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Here Are The Hearing Aid Questions You’re Afraid To Ask

Hearing aids may be an option for you if you’re experiencing hearing loss, but understandably, you may be hesitant to take the plunge. You’re far from alone — at I Love Hearing, we speak with patients every day who have concerns or need guidance. There are a lot of questions about adjusting to life with hearing aids, some of which may seem a little silly or downright ridiculous to ask.

Rest assured, that there are no bad questions when it comes to hearing aids! Here, we’re answering some of the most commonly asked questions about hearing aids that you might be afraid to ask.

Why do I need two hearing aids if I only have hearing loss in one ear?

There’s a simple biological explanation for this: The reason that two hearing aids are always better than one is due to a process called binaural hearing. This process entails the brain processing audio input from both ears simultaneously, because the signals that both ears send to the brain are roughly equal in strength.

If you have hearing loss in your right ear, your binaural hearing balance is thrown off, but if you use a hearing aid in only your right ear to address this imbalance, you can actually make it more difficult for your left ear to hear. That’s because, due to binaural hearing and the amplified volume entering your right ear, the brain will process the sound going into your left ear as quieter than the room’s background noise. Additionally, this imbalance can make it difficult for your brain to pinpoint the exact location from which a sound that enters your left ear originates.

Does my insurance company cover hearing aids?

Although at I Love Hearing, we participate in and accept most insurance plans, it’s possible that your insurance – even Medicare – won’t cover your hearing aids. Some insurance companies view hearing aids as elective technologies rather than medically necessary devices, and others won’t cover hearing aids since too many Americans are at risk for hearing loss for insurance companies to have the incentive to pay for hearing aids.

I bought hearing aids OTC (over the counter). Will they work?

Although it’s possible that OTC hearing aids will work with mild hearing loss, they’re more risky to buy. Due to the Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017, the FDA is due to roll out proposed guidelines for OTC hearing aids, but even these guidelines will be proposed rather than final. For the time being, OTC hearing aids may not be a trustworthy option.

I bought a Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP). Do I really need a hearing aid?

PSAPs (personal sound amplification products) are similar to OTC hearing aids in that the FDA does not permit them to be labeled as devices that can improve hearing.

When you’re looking to decide which device is right for you, the best way to make a fully informed decision is to make an appointment with your licensed hearing aid specialist, who can thoroughly review the differences between PSAPs and hearing aids.

Does it hurt to be fitted for hearing aids?

No, it does not hurt to be fitted for hearing aids. Professionally trained hearing aid specialists such as those you’ll work with at I Love Hearing ensure that your hearing aids fit properly and will not cause itching, discomfort, or sweating around you ears. If you experience any of these issues after your initial fitting, you can always contact us to book a follow-up appointment.

Will my hearing get worse over time?

Since aging is a leading cause of hearing loss, many people assume that their hearing will get worse over time. This is sometimes, but not always, the case. With most cases of the sensorineural hearing loss that underlies most hearing loss, your hearing will degrade over long periods but eventually hit a threshold below which it cannot decrease. Even if your hearing loss stops progressing, chances are that it will have nevertheless gone far enough that hearing aids will prove helpful to you. Either way, consult an audiologist to determine your options.

Will my hearing improve over time?

In most cases, hearing loss is progressive degenerative disease. All sensorineural hearing loss, for example, is irreversible, so your hearing will not improve over time if you have this form of hearing loss. If you have congenital hearing loss or mixed hearing loss, you may sometimes be able to reverse your hearing loss. No matter your type of hearing loss, an audiologist can determine how to address your hearing loss, whether via ear wax removal or hearing aids.

How often do I need to visit a hearing aid specialist?

You should visit your hearing aid specialist regularly just as you would with your physician, dentist, or eye doctor. Often, when you book appointments with these other doctors, you’re not seeking to treat any active symptoms but to prevent future health problems, and you should be just as proactive in caring for your hearing. Since most hearing loss occurs gradually rather than suddenly or acutely, if you don’t regularly visit a hearing aid specialist, you might begin treating your hearing loss – a condition that one in every eight Americans above the age of 12 has – long after you should have started.

