Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to frequently asked questions. Hover over a question to see the answer.
Hearing Aid Questions
Hearing Loss Questions
Hearing Testing Questions
Our hearing evaluation is complementary. You will have a full audiological evaluation completed by an Audiologist who holds a Doctorate in Audiology, is licensed in Delaware and Pennsylvania and is Board Certified in Audiology. We don’t believe in charging for the hearing test because we know it takes most people a long time to come to the decision to do something about their hearing and we don’t want a small charge for a hearing test to keep you from making that decision.
Hearing aids are feature-packaged and priced according to performance capabilities. As with most technology, the devices that do more, cost more. Brandywine Hearing Center will work with you to match the right technology to your lifestyle, listening needs, and budget. Our low pricing includes generous product warranties, loss/damage coverage, and office visits.
Some insurance plans provide coverage for hearing aids, but generally you pay out-of-pocket for better hearing. Our staff can assist you with discovering if, and to what amount of coverage is available.
We have several payment options available. The most popular is our Brandywine Leasing Advantage. This is a 36 month lease which allows you to pay for your hearing aid over a 3 year period. The leasing option provides batteries and warranty against malfunction for the life of the lease. Again, there is no upfront cost and no down-payment. After your trial period, if you are satisfied, you start making your monthly payments. We can send you a bill each month or we can keep your credit card information on file and charge your card automatically each month. There is even an option to pay yearly which gives you a one month discount! We also offer a 6 month, no interest financing option which allows you to pay off your hearing aids within 6 months without any interest.
This is a very good question. Just like leasing a car, you do not own your hearing aids at the end of the lease. At that time you will have several options. You can return your hearing aids and do nothing. You can purchase your hearing aids for an additional cost or, as most of our customers do, you can lease a new set of hearing aids. We find the average life of a hearing aid is 3 to 5 years. For most people, after 3 years of use, it is time for new hearing aids. This is because your hearing loss has likely changed, the size and shape of your ears has changed, the technology has likely changed significantly and, simply, the hearing aids have started to wear out. So, you have a new hearing test, we try new hearing aids for 21 days and, if you like the new aids, you sign a new lease and keep the previous set as spares at no extra charge. Now, you have new hearing aids that are under warranty and spare hearing aids that you can use if you have any problems with the new aids.
Hearing aids come in many sizes and styles and are feature-packaged according to performance capabilities. Your individual hearing loss, listening environments, options needed, cosmetic concerns, manual dexterity, and budget factor in finding the best individual solution. The experts at Brandywine Hearing Center will guide you through the process.
We have found it can take several weeks to several months to fully adjust to a new hearing aid. That also means that, as you adjust to the hearing aid, we will need to make changes to the programming. This is perfectly normal and part of the adjustment process. You should know within the 21 Day Trial period if the hearing aid we have selected is working for you, or not.
The following tips will extend the life of your hearing aid: 1) Clean hearing aids as instructed. Ear drainage and wax buildup can damage your hearing aid. 2) Avoid hairspray and other hair products while wearing your hearing aids. 3) Power off hearing aids when not in use, this will also extend battery life. 4) Keep your hearing aids away from moisture and heat. 5) Replace dead batteries immediately. 6) Store your hearing aids and replacement batteries in a secure location: away from pets and small children. Brandywine Hearing Center provides on site repairs, hearing aid maintenance, and hearing aid cleaning for all our patients.
Digital hearing aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, similar to the code of a computer, before amplifying them. The code also includes information about a sound’s pitch or loudness, allowing the aid to be custom-programmed to amplify certain sound frequencies more than others. Digital circuitry allows more flexibility in adjusting the aid to a user’s unique hearing loss and to certain listening environments.
Yes – hearing loss should be managed over time throughout your life, similar to vision care and dental care. Hearing aids require a period of re-training your hearing. Follow-up visits are always part of your treatment plan. Periodic adjustments may be needed to optimize performance as characteristics of your loss change over time and to accommodate your preferences in various hearing situations. Your hearing aids should also fit comfortably. If you experience changes in your ability to hear or problems with fit, you should call to set an appointment immediately.
