Frequently asked questions
about hearing loss and hearing aids
About hearing loss
How many people around the world have hearing loss?
If you have hearing loss, you’re not alone. Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, of which approximately 34 million are children. (World Health Organization, 2019).
What are the causes of hearing loss?
Many factors can cause hearing loss, such as the aging process, heredity, disease, exposure to noise, and buildup of earwax, among other.
What can cause loss in children?
Many factors can cause childhood hearing loss, such as premature birth, complications at birth, exposure to loud sounds, infections, or ototoxic (ear-damaging) medications.
What are the different types of hearing loss?
There are three main types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural and mixed hearing loss. Treatment of hearing loss is dependent on an individual’s type and level of hearing loss.
What is conductive hearing loss?
Conductive hearing loss results from problems in the outer or middle ear caused by infections, buildup of wax or fluid, punctured eardrums or otosclerosis (abnormal bone development). This type of hearing loss is often temporary and can sometimes be corrected or treated with wax removal, medication, or surgery.
What is sensorineural hearing loss?
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by problems with the cochlea and the auditory nerve. It can be a result of aging or exposure to loud noise. About 90% of all adult hearing problems are due to sensorineural hearing loss, which can be treated with hearing aids and occasionally surgery.
What is mixed hearing loss?
Mixed hearing loss has elements of both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. This means there is damage to both the outer ear and inner ear. The outer ear cannot conduct sound properly to the inner ear, and the inner ear can’t process the sound to be sent to the brain.
Can meningitis cause hearing loss?
A bacterial meningitis infection can cause hearing loss at any age. Over 30% of bacterial meningitis cases result in some degree of hearing loss, from mild to profound deafness.
What medications can cause hearing loss?
There are over 200 medications, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, that can lead to hearing loss. They are known as ototoxic drugs as they can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Can noise damage my hearing?
Yes, extremely loud or prolonged noise can damage your hearing.
What can I do to protect my hearing?
Protect yourself from extremely loud noise or prolonged exposure to even moderately loud noise as they can cause permanent damage to the tiny hair cells inside the cochlea. If your surroundings are loud enough that you must raise your voice to be heard, then the noise is loud enough to damage your ears - wear earplugs or other protective gear.
I suspect that I have hearing loss, what should I do?
Make an appointment for a hearing test with a hearing care professional. If you do have a hearing loss, your hearing care professional will advise you on the hearing solutions available and the one that’s right for you.
What does tinnitus mean?
Tinnitus is the perception of sound (often described as ringing, buzzing, hissing or other sounds that never seem to go away) when no actual external noise is present.
What are the causes of tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be caused by exposure to loud sounds, excessive ear wax, ear infections, high blood pressure, sensory nerve disorders, and aging. Alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and use of medications can also cause tinnitus.
Am I the only one who suffers from tinnitus?
You are not alone - 10-15% of the global population experience tinnitus on regular basis.
Does tinnitus have a cure?
There’s unfortunately no cure for tinnitus, but there are ways to get relief. Avoiding loud noises, monitoring your stress level, getting ample rest, moderate exercise, and decreasing your salt and stimulant intake can help reduce your tinnitus. Competing sounds, such as a radio, white noise maker or fan, can also cancel out the noise you hear in your ears. ReSound offers a free tinnitus Relief app with a variety of sounds to help relieve your tinnitus.
What is sound therapy?
Are tinnitus and hearing loss related?
Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss, but there is a relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss. About 4 in 5 people with tinnitus also experience problems hearing. Using a hearing aid to amplify sounds has proven effective in helping to cover up tinnitus and make it less distracting. Some hearing aids come with a built-in tinnitus sound generator feature, offering flexibility by treating both hearing loss and tinnitus.
Where can I get my hearing tested?
You can get a comprehensive hearing test at a hearing care professional’s clinic.
Where can I find a hearing care professional?
What happens during a hearing test?
During a hearing test, you hearing care professional will 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 determine whether or not you have a hearing loss, and will help decide the next steps to be taken.
Are hearing tests painful?
No. Hearing tests are pain-free and non-invasive.
What is the price of a hearing test?
The cost of a hearing test varies from location to location. In some places, the hearing test will be free of charge.
Should I get my hearing tested regularly?
It is recommended to get a routine screening every 10 years until the age of 50 and at least every 3 years after turning 50.
