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Hearing Aid FAQs

Hearing Aid FAQs

What does it mean to be “independent” and to “carry all brands of hearing aids”?

Madison Levine founded Levine Hearing as a private practice with no allegiance to a single brand. Looking at the hearing aid provider landscape, a major issue that jumped out to her was that people were being fit with devices that were not optimal for them, simply because that was what a clinic had in stock. In fact, many of the large national franchised hearing aid stores carry one brand of hearing aid because they are owned by that manufacturer. Because Levine Hearing has accounts with all major manufacturers including Phonak, Starkey, Resound, Signia (Sivantos, Siemens), Oticon, Unitron, Widex, Rexton, and others, the manufacturers are compelled to keep their prices competitive. Inventory is not kept at large quantities in the office so that the correct device can be ordered once a patient has been evaluated.

Which hearing aid manufacturer makes the best hearing aids?

After working with every brand, it becomes clear which ones are making quality products worth your investment and which ones are simply not measuring up. There are several brands that Levine Hearing works with more regularly because of the quality of their products and most importantly because of their patients’ positive feedback. Among these, certain features may be a better fit for one patient over another. This is where we listen to your experience and your needs so that we can guide you towards the best option for you.

How do you decide which style will work the best?

To break it down simply, there are two main styles of hearing aids: Behind-the-Ear and In-the-ear. In the grand scheme of things, the costs difference between these is negligible. One concern is that certain hearing losses will benefit from more natural sound quality with one over the over, but we need a hearing evaluation to confirm the right one for you. The next consideration is how the physical fit may effect your success in wearing the device. For example, if you have arthritis issues in your hands, it would be important to practice holding and inserting different styles of hearing aids in your ears to make sure that we pick the one that is easiest for you to handle. Similarly, if you live an active lifestyle, doing heavy physical exercise outdoors, we may consider a style guaranteed to stay in your ear canal even with the trickiest activities.

The great news is that you do not need to come into the office certain of the style you want. This is where a little trust in your audiologist comes in. After a hearing evaluation and discussion of your needs, we will be able to confidently recommend the style that will work the best for you.

What is new with hearing aids?

Hearing aids today are capable of mimicking the natural ear more than any other time in history. The number one complaint of those with hearing loss is that background noise overwhelms the clarity of the person they are trying to hear. “Why can’t you just eliminate noise like a Bose headset”? Well, I’m glad you asked. Hearing aids are not meant to “eliminate” anything, but rather to focus on the sounds that help you communicate with the world around you. Our newest releases are capable of suppressing noise and focusing on speech to give you the edge to understand more clearly. We also have access to more valuable features than ever before. Bluetooth connectivity, rechargeability, step tracking, fall detection, and remote programming can all add to your overall feelings of being present and connected.

Is one type of hearing aid more expensive than another?

The style of the hearing aid has very little to do with cost. What it looks like is not the biggest factor in a hearing aid’s quality. When you see an add for the “$500 hearing aid that is wowing Doctors in 2020”, you might be confused because the outside of the device looks almost identical to what you have seen in a hearing aid clinic. This is really an amplifier that will not differentiate speech from noise. When you buy a hearing aid, you are actually buying a mini-computer which is processing sound according to your specific thresholds and is compressing extraneous noise. The price of a hearing aid is wrapped up in the quality of that computer’s sound processing. The cheaper the device, the cheaper the sound reproduction. The more you invest in a hearing aid, the better your experience will be in more challenging listening situations.

What about cleaning and maintenance?

We clean all brands of hearing aids, yes ALL, for FREE! Having your hearing aids cleaned is like having the oil changed in your car. With regular maintenance, you are getting better protection for your investment, which is why we encourage you to allow us to clean your hearing aids quarterly . We use a cleaning machine to vacuum out any debris from the receiver and the microphone, we disinfect the outer portion of the aid, clean the battery’s electrical contacts, and dry out any moisture in the aid with our commercial dehumidifier. Behind-the-Ear (BTE) aids will require a “tube change” one to two times a year, and this is performed as needed during our routine cleanings. Our deep cleanings only take 5-10 minutes, so you can enjoy some refreshments while you wait or you can drop them off, run some errands, and come back to get them.

Do I need a prescription?

Depending on the results of your hearing exam, you may be given recommendations for a hearing device that will suit your lifestyle and individual needs. See the hearing aid styles page for more information about the styles and types we fit.

Do you handle programming of hearing aids?

These days, almost all hearing aids are digital and programmable, meaning that the prescription settings can be changed again and again to suit your hearing needs. Luckily, as an independent practice, we are able to adjust the programming of many, many different brands of hearing aids including : Starkey, NuEar, Oticon, Siemens, Signia, Sivantos, Oticon, Unitron, Resound, Phonak, Widex and many more. If you are unhappy with your current provider, let Levine Hearing take over the maintenance of your current aids. A handful of hearing aid brands do require proprietary software, so please call ahead if you are concerned about whether we can program your specific brand. Remember though, we do clean ALL brands and can have ALL brands repaired.

What about hearing aid repairs?

As an independent practice. Levine Hearing is able to repair all makes and models of hearing aids. Whether a battery door has broken, or your aid is not producing any sound, we will evaluate the issue and give you an option to repair it as quickly as possible. Most often, repairs can be performed in the office while you wait briefly. In some cases, the device may need to be sent to the manufacturer, in which case you will be informed if your device is in warranty or not and advised of any potential charges and the time frame of its return before agreeing to send it off. We can repair ANY brand of hearing aid including: Starkey, Beltone, Miracle Ear, Accuquest, NuEar, Oticon, Siemens, Resound, Phonak, Widex, Rexton, Unitron, Microtech and more.

Our Location & Office Hours

North Carolina: Levine Hearing, 3135 Springbank Lane Ste 100, Charlotte, NC, 28226 (704) 540-3081

Monday:8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday:8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday:8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday:8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday:8:00 AM - 4:00 PM