Hearing Education

Hearing Aid FAQs

These are the most commonly asked questions. If you need additional information, our dedicated team is always here to answer any and all questions you might have.


Will a hearing aid restore hearing to normal?
No, nor will it prevent any further loss of hearing. While hearing aids are designed to make it easier to hear, they do not restore the normal functioning of the ear.


Will a hearing aid last forever?
The life of a hearing aid is approximately 5 to 6 years. Many hearing aids are still fully functioning beyond 6 years, while others may need some earlier tune-up and repair services.


Do hearing aids use special batteries?
The majority of hearing aids today use zinc-air batteries. This kind of battery is made specifically for hearing aids and comes in a variety of sizes, depending on the size of the hearing aid. Hearing aid batteries can be purchased at almost any store that sells regular batteries, including your pharmacy and grocery store.


How long do hearing aid batteries last?
This depends on the type of battery and the number of hours per day the hearing aid is worn and used. The larger the battery, the longer it will last. A battery can typically last anywhere from 1 week to 1 month.


My child has hearing loss in both ears — is it necessary for him/her to wear two hearing aids?
Yes, there are a few main reasons why two hearing aids are better than one.

  1. Better Hearing in Noise: Hearing in a noisy environment can be improved if the signal reaching each ear arrives at a slightly different moment in time. This time difference can help the brain process a speech signal more efficiently.
  2. Improved Signal versus Noise Level: This is related to the position of the ear in relation to the sound source. If you have a hearing aid in only your left ear and the person speaking to you is on your right side, much of the speech signal is lost by the time it gets to your aided ear, while the extraneous noise in the room enters the aided ear at its normal volume level.
  3. Improved Localization Ability: The brain uses the sound entering the ears from the right and left side of the head to determine the direction of the sound source. Having a hearing aid in one ear can alter this sense of direction.


How much time is needed to adapt to hearing aids?
While each person’s experience will vary, hearing aids may allow a person to hear certain sounds they have not heard before (or have not heard for many years). Relearning takes place in the central auditory nervous system, and the brain needs some time to sort out this new information entering the ears. You will have a 30-day trial period that allows you time to adjust to your hearing aids and evaluate their benefit.


Why do hearing aids cost so much?
One reason is that hearing aids are sold in relatively low volume (approximately 1.7 million hearing aids for some 30 million people with hearing loss). Also, the amount of time and money spent by manufacturers on research and development of hearing devices is considerable.


What determines the style of hearing aids my child should wear?
Many factors determine which style is most appropriate for them, including: the degree of hearing loss, the shape of the outer ear, the size and shape of the ear canal, manual dexterity, space requirements for special features, excessive wax in the ears, and drainage from the ears.


What manufacturer will make the hearing aids?
Providence Speech and Hearing Center works with a variety of hearing aid manufacturers. Some hearing aid manufacturers provide more advanced technology or specialized products that may not be available through another manufacturer. Our audiologists can advise you on which manufacturer and model is most appropriate.

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