Hearing Aid Frequently Asked Questions from Rule Hearing Centre

Rule Hearing Centre answers your frequently asked questions about hearing aids, hearing loss, tinnitus, and other related subjects. If you still have questions, please feel free to call our office. We are located at The Anjema Eye Institute in Chatham.


Q: How long should hearing aid batteries last?

A: Hearing aid battery life will vary with the size of the battery.

  • Size 10 batteries last for approximately 3 - 8 days
  • Size 312 batteries last for approximately 5 - 14 days
  • Size 13 batteries last for approximately 1 - 4 weeks
  • Size 675 batteries last for approximately 2 - 4 weeks


Q: Is there government funding available to cover a portion of the cost of the hearing aid?

A: Yes. The Ontario government provides funding through the Assistive Devices Program (ADP). The goal of ADP is to offer consumer-focused support and funding to Ontario residents who deal with long-term physical disabilities. The ADP provides access to personalized assistive devices appropriate for the individual’s basic needs. ADP funding can be used towards the purchase of:

  • Behind-the-ear hearing aids
  • Canal and completely-in-the-canal hearing aids
  • Eyeglass hearing aids
  • In-the-ear hearing aids
  • Body hearing aids
  • FM systems and some accessories


Applicants must:

  • Have a long-term hearing loss and require the use of a hearing aid for six months or more
  • Be eligible for Ontario Health Insurance and have a valid Health Card


Please note ADP does not pay for hearing assistive devices and equipment obtainable under Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or to Group “A” veterans for their pensioned conditions.


For More Information:

Assistive Devices Program

1-800-268-6021 (toll-free in Ontario only)

416-327-8804 (Toronto)

TTY 1-800-387-5559


Q: What are some common signs of hearing loss?

A:

  • You have a hard time understanding conversations in groups or when background noise is present.
  • You frequently misunderstand parts of conversation and are continuously piecing together missing pieces of a puzzle.
  • You think everyone is mumbling or sounded muffled.
  • Your friends and family are constantly repeating themselves and often become frustrated.
  • Your friends and family complain about the volume level of your television being too loud.
  • You rely heavily on lip reading and visual cues.
  • You often feel isolated and left out because you cannot participate in conversation within a group setting.


Q: What is tinnitus?

A: Tinnitus is the perception of sound in one or both ears or in the head when no external sound is present.


Symptoms

  • The tinnitus may be perceived as a ringing sound, but many people may experience other sounds such as high-pitched hissing, sizzling, buzzing, chirping, or clicking.
  • The sound may be constant or occur intermittently. Several noises may be heard simultaneously.
  • Feelings of pressure and fullness or pain in or around the ears may accompany the tinnitus.


Prevalence

  • More than 360, 000 Canadians experience bothersome tinnitus.
  • It can affect people of all ages, including children.
  • Not everyone experiences tinnitus to the same degree.


Causes of Tinnitus

The exact cause or causes of tinnitus are unknown. There are, however, several likely sources known to trigger or worsen tinnitus including:

  • Noise-induced hearing loss: Excessive noise exposure can damage and even destroy hair cells in the inner ear. Coincidentally, up to 90 percent of all patients diagnosed with tinnitus deal with some level of hearing loss.
  • Wax build-up in the ear canal: Occasionally, people’s ears build up enough wax that their hearing can be affected or that their tinnitus may seem louder.
  • Certain medications: There are some medications that are toxic to the ears (referred to as ototoxic). Some side effects in medication cause tinnitus, but avoid damaging the inner ear.
  • Ear or sinus infections: Many people, including children, experience tinnitus together with an ear or sinus infection.
  • Jaw misalignment: Tinnitus can also be the side effect of misaligned jaw joints or jaw muscles. Many dentists specialize in this problem professionally referred to as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) misalignment. They can usually provide assistance to your tinnitus through treatment of TMJ.
  • High or low blood pressure: This may cause "pulsatile tinnitus" where you may hear a rhythmic pulsing, often in time with your heartbeat.


Q: Why are two hearing aids better than one?

A: There are many advantages of binaural amplification (two hearing aids) as opposed to monaural amplification (one hearing aid). We often recommend two hearing aids for patients who have bilateral hearing loss or hearing loss in both ears. Our brain uses cues from both ears to figure out which direction sounds are originating from, enabling us to locate its source. When you wear only one hearing aid, this ability to determine where sounds are coming from is compromised. Therefore, one hearing aid is not as effective as two.


Stimulus to the brain coming from both ears helps:

  • Improve spatial awareness
  • Provide fuller sound quality
  • Understand speech better in a noisy environment
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