Common Questions About Hearing Loss

Below are some of the most common questions we get from patients who are concerned about hearing loss and hearing aids.

If you are concerned you may be experiencing hearing loss, we strongly advise you to visit your nearest Beltone location for a free hearing test and examination from a Beltone Hearing Care Professional. No one is better equipped to give you an accurate assessment, to alleviate any concerns you may have, and to recommend the best hearing solution for you.


How do I know if I need hearing aids?

Often, hearing difficulty stems from excess ear wax, an infection, or a physical irregularity, such as a perforated ear drum. These issues can be corrected medically, without the need for hearing aids.

A simple hearing quiz can tell you if your hearing should be checked. However, everyone over age 50 should have a baseline hearing screening. A proper hearing exam uses sounds, tones and speech to test your hearing. It must be performed in the right environment and analyzed correctly. Your results, which are plotted on an audiogram, will indicate whether or not you are a candidate for hearing aids.


Am I at risk for a hearing loss?

You could be at risk if you work (or spend a lot of time) in noisy environments without protecting your ears. Professions at risk may include: musicians, construction workers, military personnel, firefighters and police officers.


What causes hearing loss?

Hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors – the aging process, heredity, disease, noise and build-up of earwax, among others.


Can noise really hurt my ears?

Yes, noise can be dangerous. If it is loud enough and lasts long enough, it can damage your hearing.


How do I know if I have a hearing loss?

If you experience a number of warning signs, or if people often tell you that you’re not hearing well, you may have a hearing loss.


If I suspect I have a hearing loss, what should I do?

The best thing to do is make an appointment for a hearing screening with a licensed Beltone Hearing Care Professional. The screening will tell you what you’re hearing and what you could be missing.


What should I expect when I get my hearing tested?

Your Beltone Hearing Care Professional will first ask you about your lifestyle and hearing needs. You will then be given a comprehensive hearing screening, a video ear exam and a word discrimination test. These will explain whether or not you have a hearing loss, and will help decide the next steps to be taken.

How will I know which hearing aids are right for me?

Your Beltone Hearing Care Professional will make the best recommendation for you based on your lifestyle, hearing loss and budget.


How much do hearing instruments cost?

The price of a hearing instrument varies depending on the style and technology selected.


Can I try a hearing aid before I buy?

Yes. Beltone offers you the opportunity to “test drive” a hearing aid to see what it sounds like in a variety of listening situations… before you leave the office.


Do hearing aids really help reduce background noise?

Yes. Many of today’s instruments use directionality and noise reduction features to help you hear better in noisy environments.


What is digital technology?

Digital hearing aids convert sound received by the hearing aid’s microphone from an analog to a digital signal. This allows the hearing instrument to produce the exact requirements for a particular hearing loss; always keeping the loudness at a comfortable level. It also allows for advanced noise reduction features that distinguish between speech and non-speech signals, and automatically decrease loudness of those non-speech signals, if needed.

Analog hearing aids, by contrast, are unable to automatically adjust for different loudness requirements outside of increasing or decreasing the volume control. As a result, many analog users complain of having to constantly adjust their volume controls in order to adequately hear speech in different environments.


What is open fit technology?

Open fit hearing aids are designed for cosmetic appeal, comfortable fit and natural sound quality. They do not give you a “plugged up” sensation or distort your own voice.