Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Aids

Thank you for choosing the Providers at the Emory Clinic to care for your Audiology needs. We know that your hearing health is very important to you, and we are honored that you have trusted your care to our team. Below are some commonly asked questions related to your Audiology visit.

What is an Audiologist?

Emory audiologists are doctoral level professionals trained to diagnose and contribute to the treatment of hearing loss and balance disorders. Audiologists evaluate the hearing and balance systems, fit hearing aids and cochlear implants, and also contribute to hearing conservation efforts. Audiologists are trained in the medical aspects of hearing loss, properties of sound, and rehabilitation options for hearing loss. Your audiologist will work together with your otologist to ensure you receive the best possible care related to your hearing and balance needs.

Why was I scheduled for two appointments on the same day?

Comprehensive evaluation of your hearing system requires two types of testing. The audiologist will evaluate your hearing and make measurements to check the health of your ears. The otologist will perform a medical evaluation to assess the health of your ears and determine if further testing is needed. The otologist will also provide medical clearance for hearing aids, should they be recommended.

What happens after I have been diagnosed with hearing loss?

We can help you schedule an office visit with one of our licensed audiologists and otologists to discuss the most appropriate treatment options available for your diagnosis. If a hearing aid device is recommended for you, your audiologist will guide you through each step of the process including the selection of a hearing aid device to proper fitting, programming, and scheduling any follow-up visits that may be needed.

I am starting treatment for cancer, why am I scheduled for a hearing test?

Some Cancer treatments may cause changes in your hearing. Your treating physician may refer you to an audiologist to obtain a baseline hearing test as well as testing throughout the course of treatment to monitor for any changes in your hearing. Audiologists can perform specialized tests to better characterize any changes in your hearing while you receive treatment.

What can I expect during my hearing test appointment?

You will be asked about your hearing health and any symptoms you are experiencing. The audiologist will look in your ears and perform a test to measure eardrum and middle ear status using very small amounts of pressure and sound. Your hearing health will be measured by your ability to distinguish sounds and words. Your results will be reviewed with you by a member of the care team once the test is complete.

What can I expect during my hearing aid discussion appointment?
Your audiologist will review the results of your hearing test and discuss appropriate recommendations for hearing aids.  This will include a review of how hearing aids work and anticipated expectations. Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Your Audiologist will recommend the most appropriate style based on your specific hearing loss and lifestyle.
Additionally, our financial team will determine your hearing aid benefit prior to your appointment and discuss payment options. Should you decide to purchase a hearing aid device; a non-refundable service fee will be collected. The hearing aids will be ordered at the time the non-refundable service fee is collected (or after your insurance pays, if you have a benefit). You will return for a hearing aid fitting appointment to pick up your hearing aids.
What can I expect during my hearing aid fitting appointment?

Your audiologist will program your hearing aid(s) specifically for your hearing loss. You will work together to determine the exact settings and programs that will work for you. Your audiologist will also teach you how to use the hearing aid(s) and care for them.

What can I expect after being fit with my hearing aid(s)?

Typically, patients need 1 to 2 weeks of full-time use to become accustomed to hearing aids. You will have a 30 day trial period with your new hearing aid(s). Your audiologist will schedule a follow up appointment with you 2 to 4 weeks after fitting to discuss your progress make any necessary adjustments. During the trial period, you can decide if you would like to keep the device or return it.

Will a hearing aid restore my hearing to normal?

Hearing sensitivity relies on many fine structures of the ear which work together to help you hear sounds. Hearing loss occurs when these structures are no longer present or have become damaged. Hearing aids can help amplify some of the sounds you are missing, but cannot repair this damage. Many patients notice that while hearing aids help with overall communication, they do not restore perfect clarity.

I have hearing loss in both ears, is it necessary to wear two hearing aids?

There are a few reasons why two hearing aids can be better than one: (1) Better hearing when background noise is present (2) Improved sense of direction from where sounds are coming (3) Prevention of possible deterioration of the unaided ear. We hear in our brain, not in our ears. The ultimate goal of hearing aids is not just to send sound into the ear, it is also essential to re-train the central auditory system in the brain. Your audiologist will make a recommendation for one or two hearing aids based on your individual hearing needs.

How long can I expect my hearing aid to be operational?

The average life of a hearing aid is approximately 5 years. However, technology is always changing and updating, so you may choose to upgrade your hearing aid prior to it becoming non-operational. 

What brands of hearing aids do you offer?

Our office dispenses hearing aid devices from the following three hearing aid manufacturers:

1)     Phonak

2)     Oticon

3)     Widex

How often should I have my hearing checked?

Typically, patients schedule annual hearing tests and hearing aid checks. To schedule an appointment with an Audiologist, please call 404-778-3381.

Does your office accept insurance for hearing aid devices?

Since hearing aid benefits are policy specific, you will need to speak with your insurance company or employer benefit office to confirm the benefits that are covered by your individual insurance plan. Our financial counselor can help you to check your benefits, should you need assistance.