Frequently asked questions, and trouble shooting assistance for your hearing aid.

FAQ's Troubleshooting

Frequently Asked Questions

Who performs the hearing assessment?

William A. Stone, Jr. is a health care professional, who is licensed with the State of Pennsylvania as a hearing instrument specialist and hearing aid dispenser.  He performs hearing evaluations and fits hearing aids.  When a medical problem is suspected, we would refer the client to a physician for diagnosis.

What counties does Design Hearing Instruments serve?

Design Hearing Instruments serves clients in affiliate hospitals, nursing homes and their own private homes throughout northeast Pennsylvania, including but not limited to the following counties:  Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna, Wayne, Pike, Carbon, Schuylkill, Columbia, Monroe, Bradford.

What are the most common causes of hearing loss?

  • The aging process
  • Heredity
  • Exposure to noise
  • Wax build-up
  • Medical conditions such as infection

What are the most common signs of a hearing loss?

  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Turning up volume on the TV when others find it to be loud
  • Not understanding conversations in a noisy place
  • Difficulty hearing children’s and women’s voices
  • Feeling like people are mumbling
  • Avoiding social situations that you once found enjoyable
  • Trying to compensate by lip reading or sitting in the front row

Where is the hearing assessment conducted?

With Design Hearing Instruments, hearing assessments are conducted at the Hearing Aid Center in Duryea, PA, at an affiliate hospital or nursing home office or in the comfort of your own home.

How long does a hearing assessment take?

The whole process should take about 30- 45 minutes, and it is painless.

May I bring someone with me on my appointment?

Yes!  We strongly recommend bringing a family member or friend with you.

What is included in a typical hearing assessment?

A typical hearing assessment includes 4 steps:

1. Otoscopic observation

The health care professional will use an otoscope to view the external auditory canal (middle ear through the ear drum) in evaluating for obstructions such as ear wax or other medical conditions for which a physician referral would be required.

2. Interview

The health care professional will ask you questions pertaining to your hearing history and any challenges you are experiencing with your hearing.

3. Audiometric testing

The health care professional will conduct your hearing test using an audiometer asking you to wear earphones and listen to short tones that are played at different volumes and pitches into one ear at a time. Whether or not you can hear each sound shows whether you can hear high-pitched or low-pitched sounds, quiet or loud sounds, and whether your left or right ear is indicating hearing loss.

During the hearing test, you will also be asked to listen to speech at different volumes, which will be played into one ear at a time. The voices will be played quietly through your earphones, and you will be asked to repeat what words were just said.

4. Review of Hearing Assessment

The health care professional will review audiometric test findings. A hearing test is not a pass-fail exam; however, the results can show whether you have hearing loss in one or both ears and whether a hearing aid may help to improve your hearing.

Are there different degrees of hearing loss?

The intensity of sound is measured in units called decibels. When someone whispers in your ear, that is 30 decibels. Normal speech is 60 decibels. Shouting in your ear starts at 80 decibels.

Adults with hearing loss up to 25 decibels have normal hearing. Hearing loss breaks down in this manner:

  • Mild hearing loss: 26 to 40 decibels
  • Moderate hearing loss: 41 to 55 decibels
  • Moderate-to-severe hearing loss: 56 to 70 decibels
  • Severe hearing loss: 71 to 90 decibels
  • Profound hearing loss: 91 to 100 decibels

Because hearing loss sometimes happens gradually, you may be surprised if your hearing test results show that you have mild, moderate, or even greater hearing loss.

Why should I wear hearing aids?

Hearing better affects your quality of life and well-being.  Hearing aids may provide clarity of conversation, thus allowing you to feel more comfortable in social situations and live a more productive and fulfilling life with colleagues and family. 

We have helped thousands of people with hearing loss improve their hearing and regain control over their lives over the past three decades.  We want to make sure you don’t miss out on some of life’s most enjoyable, and sometimes unexpected sounds.  With today’s sophisticated hearing technology, we can help you attain clarity in the spoken word, improved communications, and ability to hear important every-day sounds.

What type of hearing aid is right for me?

Design Hearing Instruments offers many different styles of hearing aids.  After your hearing evaluation, we will discuss with you our recommendation based upon your degree of hearing loss, your lifestyle interests, as well as your personal preference.

Does my insurance cover the cost of a hearing evaluation?

Design Hearing Instruments does not charge for a hearing test.  Some insurance companies cover the cost of hearing aids and we will be happy to check that for you on your appointment.

Will a hearing aid cure the ringing in my ear?

Ringing in the ear, or tinnitus, is commonly caused by nerve related hearing loss.  Hearing aids will not cure the ringing in your ears, however the ringing may be somewhat masked with the use of hearing aids.

How may I pay for my hearing aids?

Design Hearing Instruments accepts VISA and Mastercard.  We also offer in-house financing.

What brand of hearing aids does Design Hearing Instruments offer? 

Design Hearing Instruments fits state-of-the art Audina hearing aids, along with other reputable brands if requested.   Audina is an American owned company who offers a comprehensive product line which is successful in accommodating all hearing loss needs.

Does Design Hearing Instruments fit clients for ear plugs?

Yes, for adults who wish to purchase earplugs for ear protection from noisy work environments or for swimmers, the health care professional provides fitting services by taking an impression or mold of the exterior ear canal and ordering ear plugs.

What type of hearing aid batteries does Design Hearing Instruments sell?

Design Hearing Instruments sells all sizes of Ray-O-Vac hearing aid batteries including sizes 675, 312, 13, 10.

Trouble shooting your hearing aids

The most common complaints that arise with hearing aids are:

  • My hearing aid shut off
  • My hearing aid sounds weak
  • My hearing aid sounds distorted
  • My hearing aid is whistling

To troubleshoot for a hearing aid malfunction, complete the following steps:

  • Make sure the hearing aid is turned on and to a level where you could hear.
  • Examine the hearing aid for any wax build up.
  • Brush off the receiver opening.
  • Clean the hearing aid(s) by running the wax weasel through the air vent.
  • Replace the battery.
  • For BTE (Behind-The-Ear) hearing aid styles, check the tubing to be sure it is still connected and not twisted.
  • If your hearing aid is whistling, check that the volume is not turned up too high.
  • Make sure that the hearing aid is properly inserted and fits snugly in the ear, as air flow around the hearing aid will cause feedback.
  • Confirm that your hearing aid is not being blocked by an object such as a scarf or collar.

Hearing aid not working properly?

If your hearing aid is still not working properly, call your Design Hearing Instruments office to schedule an in-office or in-home service appointment.

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