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Patient Information

Before you come to your first appointment, evaluation, and consultation, there are a few things that you may want to know. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call. You may also find it helpful to download and print this information to complete the questionnaires or to share with others. Those downloads and links can be found in the Forms, Documents, and Links section below.

 

Forms, Documents, and Links

Patient Intake Form

Download our Patient Intake Form and reduce the amount of time you sit in the waiting room! • Patient Intake Form (PDF format, 121 KB)

New Patient Information - Things to know before your first appointment

Download our New Patient Information brochure, which summarizes some important information for people who are planning on paying us a visit, or unsure if they need to pay us a visit. • Things to Know Before Your First Appointment (PDF format, 951 KB)

Quiz

Still not sure if you need to see a hearing specialist or audiologist? Take our short quiz now!

Current Specials & Promotions

Interested in knowing about our current specials or promotions? Click here to learn more!

 

Request an Appointment

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FAQ

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General FAQ

There are lots of signs to look for that can help you make that decision. Take our short quiz to find out.

The price of hearing aids at Advantage Hearing & Audiology range from $300-$3000 per ear, depending on the level of technology. Choosing a hearing aid should be a personal decision based on your lifestyle, hearing loss, and budget. A visit to us for a for a complimentary hearing evaluation, hearing aid listening demonstration, and consultation will help you gain the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision.

Yes we can. Sometimes hearing aids are marketed under different names for different companies. Most of the time we can get the same device at a lower cost.

The best thing to bring to your first appointment is a family member or close friend. That person can serve as a great example during a listening demonstration, and can also help you to make an informed decision. You may also want to think about the types of social activities you regularly attend. See the other sections on this page for more information on your first visit, including the New Patient FAQ and Forms.

After you are fitted with your new hearing aids, it takes two weeks of consistent use (wearing the devices daily) to allow your brain to adjust to the increased nerve stimulation. After that point, you should plan to visit us 1-2 more times to reach your prescription level and make fine tuning adjustments that will meet the needs of your lifestyle and environment.

No, your hearing aid will not amplify sounds beyond a safe level.

We are an in-network provider for many insurance companies. Most plans will cover the cost of the evaluation, but only a few will cover the cost of hearing devices. Call your insurance company to confirm your benefits, then call us!

We are certain that our prices are the best around. If you do find a better price from a practice in North Carolina or Virginia during your 60-Day Trial, we'll match it. (see a store location for details).

From time to time, we do offer specific special offers, promotions, or discounts. See our specials page for our current offer.

Your hearing instrument should allow you to:

  • Hear and understand more - even in noisy environments!
  • Hear soft sounds, including children and female voices.
  • Regain energy - and not feel drained - after a long conversation.
  • Enjoy your time out with friends at a restaurant or other social event.
  • Enjoy the soft sounds of nature.
  • Listen to the TV comfortably with other people.
  • Understand people on the telephone.

Hearing aids should NOT:

  • Feel uncomfortable.
  • Whistle or give you feedback sounds.
  • Make environmental sounds unbearably loud or abrasive
  • Be a hassle or a chore to wear.

Our favorite brand of battery is the Power One brand. Many of the major audiology journals have rated them very highly in trials, and our patients love them.

However, ANY brand should work, as long as it's the right one for your hearing device! Your device will likely use size 312 (brown package), 13 (orange), 10 (yellow), or 675 (blue).

Hearing aid batteries are available all over - grocery stores, pharmacies, dollar stores, wholesale warehouses, and right here at Advantage Hearing & Audiology.

We do encourage our patients to get batteries from us. Many receive free batteries from us through our patient referral program. For those who do purchase batteries, we save them a lot of money because we do not mark-up the batteries. If you live in driving distance to one of our offices, just come on by. In a pinch, any battery you can find in a store will work!

Battery life depends on the size of your battery and the degree of your hearing loss. A common battery size is 312 (brown package). You can expect the 312 battery to last 7-12 days. If you get less than 5 days, give us a call.

Size 13 batteries (orange) could get more than 12 days, and size 10 (yellow) will likely get 7 days or less.

And don't forget, if you are a patient and you refer a friend to us, and they become a patient, we will credit you a two-year supply of batteries! If you run out, you can always get batteries from us at cost - we never mark them up!

Occupations that often cause workers to be exposed to high intensity sound include construction builders, musicians (including rock, popular, folk, county, bluegrass, marching band, as well as classical), military personnel, factory workers, automotive technicians, restaurant employees, and anyone exposed to moderate to loud noises for extended periods of time. (Moderate noises are about 85 dBA - about the loudness of a busy restaurant.)

If you enjoy gun sports, wood working, or making and listening to music (through headphones or live), even if it's for fun, you could be putting yourself at risk of hearing loss.

Ok!

The headphones, aka earphones, are "safe-listening" and will help you keep the volume of your music at a safe level. The Etymotic Earplugs are designed to meet the listening needs of specific situations.

Musician's Earplugs reduce the sound to a safe level, while maintaining key frequencies that will enable the musician to hear others when they play and speak. Both the Construction/Home Improvement/Automotive and Military products have the ability to amplify some sounds while reducing the noise levels of others. The Gun Sport earplugs allow for natural hearing, but suppress sudden high-intensity bursts of sound (gunshots).

Visit Etymotic's website to learn even more.

In general, hearing conservationists will encourage caution when a person is exposed to sounds over 85 dBA. Below is a table of sounds and their approximate noise levels.

