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Frequently asked questions about hearing loss and hearing aids

Hearing health

About 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).
Many factors can cause hearing loss, such as the aging process, heredity, disease, exposure to noise, and buildup of earwax, among other.
Many factors can cause childhood hearing loss, such as premature birth, complications at birth, exposure to loud sounds, infections, or ototoxic (ear-damaging) medications. 
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.
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.
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.
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. 
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. 
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. 
Yes, extremely loud or prolonged noise can damage your 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. 
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.

About tinnitus

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.
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. 
You are not alone - 10-15% of the global population experience tinnitus on regular basis.
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.
Sound therapy introduces new sounds that help blend the tinnitus into the background. Try sound therapy with ReSound Relief app.
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.

Hearing tests

You can get a comprehensive hearing test at a hearing care professional’s clinic. 
ReSound representatives around the world are ready to help you during your hearing journey. Find a hearing care professional.
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.
No. Hearing tests are pain-free and non-invasive.
The cost of a hearing test varies from location to location. In some places, the hearing test will be free of charge.
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.
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

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:


Repeat yourself
Raise your voice
Translate conversations
Act as their messenger on the phone 

Let them know how their hearing loss affects your relationship
Help them understand their hearing loss won’t go away or get better on its own
Encourage them to get their hearing tested
Accompany them on their hearing appointment
Hearing aids

About hearing aids

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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 
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. 
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.  
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.
Yes. ReSound hearing aids use advanced directionality and noise reduction features, which help you hear better in noisy environments.
The typical lifespan of a completely new hearing aid is 5 years. 
In a Receiver-in-the-ear (RIE) hearing aid, the main part of the hearing aid is worn behind your ear, and the receiver is worn in your ear. In a Behind-The-Ear (BTE) hearing aid, the receiver is in the part of the hearing aid in your ear. Because the receiver in an RIE hearing aid is in the ear, RIE hearing aids are even smaller than BTE hearing aids. 
Hearing aids compensate for a wearers’ hearing loss. Hearing aids, which are custom fit by hearing care professionals,  differentiate between kinds of sounds, and amplify them differently to let people with hearing loss focus on important sounds like speech. Amplifiers are designed for people with normal hearing who want to amplify all sounds equally in certain situations. Amplifiers cannot replace hearing aids for people with hearing loss.
Bluetooth hearing aids from ReSound use radio waves to connect wirelessly to Bluetooth technology like compatible Apple® or Android™ devices and other wireless accessories. You can stream phone calls, music, audiobooks, podcasts, and more directly to your ReSound hearing aids from your Apple® or Android™ devices. In noisy listening situations, you can also use ReSound wireless accessories to stream sound directly to your hearing aids for an extra hearing boost.
In-ear hearing aids are hearing aids that are worn inside the ear canal.  There are three kinds of in-ear hearing aids: Invisible-in-Canal (IIC), Completely-in-Canal (CIC), and In-the-Canal (ITC). They are all custom made based on a mould of the wearer’s ear and ear canal. While all in-ear hearing aids are small and discreet, Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) hearing aids are the smallest and most discreet because they are hidden in the ear canal. Your hearing care professional can help you determine whether in-ear hearing aids are suitable for your needs and, if so, which kind will be best for you. 
Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) hearing aids are the smallest hearing aids. Custom made for each wearer based on a mould of their ear canal, they are worn completely within the ear canal, and they are practically invisible. Because they are so small, they do not have room for some of the features needed by people with severe hearing loss. So, IIC hearing aids are usually most appropriate if you have a mild to moderate hearing loss. There are other relatively discreet models available for people with more severe hearing loss.
Completely-in-Canal (CIC) hearing aids are small, custom-made hearing aids that are worn inside the ear. Although quite discreet, they are slightly larger than the smallest hearing aids available, which are called Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) hearing aids. Completely-in-Canal (CIC) hearing aids have room for some features that let you customise and control your sound environment. They are often a good choice if you have a mild to moderate hearing loss and want an inconspicuous hearing aid and a degree of control. As always, your hearing care professional can help you determine which hearing aid model is right for you. 
Receiver-in-the-ear (RIE) hearing aids are divided into two main parts. The receiver is in a tube worn inside your ear with a soft dome. The tube is connected to the rest of the hearing aid, which is worn behind your ear. Because the receiver is separate from the rest of the hearing aid, RIE hearing aids tend to be smaller and more discreet than other hearing aids that are worn behind your ears. They are one of the most popular hearing aid styles on the market.
You can use the ReSound TV Streamer 2 to easily connect your ReSound hearing aids to your TV. They let you stream sound from the television directly into your hearing aids from up to 7 meters (23 feet) away. You can also use the ReSound TV Streamer 2 to stream sound from your stereo or computer directly to your hearing aids. 
You can easily connect your ReSound hearing aids to your TV with the ReSound TV Streamer 2. It lets you stream sound directly to ReSound hearing aids from your TV, stereo, or computer, making it easier for hearing-impaired users to hear and understand. The ReSound TV Streamer 2 lets users enjoy TV with family and friends at a volume that is comfortable for everyone. 

Daily use

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.
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. 
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.
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

Hearing aid batteries can be purchased at your hearing care professional’s clinic, some drug stores, and online. 
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.
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.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
See a doctor immediately if a battery is accidently ingested. 
See a doctor immediately if a battery is accidently ingested. Keep batteries and hearing aids out of reach of infants and children.
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.

Hearing aids and allergies

At ReSound we design all our products with thoroughly tested and certified materials to minimize the possibility of any allergic reactions. All the materials we use are carefully selected and those that have direct contact with skin are subject to biocompatibility testing and certification. Our products do not contain or have not been exposed to the allergenic fragrances listed in the EU Directive 2009/48/EC.

Allergic reactions caused by wearing hearing aids are very rare but can occur in exceptional circumstances where people have highly sensitive skin. We’ve compiled a set of questions and answers for people with highly sensitive skin or allergies to certain materials. If you have a question that is not listed below, or you would like more information about the materials used in our hearing aids, you are welcome to contact us here

Yes, you can. None of the materials that are in contact with the skin contain these substances.  
It is rare, but possible that for someone with highly sensitive skin, irritation can occur if the hearing aid is moving against the skin and there is moisture, soap or creams that contain SLS (sesquiterpene lactone) present on the skin. A hearing aid that is fitted correctly will not move against the skin and it is important to see your hearing care professional for a correct fitting if this occurs.
There is very small amount of nickel used inside our hearing aids, but it is covered by the outer shell and does not come in contact with the skin. Some hearing aids (RIE and BTE) have the ends of two stainless steel pins in the outer shell, these can release micro amounts of nickel, but since there is no contact with the skin, it would be highly unlikely that it could cause an allergic reaction.
Our hearing aids do not contain latex, but if a hearing aid has been exposed to latex (e.g. from a hearing care professional using latex gloves) then it can be contaminated if it is not cleaned afterwards. In general, it is important that hearing aids are cleaned regularly. Latex allergy is rare in the general population but can develop in people who have a lot of contact with latex, such as people working in the healthcare sector who use latex gloves every day. 
At ReSound we use the highest quality ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) on the market. We have used this material for decades and it is well regarded for use in medical devices. The styrene contained in ABS is stable and bound within the material, therefore there an extremely low chance that the selected ABS could influence any kind of allergic reaction.
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ReSound hearing care professional interacting with a patient during an appointment.