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What types of hearing aids does the VA offer?

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Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD
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... Read more

How do hearing aids help tinnitus?

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Paula L. Schwartz, AuD
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... 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
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... Read more

How much do hearing aids cost?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
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... 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. My audio in both ears is 45-60-65-75-85-90-95

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Christopher Hamilton, AuD
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. 

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
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... Read more

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
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.

What are best practices in audiology?

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Cynthia Compton-Conley, PhD
Best practices are a set of professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing aid balance disorders.  They are determined following years of clnical and laboratory research.  For example, the American Academy of Audiology lists standards and guidlines here.  Best... Read more

What are the best hearing aids?

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Thomas Goyne, AuD
Several factors come into consideration when considering what hearing aids to choose from. It is important to find a knowledgeable and experienced hearing health professional -- an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser -- to help you arrive at the best devices for you. The case can be made that finding this professional is the most important part of the... Read more

Which company makes the best rechargeable hearing aids?

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Julie Norin, AuD
Currently, Siemens (Signia) and Phonak have rechargeable products in their portfolios. Phonak has products at 3 different price points that are rechargeable (models BR-50, BR-70 and BR-90) and Signia has products at the top 2 price points (Cellion 5 and Cellion 7). Differences are not all that significant, with the exception of this - the Phonak products... Read more

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

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Sara Nagel, AuD
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... Read more

Does Medicare cover hearing aids?

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Thomas Goyne, AuD
As of March, 2016, Medicare does not cover hearing aids, nor does Medicare cover hearing tests done solely for the purposes of hearing aid selection and programming. However, Medicare does reimburse for hearing evaluations performed for medical purposes.While Medicare does not cover hearing aids, there are some secondary coverage plans for individuals... Read more

What hearing aids are easiest to use for an elderly person?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD
Purchasing hearing aids for a person of any age or lifestyle requires a significant amount of consideration.  The "best" or "easist" or "most durable" hearing aid depends on the person's hearing acuity, communication needs, lifestyle, dexterity, vision, cognition, and preferences.  Many patients, of all ages, like the option of rechargeable batteries for... Read more

Where are hearing aids manufactured?

Kurt mooney
Kurt Mooney, BC-HIS
It depends on the manufacturer.  Starkey, for example, is an American-based company that manufactures their devices in the United States.  Oticon, ReSound, Wydex, and a few others originate from Denmark.  There are hearing instruments produced in many other countries as well.  However, almost every one of them has a state-side office where... Read more

Do hearing aids work normally when the battery is low?

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Ram Nileshwar, AuD
This is a very good question and one that my patients frequently ask. The quick answer is no, meaning they may malfunction on a low battery. However, the period of time the battery is low is extremely small - probably a couple of hours at the very most, depending on the type of battery used. The battery current demands from todays advanced hearing aids... Read more

Why do hearing aids whistle?

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Thomas Goyne, AuD
Similar to a public address system, a hearing aid can hum, whistle, or ring when amplified sound comes out of the hearing aid’s loudspeaker and is picked up by the microphone and re-amplified, over and over again. This creates what’s called an acoustic feedback loop.Possible causes of feedback include:Improper insertion into the user’s ear.Improper... Read more

Is there a difference between the Alta2 Pro and the Alta2 Pro miniRite?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
The Oticon Alta2 Pro was offered in the following behind-the-ear form factors (or styles):Alta2 Pro miniRITE (reviews)Alta2 Pro designRITEAlta2 Pro RITEAlta2 Pro miniBTEAlta2 Pro BTE13 and BTE13 105 (Power aid)Each of the styles is slightly different. Some are smaller, some are larger, some offer more manual control (push button and/or volume control),... Read more

I am looking for a BiCros hearing aid. Currently on trial with Audibel A4i Platinum and trying to find the right hearing aid. What manufacturer is recommended? Any other suggestions?

