Ask Us Your Hearing Related Questions
We have gone ahead and answered many of the frequently asked questions that we often hear in our clinics. We have grouped these questions into different categories to make it easier for you to find the answers. With that said, we are well aware that our list is not comprehensive. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, please feel free to use this form to submit it to our team of hearing health care professionals. Once received, we will provide you with a response via email while also adding your question to this page to help out future readers.
Hearing aids come in a wide range of prices – this can be range anywhere between $750 to over $4000 per aid. The different price levels are based on the technology level of the hearing aid. When you meet with the audiologist, they will help you determine which level of technology is best for you, based on your hearing loss and your lifestyle. After the consultation with the audiologist they will be able to give you an exact quote for the best hearing aid options for your situation.
Generally, the more you pay, the better clarity and comfort you will experience in challenging situations like groups, restaurants, churches or other places where there is background noise.
The government of Ontario’s Assistive Devices Program (ADP) provides $500 per ear ($1000 for a pair) towards the cost of hearing aids. This grant is available every 3-5 years as needed.
Many insurance policies have coverage for hearing aids. However, we have found that there is a very large difference between what plans will cover. Some only pay a couple of hundred dollars while others will cover virtually the entire purchase. It is always a good idea to make a quick phone call to your insurance provider to confirm what your policy will cover. If they require an estimate, prescription or additional documentation, we can provide you with that.
Most insurance policies have coverage for registered health professionals. Audiologists fall under this category.
No – As medical devices, hearing aids are tax-exempt.
Yes – Hearing aids can be claimed as a medical expense on your income taxes.
Yes – We offer a few different options. A few of the hearing aid manufacturers that we work with offer no-interest financing plans with monthly payments over 6 – 36 months and low monthly administration fees. We are also able to work with you internally to spread the cost over several months.
If you are interested in a financing plan, please mention it to your hearing health care professional and they can work with you to find the right solutions.
Yes – We offer a hearing aid rental program through hearingaidrental.ca. This is a 3 year contract where you would pay a low monthly fee for the hearing aids rather than having to cover the initial purchase. At the end of the 3 year contract, you will return the hearing aids. If you wish to continue, a new 3 year contract is provided along with the newest technology on the market.
What causes the price to be so high is not the actual physical device, but the advanced computer chip inside and the software that makes it run. Hearing aid companies invest millions of dollars designing and engineering each hearing aid. Unlike TV’s, computers and cell phones, the number of people purchasing hearing aids is still a very small percentage of the population.
The cost of hearing aids also includes the professional fees, not just for the initial fitting, but for the ongoing service of the devices. A good analogy to this is paying an orthodontist for braces. You are not paying for each office visit, but for the process of straightening your teeth. When you purchase hearing aids, you are investing in better hearing for the duration of your service agreement. At Davidson Hearing Aids, this is the lifetime of your devices. This will cover ongoing testing, programming, minor repairs, wax removal and in warranty manufacturers repairs.
Yes – Different than a 2 week free trial, all hearing aid purchases include our 90 day satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason you aren’t satisfied with the hearing aid that you purchased within 90 days of the fitting, we can exchange it for something different or offer a complete refund.
We typically offer the 2 week free trial using our demo hearing aid models, but can also extend this to custom products if necessary. This allows you to test out a hearing aid for two weeks without having to put any money down upfront. We simply require a signed credit card authorization form to hold until the hearing aids are returned.
Selecting a Hearing Aid:
A style that is best for one person may not be best for another. Your clinician will recommend a hearing aid style based on several factors: hearing loss degree and configuration, lifestyle needs, cosmetic preference, dexterity ability, etc.
We work with all hearing aid manufacturers in order to give you the best option for your hearing loss and lifestyle – certain hearing aids work better with certain hearing losses or with specific lifestyle requirements – like Bluetooth, TV solutions etc…. By working with all the manufacturers, we can make sure that you get the best aid for your specific situation.
No – the price has nothing to do with the look or style of the hearing aid – it is based on the technology inside the hearing aid. Hearing aids come in many styles ranging from IIC (invisible in the canal – the smallest) to BTEs (behind the ear – the largest) – after the hearing test, the audiologist will help you select the best style for you based on your hearing needs. All the styles of hearing aids come in the all the levels of technology – the higher the technology level the more features it has and the more situations the hearing aid well help you in – the price reflects the level of technology.
Generally speaking, as technology level increases, the ability for the hearing aid to perform well in background noise and other acoustically complex environments increases. The higher the performance level, the more accurately the hearing aid processor can identify and manage unwanted noise from competing sources. This is done seamlessly without anything required from the patient.
We all have two ears and, most of the time, hearing loss occurs symmetrically in both ears; therefore, most people wear two hearing aids. However, single sided hearing loss can often be treated with one hearing aid and, even when a hearing loss occurs in both ears, treating one ear is better than none!
Audiologists are the health care specialists in hearing testing and treatment of hearing loss when there is nothing medically that can be done. They are the most qualified to test your hearing. An Ear Nose and Throat physician becomes involved when there is a medical issue that needs to be addressed. Such as a hole in the ear drum, damage to the bones in the middle ear space, a sudden drop in hearing or an outer or inner ear infection.
