Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We’re all ears! And, we love answering your questions!
Q: I’m new to this. Where do I start – and how do I know if I need hearing aids?

A. The first step is to meet with an audiologist so we can listen to your needs and accurately diagnosis your unique hearing loss. Your audiologist can then decide if hearing aids are right for you and discuss all your options with you. There’s no commitment to purchase hearing aids at your consultation. When you’re ready to take this first step, we’re here to help. Request an appointment.

Q: What insurance do you take?

A. We take many health insurance plans and work with some worker’s compensation companies. We also accept HSA plans, which will cover hearing aids because they are medical devices. We are happy to have our insurance department check your benefits before you come in for your appointment. 

Q: Does Medicare pay for hearing aids?

A. No. Medicare statutorily excludes hearing aids, meaning that they do not cover hearing aids or hearing testing for the purpose of fitting hearing aids. However, some secondary plans have hearing aid benefits.

Q: How do I know which hearing aid is right for me?

A. Your hearing loss will tell us a lot about the type of hearing aid you need. Beyond that, your audiologist will assist you in choosing devices that best fit with your communication needs, lifestyle, and budget.

Unlike hearing aids 15 years ago, today’s devices can be reprogrammed for future changes in your hearing. Total Hearing Care offers many hearing aid options because one device does not fit all. Read more about the hearing aids we work with

Q: What kinds of hearing aids do you sell?

A. We work with all the major manufacturers. The audiologist will help you determine which device is best for you and your hearing loss. 

Q: How much do hearing aids cost?

A. It’s true – high quality, personalized hearing aids can come with a bit of sticker shock. Depending on the level of technology, prices range from about $1500-$4000 per device. However, the value of your purchase extends far beyond the actual electronic device. Your purchase includes custom fitting and calibration, a hearing aid that integrates with your lifestyle (and other electronics), ongoing customer service, and the manufacturer’s warranty. Additionally, health insurance benefits can offset the cost or may pay in entirety.

Q: Can I buy hearing aids over-the-counter (OTC)?

A. Over-the-counter (OTC) hearing devices were designed for a specific group of people – those with mild hearing loss. Someone with a very mild loss may only need to use a hearing aid in some situations, yet one study indicated that only about 10% of people with mild hearing loss get hearing aids. OTC hearing aids can be a perfect solution for this group of people because they are less expensive than traditional hearing aids and can be used “as needed.”

However, people often perceive their hearing loss as milder than it actually is, and those with moderate to profound hearing loss will be unable to get the amplificiation they need. Only a professional diagnosis can help determine the right hearing aids for your unique needs. An OTC hearing aid can be a frustrating waste of money if it is not the right solution for your hearing.

There are other limitations to these products as well. For instance, there’s often no way for the device to be easily repaired or programmed. We also find that patients with moderate-to-profound hearing losses require more counseling and services than you can get with OTC devices.

Q: Can I buy hearing aids online?

A. You can purchase hearing aids online, but do we recommend it? No.

Because hearing aids are medical devices, it is important to have your audiologist walk you through all aspects of your hearing healthcare journey. There are multiple online companies that do not give you the full product information (what their hearing aids sound like, cost of repairs, loss & damage deductibles, and/or warranty extensions…just to name a few).

We specialize in providing you with personalized care at every step — from diagnosis, to trying hearing aids before purchase, to ongoing services that aren’t typically included in online purchases.

Hearing is a lot like taste: what sounds good to one person might not be great for the next person. You could also say that hearing loss is unique, like a finger print. Buying hearing aids online removes this individuality, leaving you with a one-size-fits-most option that might not work for you.

Q: Do I need to schedule an appointment to get my hearing aids cleaned?

A. No, you do not need an appointment. You can walk in to one of our clinics during normal business hours, and our front staff will be happy to help you with hearing aid cleaning, troubleshooting, and any hearing aid supplies. We also have shortened hours on Saturdays (10am-2pm) at our Abrams Road office for these services. Read more about service and repairs.

Q: Why do I need to bring someone with me to my appointment?

A. Hearing loss often affects other people in your life, and their input is important to understanding the impact of your hearing loss. Your communication partner is valuable for helping you choose a hearing aid that brings the most satisfaction. We also like to use a familiar voice to demonstrate how much better you hear your loved one in quiet, at a distance, in noise, and on the phone.

Q: How often do I need to get new hearing aids?

A. Some common reasons to consider new hearing aids are:

  • They are more than four to five years old.
  • Your lifestyle has changed since you purchased your most recent hearing aids.
  • There is physical damage to the hearing aids, and they are no longer under warranty.
  • They have already been repaired at least once after the warranty expired.
  • They don’t work as well as they did when you first got them.
  • Technology changes very rapidly and can assist you better in complicated situations, such as background noise, than your current devices.

Talk to your audiologist about a no-obligation demonstration of new technology to see if new devices will work for you.

Q: When should I send my hearing aids in for maintenance?

A. We recommend that you come into our office three or four times a year to get your hearing aids cleaned and checked by our office staff, as well as to pick up needed supplies. Additionally, we want to send your hearing aids to the manufacturer for service every year. This is important because we know that normal wear and tear will cause degradation to certain parts of the aids, which we cannot replace in the office. This yearly service is covered by your manufacturer warranty. Also, we can provide you with loaner devices while they are at the company for service. Read more about service and repairs.

Q: Can I trade in my old hearing aids for new ones?

A. The FDA considers hearing aids individual medical devices, and as such, cannot be “traded-in” to sell to someone else. For example, you would not take your hip replacement and trade it in for someone else to use it. If you see advertisements for trade-ins, it means that the company is just giving you a discount toward new hearing aids. Plus, most of our patients keep their old hearing aids as back-ups.

Q: How do you safely remove earwax? How can I safely manage ear wax at home?

A. It is important to consult with your audiologist or physician before attempting wax removal at home. The type of wax can determine if you can safely take steps at home to prevent it or whether it is best to have regular appointments by a professional for removal.

Some people will regularly irrigate their ears with water, but it is important that you not have a perforated eardrum or an ear infection if you are going to use this method.

Q-Tips are NOT a safe way to clean your ears. In fact, you can actually push wax deeper into your ear canals where you cannot remove it without seeing a professional. Read more about earwax removal.