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Sara Carnevale Fearon, AuD
Hi - as other's have already mentioned, both Widex and Phonak have excellent BiCROS devices you could try.  Audibel is Starkey - so you are already demoing that system.  Although the device you choose is important, choosing the professional you will be working with is just as important, if not more so.  Make sure you are working with an audiologist who... Read more

How long do the batteries last in the Halo 2 hearing aids?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
My experience with the battery life for Halo2 hearing aids is that they last about 7-10 days, based on full-time use (12+hours per day).  This can be affected by the amount of streaming use (i.e. cell phone, other app).  If you are a heavy cell phone user or watch movies on your iPad, the drain could be even higher.

Why does my hearing aid beep while I'm chewing food?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
When you chew, you hearing canal actually changes shape. You can test this yourself by placing your pinky finger into your earcanal, then opening and closing your mouth (make sure you take your hearing aid out first). When your earcanal changes shape, this can often lead to amplified sound leaking out of your earcanal around the sides of a custom-molded... Read more

I get a lot of moisture in my ears from my hearing aids and I get a bad smell and have to use ear drops frequently. Would the Eargo help to prevent this problem?

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C. Scott Mills, AuD
I am familiar with Eargo and the idea behind it is to allow some ventilation around and through those little tendrils that cover the end of the hearing aid. It's a good theory and certainly may create less surface contact on the skin in the ear canal. As others have noted, your underlying problem may be a skin issue that needs to be treated. The... Read more

Why doesn't the hearing aid push button change the sound when I press it?

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Chelsea Walters, BS, BC-HIS
There are 2 reasons why a pressing Push Button may not alter the sound quality: (1) The button has not been programmed to control anything or (2) If it has been programmed to control volume or a specific environment, it may need an adjustment to work better for you.  Let me elaborate.  During a hearing aid fitting with a new user, I typically don't... Read more

Will Donald Trump help bring down the cost of hearing aids?

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Paul Dietsch
The president has no direct power over the price of hearing aids. There was a bill to give a tax credit when you buy hearing aids but it did not pass. H.R.1882 and S.315 are the bills. Write to your congressmen and women to tell them you want it to pass. Trump says he will make them listen now so maybe it is a good time to try again.

Are the new Oticon Opn hearing aids really that much better in background noise? I am considering upgrading from Alta2.

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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD
We have only fit a handful of patients so far. But, so far the feedback (no pun intended) has been great for hearing in noise! We all have different abilities to hear in noise and from my standpoint, this is a key factor in personalizing any solution.

What do hearing aids sound like?

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Thomas Goyne, AuD
For first-time users, hearing aids will often sound “tinny” or “amplified” or even seemingly too loud for the first few days of use. This is because for most first-time users, their brains have forgotten what it is like to hear normally, which is part of a process that is often referred to as auditory deprivation. However, after regular use of the... Read more

I have a cochlear Baha 5 SuperPower implant on my left side and wear a ReSound hearing aid on right side. Would there be a noticeable improvement by having a second Baha installed on the right side?

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Lynn M Firestone, AuD
It would depend on the hearing loss in your right ear. That is something that you should discuss with your provider.

Which hearing aids have the best directional microphones?

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Timothy Charles Steele, PhD
Technically, I believe all manufacturers use the same microphones but the algorithms that each digital hearing aid uses for processing vary greatly.  I think it would be difficult to answer exactly what "directional microphones are best in which hearing aids" because each manufacturer has their own proprietary hardware and software that is responsible... Read more

What is the quality of Blamey Saunders hearing aids?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
I cannot personally vouch for Blamey Saunders products, but here's what I was able to dig up on the internet:"Australia Hears is now known as Blamey & Saunders. Their aids are made by America Hears, who happen to use ADRO which was developed by a company started by Blamey. The CEO of America Hears is listed as a team member on the Blamey &... Read more

How well does the ReSound LiNX2 9 RIE 62 work with an Android smartphone? Are there any limitations compared to an iPhone?