How accurate is an online hearing test?
Online hearing tests only provide a general indication of whether you have a hearing loss or not. The best way to test your hearing is with a comprehensive hearing test performed by a hearing care professional.
Helping a loved one who has hearing loss
How can I help a loved one who has hearing loss?
Many people with hearing loss often don’t realize the extent of their loss because others have become their ears. Here are some steps you can take to help a loved one get the help they need:
About hearing aids
How does a hearing aid work?
Modern hearing aids transform incoming sound into digital binary code (0’s and 1’s). This information can then be manipulated by the signal processing chip inside the hearing aid. Once the signal processing is done, the digital signal is returned to an analog signal. This is then sent to the speaker of the hearing aid and is heard by the user.
Do hearing aids come in different styles?
ReSound has a variety of hearing aids with different features and functions to address your needs. Your hearing care professional can help you select the type of hearing aid best for your hearing loss and lifestyle. View our full line of products here.
Which hearing aid style should I choose?
The right hearing aid for you depends on your hearing loss, lifestyle, and technological and cosmetic requirements. Your hearing care professional will review your requirements and recommend hearing aids based on your individual hearing loss, your audiogram, and fitting requirements.
How can I know if I should wear one or two hearing aids?
Using one or two hearing aids depends on your hearing loss. However, research shows that speech is easier to understand when hearing aids are worn in both ears. Whether in normal environments or noisy situations, while one hearing aid hones in on speech, the other diminishes background noise. Two hearing aids also help with localization or recognizing where sounds are coming from.
What is the price of hearing aids?
The price of hearing aids varies quite a lot and depends on the style, the high-tech features, service and maintenance as well as your country's healthcare system.
Should I purchase hearing aids online?
Buying a hearing aid is a huge investment in your future health and well-being. When you buy hearing aids online, you do not get hearing aids that are custom fit to your needs. And so, you run the risk of having hearing aids that are uncomfortable and inefficient, which you will ultimately be unlikely to wear. Hearing aids purchased at a hearing care provider ensures that you not only get personalized hearing aids, but ongoing hearing care as well.
How to ease the adjustment period for hearing aids?
Adjusting to your hearing aids is a gradual process. Start by wearing your new hearing aids at home for an hour at a time, several times a day, in different listening environments. Once you’re ready to leave the house with your new hearing aids, try going to quiet environments. Avoid large crowds and noisy places at first, but gradually wear your hearing aids in different situations. Hearing care professionals recommend that you visit 2-4 weeks after you get your new hearing aids so that they can be fine tuned.
Will others notice I’m wearing hearing aids?
Modern hearing aids are so small, they’re virtually invisible when worn. Hearing aid coverings, or shells, also come in a variety of shapes, styles and colors to fit your cosmetic needs and preferences.
Do hearing aids help to reduce background noise?
Yes. ReSound hearing aids use advanced directionality and noise reduction features, which help you hear better in noisy environments.
What is the lifespan of a hearing aid?
The typical lifespan of a completely new hearing aid is 5 years.
Cost, insurance and warranty
Is it possible to try a hearing aid before I purchase it?
Yes. You have the opportunity to try out how ReSound hearing aids sound like in a variety of listening situations, all before you leave your hearing care provider’s office.
Can I expect any financial support when acquiring hearing aids?
Your hearing care professional might offer payment options for purchasing our hearing aids, including credit options. You might also receive benefits from your health insurance plan. If you’re unsure if your health insurance offers a hearing aid benefit, contact your provider. Your local hearing care professional can provide more information about the credit and payment options available or assistance navigating your health insurance plan.
Does my insurance cover the cost of my hearing aids?
Various health insurance plans offer a hearing aid benefit which you can use towards the purchase of hearing aids. Contact your provider if you’re unsure what is covered by your insurance plan.
I lost my hearing aids, what should I do?
ReSound hearing aids are covered by a Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty, as well as a “Lost, Stolen or Damaged” protection, for one year. Your ReSound practitioner will review the terms of your coverage and how to extend this warranty with you.
What is included in the warranty terms?
Your ReSound hearing aids come with 1-4 years of warranty coverage depending on the model. Note that the typical lifespan of a new hearing aid is 5 years , so it might be worthwhile to investigate if extended warranty is available.
Can I get a refund if I am not satisfied with my ReSound hearing aids?