I’m scared I’ll feel “old” wearing my hearing aids.

Although it’s fair to feel worried that hearing aids will make you feel “old,” hearing loss can happen to anyone at any age. Chances are that other people might be more likely to call you “old” if you keep asking someone to repeat themselves or turn the volume way, way up on your television. Hearing aids don’t just lessen the frequency of these occurrences – many models are so discreet that other people won’t even notice you’re wearing them. No matter your age, if you’re experiencing hearing loss, then hearing aids may well be the best solution for you – and a hearing aid specialist can help you decide.

Book an appointment with I Love Hearing for all your other hearing aid questions

At I Love Hearing, our audiologists and hearing aid specialists can help you decide whether you’ll benefit from hearing aids. We work closely with you to determine the best hearing aid model for your needs, fit them properly, and educate you on proper care and maintenance.

Our team has decades of hands-on experience with many hearing aid manufacturers, and we make our knowledge base accessible to all our patients. We make reaching us easy with five offices located throughout the New York Metro areas, including four in Nassau County and one in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. At your appointment, we’ll discuss the levels of noise to which you’re regularly exposed, test your hearing, and go over your hearing aid options with you. Contact us to book an appointment, and bring your questions large and small — we’re here to answer them.

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The Widex Moment Offers Unparalleled Audio Quality, Many Styles

Widex Moment

At I Love Hearing, we’re excited to announce that the newest Widex hearing aid model, the Widex Moment, is now available for our patients! The Widex Moment utilizes state of the art technology to deliver audio without lag, so those with mild to severe hearing loss can keep up with conversations, TV shows, and any other sound around them. Read on to learn more about the Widex Moment and determine if this exciting new model is right for you.

What’s new about the Widex Moment?

The brand new Widex Moment delivers a clear, natural, and pure sound that cannot be reproduced on many other hearing aid devices. Since they have dual processors, these hearing aids process sound twice as fast, eliminating the lag that some hearing aid wearers experience. This technology, called PureSound, has been tested and proven to deliver sound at realistic signal to noise ratios (SNRs).

“Some older hearing aids have a delay in speech because they can’t quickly process and deliver sound to the auditory cortex, and this delay greatly impacts those with severe hearing loss,” said Jessica Gibson, clinical specialist at I Love Hearing. “Typically, a hearing aid creates an artificial sound, but because of the dual processing in the new hearing aid, you can now hear every moment like you used to.”

Along with dual processing, the Widex Moment uses artificial intelligence (AI) to personalize your hearing experience, thus making your hearing perfect for each and every moment. With this AI-powered personalization, your hearing aids can also automatically adjust your hearing levels in real-time so you don’t have to worry about fixing them. Widex Moment hearing aids seamlessly match themselves to all aspects of your daily life.

You might think that AI in hearing aids sounds futuristic, but it’s not even the only one-of-a-kind thing about these hearing aids! Thanks to remote hearing aid adjustments, these hearing aids can get whatever alterations needed without ever needing to go into a repair center or store. Whether you’re staying inside more due to COVID-19, can’t make it out due to bad weather, or simply have a hectic schedule that makes keeping appointments difficult, you can skip out on the in-person adjustments without missing a beat — or note.

Other features of the new Widex Moment include:

  • Various models: Regardless of the design that best fits your needs and lifestyle, there’s a Widex Moment model for you – in fact, you can choose from six different models to best satisfy your needs. Use whichever hearing aid type supports your preferences, whether that’s a completely-in-canal (CIC) aid, a receiver-in-canal (RIC) model, or an in-the-ear (ITE) style. “The Widex Moment is fully adaptable to the hearing aid wearer’s lifestyle,” said Gibson. “You may want a specific color, style, or fit, and the Widex Moment has lots of options to choose from.”

  • Water-resistant: The Widex Moment’s smart engineering and durable microphones make it long-lasting. Its advanced, water-resistant nano-coating protects it from moisture and gives you peace of mind whether you’re wearing your hearing aids rain or shine.

