"Dr. Washburn is incredibly professional and knowledgeable. I took my 7 year old in because he wasn't 'paying attention' in class, and sure enough, it was due to excessive ear wax (which she removed PAINLESSLY) and mild sinusitis. Dr. Washburn recommended a natural nasal spray that worked wonders. They really CARE about their patients!"
~ Dr. Janelle W.
Hearing loss, for many, is a confusing topic. We've aimed to clear up that confusion as best we can by providing answers and insight to many of the aspects of hearing that we've learned are generally misunderstood by the public.
Please read on for FAQs, myths, and tips.
Q: Does insurance cover the cost of hearing devices?
A: Most health insurance plans will cover the diagnostics and testing procedures for hearing, tinnitus, and balance; however, not the cost of devices. There are a few policies that will reimburse a portion of the cost. Medicare covers $0 toward hearing devices.
Q: What insurances does our office take?
A: We take most major insurance providers, but are specifically in network for Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield policies.
Q: What features are available in hearing devices today?
A: A wide variety of advanced features including: Noise reduction, Feedback/whistling elimination, Bluetooth phone call streaming, Free smart phone apps for remote control, Wireless TV audio streaming, Rechargeable devices (vs. weekly battery insertion).
Q: What is the best brand of hearing device?
A: There isn't a specific "BEST" brand. Each patient's individual lifestyle, mobility, hearing loss level, and social needs will dictate which features, style, or brand will likely be the right fit.
Q: What does an average hearing device pair cost, and what is included in the cost?
A: The national average according to a 2015 report is $2,300 per device, or $4,600 per pair. This price reflects the mid-range technology (between basic model and premium/top tier), and is considered a bundled price. "Bundled price" means it includes the cost of the hearing devices, parts and supplies, warranties for service, repair, loss and damage, as well as the professional's time and services associated with fitting, programming, and follow-up appointments for fine tuning adjustments.
Do you believe any of the following? Click on a myth to learn the truth about hearing and hearing devices.Seeking hearing help or wearing devices means you're getting old.
Hearing problems can occur at any age, birth to 100+, as hearing can be affected by genetics, noise exposure, certain syndromes, some medications, metabolic and nutritional factors.
Studies have shown that hearing loss is NOT a benign condition; those who are not proactive with their hearing health or who leave hearing loss untreated, have a significantly increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia onset.
Hearing loss is a communication disorder, and we know communication is a 2-way street. Even if you don't realize it, your friends and loved ones are affected too; they have to raise their voice, repeat, or may just withdraw from or avoid conversations out of frustration.
Most physical modifications or sound quality adjustments can be made in order to alleviate any frustrations with hearing devices. Even after several attempts, if you are unhappy with the result, you are protected by Texas state law for a 30-day return policy on hearing devices.
While several big-box retail stores offer similar hearing device brands, styles, and features at a reduced comparative price, what you save in expense is usually the most important part of the hearing rehabilitation process: Professional service and know-how. For best success with hearing devices, please seek an office with hearing healthcare professionals such as a doctor of audiology/audiologist or an otolaryngologist/ENT clinic.
Tips for Hearing Device Wearers
Don't be afraid to be your own self-advocate. In groups and noisy settings especially, letting your communication partners know beforehand that you communicate best if they face you and annunciate clearly when speaking might save everyone frustration in the moment.
Tips for Communicating with People who have Hearing Loss
When speaking with someone who has trouble hearing clearly, it is always best to face him/her, reduce any background noise or distraction, get his/her attention before you begin, and slowing your rate of speech enough to clearly annunciate.
Tips for Adjusting to Your New Hearing Devices
Often new hearing device users will experience sounds in their environment which are "new" or unexpected (such as subtle details/quality of their own voices, air conditioning or fan, water splashing, paper crunching, their own footsteps) which they haven't heard in a while. The first week after hearing device fitting, it is best to take note of what sounds are particularly bothersome or which don't "normalize" after a few days - as these sounds may be adjusted down.