Hearing Associates’

Frequently Asked

Common Questions About Hearing at Hearing Associates

Common Questions About Hearing at Hearing Associates

We get a lot of the same common questions about hearing and how Hearing Associated of Colorado can help. Below you will find many of those questions. If you have more questions please contact us online or via phone.

Common Questions About Hearing at Hearing Associates

General Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an Audiologist and an ENT doctor?

An Audiologist is a Clinical Doctor who focuses on diagnosing and treating hearing loss and tinnitus , where as an ENT (Also sometimes called an Otologist) is a Medical Doctor who focuses on diagnosing and treating any type of medical condition of the ear (for example an ear infection).

How to know if I need a Hearing Aid?

In order to know if you need a hearing aid/hearing device, you will first need to get a completed hearing evaluation by a licensed professional. Based on your audiogram, we would determine if you are a candidate for a hearing aid/hearing device.

How do Hearing Aids improve the quality of life?

Hearing aids can greatly improve the quality of one’s life! I like to compare getting hearing aids for the first time to getting glasses for the first time. Glasses provide crispness and fine lines that people need to see clearly. Hearing aids provide the crispness and clarity of sound people need to hear clearly. Because of that, it can allow patients to want to participate more in social engagements and participate more in difficult listening environments like at restaurants or places of worship.

What is the 60 60 Rule for Hearing Loss?

This question is a little odd because the 60:60 rule is actually not for hearing loss it’s a safety rule for protecting your hearing from devices like a phone or headphones, etc. It basically suggests a person listen at 60 percent of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day. It does not pertain to hearing aids.

What are the different degrees of Hearing Loss?

A person’s hearing is typically plotted on a graph called an audiogram. There are different degrees of hearing loss that we measure the severity of one’s hearing loss. The degrees are mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, severe hearing loss, and profound hearing loss.

What does an Audiologist do during the first visit?

During your first visit with us at Hearing Associates, you will first take our cognitive screener. This screener screens for any type of memory loss, because studies have shown a direct correlation between memory loss and age-related hearing loss. The provider then checks for ear wax in your ears and performs various middle ear and inner ear tests to verify the function of your auditory system. The provider then will test your hearing in the booth and go over the results in detail.

Does Hearing Loss cause dementia?

Hearing loss has not been shown to cause dementia, however, studies do show a direct link between age-related hearing loss and memory loss. Studies have also shown that those who have dementia and who wear hearing aids for their hearing loss, tend to have a slower progression in their dementia.

Can Hearing Aids reverse/ help prevent dementia?

Studies have shown that those who have dementia and who wear hearing aids for their hearing loss, tend to have a slower progression in their dementia.


How do you know when to see an Audiologist?

I would schedule to see an Audiologist if you have any concerns for your hearing, if you have difficulties hearing in background noise or in one-on-one conversations, or if you have any ringing, buzzing, chirping, or sounds in your ears/head.

Can Audiologists diagnose ear problems?

Audiologists can diagnose and treat a variety of hearing and tinnitus problems, but Audiologists are not Medical Doctors, they are Clinical Doctors. So if a person is needing to be treated for a medical condition (for example an ear infection) or need ear surgery for any reason, an ENT or Otologist would be the type of Doctor to see.

Can an Audiologist help with Tinnitus?

Yes. There are a few different ways to help treat tinnitus. Although tinnitus is NOT curable, it is something we can help relieve with a variety of different treatments.

What is an Audiologist vs ENT?

An Audiologist is a Clinical Doctor who focuses on diagnosing and treating hearing loss and tinnitus, where as an ENT (Also sometimes called an Otologist) is a Medical Doctor who focuses on diagnosing and treating any type of medical condition of the ear (for example an ear infection).

Why would someone go to an Audiologist?

I would schedule to see an Audiologist if you have any concerns for your hearing, if you have difficulties hearing in background noise or in one-on-one conversations, or if you have any ringing, buzzing, chirping, or sounds in your ears/head.

How do Audiologists look at your ears?