This all depends on your hearing loss. For most people, yes, you will do MUCH better with hearing aids in both ears compared to only one ear, especially if your hearing loss is similar between your two ears. You will hear better in background noise and you will be able to tell where sound is coming from (your right side or your left side) far better with two hearing aids versus one hearing aid. Some people have a significant difference in hearing between their ears. For them, they may really do better with one hearing aid only. The best way to find out – the free trial! Try hearing aids in both ears. If you feel, at the end of the trial period, that you only want to keep one aid, we will accept the other hearing aid back. This way, you have figured out for yourself if you need one or two hearing aids.
Much of the noise in our surroundings is low-toned and tends to compete with weaker, high-pitched sounds that give speech meaning. The digital advancements in hearing aids allow for selective reduction of frequencies where background noise exists without negatively affecting the speech frequencies. Advanced hearing aids can also automatically adjust the scope of what we hear, removing competitive sounds that challenge our understanding. Although noise is not eliminated completely, it’s reduced significantly.
Most physicians are experts to the extent of their specialty and may not be up-to-date on advances to all hearing treatments. It’s smart to rely on the expertise of an Audiologist first. Breakthrough technological advances in the design and performance of hearing aids have given many people the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of amplification. You should have a thorough test to evaluate your hearing and discuss your options for improvement in your everyday hearing ability.
Many years ago hearing instruments were bulky and uncomfortable to wear. Today’s advanced hearing aids offer a variety of discrete and comfortable options. Award-winning designs have proven to be aesthetically appealing, naturally comfortable, and virtually unnoticeable.
With advanced digital technology we are able to adjust your prescription as needed with time. Every 4-5 years, you may feel as if you need to upgrade your hearing device as technology improves and your listening needs progress.”
Most always hearing loss is categorized as either conductive or sensorineural. Most hearing loss is sensorineural and commonly referred to as “nerve loss.” A combination of the two types is called a “mixed hearing loss.” Unilateral hearing loss affects one ear; bilateral hearing loss affects both ears. Treatment options vary for the different types of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss cannot be corrected by surgery or medication, but may be treated using advanced hearing aid technology.
Sensorineural hearing loss results from auditory nerve dysfunction within the inner ear. It is typically irreversible and permanent. It affects the intensity (or loudness) of sound, but more often result in a lack of clarity of sounds, particularly speech. The treatment for sensorineural hearing loss is prescriptive sound amplification through advanced hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss is caused by a condition or disease that blocks or impedes the movement of sound waves throughout the outer or middle ear. The result is a reduction in loudness or clarity of sound that reaches the inner ear. The treatment for conductive loss can vary and may include surgical intervention depending on the cause.
While hearing loss is common as we age, there are many factors that can contribute to hearing loss. 1) Excessive Noise Exposure (prolonged loud music, gun shots, noise machinery) 2) Infections 3) Head Injury 4) Genetics or Birth Defects 5) Drug or Treatment Reaction (antibiotics, chemotherapy, radiation)”
Hearing loss is an ‘understanding’ problem. Understanding words and sentences is a function of your brain and relies on receiving sound signals unaltered. Your ears collect sound, transform it into nerve impulses, and send it to the brain where understanding occurs. Most nerve loss in the inner ear occurs with high-pitched softer parts of speech, which give meaning to many of our words. Advanced hearing aids are engineered to help you reclaim a lost sensitivity to many of these higher pitched sounds with the goal to improve your ability to understand.
A hearing test is simple and painless. It takes most people years to notice the gradual onset of hearing loss, so if you are starting to have problems hearing certain voices, if you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves, if others seem to mumble, or if up need to turn the TV volume up to a level uncomfortable for others to enjoy – these are signs that it’s time to test your hearing. Hearing loss is not something to hide or ignore. In fact, untreated hearing loss is more visible to others than hearing aids. Hearing loss can negatively affect one’s emotional and social well being too and cause depression, isolation from others, breakdown of relationships, insecurity, and an overall sense of helplessness.