Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the causes of hearing loss?
The cause of hearing loss is varied but some of the most common causes are:
- Excessive Noise exposure
- Aging (presbycusis)
- Infections
- Injury to the head or ear
- Birth defects or genetics
- Ototoxic reaction to drugs or cancer treatments

How common is hearing loss?
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults but it can affect people of all ages. A MarkeTrak survey performed in 2004 found that 31.5 million Americans have a hearing loss. 3 in 10 people over the age of 60 have hearing loss and 1 in 6 baby boomers (ages 41-59) have a hearing problem. 1 in 14 Generation Xers (age 29-40) experience hearing problems and at least 1.4 million children have a hearing loss. The good news is that over 90% of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing instruments.

Why is it important to have a diagnostic hearing evaluation?
A diagnostic hearing evaluation is performed by one of our audiologists and determines the type, degree and configuration of your hearing loss. If testing confirms you are a candidate for hearing aids, the audiologist will help to determine the right hearing solution for you. This recommendation is made after considering your lifestyle and personal goals. Your personal decision to wear a hearing instrument, combined with realistic expectations, is the first steps to improved hearing.

Do I have to get two hearing aids?
If you have a hearing loss in both ears, then you are most likely a candidate for two hearing aids. Here are some reasons why two hearing aids are better than one:
- Better speech understanding
- Better understanding in group or noisy situations
- Better ability to localize sound
- Better sound quality
- Feeling of balanced hearing

What is an Audiologist?
An Audiologist is a professional who diagnoses, treats, and manages individuals with hearing loss or balance problems. They also select, fit and dispense hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Audiologist's have received a master's or doctoral degree from an accredited university program. Their academic and clinical training provides the foundation for patient management from birth through adulthood.

What are reasonable expectations for Hearing Aids?
It is very important to have realistic expectations about the benefit of hearing aids. Hearing aids will not restore your hearing to normal. Hearing aids will improve speech understanding in most listening situations. If the hearing aids are not meeting your expectations, relay this to your audiologist and he/she may be able to make the appropriate adjustments to meet your needs.

How do I know if I have a hearing loss?
Hearing loss can be subtle and occur gradually or it can be sudden. If you feel that you are having trouble hearing children/women, having ringing in your ears, feel embarrassed for frequently misunderstanding conversations, think others sound muffled, or have a family history of hearing loss, you should contact an audiologist to have your hearing tested.

What is tinnitus?
About 50 million people suffer from tinnitus. In almost all cases, tinnitus is a subjective noise, meaning that only the person who has the tinnitus can hear it. People describe tinnitus using different terms such as ringing, crickets, whooshing, pulsing, or buzzing. For some people tinnitus can be temporary or intermittent while others can experience it 24 hours a day. Tinnitus maskers can be used to mask the ringing sound. Hearing aids may also be a solution for masking tinnitus.

What type of hearing aids do Bay Area ENT service and dispense?

Bay Area ENT services and dispenses most brands of hearing aids! We primarily work with Oticon, ReSound and Phonak, but will be happy to service any Siemens, Widex, Starkey or Unitron hearing aids.

How much do hearing aids cost and does insurance cover the cost?

This is the most asked question when it comes to hearing aids. Some insurance policies do have a hearing aid benefit, and it's best to call your insurance company to find out more information. Medicare does not cover the cost for hearing aids.

Our office has a unique pricing structure which keeps our prices transparent and itemizes our services. What this means, is we have a lower up-front total cost which does not include future office visit charges. That way you are paying for the services  (i.e. adjustments, cleaning, repairs,etc) as you receive them and not all at once in the beginning. The price range for hearing aids can vary greatly. There are different technology levels and there are different manufacturers which all affect the price. For some patients, the top-of-the-line technology is a necessity because they are struggling when background noise is present, while other patients do not need all the noise reduction features in the advanced technology devices. Your hearing loss and lifestyle are the main deciding factors when choosing a hearing aid. To get an accurate price range for YOU or your loved one, please call our office to schedule a hearing aid consult.