ReSound is dedicated to total patient satisfaction, but we realize that some adjustments to amplification can be difficult. If you’re not completely satisfied, all ReSound hearing aids may be returned in their original condition, less reasonable wear, to the ReSound hearing care center in which they were purchased.
How should I care for my hearing aids?
Here are some tips:
- Turn off your hearing aid before going to bed
- Leave the battery door open at night to allow internal components to dry
- Keep your hearing aids away from extreme heat or cold
- Remove your hearing aids before using hairspray, spray perfume, shaving lotions, and other products
- Handle your hearing aids gently. If your hearing aids fall on the floor or hit a hard substance, let your hearing care professional know to make sure they’re not damaged
- Never immerse your hearing aids and protect them from water or high humidity
- Keep your hearing aids out of the reach of your children and pets
- What should I do if my hearing aids get wet?
- Leave wet hearing aids to dry out in a dehumidifier or with a drying agent (dessicator). Contact your hearing care professional for assistance in severe situations.
How should I clean my hearing aids?
Use a soft, damp (but not wet) cloth and/or approved cleaning agents to wipe your hearing aids. Avoid using alcohol or solvents to clean your hearing aids. Clean the receiver tube and receiver dome in your ‘Behind-the-Ear’ style hearing aids. Contact your hearing care provider if there is wax buildup on your ear domes or custom ear molds that are difficult to wipe away.
Can I wear my hearing aids in the shower?
No. Never immerse your hearing aids or wear them while in a sauna, showering, or swimming. Protect your hearing aids from water and moisture and follow the manufacturer’s instructions should they get wet.
What to do if hearing aids get wet?
Excessive moisture may require a dehumidifier or silica-based drying agent that can be purchased from your hearing care professional. In severe situations, have your hearing care professional check your hearing aids.
Hearing aid batteries
Where can I purchase hearing aid batteries?
Hearing aid batteries can be purchased at your hearing care professional’s clinic, some drug stores, and online.
What is the price of hearing aid batteries?
Hearing aid batteries vary in price depending on your location and available purchasing options. The cost of batteries might partially or fully covered by some health insurance plans.
Are there various sizes of hearing aid batteries?
Yes. Hearing aid batteries come in five sizes and choosing the right one depends on the style and size of your hearing aids. The hearing aid industry has color-and-number-coded the packaging of batteries to make buying replacements easy (choose 5-red, 10-yellow, 13-orange, 312-brown, or 675-blue). The sticky tab on the back of the battery is also color-coded. Typically, smaller batteries have shorter battery life than larger ones.
Where should I store my hearing aid batteries?
Store your batteries at room temperature 18°C (65°F) - 26°C (80°F) for optimum power retention. Avoid storing in hot or humid places and do not refrigerate. Open the battery compartment door of your hearing aids every night to prevent moisture buildup and save battery power.
How long do hearing aid batteries last for?
The shelf life of a battery is 3 years, but life of a working battery depends on the hearing aid style and how much it is used. Some hearing aids, such as digital hearing aids with advanced features, require more power to function than analog hearing aids. The typical battery life is 5-7 days when used in digital hearing aids. Contact your hearing care provider if you experience a shorter battery life as some adjustments can be made.
How can I maximize my hearing aids’ battery life?
Store batteries at room temperature 18°C (65°F) - 26°C (80°F) as exposure to heat and humidity shortens the life of a battery. Avoid carrying batteries in a pocket or handbag where they can come into contact with metal items, such as loose change or keys. Doing so can short-circuit your hearing aid batteries. Turn off your hearing aids and open the battery compartment when not in use for optimal performance and to extend battery life.
Where should I dispose hearing aid batteries?
Used batteries are harmful to the environment and must be disposed of according to local regulations. You can also return used batteries to your hearing care provider.
I swallowed a hearing aid battery, what should I do?
See a doctor immediately if a battery is accidently ingested.
My child accidentally swallowed a hearing aid battery, what should I do?
See a doctor immediately if a battery is accidently ingested. Keep batteries and hearing aids out of reach of infants and children.
My pet accidentally swallowed a hearing aid battery, what should I do?
Call your veterinarian immediately as batteries are equally, if not more harmful, to animals. Do not wait as this could be life-threatening to your pet.
We work with hearing care professionals all over the world and can quickly connect you with one in your local area.