We use an Otoscope to look in a person’s ears. We take a look at the ear canal and the eardrum to determine if there is any type of abnormality, foreign body, wax, or debris in the ear canal and we look at the overall health of the eardrum and ear canal.

Insurance & Payments

Are Hearing Aids covered by Insurance?

We get asked this question a lot. Unfortunately, we don’t know if your insurance will cover hearing aids until we call and check your specific policy and contract you have signed with your insurance provider. It’s not easy navigating your health insurance system, but we are dedicated to informing you about your health insurance coverage. However, we cannot tell you the specifics of your policy and it is your responsibility to understand your coverage.

Buyer Beware: Have you been informed that health insurance companies have taken decision making away from the Doctor and patient and given it to the accountant? If you answered no, then please read below:

Rise of 3rd Parties: Unfortunately, as our economy continues to weather post-COVID, high inflation, and Great Resignation challenges to our workforce, many health insurance companies have turned to third-party vendors to try and alleviate the demand for premium audiological care. This means that you, the patient consumer, will get less care. Under this model of low reimbursement, high administration demands, and poor customer service, we had to end our relationships with all third parties to stay in business. We made this decision so that we can provide the highest level of audiological care our patients deserve and respect.

Are Hearing Aids covered by Medicare?

Unfortunately, no. However, Medicare covers testing, which is the first step before using hearing aid technology. When investing in hearing technology, you want to buy the best hearing aid/s you can afford. We will help you make the decisions needed to get the best out of your investment.

What insurance do you accept?

We accept Medicare and most private insurances. If you are concerned we may not be in network, I would give your insurance a call to verify that we are in network. We are currently not in network with Medicaid or Kaiser.

Do you accept FSA/HSA?

Yes, we take FSA and HSA as forms of payment. However, please don’t wait until the last day of the year to use it. In years past, we’ve had to instill a deadline to ensure we could provide services before FSA/HAS plans reset.

Hearing Aids

Are Hearing Aids for everyone?

Hearing Aids are designed for persons with hearing difficulties and/or tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

At what point do you need Hearing Aids? / What level of Hearing Loss requires a Hearing Aid?

It really just depends on the person’s reported difficulties, but typically we start fitting patients with even mild hearing losses earlier and earlier given the studies we know of the direct link between memory loss and age-related hearing loss.

What are the different types of Hearing Aids?

There are many different types of hearing aids available including over-the-ear devices and in-the-ear devices. The style chosen depends on a lot of different factors including degree of hearing loss, ear shape/size, lifestyle, and if the person wears glasses and/or oxygen.

How do I choose the right Hearing Aid?

The provider ultimately helps to guide you in the right direction of the style of hearing aid that would work best for you.

How long does the average Hearing Aid last?

On average, people upgrade their hearing devices every 4-6 years. But it’s not because they are no longer working, it’s typically because they want to get newer and better technology.

Why are Hearing Aids important?

Hearing Aids are important for patients who have hearing loss and difficulties hearing in their day-to-day lives because it helps give that patient access to sound they have been missing. That can lead to an increase in overall quality of life and increase in social engagements.

Does hearing get worse without Hearing Aids?

Hearing degree itself doesn’t necessarily get worse, but there is something called Auditory Deprivation that causes word recognition difficulties and word understanding problems if a hearing loss is left untreated.

Is it OK to sleep with your Hearing Aids in?

Typically, it is recommended to give your ears a break at night. If a person is concerned about hearing a doorbell or a fire alarm, there are assistive technology devices out there you can purchase to help when a person is not wearing their hearing devices.

Hearing Protection

What is Hearing Protection?

Hearing protection is designed to protect your hearing from loud levels of noise.

What are the best Ear Protection Devices?

It really just depends on what you are using them for. There are hearing protection for shooters/hunters, for concert goers, musicians, occupational noise settings, and other various needs.

Why Is Hearing Protection important?

Hearing protection is super important because we only have 1 set of ears. If we do not protect our hearing while in noisy environments that require hearing protection, it leads to permanent hearing loss.