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Dan Schwartz
ReSound LiNX, Enzo, LiNX², & Enzo², and Beltone First, Legend, Boost, & Boost+ hearing aids work well with compatible Android phones. However, with Android there is no A2DP stereo streaming. From the ReSound Smart Hearing Aid Compatibility page:ReSound Smart is compatible with the following Android devices**:Please note: Direct stereo streaming,... Read more

Is there any point to getting the Resound LiNX2 962 model to have the telecoil?

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Juliëtte Sterkens, AuD
Absolutely! I highly recommend you obtain hearing aids that offer Bluetooth and telecoil technology. I have personally fit thousands of hearing aids with telecoils and worked with consumers around the country that have benefited from this feature.  While hearing aids have come a long way in the last decade, they do not give you normal hearing and most... Read more

What can cause a hearing aid, such as the Phonak Virto v90, to raise and lower volume randomly while watching TV?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
Most new hearing aid technology now features automatic analysis of your listening environment to react to background noise and take measures when this occurs in order to optimize speech intelligibility for you.  As an example, when you go from a quiet room to a restaurant, the hearing aids may react by initiating its directional microphones to limit the... Read more

Why does my hearing aid keep beeping? It's not the low battery sound.

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
There could be several reasons that device is beeping and this may be dependent on the type of device that you have. Reasons could include: losing connection to it's partner, a button being stuck and changing the settings, poor battery contact, intermittency, damaged module, etc. I would recommend calling your provider's office to solve the problem.

Which IIC hearing aids are the best? I'm looking for devices that can adjust on their own based on any noise environment, with a natural feel and clear sound.

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Jennifer Arndt, BC-HIS
All labs that produce IICs have technology levels that adjust for noisy environments to the best degree that today's technology allows. No IIC, or any other size hearing instrument will sound natural if a person has never worn hearing aids, until their mind has gone long enough hearing through them all day, everyday so that listening through the hearing... Read more

Is Phonak's Sound Recover 2 much better than the original Sound Recover? I am considering upgrading but I am not convinced. Have your patients seen an improvement in their hearing with the new version?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
Our clinic is actually conducting a longitudinal study on this to verify the improvement of SoundRecover2 over SoundRecover, and so far it is very promising, so the short answer is "yes."  But here's the long answer...We currently have approximately 12 participants in the study.  SoundRecover2 was introduced in April of 2016, but strictly using... Read more

Can hearing aids cause further hearing loss?

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Rivka Strom, AuD
As long as a real ear measure (REM) test is performed in the office during the hearing aid fitting, you will be fine. During the REM, the output of the hearing aid is measured in your ear to ensure appropriate gain for you to hear well and to ensure that the sounds you are hearing will not get too loud and case further hearing loss. Further, I would like... Read more

Who fits hearing aids?

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Kathryn Trolenberg, AuD
Hearing aids are fit by licensed professionals, usually audiologists or hearing instrument specialists. An audiologist has typically completed 6-8 years of higher education and holds a Masters or Doctoral degree in Audiology. A hearing instrument specialist has typically completed licensure requirements as defined by the state in which they practice.... Read more

Why is it difficult to understand words with hearing aids?

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Alicia D.D. Spoor, AuD
Hearing loss is categorized into three types: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.  A conductive hearing loss means there is an issue in the middle ear space (ear drum and middle ear bones) causing the hearing loss; a sensorineural hearing loss means there is an issue in the inner ear and/or beyond, and a mixed hearing loss is a combination of a... Read more

Does the Resound LiNX2 have a hands-free capability of talking on iPhone without bringing the iPhone up to the mouth?

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Chelsea Walters, BS, BC-HIS
It absolutely does, but requires the Phone Clip+.  The Linx2 allows audio through the iPhone wirelessly, but still requires you to use the microphone of the iPhone.  The Phone Clip+ becomes the microphone.  It additionally allows you to make program changes, volume changes, mute functionality, and answering/rejecting an incoming phone call.

Is there a product I can purchase to reduce the chance of losing my hearing aids? I lead a very active lifestyle, exercise often, and hike with a hat that covers my ears. My hearing aids are Resound LiNX LS961.

