Frequently Asked Questions

Hearing Loss

What are some of the signs and symptoms of hearing loss?

  • Asking people to repeat
  • Difficulty hearing in background noise or group situations
  • Feeling like people are mumbling
  • Hearing ringing or other noises in one or both of your ears
  • Difficulty hearing over the phone or when watching TV
  • Having difficulty hearing women and children
  • Avoiding social situations

Are the signs of hearing loss different for children?

Signs of hearing loss and risk factors for hearing loss in children include:

  • Delayed or poor speech development
  • Frequent ear infections
  • A parent or caregiver will sometimes think that a child is ignoring them when it, may in fact, be hearing loss.

What can I expect at my first appointment?

When you schedule an appointment for a hearing test with us, you will need a referral from your primary care physician (if you want us to bill your insurance). We will call once we have the referral to schedule your appointment. During your first appointment with us, the audiologist will inquire about your case history. After your diagnostic hearing evaluation (which is easy and painless!) we will go over your results in detail. We encourage you to bring someone with you to your appointment! If hearing aids are an option for you, we will talk about style, technology, price and realistic expectations.

We can test hearing and identify hearing loss in children of any age. This includes newborn and infant hearing screening using otoacoustic emission testing, visual reinforcement audiometry, and play audiometry.

Hearing Aids

Who is a candidate for a hearing aid?

Audiologic test results are used to determine the type, degree and configuration of the patient’s hearing loss and this information will help determine hearing aid candidacy.  Motivational factors are also important in determining whether a patient is a candidate for a hearing aid.  It is important to discuss the impact of the hearing loss on everyday life, as well as the patient’s perceived need for amplification.  A highly motivated patient is more likely to receive benefit from hearing aid(s). 

Should I wear one or two hearing aids?

Whenever hearing levels are the same between ears, we will always recommend that the patient wear two hearing aids.  There is a substantial amount of research, which suggests that the brain is meant to hear in a “balanced” fashion with equal input from both ears.  Occasionally, there are cases of asymmetric hearing levels (hearing levels which are different between ears) in which we might not recommend two hearing aids. 

What can I expect initially from my hearing aid?

Using a hearing aid with success takes patience, as hearing aids will not restore your hearing back to normal.  Becoming adjusted to a hearing aid is a process involving learning to listen in varied listening environments while becoming accustomed to hearing different sounds.  Wearing your hearing aid on a regular and consistent basis will help through the adjustment period.  Eventually, you should feel like your hearing aid has become a part of you. 

Can hearing aids make my hearing worse?

When programmed appropriately, hearing aids will not make your hearing worse with normal use. They are usually programmed to provide more amplification of soft level sounds than loud level sounds. They also have a set maximum output level so that sounds leaving the hearing aids do not exceed a certain loudness level. However, you are still responsible for protecting your ears in extremely noisy situations (e.g., music concerts, heavy machinery, hunting).

Does insurance pay for hearing aids?

All insurance is different. Some insurances will pay part or all the cost for hearing aids. What your insurance will pay depends on the individual policy. In attempt to serve all patients, we work with most insurance companies, the Iron Mountain VA and Michigan Rehab Services. We encourage you to call your insurance company to see what their policy is.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

Yes. Most insurances, including Medicare, require a physician referral for a hearing test.

What if I don’t have a physician referral?

We can still schedule you for a hearing test. The patient will be charged directly for the appointment.

Will I be charged to have my hearing aids cleaned?  Do I need an appointment?

If your hearing aid is under warranty through us, there is no charge for cleanings.  If minor repairs are required, a charge will be expected at time of service. This charge is subject to existing warranties.  You do not need an appointment for hearing aid cleanings and if your hearing aid IS out of warranty you will be charged $30.  Our office hours are 9-5pm Monday through Friday. Come in anytime during those hours.

Do you offer any trial periods for hearing aids?

Yes!  We offer two different options:

  • All of our hearing aids come with a 30 day trial.  If during that time you decide you don’t want the hearing aid, we will take them back.  You only pay for the restocking fee.
  • We also offer a “demo” program.   After your hearing test, if you would like to try a pair of demo hearing aids we will schedule you for an appointment and set up a pair of hearing aids for you and your hearing loss.  Take them and try them in your world to see if they are helpful.