Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ for hearing

by Dr. Beverly R. Johannsen

Living with hearing loss can take a toll on your life. However, hearing loss is manageable and you can bring your life on track with adequate care. Frequently asked questions for seeking additional information about hearing loss are given below:

How do I identify that I have hearing loss?

Hearing loss develops silently and progresses gradually unaccompanied by discomfort or pain in most cases. Some questions to ask yourself to identify the hearing loss include:

  • Do I turn the TV to a higher volume than others?
  • Do I frequently ask people to repeat themselves?
  • Do I have difficulty hearing women or children?
  • Do I have difficulty in hearing in crowded places such as restaurants, malls, and meetings?
  • Do I feel if others are mumbling or slurring their words?
  • Do I feel that I am not getting complete information during a conversation?

In case, you answered yes to several of these questions, there is a risk that you are suffering from hearing loss.

Does my family doctor tell me that I have a hearing loss?

Your family doctor usually does not screen you for hearing loss. The severity of your hearing loss and hearing loss management such as the use of hearing aids or accessories is determined by a trained hearing specialist.

 Can I get hearing loss in one ear?

You can get a hearing loss in one ear. It can occur due to trauma to the ear, exposure to high volume noise, obstruction, tumor or infection of the ear. You develop difficulty in localization of speech in the affected ear along with problems in speech recognition by hearing loss in one ear.

What are the different types of hearing loss?

The different types of hearing loss include sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss. In most cases, hearing loss starts as mild hearing loss and progresses gradually to moderate, severe and profound hearing loss, depending on the limitations in your functional ability.

Does hearing loss only affect the elderly?

Hearing loss affects all ages beginning from congenital sensorineural hearing loss in babies to hearing loss associated with aging in the elderly. One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older have hearing loss in both ears, as per standard hearing examinations. Profound hearing loss is found in 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 years. The rate increases to 8.5 percent for adults aged 55 to 64, nearly 25 percent for adults aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older have profound hearing loss.

How much loud noise can cause hearing loss?

The intensity of sound ranges from 0 dB, which is the faintest sound detected by the human ear, to the noise of a rocket during launch, which can exceed 180dB. Exposure to greater than 85dB can pose a serious risk to your hearing.

What is the difference between an audiologist and an ENT specialist?

Audiologists are licensed hearing healthcare professionals who are trained in diagnosing and treating hearing loss and balance disorders. They perform hearing tests, fit and adjust hearing aids and perform curative therapy for hearing disorders. Ear nose throat (ENT) specialists or otolaryngologists are medical doctors who are trained in surgery on the ears, nose, and throat and prescribe medications for related conditions. They also refer patients to an audiologist for care and rehabilitation.

How do hearing aids work?

Hearing aids are microphones that basically convert sound into electrical signals. The strength of the signal is upgraded by an amplifier, converted by a receiver to sound and channeled into the ear canal through a small tube or earmold. The hearing aid is powered by a battery for allowing amplification.

Will my life quality and hearing improve with hearing aid?

Hearing aids are created to enable you to hear soft sounds that you could not hear before and check loud sounds from becoming intolerably loud for you. Your ability to understand speech, even in noisy surroundings is enhanced by hearing aids. Overall, you will notice an improvement in the quality of your life after you start to hear clearly.

What are the different types of hearing aids?

Depending on their location, hearing aids can be Behind-the-ear hearing aid (BTE) and In-the-ear hearing aid (ITE). BTE hearing aids can be Mini-Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid or Traditional-Behind- the-Ear Hearing Aid. ITE can be Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aid (CIC), In-the-Canal Hearing Aid (ITC), Traditional In-the-Ear Hearing Aid (ITE), and Invisible Hearing Aid.

How do I know which is the best hearing aid for me?

The selection for a hearing aid will be based on your personal needs and hearing ability. Your eyesight, dexterity, and the size and shape of your outer ear and inner ear canal are other factors that might influence your selection.

What new features have been introduced to the hearing aid technology?

Currently, hearing aids have been developed to make listening in noisy environments simpler and more convenient. Digital connectivity and streaming sound from TVs, radios, social media directly to the hearing aid itself is possible. Nowadays hearing aids are smaller, more comfortable, rechargeable and powerful than before.

What is the trial period for wearing hearing aids?

The trial period is the adjustment period for hearing aids which can be up to four months. In this period, you start to get used to the hearing aids and getting benefit from them.

Will I require a hearing aid for a single ear or both ears?

Binaural hearing or two ear hearing is better than one. You may be ok with one hearing aid, in case you have hearing loss in one ear. In case there is hearing loss in both ears, binaural hearing aid is your best option.

What is the cost of hearing aids?

The cost of a hearing aid will differ as per your requirement and lifestyle. Financial options are provided by the hearing professionals depending upon the final cost. You must check the programs and benefits which offer specific hearing aid coverage and organizations that offer assistance to those having hearing loss. In addition, check with your employer for employer-sponsored benefits such as flexible spending accounts.


Your hearing ability is one of the most important sensations required for a good life. You must take adequate care of your hearing and manage hearing loss appropriately. In case you have additional questions regarding hearing aids or hearing in general, then we are happy to provide you the best answers to your queries. Feel free to contact our team of experts.

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