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Hearing Aid Use

If your registered audiologist determines that there is aidable hearing loss in both ears, two hearing aids will be recommended for the following reasons:

  • Better understanding of speech in quiet and in noise

  • Better ability to tell where sounds are coming from which is important for things like crossing a busy street or hearing an oncoming emergency vehicle

  • Better sound quality as the human brain works best when it receives input from both sides

  • Decreased risk of auditory deprivation and the unaided ear effect

  • Decreased listening fatigue

Research has shown that hearing aids play a significant role in a person’s social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being. 

Treatment of hearing loss through amplification has been shown to improve: 

  • Communication in relationships 

  • Intimacy and warmth in family relationships 

  • Ease in communication 

  • Earning power 

  • Sense of control over your life 

  • Social participation 

  • Emotional stability

Yes! It is recommended that hearing aids be worn even when users are alone and in quiet environments.

Whether you are a new hearing aid user or an experienced hearing aid user, there is always an adjustment period when getting new hearing aids. Luckily the reward of better hearing is always worth the period of adjustment. Some of our clients adjust to their new hearing aids in as little as a week while others may take a few months to adjust.

During your adjustment period, you may feel as though some things are too loud, too sharp and/or you may feel as though you are talking into a barrel. Your ears may also itch and/or become tender. It is also not uncommon to feel tired during the first week of wearing your hearing aids. These things are all very common and very temporary.

Adjusting to hearing aids does not happen overnight. You must be patient and give yourself time! Try to wear your hearing aids all waking hours, but if you need a break, take them out for an hour or so. The more you wear them, the faster you will adjust to them and enjoy their benefits!

Not all hearing aid styles are designed for all types of hearing loss. A registered audiologist takes into consideration your type and degree of hearing loss, ear canal shape and size, dexterity and personal preferences when making a hearing aid recommendation.

Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Rechargeable hearing aids now use Lithium-Ion batteries. These batteries are completely enclosed in the hearing aid. It takes 3-4 hours to fully charge and gives users 20-24 hours of hearing aid use. Lithium-ion batteries are expected to last approximately 4-5 years, the average lifespan of a hearing aid.

Yes. Rechargeable hearing aids should be charged every day. It takes 3-4 hours to fully charge the device(s).

No. Depending on the manufacturer of the hearing aid, the lithium-ion battery may be able to be replaced by your hearing care professional in clinic or may need to be sent back to the manufacturer for replacement.

Hearing Aids and Bluetooth

Technically, yes, however, a user would need to stream for 8 hours or more in a single day for it to affect their daily hearing aid use. In the event a user does stream for 8 hours or more, a 30 minute quick-charge throughout the day is recommended.

No. Bluetooth is not yet a standard on all hearing aids, however, almost all over-the-ear hearing aids and some larger custom hearing aids are now Bluetooth compatible. In order for a hearing aid to have Bluetooth there must be enough space to accommodate it along with other hearing aid components such as the battery, signal processing chip, microphones and receiver all while keeping the hearing aid small and discrete.

No. Before investing in new hearing aids and/or a new smart phone, we recommend looking up the smart phone compatibility list for the hearing aid and/or contact a member of our team for assistance.

This is typically an issue with Bluetooth and not the hearing aid(s) or the smart phone. Bluetooth is very prone to interference and has a limited range of around 10 meters which must be line of sight. Number of active Bluetooth connections and connection priority can also play a role. For more assistance, please contact one of our clinics or visit our hearing aid connectivity troubleshooting guide. https://sackvillehearing.ca/hearing-health/connectivity-and-hearing-aids-what-expect

Hearing Aid Maintenance

Hearing aids require regular cleaning in order to maintain their function and sound quality. Our registered audiologists will teach you how to clean your hearing aids. We also provide regularly scheduled hearing aid cleaning appointments as part of our Peace of Mind service plan.

No. Hearing aids are water-resistant but they are not yet water proof. Hearing aid users are advised to take their hearing aids off when showering and swimming and should not store their hearing aids in humid places such as a bathroom.

The average lifespan of a hearing aid is 5 years. The lifespan of a hearing aid is largely dependent on how well the hearing aid is cared for.

The life span of a hearing aid battery is dependent on several factors. The biggest factor being size - The larger the battery the longer it will last. Battery lifespan also depends on hours of use per day, degree of amplification,  features used on the hearing aid, moisture, temperature, streaming time, if the hearing aid wearer is mostly in noise versus mostly in quiet, etc.

