What to Do When Your Hearing Aids Alone Are No Longer Enough

By Meagan Borgelt

There is a world of difference between living passively and truly participating in life. Many people have this wake-up call when the feeling of isolation and the struggle to hear becomes almost too much to bear. Despite having the best hearing aids on the market and all the gadgets that go with, there comes a point in time when you must ask yourself, ‘Are my hearing aids doing enough?’

I realized the only thing hearing aids were doing for me was raising the volume. I was just hearing louder mumbling. It isolated me, and I didn't do all the things I used to do because I was having such a difficult time hearing.

Nina, a Nucleus® recipient

If you experience frustration with hearing aids, it’s important to see the signs that something more needs to be done. Some indications that your hearing aids are not providing enough benefit include:

  • Difficulty hearing conversations in noisy situations
  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
  • Misunderstanding what people say
  • Turning up the TV volume louder than others in the room prefer
  • Withdrawing from conversations because it is too difficult to hear
  • Depending on reading lips to understand what people are saying

The great news is that there are options when hearing aids alone are no longer enough. Hearing implants may be the solution you are looking for to hear more clearly, regain your independence and connect with people you love. You may be wondering if cochlear implants will really be much different than hearing aids. In short, the answer is yes.

Hearing aids help many people by making the sounds they hear louder, whereas cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices that treat hearing loss by replacing the function of the damaged sensory hair cells inside the inner ear (cochlea), helping give you that clarity needed to hear, even in noisy environments.

Cochlear Infographic

If you’re considering the idea that you need more than what hearing aids are giving you, here are the general next steps in your journey to better hearing.

  1. Take this online Hearing Aid Check designed by the National Acoustic Laboratories. The results will reveal if you should consider other options for better hearing beyond hearing aids alone.
  2. Get a hearing evaluation: make an appointment to have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist who is well trained in hearing implants and all advanced hearing technologies.
  3. Seek insurance approval: Unlike hearing aids, most hearing implants are covered by Medicare. They are also covered by many insurance plans and typically Medicaid.* Your audiologist or hearing implant specialist can help obtain pre-authorization of coverage on your behalf.
  4. Have the implant procedure.
  5. Activate and fit your new device.
  6. Enjoy hearing better than you thought possible.

Your journey to better hearing is worth every step. Make the choice to reconnect to a world of sound.

For more detailed information about hearing aids, cochlear implants, and the devices available to you, please visit Cochlear.com.