Frequently Asked Questions

How can I recognize hearing problems?

Most of the time hearing problems begin gradually without discomfort or pain. What’s more, family members often learn to adapt to someone’s hearing loss without even realizing they are doing it. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine whether you have hearing loss.

1. Do I / they often ask people to repeat themselves?
2. Do I / they have trouble following conversations with more than two people?
3. Do I / they have difficulty hearing what is said unless facing the speaker?
4. Do I / they struggle to hear in crowded places like restaurants, malls and meeting rooms?
5. Do I / they have a hard time hearing women or children?
6. Do I / they prefer the TV or radio volume louder than others?
7. Do I / they experience ringing or buzzing in my ears?
8. Does it sound like other people are mumbling or slurring their words?

If you answered yes to several of these questions, chances are you suffer from hearing loss. 

If I think I have a hearing problem, what do I do?

You should make an appointment with a hearing professional like an audiologist, hearing aid specialist or ENT for an evaluation, consultation and hearing test. Many hearing care professionals offer this evaluation at no charge.

What are the most common causes of hearing loss?

There are several causes. The main ones include excessive noise, genetics, birth defects, infections of the head or ear, aging, and reaction to drugs or cancer treatment. Each type of hearing loss has different causes.

Doesn’t hearing loss only affect old people?

Hearing loss can occur at any time, at any age. In fact, most people with hearing loss (65%) are younger than age 65! There are 6 million people in the U.S. ages 18-44 with hearing loss, and around 1.5 million are school age.

Are there different types of hearing loss?

There are three types of hearing loss including: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. Most people lose at least some degree of their hearing as they age, and by the time they reach age 65 and older, one in three people has some type of hearing impairment.

Are there operations or medications I can take for hearing loss?

Only 5 percent of hearing loss in adults can be improved medically or surgically. The vast majority of Americans with hearing loss (95 percent) are treated with hearing aids.

If I think I have a hearing problem, what do I do?

You should make an appointment with a hearing professional like an audiologist, hearing aid specialist or ENT for an evaluation, consultation, and hearing test. Many hearing care professionals offer this evaluation at no charge.

How do hearing aids work?

At their most basic, hearing aids are microphones that convert sound into electrical signals. An amplifier increases the strength of the signal, then a receiver converts it back to sound and channels it into the ear canal through a small tube or earmold. A battery is necessary to power the hearing aid and to enable amplification.

Can hearing aids help me hear people wearing face masks?

The use of face masks and social distancing is proven to reduce speech audibility, as well as eliminate important lip-reading cues. Hearing aids — and features like our Edge Mode and Mask Mode — help offset speech audibility loss in numerous ways to help make it easier to hear people who are wearing masks.

Are there hearing aids for single-sided hearing loss?

Yes, hearing aids are available for those with single-sided hearing loss. The Starkey CROS System delivers solutions for:
– Those who are unable to hear in one ear and have normal hearing in the other ear (CROS)
– Those with little to no hearing in one of their ears, and a hearing loss in their better ear (BiCROS)

Where should I purchase hearing aids?

We do not recommend purchasing hearing aids online or from a big box retailer. Hearing aids are not a one-size-fit-all type of product. Each hearing loss is unique, and to achieve the best possible results, it is recommended to consult with a hearing professional at a clinic in which specializes in hearing health care.
Buying hearing aids fit and serviced by professionals will cost more than ones bought off the internet or from a retail store, but they’re also going to fit better, work harder, last longer and deliver more significant benefits.

How much do hearing aids cost in Grand Forks?

The price of a hearing aid will vary depending on the specific model and features you need, and how effective it is in various noise environments.

Factors that affect the price of hearing aids include:

Features — Features that cancel noise, modulate volume, enable direct connectivity to smartphones and TV, or track and measure physical and mental activity, greatly improve performance and enhance everyday life, but also increase costs.

Professional Services — Like many other medical devices, the proper selection and fitting of a hearing aid require the skill of educated and trained healthcare professionals. Professional services associated with the selection, fitting, adjustments and overall maintenance of hearing aids are often included as part of the cost of the hearing aid.
Whatever the final cost, most hearing professionals do offer financing plans. You should also check to see if you qualify for free hearing aids or discounted hearing aids from your employer, union, the Veterans Administration, insurance provider, HMO or local charity (such as Lions Club).

Will Hearing Aids be covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not typically cover routine hearing evaluation or hearing aids. Although in some cases, exams ordered by a physician and conducted by a licensed audiologist may be covered by Medicare Part B. Medicare

Advantage Plans may have hearing aid coverage.

Check with your doctor or hearing professional about whether Medicare covers a diagnostic exam. Search your state for Medicare coverage of hearing aids and hearing exams.

Is there an adjustment period to wearing hearing aids?

Yes. Most people need an adjustment period of up to four months before becoming acclimated to — and receiving the full benefit of — wearing their hearing aids. However, you should expect to notice obvious benefits during this trial period. Remember, your hearing professional is there to help. Do not be afraid to call or visit to discuss your concerns.

1. Be realistic.
Remember that your hearing loss has been gradual; over the years you have lost the ability to hear certain sounds in the speech spectrum and normal sounds of the environment, such as traffic and wind noise, the hum of machinery and other background noises.

2. Practice.
When you begin to wear hearing aids, these sounds will be restored but your brain will need practice and reeducation in order to selectively focus on and filter sounds. Some sounds may even startle you at first. Know that your brain will acclimate to these sounds again over time.

3. Be patient.
It takes time to adapt to hearing aids. Wear them as much as possible at first to become more skilled at recognizing sound direction and to learn which hearing aid settings work best for you in different situations.

4. Rest.
The adjustment period may be tiresome. It’s a lot like retraining a muscle that hasn’t been used in a while. But the benefits will be worth it after you’ve made the adjustment.