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SUSAN FENRICH, BC-HIS
I would also recommend EarGear.  The other recommendation would be to have custom earmolds made to put over the end of the reciever.  These will help keep the receivers (speakers) in you r ear better.  Your hearing care provider should be able to get them for you.

Does Starkey plan to market a TV streamer for Halo 2

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Rachel Magann Faivre, AuD
Currently there is no accessory/TV streamer option for the Halo 2. Starkey's accessories run off a 900MHz wireless technology, which work with all but their Halo 2 devices. The Halo 2 devices run off of 2.4GHz wireless technology.

Does Phonak make a hearing aid with Bluetooth, telecoil, and rechargeable batteries?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
We recently added the Phonak Audéo B-R to our hearing aid review database. We're excited to see what customers will report, especially with regard to real world battery life. The B-R does not have a telecoil, and to my knowledge it is not directly compatible with smarphones like the iPhone. The B-R is compatible with the Phonak ComPilot II, ComPilot Air... Read more

My mother uses hearing aids that are 14 years old. She is having difficulty hearing, but is covered under Medicare. Are there any programs that could help her afford a new pair of hearing aids?

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Julie Norin, AuD
Depending on her household income, she may qualify for Starkey's Hear Now program. She can contact the program directly to obtain an application at 1-800-648-4327, or she can call them and ask for a referral to a local provider who would help facilitate the application and provide testing, dispensing, and follow up care. Another option would be to seek... Read more

My provider only carries one brand of hearing aids. Is it important to have several brands to choose from?

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Lee Weissman, AuD
No one manufacturer has it all and they are leapfrogging each other with new technology all the time. Particularly with regard to water resistance, rechargeability, size, ergonomics (e.g., how easy to feel and press the buttons and open & close the battery compartment), battery life, SmartPhone compatibility, SmartPhone apps, Streaming of audio from... Read more

I am 62 and new to hearing aids. My test shows loss in mid-range freq. I have to turn the TV up and lose words in conversations, etc. I want the best hardware - small, light-weight. Which will work better for me Signia primax 7px or Oticon Opn?

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Lisa Goldstein, MA
Siemens and Oticon are both excellent manufacturers, researching and developing the best in hearing aid technology. I have worked with both the Primax 7 and the new Oticon Opn with success. It's always nice to work with an audiologist that will let you try both instruments however, it also depends on your needs. If you want the latest in direct... Read more

Are LiNX2 ITE hearing aids more susceptible to moisture than Phonak Virto hearing aids?

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Rachel Magann Faivre, AuD
Custom hearing device products do not have IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, only behind-the-ear devices do. For moisture, the highest score a product can receive is an 8, which means it is waterproof. Custom devices between ReSound or Phonak are likely to be similar, with a rating of 7, which means it can be submersed in water for up to 30 min and still... Read more

Who makes Voyage hearing aids? The ones sold at CVS.

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Abram Bailey, AuD
There is a little bit of information about this over on our forum. "The Voyage E is the same as Rexton Emerald, and the Voyage M is the same as Rexton Mosaic. 24 channels indicates Rexton’s 40-level technology, with 80 being the highest." 

Is it true that some hearing aids are locked? I am considering purchasing hearing aids at Costco, but want to be sure I can have them adjusted elsewhere (in case I move, etc).

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Duane Smelser, HIS
Yes.  At Costco, the brand that is has proprietary software is Kirkland, which is made by Resound. Other proprietary brands available elsewhere are Miracle Ear (made by Siemens), Audibel (made by Starkey), Oticon aids purchased from Avada (corporate owned stores).  There are probably more but these are the ones I'm most familiar with.  It's important to... Read more

I have a 60% hearing loss in my left ear and no hearing in my right ear. What kind of hearing aid can help me? I also need one that will connect to my smartphone.

