Follow Us On:
Follow Preferred Audiology on Facebook Follow Preferred Audiology on Twitter

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an Audiologist and a Hearing Aid Dealer?
An Audiologist is a healthcare professional who has earned a Doctorate Degree in Audiology following a minimum of 8 years of specialized education in the field of hearing sciences. Audiologists specialize in the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with disorders of hearing function. This professional has met all State and Federal Regulations and requirements, and has passed both the National Certification Board Exam and State Certification Exam.

A Hearing Aid Dispenser (Hearing Aid Specialist) is a person licensed to sell hearing aids. In the State of Maryland, the minimum level of education is completion of a 2-year post secondary program following a degree or diploma in any field of study, completion of the International Hearing Society Curriculum (HIS) entitled “Distance Learning for Professionals in Hearing Health Sciences” or equivalent course approved by the Board, and qualification on the written examination as per the Maryland Board of Audiologist, Hearing Aid Dispensers & Speech-Language Pathologists.

What is the difference between a diagnostic hearing evaluation and a hearing screening?
A Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation is performed in a sound-treated booth by an audiologist. This examination is a complete assessment of hearing function that includes otoscopy, air and bone conduction tests for hearing thresholds at 250 – 8000 Hz, speech discrimination, and middle ear analysis. This thorough evaluation of the hearing mechanism enables the audiologist to define the degree of the hearing loss, the type of hearing loss, make medical recommendations if needed and provide the best options available from treatment.

A Hearing Screening Test provides a quick way to separate people into two groups: a “pass” group and a “fail” group. Those who “pass” a hearing screening are presumed to have no hearing loss. Those who “fail” are in need of a diagnostic hearing evaluation performed by an audiologist and may need additional care from their physician. Hearing screening tests can be performed by non-audiologist hearing personnel.

How do I know if I have a hearing loss?
There are many causes that can diminish your hearing, including something as easily treatable as a build-up of cerumen (wax) in the ear canal or fluid in the middle ear space. The most precise way to determine if you have a hearing loss is to have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist.

Do you constantly or frequently ask people to repeat what they have said? Do you need to turn up the volume of the TV or radio louder than what is comfortable for others around you? Do you have trouble hearing on the phone? Do people seem to mumble or talk too fast? Do you find it difficult to hear or understand conversations in restaurants, in group gatherings or in noisy environments? If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, it may be time to have your hearing tested.

Can a hearing aid make my hearing loss worse?
Proper evaluation and personalized fitting of the best medically approved hearing device for your condition will help ensure the restoration and health of your hearing. Hearing aids are intended to correctly amplify sounds within a comfortable range for you. Research has found that hearing aids may help preserve the hearing nerve from further damage (NIDCD). However, if the hearing aids are not medically approved and/or not fitted properly by a certified hearing healthcare professional, they can do further damage to your hearing.

What about the hearing aids advertised in magazines and on TV for less than $100?
It is true that hearing aids can be costly. Depending upon your listening needs, hearing aids cost $1100 to $3000 per instrument. The “hearing aids” advertised in magazines and on TV are NOT medically tested or approved hearing aids but are non-FDA-approved sound amplifiers. The use of cheap, poorly-performing devices can further damage to your hearing. Remember, hearing aids are medical devices and should be approved and fitted by certified hearing healthcare professionals.

Can I buy a hearing aid through the internet?
You can buy just about anything on the Internet today. However, keep in mind, that hearing aids are considered a medical device which requires safety certification, testing, and approval through the FDA for dispensing through a trained healthcare professional. In the State of Maryland, it is illegal to dispense hearing aids without a Maryland Hearing Aid Dispensing license. Most Internet hearing aid companies are NOT located in Maryland nor are they licensed to dispense hearing aids in Maryland.

Do I really need two hearing aids?
Listening with two ears will make the sound louder than if listening with only one ear. Location of sound is improved and sounds are heard more naturally when listening with both ears. Sounds are more natural sounding when using both ears. Your brain processes information faster and easier when it receives information from both sides, especially in the presence of noise. Depending on your hearing loss, and especially if you have hearing loss in both ears, then the answer to your question is YES.

Does insurance cover the cost of hearing aids?
Some insurance plans do cover the cost of hearing aids, while others may cover a portion of the cost. You should check with your insurance plan to see if your policy has hearing aid coverage. At this time, Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids. They do however cover some of the cost of the hearing examination.

Hearing Loss in Children

Did You Know?

  • 1 in 10 Americans has a hearing loss
  • 1 in 5 American teenagers has a slight to mild hearing loss
  • 1 in every 1,000 live births has a congenital hearing loss
  • People with hearing loss who DO NOT wear hearing aids make less annually than people with hearing loss who DO wear hearing aids or normal hearing people. (BHI)
Home - About Us - Services - More About Hearing Loss - Patient Forms - Contact Us
Home - About Us - Services - More About Hearing Loss - Patient Forms - Contact Us
© 2010 | Preferred Audiology Services | 121 Congressional Lane Suite 310 | Rockville, Maryland 20852