In our clinics, all of our HIS and audiologists are trained and qualified to provide you with our typical day-to-day service. The big differentiation is where they attained their degrees. Our audiologists all have received a masters degree from one of the 5 Canadian Universities who offer an Audiology program. The HIS have completed a Hearing Aid Practitioners course through a Canadian College or University. Our clinicians all attend monthly training seminars, so you can rest assured that any of them will be able to meet your needs.
Masks should be worn with the mask cord on the outside of the hearing aids, so the hearing aids do not get tangled in the cord when removing the mask. An even better solution is to find a mask that allows the cord to be tied above or below the ears, rather than hooked onto them. We also sell hearing aid-friendly ear savers which you can loop the mask around, leaving the ears free, keeping the mask away from your hearing aids.
Generally speaking, it is best to let a health professional remove wax from your ears, as needed. Most of the time, wax moves out of the ears naturally.
Q-tips or other cotton swabs are not be used to clean your ears, as they often push wax deep into the ear canals creating blockages. (You could also perforate your eardrum!). If you suspect or know you experience issues with wax build up, see a health professional for cleaning and removal.
Most people wear their hearing aids daily for most or all of the day. Regular use facilitates adjustment to amplification and ensures you always have your hearing aids in when you really need them.
Most patients replace their hearing aids after about 4-6 years (on average), but they can last longer if cared for properly. Be sure to come in for regular check-ups once or twice a year.
Most hearing aids we currently recommend are rechargeable, which eliminates the need to change batteries. For those who prefer to use traditional disposable batteries, they can last anywhere from 3 to 10 days, depending on the type of battery and hearing aid.
Our recommendations are based on your personal needs, desires and lifestyle. What may work best for your friend may not be what will work best for you.
We monitor your hearing every few years, or sooner if you perceive there to be a change.
Earmolds wear out over time. Earmolds can also become ill-fitting if a patient loses or gains weight. Children need to change their earmolds very frequently as the child’s ears grow.
Expect to learn the basics on how to insert and use your hearing aids. Your clinician will then adjust your hearing aids to maximize your benefit and adjustment to them.
When you’re buying a hearing aid you are not just buying a product – you are purchasing all the services that come along with that product. At Davidson’s we really pride ourselves on our customer service – we are a full service provider – offering hearing tests, hearing aid sales, adjustments, cleanings, wax removal and some in-house repairs. The initial price you pay for the aid includes all of these appointments for the lifetime of the hearing aids. You also receive batteries for the first three years of your hearing aid. If you are shopping around for hearing aids it’s important to know what’s included in the quote you receive from clinics – you need to make sure that there are no hidden costs that will make the hearing aid more expensive in the long run. You also get a 90 day money back guarantee – if you aren’t satisfied with your aid for any reason.
There are three ways to adjust your hearing aid volume: a) using a control directly on the hearing aid itself b) using a remote control or c) using a hand-held device such as a cell phone or tablet.
Hearing your voice amplified for the first time takes a few days to get used to. If your are struggling to get used to the new sound of your voice, turning your hearing aid volume down one step will help with this “echo” effect. This is a something all first-time users experience.
Hearing aids allow you a much better chance at hearing clearly, even in the most challenging noisy environments, by giving you access to the soft sounds of speech that you miss on account of your hearing loss. Hearing aids also have many adaptive features that support your ability to understand speech in the presence of other competing noises (noise reduction, directional microphones, etc.)
Rechargeable Hearing Aids
The choice to use rechargeable versus disposable batteries is a personal preference. The good news is that you won’t notice any difference in how you hear with either option. In most instances, the rechargeable models are a little bit larger than the equivalent disposable battery versions. Despite this, most clients appreciate the convenience of rechargeable hearing aids.
The quoted battery life from the manufacturers ranges from 19-30 hours. In reality, the length you can run your hearing aids between charges varies depending on a lot of factors. These include how noisy your environments are, how much of the time you are using Bluetooth streaming, how much volume your hearing aids are required to produce and the temperature that you are wearing them in (being used outside in our Ottawa winters doesn’t help any batteries). With that said, for the vast majority of our rechargeable hearing aid users, they charge them each night and never worry about the batteries not taking them through to the end of the day.
Most manufacturers are claiming that the hearing aid batteries have enough charge cycles that they should last beyond 4-6 years. We have had these products on the market for that length now, and our experience would agree. If there are any issues with the batteries within the warranty period, they would be replaced at no cost.
For years the only models that we had available in rechargeable were RIC and BTE models of hearing aids which went behind your ears. This year, Starkey has released the first fully custom rechargeable hearing aids. However, the smallest models that sit deep in the ear canal still have to use disposable batteries to keep their size tiny and cosmetically appealing.
We are often asked this question. Unless you plan on leaving them off for months at a time, the manufacturers all suggest leaving them on the charger when they are not in use.
Phonak recommends that you place their hearing aids into stock mode if you aren’t going to be using them for a long time. To do this, you need to push and hold the push button for roughly 15 seconds. Then you should leave them in the carrying case (not the charger) until you are ready to use them again.