How do I choose the right Hearing Protection Device for me?

It really just depends on what you need hearing protection for. We will recommend the best type of hearing protection needed for your specific needs.

How can Custom Hearing Protection help?

Custom hearing protection is nice because they are custom molded to your ears so they typically are more comfortable than OTC hearing protection.

Hearing Testing

How does a hearing test work?

A hearing test, or diagnostic hearing evaluation, is used to determine a persons hearing level. We start out by looking in a persons ears to check the overall health of the ear canal and eardrum. We perform middle ear testing and inner ear testing to verify the function of both auditory mechanisms. We perform a hearing evaluation in the booth to plot the softest sound a person can hear on a graph (called an audiogram). We also will test to see how well you hearing speech in background noise. We then go over the results and recommendations in detail with the patient.

Why do I need a hearing test?

A baseline hearing test is always good to have! There are many things out there that can cause hearing loss (or even sudden hearing loss). Having a baseline allows you to monitor any changes that may occur.

When should I get my hearing tested?

A baseline hearing test can be performed at any age. Once a hearing loss is discovered, we recommend coming in yearly for a hearing test to monitor any changes that may occur just like your annual eye exams.

What are Hearing Tests used for?

To determine if a person has a hearing loss.

Who performs a Hearing Test?

Hearing tests are performed by a licensed professional.

How should I prepare for my Hearing Test?

There is nothing to prepare for a hearing test, but coming 15 minutes before your scheduled time to fill out your paperwork ensures that we have the entire appointment time available to provide you the care you are needed for your appointment.

Are there risks involved with having Hearing Tests?

No. There are no risks.


What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is ringing or buzzing or “sounds” heard in your ear or ears that may be constant or may come and go. Tinnitus can either be presented with hearing loss or without hearing loss.

What causes Tinnitus?

Many things can cause tinnitus, like trauma to the ear, hearing loss, earwax buildup, an ear infection, etc.

Which hearing aids are best for Tinnitus?

Hearing devices that have tinnitus maskers are typically the best hearing devices for patients who have tinnitus. Some places sell hearing devices but they may be devices that do not have tinnitus maskers.

Will hearing aids help Tinnitus?

Most of the time, hearing devices can help with tinnitus, but that may not always be the case. If the patient does not find relief with hearing devices alone, we may also recommend other forms of treatment like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.

Are Tinnitus and hearing loss related?

Often times tinnitus and hearing loss go hand in hand, but not always.

Can Tinnitus resolve on its own?

Occasionally, depending on the type of tinnitus you have.

Is there a solution to Tinnitus?

There is no cure for tinnitus, but there is treatment that may help relieve the tinnitus and help make it less bothersome.

What is the best solution for Tinnitus?

Treatment for tinnitus is individualized, so it really just depends on the person and their specific needs.

Bone Anchored Hearing Aids

What is a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid?

A Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (also known as a BAHA) is a device that is surgically implanted under the skin and muscle and attached to the skull. Once the device is in place and the body has healed, it transmits sound through a processor on the head attached via magnet or an abutment and is produced via bone conduction (it vibrates the skull and stimulates the cochlear and/or cochleas). This device can be used to bypass the middle ear system and stimulate the inner ear system directly.

How long do BAHA implants last?

The implant is there for life and the processor is what can be upgraded in the future for newer technology as it continues to evolve.

What is the difference between a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid and traditional Hearing Aid?

BAHAs are surgically implanted devices whereas hearing aids are not. BAHAs are also for specific hearing losses and your provider will let you know if you are a BAHA candidate.

Who is a candidate for a Bone Anchored hearing aid?

Patients who have either unilateral hearing losses or mixed hearing losses. There is very specific requirements to candidacy for a BAHA, so that will be discussed with your provider if you are a candidate.

Cochlear Implants

What are Cochlear Implants?

Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices that have an electrode array that is inserted inside the cochlear (the hearing organ) and essentially replaces the cochlea’s hair cells with 22 electrodes.

How long does a Cochlear Implant last?

