Frequently Asked Questions
The short answer to this question is no, most insurance companies do not cover hearing aids including medicare. Many private insurance companies are now offering various hearing aid “benefits” which very rarely amount to any actual monetary benefit. We have written a few blog posts going into detail on this topic, see them HERE and HERE
If you have a real insurance benefit for hearing aids (typically they give you a defined dollar amount) we can help bill your insurance and get reimbursement. Occasionally you MUST go “in network” and we are not In-network with any insurance companies however this is not the norm.
When you buy hearing aids from an office such as ours, you are not just buying the devices you are also buying professional services. Read more about the important answer to this question in our blog post HERE.
I get so many advertisements about practices selling hearing aids; does it really matter where I go?
This is the most important decision you can make once you have decided to help yourself by getting hearing aids. Being fit properly is so important to your success that it should be stressed more than anything. Fitting a hearing aid properly takes a combination of skills and experience. Imagine being fit improperly the first time you try hearing aids. You will be unhappy and either return them or stick them in a drawer. This will not help you at all and you will tell many others about your poor experience with hearing aids. We certainly wouldn’t want that as we are sure you would not. We cannot stress the importance of choosing a practice with experience and know-how to fit your hearing aids.
Hearing healthcare professionals are trained to:
- Look for any physical contraindications which would require a medical referral such as middle ear issues, possibility of an acoustic neuroma (tumor), low discrimination scores which can indicate further issues,
- Take a case history to help in identifying information helpful in fitting hearing instruments succesfully
- Test hearing properly with calibrated equipment
- Most importantly to fit a proper hearing aid and be able to provide the necessary follow up and adjustments – the key to success with hearing instruments!
- Verify proper fitting by Real Ear Measurement – the only way to ensure that the hearing instruments are delivering the proper sound to your ears.
However, we all have personal choice and we want everyone to know that YES you can purchase hearing aids online but NO you should not expect the same results AND you should be aware of the risks.
We offer a generous 60 day trial period however patient satisfaction with their devices generally comes well before the 60 day mark. In special cases we can extend that trial period however that amount of time is almost never required.
When you purchase hearing aids through our office you are purchasing a product and a service. That product includes a manufacturers warranty for loss, damage and repair. In addition, all of the services necessary the fit the hearing aid(s), maintain them, re-adjust over time, etc… are included for the life of the devices.
The most basic hearing aids can amplify sound, making everything louder. That is not always the best idea! The hearing aid dispensers at Ahrens Hearing Center in Fair Lawn, New Jersey will evaluate your needs to provide the best solution for you.
Programmable Analog Hearing Aids
These devices change sounds to amplifiable electrical signals. Depending on your needs, our hearing aid dispensers can program your devices to improve hearing in ranges such as human voice, low tones, or higher pitches. Modern hearing aids also allow the wearer to manually change settings for different situations such as talking in a quiet room, or enjoying dinner in a noisy restaurant.
Digital Hearing Aids
Sounds are changed to computerized code, which allows better filtering of background noise and provides highly customized options depending on the results of your exam. These digital hearing aids can automatically adjust to different sound levels, or selectively increase volume in one direction.
One person may need a hearing aid to amplify sound coming from the front to assist with conversations, while another person may need a hearing aid to amplify sounds from behind. Most people appreciate that high-quality hearing aids can also minimize the effect of loud noises by instantly cutting volume.
Interested in learning more about hearing aid features? Contact our office in Fair Lawn, New Jersey today.
At Ahrens Hearing Aid Center, we know how frustrating hearing loss can be; we’ve been treating patients in the Fair Lawn, Hackensack and Paramus areas in New Jersey since 1968.
There are many causes of hearing loss, including:
- Exposure to loud noises
- Ototoxic medications
- Frequent ear infections
- Head trauma
A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine has added obesity to the list of potential causes of hearing loss. The research, provided by Brigham and Women’s’ Hospital, indicates that women with a higher body mass index (BMI) and larger waist circumference have a higher risk of sustaining hearing loss. Conversely, increased physical activity lowers the risk of hearing loss in women.
The study, which spanned over 20 years, from 1989 through 2009, and included over 68,000 participants, concluded that women with a higher BMI, larger waist circumference and lower level of physical activity had up to a 27% increase in risk of hearing loss over their peers with a healthier weight and a more active lifestyle.