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Goutham Gosu, AuD
I would suggest trying a BICROS hearing device; a couple of different manufacturers carry these kind of hearing aids which are smartphone compatiable. I would reccomend researching Signia (Siemens), Phonak, & Starkey. At this given time those 3 have the most updated technology when it comes to BICROS devices. 

What does a seven-tone "tune" coming from one of my Oticon Alta 2 hearing aids mean?

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Kara Norcross, AuD
I spoke with Oticon.  They stated it is likely the Start-up "jingle" meaning it is the tones that come one when the hearing aid is first turned on.  If you are having the tones happen after you've worn them a while, it indicates the power is going off and coming back on.  You can change the battery. If it is a new battery you probably want to try a new... Read more

Is Phonak Audeo V a significant upgrade to Audeo Q ?

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Alexandra Tarvin, AuD
In addition to quicker processing and bandwidth which leads to brighter sound quality and understanding in a non-distored inner ear, the Venture line of Phonak devices has better understanding in noise. This includes car noise and background noise. All of the features available in the device does depend on the tier/level of device that an individual... Read more

Are any hearing aid companies offering cyber monday deals?

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Elise Gregoire, AuD
I would say it's relatively unusual for clinics to offer deals and the manufacturer of the devices cannot directly offer any deals as the devices cannot be legally sold online. However, some clinics do have Cyber Monday deals, including the clinic I work for in Berkeley, CA. Here's an example (our offer), but each clinic would be unique, if they have an... Read more

Are there any differences between the Resound hearing aids sold at Costco and other Resound hearing aids?

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Daniel Caleb Dowell
Based on a visual comparison, the ReSound Cala is the same as ReSound LiNX2. Unfortunately, ReSound doesn't allow independent providers access to the technical specifications of their Costco line of hearing aids. In fact, Costco purchased hearing aids are software "locked" and can only be adjusted at Costco hearing aid locations. Typically, Costco... Read more

How important is having my hearing aids fit in person versus buying over the internet?

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Megan Carter, AuD
It is extremely important to have hearing aids fit in person versus buying over the internet! Hearing aids are custom fit for your ear and for your hearing. When a hearing aid is purchased from the manufacturer, it comes as a blank computer chip. The person fitting the hearing aid takes into account the size and shape of your ear canal as well as the... Read more

Do hearing aids really block out background noise?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
It depends on perspective.  Hearing aids do not truly block background noise, but can limit what the hearing aids amplify.  The primary complaint of hearing aid users about their performance is how they function in background noise.  What they are really complaining about is not hearing background noise, however, but not hearing what they want to hear... Read more

I'm considering a MED-EL cochlear implant. What is best hearing aid to wear with it?

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Clifford Olson, AuD
While the MED-EL cochlear implant is a good product, it does not currently have a partner hearing aid company that is compatible.  If having compatibility between technology is something that is important to you, you may want to consider the other implant companies that are out there.  Both Cochlear Americas and Advanced Bionics have partner companies,... Read more

How do I pair the Starkey Halo 2 i2400 with the iPhone 7? I am having trouble.

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Julie Norin, AuD
Starkey instructions are as follows: Pairing should be done after the hearing aids have been programmed in the Inspire Software.Pairing Halo to an Apple Device1. Navigate to the Settings icon on the Apple device2. Select General > Accessibility > Hearing Aids3. If Bluetooth is turned Off on this screen, turn it On4. Open and close the battery door... Read more

Is there an "in the ear" hearing aid available for high frequency profound hearing loss?

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Adam Wentling, HIS
To clarify, "in the ear" (ITE) typically describes any "custom" hearing aid in which an ear-mold impression is taken and the entire hearing aid is encapsulated inside of it.  Basically, anything that is not a "Behind the Ear" (BTE) hearing aid.  That being said, there are many ITE hearing aids that can reach a profound high frequency loss, but I'm... Read more

Is it worth spending the money to buy higher technology hearing aids from the big brands?

