Education & Resources

Types of Hearing Loss

Information on Hearing Aids

Information on Hearing Aids Hearing aids are devices that are usually placed in-the-ear (ITE) or behind-the-ear (BTE)that process sound digitally (there are not many analog or programmable digital hearing aids fit anymore) to fit the prescribed hearing loss of an individual. For example, an individual hearing loss may consist of inability to hear soft sounds. The hearing aid would then be programmed to boost soft sounds without making loud sounds even louder. Another example may be someone who has a hearing loss and doesn’t want anyone to see the aid. There are devices on the market that are so small or hidden that they are virtually invisible to the people around you. There are many different styles, manufacturers, and prescriptions that help our population hear better.

Information on the Cochlear Implant

The Cochlear implant is a devices that is part surgically placed in the ear and part worn outside of the ear.  It provides the patient with processed sound with electrical stimulation directly to the auditory nerve.  Patients that benefit from the cochlear implant are usually patients who do not benefit from hearing aids.

Information on Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

Information on Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) An ALD is just that, a device that assists with listening alongside or without a hearing device.  Some Example of devices are amplified phones, FM systems, Bluetooth, basic amplifiers, vibrating and flashing alarms, and TV devices.

Information on Aural (Re)habilitation

Aural (re)habilitation is training to help people make sense of the audiotry world around them.  This can type of training can be done in a number of ways that is catered to the person’s difficulties in communication.  Some people are born with no hearing and are first trained with introduction to sound on a very basic level.  Other people have had hearing for a long time and lost it for a brief time before fitting with a hearing aid for auditory sensitivity.  These people need less training or if trained at all, with more complex auditory stimuli, such as conversation in a noisy background.  Training can and usually does include using all sensory modalities to make sense of the communication environment around.Please refer to ASHA web site for a very thorough understanding of Aural (Re)habilitation. http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Audiologic-Rehabilitation/

Information on Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)

Lots of children (and adults) have problems learning from and processing information they hear or see at home or at school. This may have nothing to do with the child’s ability to hear or see.  Rather, the problem may be the result of the processing of that outside information through the appropriate channels to the brain.  These auditory or cognitive processing deficiencies must be identified, diagnosed and effectively treated.

Identifying and diagnosing cognitive problems may first occur when the child or the school notices some or all of the following: the child has a poor memory or what he read or was told, or his or her organizational abilities are poor, or the child has trouble concentrating or communicating, or he or she has trouble concentrating.  Sometimes the problems are so noticeable that parents seek a diagnosis of “auditory processing” deficiency from the school or from a specialist. *(Central) auditory processing disorder [(C)APD] refers to difficulties in the processing of auditory information in the central nervous system (CNS) as demonstrated by poor performance in one or more of the following skills: sound localization and lateralization; auditory discrimination; auditory pattern recognition; temporal aspects of audition, including temporal integration, temporal discrimination (e.g., temporal gap detection), temporal ordering, and temporal masking; auditory performance in competing acoustic signals (including dichotic listening); and auditory performance with degraded acoustic signals. Non-modality-specific cognitive processing and language problems may manifest themselves in auditory tasks (i.e., as listening problems); however, diagnosis of (C)APD requires demonstration of a deficit in the neural processing of auditory stimuli that is not due to higher order language, cognitive, or related factors. This working group concluded after a comprehensive review of the literature that any definition of (C)APD that would require complete modality-specificity as a diagnostic criterion is neurophysiologically untenable; however, one should expect the sensory processing perceptual deficit in (C)APD to be more pronounced, in at least some individuals, when processing acoustic information. (C)APD is best viewed as a deficit in neural processing of auditory stimuli that may coexist with, but is not the result of, dysfunction in other modalities.

(C)APD can also lead to or be associated with difficulties in learning (e.g., spelling, reading), speech, language, attention, social, and related functions. Because of the complexity and heterogeneity of (C)APD, combined with the heterogeneity of learning and related disorders, it is to be expected that a simple, one-to-one correspondence between deficits in fundamental, discrete auditory processes and language, learning, and related sequelae may be difficult to demonstrate across large groups of diverse subjects. This underscores the need for comprehensive assessment and diagnostic procedures that fully explore the nature of the presenting difficulties of each individual suspected of having (C)APD. *Working group on Auditory processing disorders, ASHA.


Information on Tinnitus and Zen

Widex Zen has been FDA approved for Tinnitus and relaxation. Zen tones are music like tones called fractal tones. They are non-harmonic tones that help distract the brain from the stress of tinnitus. For more on this therapy go to http://www.widex.com/en/products/zen2go/ or call us at Chears! We are here to educate.

Information on Integrated Listening System (ILS)

Listening And Communication Enhancement (LACE) helps people increase their listening and hence communication skills by training on a computer and with the help of a qualified professional.

Information on clEAR

clEAR Audiotory Brain Training is a game treatment that can be played right at home via the website. This is used to increase active participation in social situations, reduce stress levels during conversations, and improve confidence in noisy environments.

Information on Hearing Loops

A hearing loop is a listening system that can be installed in any room where a microphone is used. The microphone is connected to an amplifier that sends the speaker’s voice to a loop of copper wire that encircles the room in the ceiling or floor. The wire creates an invisible magnetic field throughout the room. If a hearing aid wearer has a component called a T-coil in his hearing aids, it will pick up the speaker’s voice from the magnetic field and deliver crystal-clear sound to the listener’s ears. Most hearing aids have a T-coil, though the user may not be aware that it is there. If you are wondering about your hearing aids, visit your audiologist to ask if you have a T-coil. You may need to have it activated, and learn how to use it, usually by just pressing a button on the aid.
Europe, especially the U.K., has loops installed everywhere, in theaters, ticket windows and churches. In the US, hearing loops are becoming common in Michigan, Wisconsin and several other states. Minnesota doesn’t have many loops yet, but we are helping spread the word, and the number is growing. Maybe your church or synagogue will be next!

Learn more about hearing loops here.

Information from Committee of Deaf DeafBlind Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (CDDHHM)

Hearing aids for adults and insurance coverage

In theory, any health insurance could potentially cover hearing aids and hearing health. However, most insurance plans do not. For example, Medicare does not cover hearing aids while Medicaid does.

The very first thing you should do is contact your insurance company and ask them about hearing aid coverage.

Below is information that we hope will be helpful to you.

If you purchase private insurance and you are not of Medicare age (typically 65+)

For personal insurance purchased through the state or national exchange, hearing aids insurance is not an “Essential Health Benefit,” so it is not mandated by law. Those private plans from the exchange most likely will not offer any hearing aid insurance coverage.

If you would like to see it become state law for private insurance companies to cover hearing health care, please write to your legislators and let them know.

If you have insurance through your employer

For employer-sponsored health insurance, each company determines what services they want to be covered and what percentage is covered, or co-pay is required. Of course, the smaller the copay or, the smaller the deductible, the more expensive the premiums will be. Also, the more medical coverage the plan offers, the more expensive it will be. Most employer-sponsored health plans do not include hearing aid coverage.

However, we recommend that you advocate with your Human Resources department to see if they would be willing to add hearing health, and hearing aids in particular, to their coverage plan. See this post by ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) to see the model coverage for hearing aids and hearing health.

If you are a vet with service-related hearing loss

In addition, if you are a veteran and you have a hearing loss that is a service-related injury, the VA does provide hearing aids. Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services page for more information.

Info from: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MNCDHH/bulletins/1b6e7d6

Learn more about hearing loss.