Do I need a Doctor’s referral to come and see you?
No, we do not require a physician’s referral however we are happy to provide your test results to your family doctor with a report explaining the results at your request. Your family doctor or other healthcare professional can make a referral to us with specific information if you desire.
How do I know if I need a hearing test?
See our hearing quiz to help you determine if you are having hearing issues. It is a good idea to have a baseline hearing test anytime after age 50 and definitely by age 65. We recommend a follow-up test to see if there are any changes every 2-3 years thereafter.
Is there funding for hearing aids?
Yes. Every Alberta Senior, Child and Post-secondary students receive partial funding for hearing devices. We can help you access this funding and provide other options to help you find funding for your hearing aids. Many private healthcare plans through work cover part of the cost of hearing aids as well and if you have a health spending account, hearing aids are a recognized medical expense. Finally, they can be claimed as a medical expense on your income tax as long as they are prescribed by a recognized professional such as all of the clinicians at our clinics.
Is there a fee to have my hearing tested?
Yes. We charge $65 for the complete hearing evaluation and consultation. We take our time to complete a number of important tests that identify your areas of specific hearing challenges, including listening in noise testing, as compared to simply doing a screening as you would get when you receive a free exam. We take our time to explain the results of your exam and make useful recommendations in a ‘treatment plan’ for you to protect and/or improve your hearing.
I am concerned about the cost of hearing aids. I don’t think I can afford them?
We are happy to help you find funding that you are eligible for, whether it’s through a government program or private foundation. We also help our patients with payment plans at no charge if arranged in advance.
My hearing aids aren’t working. What should I do?
Please call our office and we can help determine what the best course of action is. In some cases, we can fix your hearing aids in our office. We keep a number of repair parts on site and all our staff will try their best to make in-house repairs to help you get back wearing your hearing aids as soon as possible. Unfortunately, sometimes we do need to send your hearing aids into the company that made them for repair. Please look at the how to care for your hearing aids guide for some tips that may help you fix some of the most frequent reasons hearing aids stop working.
I have hearing aids, but I still have difficulty hearing?
It’s important to have a hearing evaluation approximately every two years in order to follow any significant hearing changes and update your hearing aid prescription if needed. There may be other devices that can assist you in addition to hearing aids such as an FM system or listening training as well as some communication strategies that we can share with you. Remember, hearing aids are one part of the solution to a hearing loss. We can evaluate if other augmentative or assistive devices might be required with your hearing aids to help you hear better.
How long should my hearing aid batteries last?
They typically last 5-7 days before requiring replacement. Most hearing aids beep to indicate that the battery is low and requires replacement. It is important to remember that whether or not you use your batteries, once the sticker is taken off they will drain and no longer work after two weeks.
How often should I have my hearing tested?
It’s a good idea to have a baseline hearing test at approximately age 50 and then every two years after that. The most recent Canadian statistics (2013) notes that 47% of the population aged 60-79 have at least a mild hearing loss in one ear. These recent findings are another reason to come in for a baseline hearing test.
Why should I do something if I have hearing loss?
There is a growing body of evidence supporting the importance of early identification and treatment of hearing Loss. Recent studies from Johns Hopkins Medical Centre (2014) indicate brain atrophy of the auditory system when hearing loss remains untreated for a significant amount of time. Studies point to the higher incidence of dementia in patients with untreated hearing loss. And finally, very recent findings from a long-term study in France support the reduced cognitive impairment when patients have hearing loss AND use hearing aids vs. those who don’t (2015).
How long do hearing aids typically last?
Hearing aids usually last approximately 4-6 years. They can last longer in some cases, however hearing generally decreases significantly over that time period requiring hearing aid replacements. Fortunately, technology also improves over time so replacing hearing aids not only addresses hearing changes but also provides improved benefits over time. The Alberta government program Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL) and other agencies such as Workers Compensation Board Alberta (WCB) provide hearing aid financial support every 5 years as they realize that hearing changes significantly over a 5-year timeframe. If you have a significant CHANGE in your hearing loss, contact us to determine if there is a chance to renew your hearing aid claim sooner than the 5 year period based on these changes.