  • Rechargeable: The convenience of the Widex Moment’s slim wireless charger is a great feature as well. You won’t have to struggle with changing batteries or plugging in any cables – just place them on the portable charger when it’s time to recharge.

Widex Moment specifications

Below is some additional information about the Widex Moment to help you decide which model is best for you:

  • Available models: Multiple, including CIC, RIC, and ITE
  • Processor types: Dual core
  • Bluetooth connectivity: Yes
  • Rechargeable: Yes, with non-rechargeable options available
  • Battery length: 35-165 hours depending on model
  • Water-resistant: Yes
  • Remote adjustments: Yes
  • Hearing loss type: Mild to severe, except the mRIC 312 D and the REC 213 D, which are suitable for mild to profound hearing loss

Is the Widex Moment right for you?

No two individuals are the same when it comes to hearing loss. The best way to find out if the Widex Moment (or any other hearing aid) is right for you is to try them out. That’s why I Love Hearing offers free trials: spend two weeks with the Widex Moment and determine for sure if its functionality, look, and fit are right for your lifestyle. If you love the Widex Moment — great! We’ll send you home with them in hand. If they aren’t the best option for you, your hearing aid specialist will help you find a different model. Contact I Love Hearing now to speak with a specialist, make an appointment, and start your journey to better hearing!

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How to clean popular hearing aid brands

Chart of popular hearing aid brands

Each hearing aid model and brand differs. Instructions for cleaning may change from brand to brand. Always consult the owner’s manual of your particular style, brand, and model before cleaning. Below are the recommended hearing aid cleaning instructions from several popular hearing aid brands.

Oticon

Oticon advises that you clean its hearing aids daily using a soft, dry cloth. Be sure your hands are dry before cleaning. Oticon advises against using water or other substances to clean its hearing aids. Additionally, Oticon suggests clearing its hearing aids above a soft surface such as a towel so damage is avoided if you accidentally drop your hearing aids while cleaning. Oticon recommends that its customers clean their hearing aids using a multi-tool.

Starkey

Whereas many hearing loss professionals recommend nighttime cleaning and overnight airing, Starkey suggests cleaning your hearing aids every morning. Starkey advises morning cleanings using a cleaning cloth because earwax dries overnight and can thus be easier to remove in the morning. Starkey also stresses that hearing aid users should take care not to wipe microphone port debris into other openings and vice versa.

Many Starkey hearing aids include a thin tube or earmold. In this case, Starkey says that users should use the cleaning tool provided for these parts regularly so that wax buildup is minimized.

Widex

Widex hearing aids come with a tool that assists with cleaning the sound outlet, vent, and microphone opening. This tool should be used in combination with a soft, dry cloth to clean your hearing aids. Like Starkey, Widex suggests leaving earwax to dry overnight so that you can remove it more easily with your brush.

For ITE hearing aids (Widex uses the abbreviation CIC or “Completely In Canal”) that have a vent tube, Widex offers detailed cleaning instructions. Widex hearing aid users should remove the battery and insert a specialized ball-tip tool into the vent to remove wax buildup from the opening.

Phonak

Phonak emphasizes washing and drying your hands before you clean your hearing aids so that you don’t introduce any moisture or debris. If your hearing aids do come into contact with moisture, Phonak recommends drying them immediately with a soft, dry cloth.

Phonak recommends checking your hearing aids daily for earwax deposits and clear them using the appropriate brush. If you notice a consistent decrease in volume, your earwax filter may be blocked, and though you can replace this filter yourself, it is recommended that you visit a hearing aid specialist such as I Love Hearing for professional assistance and repair.

For its BTE hearing aids, Phonak recommends that users separate the earpiece from the hearing aid prior to cleaning. Only the earpiece can come in contact with water, and this tube should be dried using only an air puffer that your hearing loss professional gives you.

In the last post in this series, we’ll talk about what you should NEVER do when cleaning your hearing aids.