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Clifford Olson, AuD
Great question!  I wish this had a straight forward answer, but ultimately, it depends.  There are however, a few things that you need to take into consideration before trying better technology.1. How often do you find yourself in challenging environments?  If you answer all the time, then you would likely get better benefit from a premium level name... Read more

My grandparents are in their 90's and are interested in hearing aids, but they are also nervous they will buy them and end up not using them. I would love to hear other patient's and healthcare professions experience and ease of use once adjusted properly

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Raji Parangad, MAud
Hearing aids would be highly benificial ti improve their quality of life. Modern aids are very simple to use and manage. The newer rechargable aids will take the hassle of changing batteries..which is a great plus. Your hearing aid provider will have some demonstration models or some places will even offer a trial aids as loan. That will be a  good... Read more

I have a wax filter stuck in my ear. How do I get it out?

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Melissa Wikoff, AuD
I am so sorry to hear that. Please call your audiologist. Your audiologist can look inside your ear canal to confirm that something is stuck inside and we have tools for comfortably removing foreign objects from the ear. Good luck!

Are all Starkey, Audibel, and NuEar hearing aids made in Mexico?

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Margaret ("Peggy") Tomko, AuD
Starkey is an American-owned and operated company. Please see this link for more information about this topic, as well as their other brands.

Are there any hearing aids that can stream audio directly from a Macbook Pro laptop?

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Lisa Goulart, BA
Direct streaming, without the use of a streamer, not at this stage. Hopefully soon. Lisa G

What are the risks of buying hearing aids online?

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Paige Peterson, PhD
In general I would be wary. It is first and foremost not currently legal to be selling hearing aids online. These are typically being run without manufacturer knowledge and are hit with a cease and desist order fairly quickly. At that point any warranty outside of a manufacturer warranty tends to be voided. Now that aside, programming hearing aids is... Read more

Where can I donate hearing aids?

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Megan Carter, AuD
Many local Audiology and Hearing Aid offices will accept donated hearing aids as well. However, in order to receive a tax deductible letter for the donation, you must donate to a non-profit entity. 

Which hearing aids reproduce music cleanly with no artefacts or distortion?

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
As others have indicated here, having instruments with the widest dynamic range is important, particularly in the input limit of the microphones.  Hearing aid microphones have a general input range of 115dB, but they can't always utilize the entire range depending on how they are otherwise utilizing other features in the instruments (i.e. noise... Read more

Are there hearing aids that can connect to Bluetooth devices using the standard Bluetooth protocol, without requiring additional accessories?

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Christine Pickup, AuD
The latest Made for iPhone hearing instruments do not need an a relay device to interface with other technology such as an iPhone or iPad.  There are several manufacturers which make hearing aids that are Bluetooth enabled, but all are based on Apple's BLE due to size restrictions.  If you wish to connect beyond an iPhone or certain Android devices (with... Read more

I can hear with my hearing aids but sometimes I have trouble understanding what people are saying. Why?

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Margaret ("Peggy") Tomko, AuD
Have you noticed if there is a pattern to the situations in which you have trouble understanding what people are saying?Hearing aids are an excellent solution to help with hearing loss, but they are not a cure. There are many factors that can contribute to speech understanding, including but not limited to the following:Type, configuration, and severity... Read more

Are there any rechargeable hearing aids that fit right in the ear?

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Steve Eagon, MA
While there are numerous options for re-chargeable behind-the-ear hearing aids today, there is one option to consider if you are looking for a discreet in-the-canal solution. Eargo Plus is a hearing aid sold through its website. It is designed for people who have mild-to-moderate high frequency hearing loss and includes full support from a team of... Read more

Why are "in-the-ear" hearing aids skin colored? It makes them look like a phone from 20 years ago.

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Matthew Pearson
If you look at the inside of the aid (if the shell is clear) you can see all the wiring & components. If the faceplate were also to be transparent it would probably look quite unsightly.I often have patients choose a different shell colour ie white for the right for easy identification but if a mini canal device with twin mics is fitted it can cover... Read more

We are considering a behind the ear hearing aid for my adult son with special needs. There are times he removes his glasses and we're concerned that it might be an issue. What suggestions do you have for wearing both hearing aids and glasses?