Fortunately, this is one risk factor that you can eliminate. The same study indicates that walking just four hours a week can reduce your risk of sustaining hearing loss by up to 15%.
While researchers admitted they aren’t sure how the two conditions are related, they do have theories and strongly suggest that if you’re overweight, or have a waist over 34 inches, you should get your hearing checked.
When you’re concerned about your hearing for any reason, trust the experts at Ahrens. We provide compassionate care, extensive hearing evaluations and effective solutions to residents of Fair Lawn, Paramus and Hackensack, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. We look forward to serving you.
We work very hard to ensure that anyone fit with hearing aids through our office is completely satisfied and we will always try our best to find a product and fitting that works to your satisfaction. However, in the rare instance that we must return a hearing aid we will not charge you anything to return it. If we needed to make custom molds, those would be non-refundable.
At Ahrens Hearing Center, we provide quality hearing health care to residents or Paramus, Hackensack and the surrounding areas in northern New Jersey. We take pride in our history and are committed to the community we’ve served since 1968.
In an effort to promote hearing health, we’ve developed an outreach program to raise awareness of the impact of untreated hearing loss. From speaking engagements to monthly screenings at local senior centers, our trained and caring staff provides up-to-date information on hearing loss, its side effects, new developments in the field of audiology, as well advancements in treatment options.
Many people are unaware of the links between hearing loss and other major health issues, including:
- Cardiovascular disease– Recent research in the field of audiology shows that almost 80% of those with cardiovascular disease suffer from hearing loss.
- Trauma to blood vessels in the inner ear and inadequate blood supply may result in hearing loss.
- A stroke, or vascular trauma in the brain, can affect the nervous system, as well as motor and thought processes. Hearing loss may occur on the side of the brain affected by the stroke.
- Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease– Hearing loss can lead to social isolation which may accelerate the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Studies show that hearing aids help decrease Alzheimer’s-related problems.
- Research from Johns Hopkins indicates that patients with hearing loss are five times more likely to suffer from dementia than their peers with no impairment.
- Diabetes – Because high blood glucose levels cause the tiny blood vessels in the inner ear to break, disrupting sound reception there is a connection between hearing loss and diabetes. In fact, up to 30% of adults with diabetes will experience some degree of hearing loss.
- Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) – There is a higher prevalence of hearing loss among older adults with kidney disease.
- Thyroid Disease – Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland) may lead to Sensorineural or Conductive hearing loss, which may increase with the severity of hypothyroidism.
At Ahrens, we know that education is the first step to better hearing. We offer extensive testing services and comprehensive treatment options, including, but not limited to hearing aids.
Assistive listening devices (ALDs) can be used on their own, or in conjunction with hearing aids to enhance sound in a variety of listening situations. Some of the ALDs we offer:
- Loop Systems
- Telephone signalers, amplified phones and captioned phones
- Doorbell signalers
- Professional devices, such as hearing aid compatible stethoscopes
- Television listening systems
- Safety products – Smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
We also carry custom hearing protection products and Bluetooth accessories.
Patients in Hackensack, Paramus and the surrounding communities in northern New Jersey have entrusted their hearing health care to our family-owned business since 1968. Schedule an appointment and allow the experienced, friendly staff at Ahrens to provide you with audiology solutions to fit your unique hearing needs.
When we set our pricing, we prefer to set our pricing at a fair price from the beginning. Many establishments will mark up their pricing enough to be able to give that discount they may be offering. This is something we do not do because we believe your hearing healthcare should be no-nonsense. The pricing that we present is the lowest and fairest that we can offer while providing all of the benefits our office provides.
We offer up to 12 month no interest payment plans through Care Credit. Also available are longer payment plans up to 48 months.
Typically, we sell “complete hearing solutions” which consists of hearing aids, and a suite of services required to make those hearing aids work well for you. This complete solution is a package deal and includes unlimited visits to ensure the best possible results – at no additional cost.
If you bring us hearing aids not purchased through our office, we are (many times) still able to offer our services, but we need to charge for those services since we were not paid for them originally. Because there are varying degrees of services that you might need, based on a number of factors, it is impossible to give you an accurate cost of what we would charge to adjust them to your needs without seeing you in our office. We generally do not do one-time appointments to adjust hearing aids because it is a process which involves multiple appointments. This is how we ensure that we are providing you with the best results.
Some things to take into consideration are:
- Are the hearing aids you are bringing to us appropriate for your hearing loss?
