Following the hearing evaluation a hearing device consultation will be performed if warranted. It is vitally important to realize that hearing devices are not like glasses. Hearing devices are meant to aid in communication whereas glasses are corrective. This means that NO hearing aid is capable of giving you back "normal" hearing, regardless of what any advertisement claims. At the University of the Pacific Hearing & Balance Center we are pleased to offer a no-cost, no-obligation 30 day trial period.
While there is no financial commitment to trying any of our hearing device products, there is a time commitment. The hearing device fitting process is time consuming and consists of a series of appointments. If you choose to pursue a hearing device, a device fitting appointment will be scheduled. Following the fitting, a minimum of two to three follow-up appointments will be scheduled at two-week intervals. If hearing devices are purchased, routine maintenance appointments will be scheduled at six month intervals along with annual hearing tests.
Hearing Device Selection
The University of the Pacific Hearing & Balance Center offers hearing device products from most major manufacturers including Phonak, Oticon, Widex, GN Resound, Siemens and InSound Medical (Lyric). Our broad selection of manufacturers and models ensures that we will find the most appropriate device to meet your individual needs.
When selecting a hearing device, three factors must be addressed:
- Style does not determine the price. The style of a device refers to where the majority of the electronics of the device are housed, either in your ear or behind your ear. The degree of your hearing loss may affect which style you can choose, however, most often this is a personal preference. All styles have some pros and cons which will be discussed during your consultation.
- Level of technology is the single determining factor in the cost of the hearing device. The level of technology refers to which features the device manufacturer has enabled on the computer chip inside the device. Generally speaking, the more advanced devices have more features to help out in background noise (such as at a noisy restaurant). NO hearing device is capable of eliminating background noise altogether!
- Cost is determined by the level of technology. There are generally three levels of technology (basic, mid and premium) and therefore, three different price levels. The cost of the devices also include all of your in office appointments for the life of the device. The life of a hearing device is expected to be five to seven years. Hearing aids are an investment in your health and you do "get what you pay for."
Success with Hearing Devices
The biggest factor in determining success with hearing devices is YOU! As hearing loss progresses, the brain forgets what it is like to hear all the sounds occurring in our day-to-day environments and it becomes a very quiet world. Therefore, you must commit to wearing your hearing devices full time if you ever want to be successful. Think of it as the brain needs to be exercised by the amplification from the hearing device in order to get back in shape. Over time your brain will adapt to the sound occurring in the world again and you will become more comfortable.
Current hearing device technology also uses many Bluetooth (wireless) accessories to help achieve success on the telephone, cell phone and with watching television.
All hearing devices will eventually need repair in their lifetime. They are sensitive electronics that we expose to moisture in the air and from our bodies.
All hearing devices come with a manufacturer warranty anywhere from one to three years, with the option to purchase extended warranties in the future.