Hearing Aids & FAQs - Hearing and Speech Agency

Hearing Aids & FAQs

HEARING AIDS 101

Hearing aids make sound more accessible to those who are hard of hearing.  Though hearing aids can’t restore normal hearing, they can improve hearing by amplifying sound and reducing background noise. Hearing aids come in a range of styles; each patient selects a style based on preference, but also type and degree of hearing loss.

Styles include:

  • BTE (behind-the-ear)
  • RIC or RITE (receiver-in-canal/receiver-in-the-ear)
  • Open-fit BTE
  • Custom products ranging from Full Shell to CIC (completely-in-canal) and IIC (invisible-in-canal)

Hearing aids vary significantly; the right hearing aid can provide better access to speech and environmental sounds, improved speech understanding in the presence of background noise, and connectivity to other personal listening devices such as cell phones and computers. What does HASA offer? HASA works with each manufacturer to give clients exactly what they need. Our manufacturers include: OticonPhonakStarkeySiemensWidexUnitronResound

To make an appointment, call 410.318.6780, or Click Here>>.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

Our goal is to make hearing aids as affordable as possible for all of our clients who need them. While we accept most major insurances, insurance coverage varies by carrier and treatment. For any insurance questions, please call (410) 318-6780, and we will be happy to assist you.

If your insurance does not cover the cost of your hearing aids, we offer the following payment options:

  • We accept cash, check, or credit card.
  • We offer 0% financing through CareCredit; some restrictions apply. CareCredit is a healthcare credit card that allows you to make convenient monthly payments. Click here >> for more information about CareCredit.
  • We offer a sliding fee scale for low income individuals who qualify.
  • We accept Medicaid for children up to age 21.

PLEASE NOTE: Many people ask us about Medicare coverage for hearing tests.  While hearing aids are not covered, Medicare does allow for coverage of medically reasonable and necessary testing if initiated by your physician. 

HEARING AID MYTHS & FACTS

An estimated 48 million people in the United States suffer from hearing loss. Yet, the National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that only 20% of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wear them. Why? Many think they don’t have hearing loss. Or that a hearing aid can’t help. Or they may just think that hearing aids are ugly and don’t work properly. Whatever the reason, it may be time to separate myth from fact in order to make an informed decision about your hearing health.

Myth: If I had a hearing loss, my family doctor would know.
Fact: Fewer than 15% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Since most people with hearing loss hear well in a quiet environment, it can be difficult to recognize the extent of a hearing loss in a doctor’s office. Your physician may not realize that you have difficulty hearing.

Myth: My hearing loss cannot be helped.
Fact: This may have been true many years ago. Fortunately, modern advances in hearing aid technology provide viable options for most people with hearing loss.

Myth: Hearing aids will make me look older.
Fact: Untreated hearing loss is far more obvious than a hearing aid; your condition is more apparent than any hearing aid if you can’t clearly understand conversations. Today’s hearing aids are available in a wide range of shapes, colors, and functions; they are perfectly adapted to the needs of the wearer. Some devices fit unobtrusively behind the ear; some can be worn “invisibly” inside the ear. But all modern hearing aids are lightweight, neat, and highly inconspicuous.

Myth: It’s enough to wear just one hearing aid, isn't it?
Fact: We have two ears for a reason: to give us the ability to pinpoint the source of a sound. When one ear is slightly better than the other, we learn to favor that ear for the telephone, group conversations, and so forth. It can give the illusion that the better ear is normal when it isn't. Most types of hearing loss affect both ears fairly equally, and about 90% of patients are in need of hearing aids for both ears. Likewise, wearing a hearing aid on only one ear when both ears have hearing loss may make it even more difficult to understand conversation in the presence of background noise.

Myth: Hearing aids amplify and make everything loud.
Fact: Today’s hearing aids are very sophisticated instruments. They operate selectively and only amplify where you want them to – in those frequency ranges where there is hearing loss. At one time it was necessary to turn up the power in order to hear soft speech (or other soft sounds). Then, normal conversation indeed would have been too loud. With modern hearing aids, the circuit works automatically, only providing the amount of amplification needed based on the input level. In fact, many hearing aid users no longer need to have a volume control.

Hearing and Speech AgencyHarry and Jeanette Weinberg Building 5900 Metro Drive Baltimore, MD 21215 410.318.6780