General Estimates of Human and Musical Sounds


Noise Levels

Reference:
Libera, R. (2009). Shielding a Musician: A Case Study on the Effectiveness of Acoustic Shields in Live Ensemble Rehearsals. DMA Dissertation. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Read this article

First, keep in mind that NIHL from most sounds usually occurs after repeated exposure over many years. Yes, it is possible to have instantaneous hearing loss or even tinnitus after just one exposure, but in many cases a one-time exposure will not result in permanent damage. In extreme cases, often involving rock concerts (or a rocket launch!) you can experience permanent hearing loss immediately.

The answer to the question though, is that it depends on which government agency you ask! OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) uses a different standard than NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). NIOSH has a much more conservative approach, but OSHA is technically the law. At AHA, we err on the side of extreme caution and use the NIOSH standard.

NIOSH says that at 100dB a person could be at risk of a hearing loss after 15 minutes. OSHA says hearing loss could occur after 2 hours.

Our suggestion to avoid the possibility of hearing loss is to use hearing protection (earplugs or earmuffs) anytime you are exposed to sounds above 85 dBA.

The chart below summarizes the two standards:

The NIOSH and OSHA Standards


NIOSH and OSHA standards

Reference:
Libera, R. (2009). Shielding a Musician: A Case Study on the Effectiveness of Acoustic Shields in Live Ensemble Rehearsals. DMA Dissertation. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Read this article

NO! Sound is sound, whether you think it's a good sound or not. The music you love coming from your iPod is just as harmful as the power saw or lawnmower or airplane!

When working with power tools and lawnmowers you should always use earplugs - those cheap foam plugs from the check-out line are great as long as you insert them fully into your ear canal. If your occupation involves power tools, and you still need to hear and communicate with others, check out our specialized earplugs that will help you.

When traveling on planes, we suggest that you invest in noise-canceling, noise-isolating, or safe-listening headphones. See our products page for safe headphones that we carry.

New Patients FAQ

Our ears are very delicate instruments, and our ability to hear can diminish for a number of reasons. The majority of people develop a hearing loss as they get older. Over time, part of the ear’s delicate mechanism may break down or simply wear out.

Excessive sound exposure is the number one reason for hearing loss, especially in our younger patients. Many work settings and recreational activities are quite noisy and can damage your inner ear. See our FAQ page for more details on NIHL.

No matter the cause, the real problem is often not the hearing loss itself, but that most people don’t know that they can do something about it.

If you answer "Yes" to one or more of the questions on this short quiz, you or a loved one would benefit from a hearing consultation.

Your sense of hearing is a vital link to your world - a source of pleasure, information, and communication. Hearing contributes to personal safety, emotional well-being, and independence. Studies have linked the effects of untreated hearing loss to many problems, including stress, depression, isolation, reduced earning power, and even health issues.

You are not alone - although hearing loss is common in older adults, affecting approximately 29% of people over age 65, hearing loss can occur in one's 30s and 40s. In fact, 65% of individuals with hearing loss are below retirement age

If you think that you may have a hearing loss, your first step is to visit us for a hearing evaluation. Only a qualified hearing care professional can tell you whether there is a hearing loss and recommend the best course of action.

During the visit, you will have an opportunity to discuss your personal hearing needs with your hearing care professional, ask and answer questions, and receive a hearing evaluation. During your first visit, we will perform the following services as part of your Hearing Assessment:

  • discuss your hearing history
  • perform a visual exam of the outer ear with a video otoscope, and
  • conduct and audiometric evaluation

Your hearing care professional will conduct a thorough assessment of your hearing in a sound controlled setting. While wearing an earphone on each ear, you will listen to quiet sounds and indicate when you hear each sound by pressing a button. You may also be asked to repeat words. The sounds you will hear will vary in pitch, measured on a frequency scale from 250 to 8000Hz. The volume of each sound is adjusted until the softest level for each sound is detected. This is called your threshold.

Below is a sample representation of these thresholds. The blue "X" represents the left ear, while the red "O" represents the right ear threshold at each frequency.

Audiogram

(click to enlarge)

The pictures on the graph are the approximate location of several common sounds.
Sounds above the line are not audible; sounds below the line are audible.

If you have a hearing loss, you will receive follow-up recommendations about actions you can take. For example, you may receive information about hearing instruments, hearing protection, or communication tips.

Hearing losses are very individual and fortunately most can be helped with today’s hearing instruments. State-of-the-art digital micro-chip technology and sophisticated design allow hearing instruments to work better than ever - and help you DO more.

Your ideal situation will address your unique hearing needs as well as your personal preferences.

Should your loss be treatable with hearing devices, you would choose from several styles of hearing instruments. See our Products page for more information on our diverse selection.

BRING SOMEONE WITH YOU. Because the sense of hearing is of such great social importance, the decision to seek help is often a family event. If hearing instruments are recommended, it is helpful to have someone present who would be involved in the decision process, and to participate in the consultation.

Should hearing devices be an appropriate solution for your hearing loss, you will be able to choose from three levels of technology. The best technology level is the one that fits your personal lifestyle.

It is often helpful to think about your social activities before you come for an evaluation. With your answers, your hearing care professional can help you choose the best device to fit your comfort and needs.

Think about and be prepared to discuss: How often do you find yourself in the following situations?

  • Private Conversations?
  • Small Groups?
  • Religious Gatherings / Social Meetings?
  • Business Meetings?
  • Restaurants?
  • Crowded Places?
 

Tutorials

In this section, you will find print & video tutorials that can help you understand the basic operation of your hearing instrument, or help a family member to be able to assist you in administering it.

Printable Tutorials

Changing a Battery

Changing a Battery (PDF format, 735 KB)

Changing a Wax Filter

Changing a Wax Filter (PDF format, 687 KB)

Cleaning a Slim Tube

Cleaning a Slim Tube (PDF format, 660 KB)

Video Tutorials

We're sorry that we don't have these ready quite yet! While we work to assemble these materials, please refer to our FAQ.