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Mark Conradt, AuD
How old is your son? Does he have a headband connected to his glasses? Generally glasses do not present a problem. Thin bows are better than wide thick bows. On some occasions you can have your optometrist take a look and maybe make adjustments to his bows. Also, I have seen some parents use a small amount of Velcro. Oto Clips are available through... Read more

I am considering upgrading from the Resound Verso to the Resound LiNX2 962. How much improvement can I expect in noisy situations, without using the remote mic or iPhone app?

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Margaret ("Peggy") Tomko, AuD
I think you will notice a larger difference between the Verso and the LiNX 3D rather than the Verso and the LiNX2.

Is Eargo a hearing aid or PSAP?

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Abram Bailey, AuD
Eargo has been called a hearing aid in the press, but I cannot find any instance of Eargo being called a hearing aid on the Eargo website itself. Also, all FDA-registered hearing aids should be listed in the Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID), and I cannot find "Eargo" in the listings. See for... Read more

Which hearing aids can stream music from an android phone?

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Steven Chargo, MA
Nearly all hearing aids currently on the market from every manufacturer can stream music from an Android, or any other smart phone that has bluetooth capability.  You will need to have a bluetooth accessory item which will be paired with the phone as well as the hearing aids.  There are several manufacturers (Resound, Starkey, and Oticon) that have... Read more

I live in a Senior Home. Noise in dining room makes hearing impossible. I have tried Oticon Alta 2 Pro and Costco Rexton RIC. I need help with phone and TV too. What do you suggest?

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Matthew Pearson
This, unfortunately, is a common complaint I hear from a lot of patients. Part of the issue is that there are normally a lot of people talking in this kind of environment & although we talk about noise, noise is often other speech. Also, the environment can be echoey & reverberant so the aid effectively amplifies the sound twice. Finally, as... Read more

I have the StreamLine TV, Pure 13 BT Primax, and a Samsung Android phone. Which apps do I use to listen to the TV through my hearing aids?

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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD
An app that will stream live TV through your devices is called Tunity.  It will be of help when you are not at home. 

I have severe to profound loss. Hearing aid companies are boasting about advances in feedback cancellation. Is a dome fit an option for me now?

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Todd Gibson, AuD
You might be able to get away with power dome tip.  However, the most appropriate coupling would be a custom power shell that is encased in the receiver wire.   I use them all the time with very good success.  They are comfortable and can come in acrylic or soft materials as well. 

I have single-sided deafness. What are the differences between the Widex CROS, Phonak CROS, and Signia CROS hearing aids?

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Clifford Olson, AuD
There are not a lot of differences between these three companies other than personal preference.  However, Widex and Phonak have disconnect signals that are given when the aid and transmitter are separated from each other.  Signia just got into the CROS game, but their devices seem to perform well.  I have had the most luck with Phonak.  Every time I try... Read more

What analog hearing aids are currently available? I have severe hearing loss and digital aids aren't working for me.

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Christopher S. Frink, MS
Unfortunately, there aren't really any analog hearing aids available from major, reliable manufacturers.  I've had a few patients with similar situations to that presented here, where they are used to analog technology and can't get used to the sound quality of digital.  Because of this, I've polled the major manufacturers, and none of them make analog... Read more

How far into the canal do I push the little rubber umbrella on my RIC hearing aid?

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Margaret ("Peggy") Tomko, AuD
The little elbow of the RIC wire should be neatly tucked into the notch above the triangular cartilage in front of your ear canal (the tragus), and the wire should be flush against the side of your head. The little rubber umbrella (often called a dome) will not be pushed in too deep because the wire is manufactured to a specific length that is shorter... Read more

I have Rexton BTE aids that are about 5 years old. The original provider left town and the folks who picked up servicing my aids tell me that the software to "reprogram" my hearing aids is discontinued and no longer supported. Is this correct?

