Not hearing as well as you once did? You're not alone. Nearly 36 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss and most wait an average of seven years before seeking help. You've come to the right place. Gundersen audiologists are specially trained in hearing and balance disorders in all ages. They understand that getting the most suitable hearing aid is important to enjoying life to its fullest.
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If you have questions about hearing aids or would like to schedule an evaluation, please call us at (608) 775-2201.
Frequently asked Questions
How do I know if I need hearing aids?
One of the first signs of hearing loss is difficulty hearing or understanding speech in noisy environments. Because age-related hearing loss occurs slowly, you may also find that your spouse or significant other comments about your hearing loss before you even notice it. In either case, schedule a hearing test with an audiologist. They will help determine the extent of your hearing loss and the best treatment options.
Why should I choose Gundersen for hearing aids?
Gundersen audiologists have advanced education. They hold doctorate degrees in Audiology, signified by the "AuD" credential after their names. Together with our audiology technicians and ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, the team will help you from beginning to end in the same department. They will ensure the health of your ears before prescribing hearing aids. In addition, none of our staff works on commission.
Will hearing aids reverse my hearing loss?
Hearing aids work by magnifying sound vibrations going into your ear. They will make it easier to hear sounds that you have difficulty hearing today; however, they will not restore the natural functioning of your ear.
How much do hearing aids cost at Gundersen?
Properly fit hearing aids are much more than the devices themselves. They require proper fitting procedures by a trained audiologist to ensure proper fit and function. Therefore, part of the cost of hearing aids includes your doctor's professional care and services, as well.
Hearing aids and their associated services vary in price, depending on brand, style and features. Most quality hearing aids at Gundersen cost between $1,100 and $2,600 per ear. Independent hearing centers may appear to have lower initial costs for hearing aids but often add extra charges.
Our prices are bundled to include:
- Hearing aid evaluation
- Hearing aid devices
- Hearing aid fitting (professional fees)
- Hearing aid care for the first year, including cleanings, checks and repairs
Patients will be billed once, after their hearing aid(s) has been fitted. Some healthcare plans will cover the cost of hearing services. Check with your health insurance company to find out exactly what your policy covers. For example, Senior Preferred provides several reduced price points to assist a variety of patient needs.
What if I don’t like the fit of my new hearing aids?
Gundersen provides a 45-day trial period on hearing aids we offer. If you decide to cancel your purchase during the trial period, there may be a non-refundable fitting charge.
How long will hearing aids last?
With proper maintenance and routine care, most hearing aids last five to six years. A three-year manufacturer warranty covers any mechanical malfunctions and also provides a policy for lost or damaged hearing aids beyond repair of devices.
Can my hearing aid be programmed if I'm out of town?
Yes. Technology makes it possible for us to program your hearing aid remotely, for certain models, whether you're one mile or 1,000 miles away from Gundersen. Programming your hearing aid ensures:
- Soft sounds are audible.
- Conversational sounds are clear.
- Loud sounds are loud but not uncomfortable.
Do you offer routine maintenance and technical support?
Yes. Please call Audiology to inquire about technical support or to make an appointment with an audiologist for cleanings, check-ups, device adjustments or upgrades.
How do I know what style of hearing aid I need?
Your audiologist will perform a thorough hearing test and will help you find the best hearing aid based on factors, such as your degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, budget, shape of your outer ear and ear canal, any special features you need or want, including rechargeable batteries or Bluetooth technology.
What types of hearing aids does Gundersen offer?
Gundersen Audiology offers a wide range of hearing aid styles and technology. They fit within four categories:
Behind-the-ear (BTE) aids and Receiver-in-the ear (RIC) aids
BTE hearing aids include electronics that sit behind the ear, along with a custom molding that is in the ear. The two pieces are connected by a small hollow tube, or small tubing with a thin wire in it.
RIC hearing aids also include electronics that sit behind the ear, but offer a thinner wire, extending into the ear canal, that can be connected to either a hearing aid non-custom dome or a custom ear mold, depending on your degree of hearing loss.
CROS/Bi-CROS are hearing aids made for people who have severe hearing loss in one ear, known as unilateral hearing loss or single-sided deafness (SSD). With the CROS (Contralateral Routing of Signals) system, you wear hearing aids on both ears—the device on the ear with poorer hearing transmits sound to the better-hearing ear.
In-the-ear (ITE) aids
With ITE hearing aids, all parts are contained in the outer part of the ear. This style is suitable for mild to moderately severe degrees of hearing loss. ITE aids are larger than the in-the-canal and completely-in-the canal aids (see below) and may be easier to handle for some people.
Completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids are the smallest available and fit entirely in the ear canal. They may not be suitable for people with severe hearing loss.
In-the-canal (ITC) are larger than CICs. They are contained in a small case that fits into the canal. They may not be suitable for people where retention or audio feedback are problems.
Bone-anchored hearing devices are surgically implanted devices designed to help people with usable hearing in only one ear and/or for those unable to wear conventional hearing aids due to a variety of middle and outer ear conditions.
Cochlear implants are for children and adults who are Deaf or severely or profoundly hard of hearing, including people born with congenital hearing loss. They are not hearing aids in the traditional sense. A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve (nerve for hearing). A cochlear implant helps a person understand speech and noises in their environment.
Gundersen otolaryngologists perform cochlear implant& surgery and provide ongoing cochlear implant care. Patients are typically seen every three to six months for the first year post-surgery and device activation, then once a year for software upgrades, troubleshooting and adjustments.
For more information, call Gundersen Otolaryngology at 608 775-2374.