The implant is for life and the process is what can be upgraded in the future for newer technology as it continues to evolve.

How do Cochlear Implants work?

The process receives the sound and is transmitted to the implanted with converts the sound to electrical stimulation, which is then sent through the auditory nerve up to the brain.

How do Cochlear Implants sound?

Cochlear implants sound very different than a hearing aid, however, those who are candidates for cochlear implants need to have a hearing loss where hearing aids are usually no longer a solution.

Hearing Loss

Does Hearing Loss occur naturally as we age?

When we are born with normal hearing, the human ear can hear from 0 to 20,000 Hz. As we age, we start to lose hearing in our high frequencies. Technically this starts out in our 20’s and 30’s. That is why sometimes if we are around a child, they can hear something like a dog whistle and maybe we cannot hear it. As we get older, we continue to lose our high frequencies. Age-related hearing loss, or “presbycusis”, is essentially the age-related hearing loss that starts to show up on the audiogram (0 to 8000 Hz) and begins usually in our 50’s or 60’s.

What is the most common reason for Hearing Loss?

According to the National Institute of Aging, noise-induced hearing loss is the most common reason for hearing loss, however, there are many reasons that can cause a hearing loss.

What are major signs that you may have Hearing Loss?

Difficulties hearing in background noise, people sounding like they are mumbling or “under water”, lack of clarity, or muffled voices.

Can my profession contribute to Hearing Loss?

Depends on what your profession is. Many professions out there deal with a lot of noise, including loud power tools, machinery, factories, printing presses, lawn mowers, etc.

What is sudden Hearing Loss?

Sudden hearing loss is typically an unexplained rapid loss of hearing. When this occurs, it is important to have your hearing tested and see an Otologist within 48 hours from noticing the sudden hearing loss to receive treatment.

How can Hearing Damage be prevented?

The only preventable hearing loss is noise-induced hearing loss. The way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is by using hearing protection whenever you are in a noisy environment (for example: shooting range, concerts, loud power tools, etc.).

Can Hearing Loss be reversed?

No. Sensorineural hearing loss cannot be reversed.

Over the counter vs Professional hearing aids

Are over-the-counter Hearing Aids as good as prescription?

No. OTC hearing aids are basic devices to help a person dip their toe in the water and see what it’s like to hear from hearing devices. Prescription hearing devices from one of the 6 major manufacturers have spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on research and development to create devices that have technology that mimic normal hearing ears.

What is the difference between cheap and expensive Hearing Aids?

There is a range in cost for a pair of hearing devices and basically you are paying for the technology. The higher levels of technology are going to have all of the technology that closely mimics normal hearing ears, including ear-to-ear technology, noise reduction, wind reduction etc. As you step down in technology levels, the hearing devices may still have some of those features, but the features may not be as strong as the higher levels of technology.

What are the disadvantages of OTC Hearing Aids?

There is not someone to go to if you have problems or need someone to troubleshoot your devices. They are like air pods, where you buy them right out of the box and you set them up yourself. If you need a professional to help you with prescriptive based devices and someone who can provide you with great customer service, we are the right choice. If you feel you don’t need that, then OTC hearing aids are a good start.

The Hearing Associates Difference?

Hearing Associates goes above and beyond a simple hearing evaluation and treatment. We customize our hearing solutions to meet your specific needs. Our team educates each patient and provides them with comprehensive hearing solutions. Our experienced audiologists diagnose and treat a wide range of hearing issues. We work with you to find the best hearing aids for your lifestyle and budget. Our extensive range of hearing aid brands allows you to find the one you love. We’re proud to be here for all of your hearing healthcare needs.

Contact Hearing Associates Today

The most common misconceptions about hearing aids include their cosmetics, size, association with aging, and expectations of functionality. Today’s hearing aids are innovative, small, and discrete. Various types of hearing aids offer wireless connectivity. It’s essential to have realistic expectations regarding hearing aids. They are customized to improve speech clarity and perfectly fit your ear. Our goal is to eliminate all misconceptions about hearing aids and provide optimal hearing for our patients.