Learn more about hearing aid care with I Love Hearing

Cleaning your hearing aids is only a small part of ensuring that your devices are working properly and will last for years. At I Love Hearing, our leadership team has in-depth experience working hands-on with all major hearing aid brands, so we can advise you on cleaning and maintenance best practices.

Unlike many hearing aid providers that only sell and repair one brand, we carry and repair nearly every hearing aid brand available in the U.S., and particularly in New York City and Long Island. We offer hearing aid fitting, hearing aid repair, ear wax management, and other services that can help you to keep your hearing aids working like they’re brand new year after year. Our team of licensed audiologists and hearing aid specialists operates from offices located throughout the greater New York metro area: in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and throughout Long Island, including Port Washington, New Hyde Park, East Meadow, and Great Neck.

If you have more questions about hearing aid fitting or hearing aid repair, visit the I Love Hearing FAQ page about hearing aids. And if you still have questions, we’d love to help you:  Contact us to book an appointment and start your hearing aid journey.

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Step by step instructions for cleaning hearing aids

Instructions for how to clean hearing aids

With these step by step instructions for cleaning hearing aids, you’ll be prepared to safely clean your hearing aids, no matter which type of hearing aid model you wear. The instructions differ depending on whether you wear ITE (in-the-ear) hearing aids or BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids. Read on to learn how to clean either hearing aid type.

Steps for cleaning your ITE hearing aids

1. Remove your hearing aids and place them on a paper towel, paper plate, or other surface that can catch debris.

2. Using your brush, clear your hearing aids’ openings, including the microphone port, of earwax and other blockages. You should hold the opening that you’re cleaning facing downward so that, as you brush your hearing aid, the blockage falls out instead of getting further lodged in.

3. After you brush your hearing aids, examine the openings you’ve attempted to clear for any remaining wax or blockages. If you find any remaining debris, use your wax pick to gently wrestle this blockage free from your hearing aids.

4. Complete your hearing aid cleaning by wiping your hearing aid with an approved cloth. Make sure the cloth is dry so that you don’t expose your hearing aid to damaging moisture.

Steps for cleaning your BTE hearing aids

1. Remove your hearing aids and place them on a paper towel, paper plate, or other surface that can catch debris.

2. Remove your BTE hearing aid’s earmold from its hook to clean both pieces separately.

3. Begin cleaning your BTE hearing aids with a gentle cloth wipe-down.

4. Use an approved brush to remove wax.

5. Unlike with ITE hearing aids, a BTE earmold can handle warm, soapy water once per week. Soak your BTE hearing aids’ earmolds in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. (Never use rubbing alcohol or other household cleaning solutions on your hearing aids.)

6. Dry your earmolds completely overnight.

7. Use a bulb blower to push water out of your BTE hearing aid’s tubing. Let the tubing dry overnight.

8. Once all components are dry, reassemble your hearing aids.

NOTE: Before using water or any liquid-based cleaner, you should check with a hearing aid professional or audiologist.

In our next post, we’ll talk about some of the most popular hearing aid brands and some tips for cleaning them.

Learn more about hearing aid care with I Love Hearing

Cleaning your hearing aids is only a small part of ensuring that your devices are working properly and will last for years. At I Love Hearing, our leadership team has in-depth experience working hands-on with all major hearing aid brands, so we can advise you on cleaning and maintenance best practices.

Unlike many hearing aid providers that only sell and repair one brand, we carry and repair nearly every hearing aid brand available in the U.S., and particularly in New York City and Long Island. We offer hearing aid fitting, hearing aid repair, ear wax management, and other services that can help you to keep your hearing aids working like they’re brand new year after year. Our team of licensed audiologists and hearing aid specialists operates from offices located throughout the greater New York metro area: in Manhattan’s Upper West Side and throughout Long Island, including Port Washington, New Hyde Park, East Meadow, and Great Neck. If you have more questions about hearing aid fitting or hearing aid repair, visit the I Love Hearing FAQ page about hearing aids. And if you still have questions, we’d love to help you:  Contact us to book an appointment and start your hearing aid journey.