Frequently Asked Questions
You may have a lot of questions regarding insurance, hearing aids, your appointment and more. We hope our FAQs can answer some of your questions. If you do not find the answers you are searching for here, please email or call us. We are always happy to hear from you.
1. How much does the hearing test cost?
In many cases, your insurance will cover the cost of a hearing evaluation. If you have Medicare, a Medicare Replacement, or Medicare supplement, your insurance will only cover the hearing test if you have a referral from your physician that deems the test medically necessary. If you do not have insurance, the basic fee is $125 for the comprehensive audiological evaluation. Other tests might be necessary and will be determined by the audiologist.
2. How much are hearing aids?
The price of hearing aids varies greatly depending on your type of hearing loss, what best suits your lifestyle, and your personal preferences. They can range anywhere from $1000 for one, up to $7,000 for a pair of top of the line hearing aids, with some great mid-range options in between. We are committed to helping you find the perfect hearing aids at the perfect price. Please see the Hearing Aids Tab for detailed information about the differences and for pricing. We also have payment plan options through Care Credit. Here’s a link to help you apply online.
3. Do I need two?
If you have hearing loss in both ears, then yes, the majority of patients benefit from having two hearing aids. Our brain is naturally wired to receive information from both ears. Not having both ears working their best can minimize the information our brain receives about our surroundings. Treating both ears allows for better localization, better hearing in background noise, listening balance, and better hearing for soft sounds.
4. Will my insurance pay for hearing aids?
Generally, most insurance companies do not cover the complete cost of hearing aids. Some policies have a discount program that isn’t coverage, but it reduces the cost of your hearing care. Because each plan is different, we invite you to check your plan and also send your insurance information to us ahead of your appointment to verify any benefits or coverage that you may have so that we know during your consultation when we will be discussing costs and fees.
5. What do hearing aids look like?
Hearing aids have come a long way in recent years. Most people think of hearing aids as being large, bulky and very visible. Today’s hearing aids have become smaller, more user friendly, and nearly invisible. They come in a variety of colors and styles. Many of our patients are often pleasantly surprised to find that even their significant others and family members don’t notice they are wearing hearing aids. Once our patients’ hearing loss has been treated, they find that their hearing loss was much more noticeable than their hearing aids are.
6. Will people notice?
Many of our patients are often pleasantly surprised to find that even their significant others and family members don’t notice they are wearing hearing aids. People may notice they are repeating themselves less, you are more involved in the conversation, and you have become more social, though!
7. Do they have to go in my ears?
Yes. They do have to go in your ears. A hearing aid’s job is to amplify the sound around you and to deliver that sound through your ear canal and to your eardrum. Many patients who are concerned about the feeling of having the hearing aids in their ears, actually find them to be very comfortable and forget they are wearing them.
8. Can I wait? What are the consequences of waiting?
Yes, you can wait. If you do show signs of hearing loss, however, we highly recommend you start thinking seriously about pursuing the treatment as soon as possible. Our goal is to help you care for your hearing health, and to offer advice in a no-pressure environment.
Studies continue to show that hearing loss directly correlates to cognitive brain function, and when untreated, can lead to increased risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, loss of income, and falling. Doctors recommend treatment as soon as hearing loss is detected.
9. I’ve heard people end up putting them in a drawer.
This is entirely up to you! We will do everything we can to make sure that you are happy with your improved hearing. We will work with you, prepare you on what to expect, and provide you with support to ensure that you are successful in your hearing journey. The only thing we can’t do, unfortunately, is put them in your ears every day! We are happy to provide a look at your morning routine and help you find a good way to remember to put them in. You could ask your friends or family to remind you to wear them. Most of our patients are excited to have their hearing improved, and put them on daily, just as one would with glasses.
10. I can hear, I just can’t always understand. Why should I be tested?
This is actually a very common symptom of hearing loss. You might be hearing some pitches and missing others, which makes it difficult to understand speech. Our doctors can test your ability to recognize, hear, and understand words in speech. Even if you don’t think you have hearing loss, a baseline test is important in order to track hearing loss in the future.
11. What are the benefits of hearing better?
Hearing better will allow you to feel more comfortable in social settings, improve your relationships, boost self-confidence, and decrease your risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, and falling. When you can hear the people and things around you, you can react to your environment, you can engage in conversation without straining to hear, and you may find the words “What? Could you repeat that?” disappearing from your everyday life.
12. Batteries vs. Rechargeable: which is better?
This is mostly based on preference. Sound quality does not change with batteries vs. rechargeable, but the ease of use and environmental impact certainly do. If a patient has dexterity issues, difficulty moving their hands, arthritis, trouble with vision, rechargeable hearing aids can be very helpful and needed. The rechargeable batteries are also incredibly convenient, as you will never need to change a battery again, so it’s easy to see why they are becoming so popular.
13. Why not go to a Big Box store or retail hearing aid store?
Big Box stores provide discount prices on many items which might be good for shopping for household things, but would you want to discount your healthcare on something as important as your hearing? Retail hearing aid outfits with big, one page newspaper ads may seem appealing. But you will likely see a different provider each time and you may see someone who has more education in sales and little education in hearing care, training or experience. We see patients who have purchased hearing aids at retail locations who are unsatisfied with the results and lack of care, coming to us looking for a better solution.
14. What is the difference between Doctors of Audiology and hearing aid dealers?
Doctors of Audiology have an average of 8 years of higher education in the evaluation and treatment of hearing loss and balance disorders. We complete a year of internship to prepare us to provide best practice standards in our profession. NC Hearing Aid Dealers and Fitters need only have a minimum of a high school diploma and a year of apprenticeship with a hearing aid dealer who is trained to sell hearing aids. Another term for a NC licensed hearing aid dealer is a hearing instrument specialist (HIS).
Take a look at our reviews, we have been helping people hear better for over 25 years and we care. We care about you, we care about your hearing, we care about the interactions you have with your family and friends and how your hearing might be impacting them. We will help you every step of the way.
We are a green office. We recycle ALL hearing aid batteries (along with everything else we can). We invite you to bring your hearing aid batteries to our office so that we can help properly recycle them.