The Hearing Doctors’ FAQs

You aren’t alone with your questions about hearing loss and how to improve it. Read through these Frequently Asked Questions to get started on your path toward improving your hearing and quality of life.

How do I know if I have a hearing loss? -Adults

  1. You frequently complain that people mumble, speech is not clear, or you hear only parts of conversations when people are talking.
  2. You often ask people to repeat what they said.
  3. Your friends or relatives tell you that you don’t seem to hear very well.
  4. You do not laugh at jokes because you miss too much of the story.
  5. You need to ask others about the details of a meeting that you just attended.
  6. Others say that you play the TV or radio too loudly.
  7. You cannot hear the doorbell or the telephone.
  8. You find that looking at people when they talk to you makes it somewhat easier to understand, especially when you’re in a noisy place or where there are competing conversations.
  9. You have a family history of hearing loss.
  10. You take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs).
  11. You have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems.
  12. You have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise.
  13. You have trouble hearing children and women.
  14. You answer or respond inappropriately in conversations.
  15. You have ringing in your ears.

Hearing loss and Children

  1. Your child is inconsistently responding to sound
  2. Language and speech development is delayed
  3. Speech is unclear.
  4. Sound is turned up on electronic equipment (radio, TV, cd player, etc.)
  5. Your child does not follow directions
  6. Your child often says “Huh?”
  7. Your child does not respond when called.

Hearing loss- The Emotions

  1. You feel stressed from straining to hear what others are saying.
  2. You feel annoyed at others because you can’t understand them.
  3. You feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying.
  4. You feel nervous about trying to hear and understand.
  5. You withdraw from social situations because of difficulty hearing.

Do I need a doctor’s referral to see an audiologist?

The FDA recommends that anyone in search of hearing aids has a medical evaluation before purchase. Although The Hearing Doctors welcome your doctor’s referral, it is not required.

However, when a patient has symptoms such as rapidly decreasing hearing loss within 90 days, pain or drainage in one or both ears, dizziness or a feeling of fullness we recommend they see their family physician to rule out potentially serious medical conditions.

If a patient comes to us prior to seeing their own doctor, we will report any such problems to their physician and, in cases where a medical condition could be present, refer them to an ear, nose and throat specialist.

Why should I get two hearing aids?

If you have hearing loss in both ears and you are a hearing aid candidate in both ears, you should wear two hearing aids. You have two ears because you need two ears. If we try to amplify sound in only one ear, you cannot expect to do very well. Even the best hearing aid will sound “flat” or “dull” when worn in only one ear.

There are many advantages when using two ears (binaural) to listen. In addition there are problems associated with wearing only one hearing aid — if you are indeed a candidate for binaural (two) amplification.

Localization (knowing where the sound came from) is only possible with two ears, and just about impossible with one ear. Localization is not just a sound quality issue; it may also be a safety issue. Think about how important it is to know where warning and safety sounds (sirens, screams, babies crying, etc) are coming from. Using both ears together also impacts how well you hear in noise because binaural hearing permits you to selectively attend to the desired signal, while “squelching” or paying less attention to undesired sounds such as background noise.

People cannot hear well using only one ear. There are studies in the research literature which show children with one normal ear and one “deaf” ear are ten times more likely to repeat a grade as compared to children with two normally hearing ears. Additionally, we know that if you have two ears with hearing impairment, and you wear only one hearing aid, the unaided ear is likely to lose word understanding ability more quickly than the ear wearing the hearing aid.

Binaural hearing allows a quality of “spaciousness” or “high fidelity” to sounds, which cannot occur with monaural (one ear) listening. Understanding speech clearly, particularly in challenging and noisy situations, is easier while using both ears. Additionally, using two hearing aids allows people to speak with you from either side of your head – not just your “good” side!

What is the difference between a Doctor of Audiology and hearing aid dispenser?

A doctor of audiology is an Au.D. or Ph.D. and has been required for board certification and licensure since 2007. Graduate educational programs last 4 years (after bachelor’s degree) and include clinical practicum of audiology.

A Hearing Aid Dispenser is someone who is authorized by the state to measure hearing and to fit and sell hearing aids. The credentials for becoming a hearing aid for the state of Illinois include an associates degree and 4 hearing related courses, and pass a state test.

At The Hearing Doctors you will be examined by a Doctor of Audiology, because you hearing health is our concern.

Will my insurance cover a hearing test?

The Hearing Doctors, Inc is an approved provider for most insurance plans and third party payers. Most insurances (Medicare, Blue Cross, etc. ) cover hearing evaluations with a doctors order. The Hearing Doctors Services accepts Medicare insurance. This means that our audiologist will call your doctor to get the order for a hearing test and bill Medicare for the hearing evaluation (you will only be responsible for what Medicare does not cover).

For more information regarding insurance, co-pays or deductibles, call The Hearing Doctors at 630.752.9505

What hearing aid brands do you offer?

We offer a wide variety of manufacturers including:

  • GN ReSound
  • Oticon
  • Phonak
  • Rexton
  • Siemens
  • Sona
  • Sonic Innovations
  • Starkey
  • Unitron
  • Westone
  • Widex

We have an in-house lab for same day services.