Hearing Loss Overview

The key to properly managing hearing loss is to tackle the issue as soon as possible.

Failure to do so can make communicating with your friends, loved ones, and peers difficult. Hearing loss can bring unnecessary challenges to many everyday activities. Keep reading if you suspect you’re living with hearing loss.

For many people, hearing loss seems like a mystery.

There can be a lot of misinformation out there and we place a high importance on educating our patients. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about hearing loss:

Hearing loss can result from a variety of causes, including illness, trauma, noise induction, or genetics. For some patients, the cause of their loss remains a mystery. What is known, however, is that many patients can benefit from the use of hearing aids to enhance their hearing ability and re-engage with those they love.

If you have hearing loss in one ear, the odds are good that you’ll need hearing aids for both. Our auditory system is set up to receive and process sound from both ears. This includes volume, localization, noise suppression, and directionality

Hearing devices are sleek and inconspicuous. In fact, some styles are practically invisible to the naked eye.

Most hearing aids cost between $1,300 and $3,400 per device. Many insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids, however most people pay out of pocket or use funds from a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA).

Thankfully, we also offer a hearing aid rental program that allows you to use high quality hearing aids for a reasonable monthly cost. The program provides additional peace of mind because all repairs, batteries, and office visits are included.

Hearing loss is not a “one size fits all” condition, so the solution to restore better hearing shouldn’t be either. If your hearing aids are not prescribed correctly or fitted well, they can actually end up damaging your hearing. An audiologist should always be involved in the process, as they are medically trained professionals who have the experience and knowledge to meet your hearing needs. While the hearing aids at other offices might be cheaper, it’s an instance of truly getting what you pay for.

Hearing loss is not a “one size fits all” condition, so the solution to restore better hearing shouldn’t be either. If your hearing aids are not prescribed correctly or fitted well, they can actually end up damaging your hearing. An audiologist should always be involved in the process, as they are medically trained professionals who have the experience and knowledge to meet your hearing needs. While the hearing aids at other offices might be cheaper, it’s an instance of truly getting what you pay for.

The time it takes to receive your hearing device often depends on the style of hearing device you’re being fitted with. Styles that don’t require a custom ear mold – like behind-the-ear (BTE) devices – can go home with you the day of your appointment.

Bring it to us! We can service all models of hearing devices with a quick turnaround time.

Hearing Aid Myths

MYTH: I won’t be able to afford a hearing aid.

FACT: Like anything else, the price you pay is based on the hearing aid style, technology, and features. There are hearing aids to help nearly every form of hearing loss at every budget. At Midwest Audiology Center, we offer different financing options to fit your individual needs.

MYTH: Hearing aids make hearing loss worse.

FACT: Hearing aids do not damage your hearing when properly fitted by a hearing healthcare professional.

MYTH: Hearing aids can’t help me with my specific hearing loss.

FACT: These days, hearing aids are made to treat nearly all forms of hearing loss. Before you assume that your hearing loss can’t be treated, we recommend you come in for a free consultation and learn more about what we can do to meet your individual needs and goals.

MYTH: Hearing aids will fully restore my hearing.

FACT: There is no way to completely reverse hearing loss. However, properly fitted hearing aids do provide a significant improvement in hearing ability and will positively impact your professional and social life.

Signs of Hearing Loss (Self-Assessment)

Ask yourself the following:

  • Does it seem like people are mumbling?
  • Do I have to continuously ask others to repeat themselves?
  • How high am I turning up the volume on the television or radio? Do others complain about how loud it is?
  • Do I feel like I constantly misunderstand what has been said to me?

If so, you may be dealing with hearing loss. Hearing loss is defined as a total or partial inability to hear out of one or both ears. While hearing loss comes in many different types, the reality is that it can take away from your enjoyment of life.

How Can You Protect Your Hearing?

The best way to prevent hearing loss is to limit your exposure to loud noise. Sound intensity is measured in decibels, and the delicate structure of our ears can only handle noises up to 85 decibels. Continuous exposure to noise at 85 decibels or above can cause gradual hearing loss. Louder noises can damage your hearing faster.

Decibel Level Noise
30dB Whisper
60dB Normal conversation
80dB Ringing telephone
90dB Lawnmower
110dB Woodworking/Motorcycle
140dB Jet engine at takeoff
150dB Most firearms

Hearing Loss and Dementia

In recent years, many research studies have found correlations between untreated hearing loss and an increased risk for developing dementia.

