Hearing Aids

What to Expect When Buying a Hearing Aid

  • By law, all hearing aids have a 45 day trial period with a full refund - not a credit.  Don't feel guilty about returning an aid if it's not helping you enough for what you paid.
  • Medicare does not cover hearing aids, but they do cover one hearing test per year.  Other insurance coverage varies.  Call the number on the back of your insurance card to see if you have coverage.
  • The difference between high and low price aids is essentially performance in noise and sound quality.
  • It is labor intensive to fit a hearing aid properly.  There are multiple appointments, objective testing, and time allowed for your brain to learn to use the hearing aids.
  • Well known manufacturers include Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Siemens, Starkey, and Widex.  Each has a niche and none makes a hearing aid that's right for everyone.

Hearing Aid Maintenance

How to Change a Battery for a RIC or BTE Hearing Aid (center and left hearing aids above).

Changing Hearing Aid Wax Guard and Dome for a RIC Hearing Aid (left hearing aid above).

Cleaning an Earmold on a Behind the Ear Hearing Aid (left hearing aid above).

Reconnecting Bluetooth Hearing Aids

One of the most popular features in hearing aids these days is bluetooth connection to a cell phone.  Hearing aids that can be connected to your cell phone allow you to hear a phone call through your hearing aids, use your phone to control you hearing aids, find your hearing aids if they get lost, and listen to music or podcasts through your hearing aids.  Bluetooth can get disconnected sometimes, so for anyone who wears bluetooth connected aids, here’s a cheat sheet on how to reconnect them:

1) open hearing aid battery doors
2) go to “Settings” on the phone
3) go to “general”
4) go to “accessibility”
5) go to “hearing devices”
6) close hearing aid battery doors
7) choose “forget device”
8) go back to “general” screen
9) go to “accessibility”
10) go to “hearing devices”
11) tap on your name displayed
12) once it displays you name and “L” and “R”, choose it.

ReSound has a "Connectivity Guide" for their phone app and also a customer help phone number: 888-735-4327 #1.

Oticon has connectivity support page with videos and downloadable user manuals.




Telecoils and Looped Rooms

I strongly recommend that hearing aids include a telecoil because it makes lectures and theater easier to hear if the room is "looped".  It is standard in most hearing aids.  If you're not sure if your hearing aid has a telecoil, come see us.  It might be in there and just need to be activated.

Here is a list of "looped" venues in Santa Barbara.  You can go to Loopfinder to search for looped venues outside of Santa Barbara.  To explain better how it works, here is a video.