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Hearing Aids: Prescriptions

Q:  I had a hearing test and was told I need hearing aids. Can they write me a prescription to take wherever I want to go like I do with my eyeglasses?   – Michael from Abilene, TX

A:  You can always request a copy of your hearing test. It is part of your medical record and you have a right to the have the information.  In essence, your hearing test acts as your prescription.

We always request a hearing test to be under one year old. The hearing test is used to program your hearing aids so the more current the information the more accurate the settings will be.

Hearing aid fitting is very different than an eyeglass prescription. Eyeglasses are more objectively fit.  Measurements of your eye and your vision are recorded and then those numbers can be fit into the frames of your preference no matter where you go. With hearing aids, every person hears slightly differently at various frequencies and different hearing aids will respond to those subtle differences using their own formulas for best fit. Differences in speech understanding, dexterity and shape of hearing loss can impact what is recommended as well.

How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?

Q: How long do hearing aids last?  – Richard

A: Hearing aids generally last 4 to 5 years.

The time frame will vary based on a variety of factors. First, hearing aids need to be maintained. They should be inspected daily for dirt/debris and cleaned as needed. Hearing aids should always be put on AFTER using hairspray or body spray as well. Second, if your hearing aids are exposed to moisture (either from your person or from the environment) then it is wise to invest in a dehumidifier specially made for hearing aids. These can run anywhere from $15 to $200 depending on how fancy you want to get.

Hearing Aids:  One Versus Two

Q:  I know I need hearing assistance. Is there any point to having only one hearing aid? The cost is prohibitive for me to have two.   – William

A:  I always say that two is better than one but one is better than none. I would rather someone have two hearing aids of lower technology than one hearing aid of the best technology. But, one is better than nothing for sure.

We have extensive research that shows us that people fare much better with two hearing aids instead of one.  You will hear better in background noise and will find it significantly easier to localize sounds. The brain has to expend less energy/effort to hear with two ears and there is no fatigue with two (meaning, one ear that essentially gets lazy.)

However, for some people having two is not an option for whatever reason; financial, medical or simply preference. Again, one is absolutely better than none.

by Tammy Flodmand

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