According to one study published in 2011 by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, people with severe or profound hearing loss may be about five times as likely than their peers without hearing loss to develop dementia over the course of many years.

According to another study by the Lancet Commissions, approximately 47 million people worldwide were living with dementia in 2015, leading to an estimated cost of $818 billion. Nearly 85 percent of that figure is related to non-medical costs, such as those affecting family and society. Experts estimate the number of cases of individuals living with dementia will increase to 66 million by 2030 and 131 million by 2050. The report was presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a broad term that covers many symptoms of cognitive decline. Most often, dementia is defined as a decrease in memory or overall cognitive skills that reduce a person’s ability to complete daily activities. Currently, Alzheimer’s disease is the most commonly diagnosed type of dementia.

It is estimated that a person develops Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds in the United States. Dementia is a progressive disorder, meaning it typically starts very mildly and becomes more severe over time. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia; however, various treatment options do exist that can help prolong a person’s quality of life and mental ability when living with Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia.

Dementia is a debilitating condition affecting individuals as well as their family members. People with dementia are twice as likely to be hospitalized than their cognitively healthy peers, according to a study by University of Washington researchers.

Dementia and Hearing Loss

Cognitive decline is not scientifically proven to have a direct connection to hearing loss; however, many studies have found that those with untreated hearing loss tend to experience a higher risk for developing dementia than their peers with average hearing.

One of the most notable studies on the connection between hearing loss and dementia came out of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2011. To complete this study, Dr. Frank Lin and his research team used data from the Biltmore Longitudinal Study on Aging (BLSA) on 639 men and women.

These men and women were frequently assessed by BLSA in both cognitive abilities as well as hearing over the course of 18 years. Even after controlling for other potentially contributing factors such as age, sex, socioeconomic status, race and smoking habits – people with hearing loss were more likely to have experienced cognitive decline over the course of the study than those with normal hearing. Those with just mild hearing loss were about twice as likely to have developed dementia and those with the most severe or profound hearing losses were about five times as likely to have experienced dementia than their peers with normal hearing.

Dementia Prevention

While there is no cure for dementia, it may be preventable. The Lancet Commissions report suggests as many as one third of all dementia cases may be delayed or prevented by eliminating some of the risk factors. Specifically, dementia may be reduced with active treatment of hypertension in middle and old age, increasing childhood education, regular exercise and social engagement, reducing smoking, and addressing depression, diabetes, and obesity. Treating hearing loss is also an important step to take in preventing dementia.

Manage Your Hearing Loss

Managing hearing loss is an important part of an emotionally, physically and mentally healthy lifestyle. In addition to dementia, untreated hearing loss has been linked to increased risk for depression and social isolation, and could be an indicator of other medical conditions such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

Protecting Your Hearing

The National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates more than 40 million Americans have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), the most preventable type of hearing loss. Reduce the risk of developing NIHL by turning down the volume on personal electronic devices and wearing hearing protection whenever you know you’ll be exposed to noisy environments. Make sure to schedule regular hearing check-ups. It is never too early to start! If you are diagnosed with hearing loss, treatment with hearing aids could bring significant benefits to your overall health and well-being.

Financial Information

At Midwest Audiology Center, your initial consultation is absolutely free and there is never a charge to come in and talk to us about your hearing needs.

If you do need a hearing aid, we will work tirelessly to make financing easy for you and offer several options for payment including a rental program. We also accept all major credit cards as well as personal checks and some insurance plans. Our charges are almost always well below the recommended pricing because we buy quality devices in bulk and pass the savings on to you. For more information about our financing options, contact us today.

Rental Program

At Midwest Audiology Center, we offer an all-inclusive hearing aid rental program that allows patients to pay a low monthly fee and use high-quality hearing aids on monthly basis. All batteries, supplies, and repair costs are included.

This program allows patients who cannot afford hearing aids to have access to them by paying a monthly fee and still receive any level of hearing aid technology they choose. It also provides peace of mind for those who don’t like to be surprised by repair costs as their hearing aids get older and out of warranty. Hearing aids can be returned at any time during the rental period. The hearing aids can be returned at any time during the rental period.

Learn More About our Rental Program