- Have these hearing aids been fit for your hearing loss before and you are looking for an adjustment to them, or have you never been fit with these hearing aids before?
- Do they have the correct receiver size (for your hearing loss) and are they the correct size? If not, you may need to buy the correct sizes to enable a proper fitting.
- Do you need custom earmolds?
- Are these hearing aids “private labeled” such as Nu Ear, Beltone, Miracle Ear, Audigy, etc…? If so, we can help you determine if they are working properly, and perhaps provide basic cleaning services – but we cannot adjust them.
The cost to provide the proper service can vary from $150 to over $800 and will likely include multiple visits so we have ample time to provide the best results.
If you have been tested and it has been determined that you have hearing loss in both ears, our recommendation is almost always to fit both ears. Occasionally someone may have such a severe hearing loss or lack of discrimination in one ear, dictating that a hearing aid would not help (in that ear.)
Our brain uses information provided from both sides of our head (our ears) in order to put the pieces of the hearing puzzle together. If it is getting half of that information, you will not hear or understand nearly as well as you would be able to with a properly fit pair of hearing devices. Of course, we cannot force you to wear two; we can only tell you about the benefits – the decision is up to you but you don’t see many people wearing monacles!
Of course we cannot force anyone to accept hearing aids and that is not our desire. You must be ready to help yourself and we hope we have made your experience pleasant enough and explained everything well enough to make an informed decision. We caution patients not to wait too long before getting help because as explained over time without stimulation our brain gradually loses ability to understand words no matter how “loud” we make them (among all of the other issues caused by an untreated hearing loss).
Hearing aids today come in so many different styles, sizes, colors, designs, etc… Properly fit hearing aids will be very discrete, often invisible to the untrained eye, and will not whistle. Often having a hearing loss and misinterpreting what is said, or completely missing something is a more obvious indicator of hearing loss than hearing aids themselves.
Hearing loss can affect any person at any age and often starts at younger ages than you might think. The earlier that a hearing loss is treated, the better the chance for a person to be very successful with hearing aids. We hear with our brains and once we start losing hearing, our brain also stops hearing those sounds and “forget” what they sound like. Often time’s people wait too long to get hearing aids and by that time, have lost some of their ability to understand what is being said, which cannot be regained. This is why early detection and treatment are very important.
So true, it can be very confusing! Choosing what type of hearing aid is not a decision to be made by anyone other than a licensed hearing healthcare provider. Your specific hearing loss, hearing history, environment, dexterity, budget, goals, etc… must all be taken into account. Find a hearing healthcare provider with experience whom you are comfortable with and trust and they will be able to recommend what is best for you.
Many advertisements offer “Premium Digital Instruments” at a very attractive price; it seems almost too good to be true – how can they offer it so cheaply?
Premium is a relative term. Other practices might use manufacturers with limited history, reliability and little research and development who can sell hearing aids much cheaper because they are in fact much cheaper to manufacture and distribute. One manufacturer’s premium instrument may be comparable to a different manufacturer’s entry level product. We only fit quality instruments from established companies and we do it right. Also, an important question to ask when you see advertisements like that is, who is fitting those instruments?
Yes. You have the option to park on the street outside our office or in the church parking lot just past the gas station.
We do not contract with any one specific hearing aid manufacturer. Please visit our “Products” page to learn about some of the manufacturers we work with.
As a service to our customers, we perform as many repairs as possible in-office. Occasionally, however, a device requires additional service and needs to be sent to the manufacturer.
The answer depends on how your hearing loss developed initially. Generally, hearing does diminish with age.
The answer depends on how well you take care of your hearing aids at home, your body chemistry, how much you perspire, how much cerumen (ear wax) you produce, and other factors. As a general rule though, we recommend quarterly checks and cleanings.
Yes, you can. We’ll be happy to give you more details when you call or stop in for a visit.
The warranty period depends on the specific device you own. The most common manufacturer’s warranty includes two years of repair and one year of protection against loss and/or damage.
A hearing aid can last many years if it’s taken care of properly. The frequency with which people replace their hearing devices often depends on advancements in technology. If a new hearing device that would help you hear even better came on the market five years from now, wouldn’t you want to upgrade?
Since we’ll cover a lot of information during your appointment, having a friend or loved one with you can be helpful.
We generally schedule 90 minutes for the complete hearing evaluation and consultation.
There is no charge for our hearing testing and consultation.