In most cases there is a small additional fee for going with rechargeable hearing aids. For our Good and Better performance level of products, the rechargeable models cost $150 more per ear. However, we do not charge any extra fees for going with rechargeable at the Best performance level.
That is a common question. Some of the models offer an extra battery built into (or can be attached to) the charging case. This will allow an extra 3-7 days of charges, which should ride out any power outage or even cover you for a weekend get away.
Other models that don’t have a designated extra battery pack still use a USB cable, so you could possibly charge it off of a computer, your car, or you could buy a USB battery pack.
Apps & Accessories
Virtually all but the smallest models of hearing aids now have some form of wireless communication built into them. This allows you to get a TV adaptor accessory that plugs into the audio out of your television and wirelessly transmit the sound through your hearing aids. With newer hearing aid models with direct Bluetooth capabilities, the signal is sent directly to the hearing aids. With certain products that use other wireless signals, you will need an intermediary device (such as a neck loop) to allow you to receive the TV sound.
Almost all models of hearing aids now produced (save for a very small number of almost invisible devices) will allow you to control the volume or program settings through a remote control.
Yes you can with many of the latest models of hearing aids which offer direct Bluetooth connectivity. If this is a feature that you would be interested, please discuss this with your hearing health care professional.
Remote microphones are an accessory that you would ask a communication partner to wear on their shirt. It then has a microphone which will be much closer to their mouth, allowing you to hear their voice significantly better than the surrounding sounds. These systems are fantastic for noisy environments or for use at a distance where you might normally struggle even with the hearing aids. The more severe the hearing loss, the more benefit you will receive from these devices.
FM systems are much more advanced and complex versions of the remote microphone (see answer above).
With these systems, you can link multiple microphones at the same time, allowing you to hear more than one person well at a time, even in noisy environments.
Over time, earmolds will absorb moisture and oils from your skin causing them to get very stiff. Tubings can also get blocked up with wax and moisture, especially in the hot summer months.
Both of these reasons can significantly affect the sound quality of your hearing aid. Regular tube changes can help ensure that you continue to hear well.
Your clinician will show you how to clean your hearing aids with the provided tools (cloth, brush, etc.). They should be quickly cleaned on a daily basis to maintain optimal performance. Many hearing aids also have a wax filter over the speaker opening which will need periodic changing.
The frequency that these wax filters require changing varies from person to person. Some people whose ears produce more wax may need to change them weekly while those with dry ears may only need to change them once a year. They function much like a battery in that the hearing aid should work as normal until the filter is completely plugged. At this point there should be a noticeable decrease in volume. A quick change of the filter should return the hearing aid function back to 100%. If changing the filter does not solve the problem, then the hearing aid should be brought in for service.
The first step is to hold down the push button for 10-15 seconds. Then place your hearing aid into the charger and leave it there for 30 seconds. Then when you remove it, it should be ready to use.
Most hearing aids have a comprehensive repair warranty for a minimum of 2 years. With that said, most of the models that we provide have warranty coverage for 3 or 4 years.
Likely not – We are putting miniature electronics in an environment with a lot of wax and moisture. Although technology is getting better all the time, and manufacturers are creating more water and dust resistant products, hearing aids can still break down and may need to go for repair more than once during the warranty period. Remember, these are highly customized devices and any little issue in their sound production can have a significant impact on how well you are hearing with them.
Yes, hearing aid manufacturers offer a one time loss and damage (L&D) policy in the first year or two (this varies depending on the manufacturer and model). Should you lose your or destroy your hearing aid within this period, you just have to pay a small deductible rather than needing to purchase a whole new hearing aid.
Some clients consider putting their hearing aids on their home insurance policy once the L&D from the manufacturer has been used or expires.
Although we may bundle the earmold into the initial cost, they are separate components from the hearing aid itself. Some times they are even sourced from a different company which specializes in making earmolds. As such, they have separate warranty or remake periods. This is similar to how a hearing aid accessory, such as a TV adapter or remote controls would have their own separate warranties.
Tinnitus is the name given to an internally generated “sound”. Many people with tinnitus hear a ringing, buzzing, hissing or crackling type of sound. It can come and go and can be at different volumes and pitches.
In most cases, tinnitus can be considered a symptom of hearing loss. If someone is experiencing “ringing in the ears”, it can be considered a sign that something in the auditory system has changed. In the vast majority of cases, a hearing loss can be detected on the audiogram of tinnitus sufferers. The first step to treating tinnitus is always to first treat the hearing loss (if present), as hearing aids often provide relief from the perception of tinnitus, while worn.
People tend to notice their tinnitus more when they are in extremely quiet environments and much less so in noise. Reading alone at home or lying in bed are two places where there is often very little background noise, so the brain will focus more intently on the internal sounds. When you are out in noisy environments, the brain has many other sounds to distract it, so the amount of focus that it places on the tinnitus us much less.
Research has shown that increased stress, lack of sleep, coffee, and certain medications, alcohol, allergies, ear wax blockage and jaw issues can all have a negative impact on the severity of tinnitus.