No. Ear wax is very important in maintaining healthy ears. Below are some reasons why we should never use cotton swabs to clean our ears.

  • Ear wax provides the ear with protection against bacteria and other debris from entering the ear canal.

  • Ear wax provides moisture which prevents itchy and uncomfortable ear canals.

  • Cotton swabs push wax further into the ear canal making it more difficult for the wax to come out and preventing sound from traveling through the auditory system properly.

Hearing Aid Cost and Coverage

In Canada, the cost of a hearing aid(s) and hearing aid related services by an audiologist is bundled. Hearing aid service plans vary widely from clinic-to-clinic so it is important that you ask what is included. Hearing aid related services include but are not limited to hearing aid fittings and adjustments, counselling, aural rehabilitation, hearing aid servicing, and minor hearing aid parts and repairs. Click here for more information on our Peace of Mind Service Plan.

No, MSI does not cover the cost of hearing tests administered in private practice settings. MSI also does not cover the cost of wax removal by family physicians or audiologists.

Yes. Most private insurance plans cover a portion of the cost of the hearing aid(s) and the hearing aid service plan. Each plan varies so we recommend you contact your private insurer before your hearing aid evaluation appointment. If it is confirmed that your plan allows for direct billing, our clinics would be happy to do that for you. Our clinics also offer a 10% seniors discount for clients 60 years of age and older. MSI does not cover the cost of hearing aids.

For those who served in the Canadian Armed Forces and were exposed to loud noise, there may be benefits available through Veterans Affairs Canada. For those who worked in noise not with the Canadian Armed Forces, there may be benefits available through the Workers Compensation Board.

No. Hearing aids are considered medical and assistive devices and are therefore exempt from tax in the province of Nova Scotia.

Hearing aids are not just tools that make sounds louder. They are complex medical devices. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) developed the following considerations before buying hearing aids online:

  • It is important to know why you are having trouble hearing. Knowing that will help you know what type of hearing aid will help you the most.

  • You should have hearing aids set to meet your unique hearing needs. Not everyone can use the same hearing aids.

  • Hearing aids bought online without a complete hearing test and other services may not meet your needs. You may end up buying hearing aids that do not help.

  • You need special computer software to set your hearing aids. Not every audiologist will have every type of software. So, you may need to send your aids back if you have problems. This means you may have to go without your hearing aid until you get it back.

  • It is not always easy to get used to your hearing aids. Audiologists often set up follow-up visits to help you. They will reset your hearing aid when you buy your hearing aid from them (vs. online or in a retail store). They can also give you support to help make your hearing aids work for you. You can’t be sure that you will get this help if you buy your hearing aid online.

Most hearing aid manufacturers offer a one-time only loss and damage warranty on each hearing aid. The period of the warranty and the deductible owed is dependent on the specific hearing aid manufacturer.

Using someone’s old hearing aid is not recommended for several reasons. 

  • Hearing aids are measured and programmed specifically for an individual’s hearing loss, needs, ear canal length and shape.

  • Some hearing aid manufacturers do not allow their hearing aids to be transferred to another user. 

  • Fitting even a used hearing aid(s) requires several services from your registered audiologist to ensure the hearing aid is working properly and is set appropriately for your hearing loss, ear shape and ear size. When taking into consideration the cost of services to fit the used hearing aid(s), the remaining warranty (if any), and the age of the hearing aid, in most cases wearing someone’s old hearing aid(s) is considered “not worth it”.

Yes. Hearing aids, assistive listening devices, hearing aid repairs and hearing aid batteries are eligible medical expenses that can be claimed on your tax return.

In order to be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

A person is considered markedly restricted in hearing if, even with the use of appropriate devices:

  • They are unable or take an inordinate amount of time to hear so as to understand another person familiar with the patient, in a quiet setting and

  • This is the case all or substantially all the time (at least 90% of the time)

Devices for hearing include hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other such devices.

Please visit the Government of Canada website for more information.

Hearing Aids and Travel

Yes. In fact, it is strongly recommended that hearing aids are worn at all times throughout the airport and while flying to ensure important messages are heard. We also suggest you advise security personnel and flight attendants of your hearing loss to avoid miscommunication during an emergency.

Yes. Hearing aids and their wireless features can remain on while travelling by plane as they do not emit signals that may interfere with aircraft control – similar to the rules around pacemakers.

Yes. We recommend storing any hearing aid related accessories and supplies in your carry-on bag in the event that your stow away luggage is lost.