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Nathan Rhodes Au.D., AuD
The software is no longer updated, it has been replaced by a new version of the software that is not compatible with the older hearing aids. Many providers still have the older version of software on their computers and can still program the hearing aids provided they also still have the proper cables. 

My husband was tested at AccuQuest this week for hearing aids. The cost is $5800.00. Can you tell me if AccuQuest is ripping consumers? We didn't think they would be this expensive.

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Mark Butler, AAS
Hearing aids come in a number of price ranges based on the technology level of the aids you are purchasing.  Those prices typically range from a low of about $2000 per pair to as much as $7500 per pair for a top level set of hearing aids.  Assuming five levels of technology then a price of $5800 would be a fair amount for a second level pair.  Top level... Read more

What is the average cost of a premium hearing aid? Should I purchase from Costco or an independent doctor?

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Matthew Pearson
If we are to define the Premium as each manufacturer's top of the range device then in England the answer would be as little as £2500 a pair to as much as £5995.Often the difference between success & failure is linked to the time spent with a patient & the expertise of the practitioner they deal with.If you deal with a "Big Box" retailer often... Read more

What hearing aids have special features for tinnitus?

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Margaret ("Peggy") Tomko, AuD
Most modern hearing aid brands have tinnitus features that come standard in their technology. Some have a white or pink type noise, some have soft chimes, and some have environmental sounds (ocean waves, etc.). Check out Widex, ReSound, Starkey, Phonak, Oticon, and Signia (Siemens). The tinnitus features often come in different styles of hearing aids... Read more

I can no longer hear or understand the actors at the theatre. Two theatres have telecoil loops, which aren't very good; others have infrared systems that help somewhat. Any new hearing assistance devices that would help?

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Juliëtte Sterkens, AuD
It is frustrating not being able to enjoy the theater. Please know that the performance of the hearing loop depends on the installation skills of the installer - and while most hearing loop installers work very diligently to make sure the loop meets the IEC 60118-4 hearing loop standard it is possible that the one you are using fails to do so.... Read more

What is the typical cost to have used hearing aids adjusted for a new owner?

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Deyanira Gonzalez, AuD
Prices will vary clinic to clinic. Some offices will bill you based on time (typically one hour for first fitting and 15 to 30 minutes for follow-ups after that) and some will be based on a service package including an x amount of visits with the cost.At our office, the charge is $300 for one hour and it includes one 30 minute follow up visit. This is... Read more

Are hearing aids from the VA locked?

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Margaret ("Peggy") Tomko, AuD
VA hearing aids are not locked, and many other audiologists and hearing aid specialists will be able to tweak the programming. Some hearing healthcare professionals may charge a fee to do programming adjustments or repairs. These services would be free at the VA or through the Veterans Choice Program.

what are the best hearing aids for single sided deafness

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Margaret ("Peggy") Tomko, AuD
There are a few options to consider for this scenario:1) CROS (if the better ear is normal) or BiCROS (if the better ear has a hearing loss as well)2) Osseointegrated hearing aid, such as the Cochlear Baha or Oticon Ponto (this may not be possible if the better ear has a significant loss, or if the patient is not a surgical candidate)3) Unilateral... Read more

What is the best hearing aid for a reverse slope cookie bite loss?

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Rivka Strom, AuD
There is no product that we can say is "the best" as ultimately it is a personal decision. Some individuals prefer one manufacturer and other may prefer another manufacturer or another model. Still, I will say that many individuals that I know have a preference for oticon aids for RSHL but again, that does not mean it would be best for you. I would add... Read more

Which hearing aid is the best for a person who is about 65 years old?

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Margaret ("Peggy") Tomko, AuD
As far as style goes, this truly depends on many factors, including but not limited to the following:The type, severity, and configuration of the person's hearing lossThe person's dexterityThe shape, size, and texture of the person's ear and ear canalOther factors, such as whether the person wears an oxygen cannulaAs far as brand goes, all of the major... Read more