker Founder

14 October 2016 - 1120 Views

Great question. I think it largely depends on where you are and whether there are any audiologists that provide "home visits" or "home care" in your area. You have a couple of options. 1) Go to Google and search for "{your city} audiology home visits" or something similar. 2) You can also check out the Hearing Tracker listings in your area to see if anyone provides home visits. If you browse to your city and click on the "home-based care" filter on the left side of the screen, you should see audiologists who perform home visits pop up on the map. For... Read more

What's the difference between an audiologist and a hearing instrument specialist?

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Samina Khan, MA

Hearing Healthcare Provider in Westborough

23 May 2016 - 20655 Views

One key difference between an audiologist and a “hearing aid specialist” is the minimum amount of education required. Audiologists must currently earn a professional degree (theDoctor of Audiology, or Au.D.) which typically involves 4 years of academic and clinical training in audiology, following a traditional 4-year bachelor’s degree. By contrast, very few educational requirements need to be met (they vary by state) before a non-audiologist can sell hearing aids; in fact, in many states, the minimum requirement is a high school diploma, passing a... Read more

Which in-the-ear hearing aids are best for moderate-to-profound hearing loss? I'm a 45 year-old long-time HA user who must hear well in board meetings and on the phone. Price is not an issue.

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Christopher Hamilton, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Asheville

18 May 2016 - 6333 Views

The hearing aid manufacturer is not nearly as important as the professional you choose. Of the many brands of hearing devices available, many can and will work well, assuming they are programmed properly using standard verification methods. I would recommend focusing on finding an excellent Doctor of Audiology and the everything else should fall into place. 

Are there any differences between normal Phonak hearing aids and the Phonak hearing aids sold at Costco, in terms of quality and performance?

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Asieh Haririan, BSc

Hearing Healthcare Provider in North Vancouver

20 May 2016 - 20430 Views

Audeo uses a newer chip built and introduced to the market at the beginning of 2015, whereas Brio uses an older chip built in 2012. A few benefits of the newer chip in Audeo 90 are: Automatic Auto sense, comfort in car, comfort in echo, and good quality of music.

Is there any effective medical treatment or supplement for tinnitus?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Highland

22 January 2017 - 700 Views

To date, there is no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs to treat tinnitus.  Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are ways to help treat tinnitus.  [This analogy is similar to cancer- there is no cure, but there are treatments.]  First and foremost, you need to see the proper professionals.  Audiologists are the licensed professionals to evaluate and treat tinnitus.  (Other than North Carolina, hearing aid dispensers are not specifically licensed to work with tinnitus.)  Auiologists will work with a variey of professionals in... Read more

What is the best solution for using a stethoscope with hearing aids?

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Sara Nagel, AuD

Audiologist in Pearland

10 January 2017 - 4418 Views

I am located in Houston, home of the world's largest medical center, and have a fair number of patients who are medical professionals.  The best solution that has worked to date has been the Think Labs Amplified Stethoscope, coupled to Bose over-the-ear headphones that are large enough to wear over hearing aids.  This eliminates the need for the medical professional to remove their hearing aids in order to use the stethoscope.  My patients who use it report best sound quality compared to other amplified stethoscopes, with no (curcuit?) static noise... Read more