Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Aids

What hearing aid types are available?

There are numerous types of hearing aid technologies available, varying by where devices are positioned and the conditions they are designed to treat.

The types of hearing aids, as defined by size, include:

  • Completely in the Canal (CIC)
  • In the Ear (ITE)
  • In the Canal (ITC)
  • Behind the Ear (BTE)
  • Receiver in the Canal (RIC)
  • Invisible-in-Canal (IIC)

Hearing aids are broadly classified into three technology levels:

  • Standard: best suited for individuals who live a relatively quiet lifestyle
  • Advanced: made for individuals who are socially active
  • Premium: ideally suited for individuals who are both socially and physically active

How do I choose which type of hearing aid will be best for me?

The degree of hearing loss is a major factor in deciding which type of hearing aid will be best suited to your situation. Other considerations are your lifestyle and personal preferences. These issues will be discussed in your hearing aid evaluation consultation.

Are hearing aids expensive?

Hearing aids typically range in cost from $1,000 to $3,000. With a variety of hearing instruments available, you will find reliable amplification in this price range.

Is there a refund if I choose to return the hearing aid?

Hearing aids have a trial period that last for at least 30 days. If you choose to return the instrument during the trial period, you will receive a refund. However, there may be a restocking fee. Please note that certain hearing aids, such as the Lyric, have a 30-day free trial.

Are hearing aids covered by any government programs or private insurance companies?

The Assistive Devices Program from the Ministry of Health contributes $500 per ear toward the cost of hearing aids. ODSP, DVA, and WSIB also fund the cost of hearing aids. Some private plans have a set amount to cover hearing aid expenses, but this amount varies between plans. You should consult your plan provider to confirm the eligible amount for hearing aid devices.

Do I have to wear my hearing aids all the time?

One of the best ways to relearn “normal hearing” is to wear your hearing aids as much as possible while you’re awake. When you first receive the devices, you may have to gradually increase wearing time until you reach full time use.

Do I need two hearing aids?

Generally, the answer is yes. People hear better when two ears are working rather than one. Binaural hearing improves your abilities to understand speech and locate the sounds around you.

Will hearing aids restore my hearing to normal?

Hearing aids do not restore hearing. Rather, they are designed to enhance sound so you can hear more clearly. They are only one part of the hearing rehabilitation process.

Can I get hearing aids that filter out background noise?

Many recent developments in hearing aid design will help you cope with background noise. In addition, your brain will relearn to filter out background noise. When you initially lose your ability to hear, the brain becomes lazy when filtering out background noise because all sounds are reduced or inaudible. When you begin using hearing aids, you will hear these sounds again. Your brain will then retrain its selective listening skills.

How long should a hearing aid last?

A hearing aid’s life expectancy is between three and five years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tinnitus

Who suffers from Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a very common condition. Millions of people around the world suffer from tinnitus - it affects 17% of the population. Although it is more prevalent in people older than 65, it is prevalent in people of all ages.

Does Tinnitus mean that I am going deaf?

Just because you have tinnitus, it does not mean that you are going deaf. Tinnitus is a different condition entirely from hearing loss or impairment, and Tinnitus does not cause hearing disorders. However, it is not uncommon to find a patient with tinnitus also has hearing loss.

What is the difference between tinnitus, sound tolerance and hearing ability?

Tinnitus is any type of sound in your head, such as ringing and hissing. Sound Tolerance is a measure of how you react to different sounds in your environment. Hearing ability is the extent to which you can detect sounds in your environment and comprehend people's speech.

Is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) a cure for tinnitus?

There is currently no cure for tinnitus. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, or TRT, is a clinically-proven treatment that can decrease your awareness of your tinnitus condition. The goal is to remove the effects of tinnitus on your day-to-day life - although you will still hear the noise in your head if you listen for it. TRT has an estimated success rate of 80%, making it the most reliable tinnitus therapy available.

How long will TRT treatment take?

It normally takes one or two years to complete TRT treatment. However, many patients report a marked improvement after six months of therapy.

What are the advantages of TRT over other methods of tinnitus treatment?

TRT has the following advantages over other tinnitus treatments:

  • All patients qualify for this therapy
  • It only needs to be used for a limited time
  • TRT cannot cause harm
  • It has an 80% effectiveness rate
  • Removes tinnitus annoyance and perception
  • Does not require frequent visits
  • Does not interfere with hearing

Who is qualified to administer TRT?

An audiologist who has received a certification in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy for Management of Tinnitus and Hyperacusis is qualified to administer TRT. Karen Kahansky, founder of K&H Audiology, is one of the few Canadian audiologists to hold this accreditation.