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Frequently Asked Questions

Hearing Loss

What is hearing loss, and how does it occur?

Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment or deafness, is the partial or complete inability to hear sounds. It can occur for various reasons, including:

  • Age-related hearing loss (Presbycusis): Gradual hearing loss that comes with aging, typically due to changes in the inner ear. While this is common, hearing loss is not “normal.”
  • Noise-induced hearing loss: Prolonged exposure to loud noises, like industrial machinery or loud music, can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear.
  • Genetic factors: Some people may inherit a predisposition to hearing loss.
  • Ear infections: Repeated or severe ear infections can cause damage to the ear structures, leading to hearing loss.
  • Medications: Certain medications, like some antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs, can have hearing loss as a side effect.
  • Trauma: Head injuries or exposure to explosive blasts can damage the auditory system.

What are the common signs or symptoms of hearing loss?

The signs and symptoms of hearing loss can vary depending on its type and severity. Common indicators include:

  • Difficulty understanding speech, especially in noisy environments.
  • Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.
  • Turning up the volume on the TV or radio to levels that others find too loud.
  • Avoiding social situations or conversations due to difficulty hearing.
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus), which can accompany hearing loss.
  • Feeling fatigued or stressed from the effort it takes to hear and communicate.

Why do I struggle to hear in noise?

Many patients tell us that they can hear, but they don’t understand everything being said. This is a very common effect of hearing loss. Most people with sensorineural hearing loss have damage in the higher frequencies of sound. Those higher frequencies are where clarity of speech occurs. For example, someone with a high frequency hearing loss might not hear the “t” in “train” and mistake it for “rain”. When we diagnose and treat this kind of hearing loss, we test to see exactly what frequencies are damaged and then we prescribe custom-programmed hearing technology which restores those frequencies, making speech more clear.

How is hearing loss diagnosed?

Hearing loss is diagnosed through a series of tests conducted by an audiologist. Common tests include pure-tone audiometry, speech audiometry, and tympanometry.

How is hearing loss treated?

Once diagnosed, treatment options can vary:

  • Proper hearing technology
  • Cochlear implants
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Medical or surgical interventions
  • Auditory rehabilitation

How Long Should I Wait To Treat Hearing Loss?

Like most medical conditions, the earlier we catch and treat hearing loss, the more effective the treatment will be and the slower the progression of the disorder. Because hearing loss is both progressive and degenerative, it is to your advantage to seek treatment as soon as you notice any symptoms. Besides this, there is the added benefit of more time hearing your family and loved ones better, decreasing your risk of falls and dementia and decreasing your experience of tinnitus!

How long should you wait to treat hearing loss?

What does it mean to have normal hearing?

The idea of “normal” hearing loss is based upon the audiogram– that “hear the beeps and push the button” test you’ve probably had done in school or for work. While this tool is valuable to see at what frequencies you might be struggling, a “normal” result on an audiogram can actually miss up to 80% damage of your auditory cells! Fortunately we have more advanced diagnostic tools than just the audiogram to diagnose hearing loss, such as otoacoustic emissions, which we do in every hearing evaluation.

How Long Will My First Appointment Last?

It takes about 90-120 minutes to go through our complete B.E.S.T. process for most people. This includes:

  • Background: Our provider will get a complete case history with you to discover relevant health conditions, family history and any other information that will be helpful in formulating a treatment plan.
  • Exam: We will do in-depth testing from the outside of your ear to the inside of your brain to determine exactly where your hearing difficulties are occurring.
  • Solution: With all of the information gathered from the background and exam part of the consultation, our provider is now ready to present a customized, unique hearing solution for you and your needs.
  • Treatment: We don't want you to wait a second longer than necessary to start life-changing treatment! For 95% of patients, we are able to start treatment during this initial consultation!

What about over-the-counter hearing aids?

Because only 14% of people with hearing loss actually seek treatment, we are a proponent of anything that helps more people have access to hearing care. We have had some concerns, however, about the viability and effectiveness of do-it-yourself hearing care. Some of those concerns include:

  • Knowing if you actually need a hearing aid or if you just have wax in your ears
  • Knowing what device is actually best for your hearing loss and lifestyle needs
  • Knowing if your device is actually programmed for your hearing loss
  • Taking care of the device when it becomes plugged with wax, the speaker develops a short, or other problems

What Brands Of Hearing Aids Do You Carry?

We have access to just about every brand of hearing technology available. Our providers understand the strengths and weaknesses of each device and based on the results of our in depth testing, they are able to recommend a treatment plan with technology that will best meet your needs.

Do you take insurance?

We are providers for most insurances and we are happy to check your benefits when you come in for your complimentary first consultation. At that point, we can see if, and what, your insurance will contribute to hearing treatment. Just to give you a heads-up, most insurance plans don’t cover the entire cost of hearing treatment, and because we don’t want a hearing problem to be a financial problem, we have created an affordable treatment plan that most of our patients take advantage of.

How much do your hearing aids cost?

Because we know that hearing loss is a progressive degenerative disorder, and because we never want a hearing problem to become a financial problem, we have created an affordable monthly treatment plan that makes sure that you are always getting the treatment you need.

What is included in the treatment plan?

While you can pay outright for your treatment, those on the monthly treatment plan enjoy:

  • Top Tier Technology
  • All of your supplies
  • Any appointments that you need without a copay.
  • Full warranty, so if anything gets damaged, you're fully covered.
  • Loss insurance, so if you lose a device instead of paying thousands of dollars to get a new one, we replace it once for free.
  • Our Welcome back to the World of Hearing program
  • Loaner devices if your device breaks or needs to be replaced
  • Price lock guarantee. Hearing loss is a progressive degenerative disorder so you’ll need new treatment in about 4 years. When you need new treatment, you’ll be locked in at the same monthly price of $197, it won’t go up from there. (Wouldn't it be great if you had locked in the price of groceries 4 years ago?)

You say you follow the medical model of treating hearing loss. What does that mean?

In the medical model of treating hearing loss, we focus on the brain aspects of hearing loss and in making sure that your brain is receiving the stimulation it needs from the ears to stay sharp and active.

We think brain first rather than ears first. Which means we will do significantly more testing including the cognitive aspects, speech in noise, and REM to ensure you have the right prescription which is the gold standard of treating hearing loss. Essentially, when you choose us to treat your hearing loss, we are entering into a partnership where we both work together over the long run to not only improve your hearing now, but to keep it from deteriorating further.

How difficult is it to adjust to wearing hearing aids?

For most people, wearing hearing technology for the first time and hearing the world around them clearly again can be an adjustment. For this reason, we developed our Welcome Back to the World of Hearing program. This includes:

  • Programming the devices to gradually increase sound to prescriptive levels over a period of weeks to allow you to get used to sound again
  • 3-4 follow up appointments with tweaks and adjustments to dial in your hearing technology to your needs and lifestyle.
  • Real Ear Measurement verification to ensure you are getting the stimulation your brain needs to hear clearly and stay active.
  • A copy of our Welcome Back to the World of Hearing book, written by Dr. Garrett to help you and your loved ones to develop effective communication strategies in many life situations.
  • A 20 week email series with helpful tips for adjusting to and caring for your hearing technology, as well as tips for being successful in different hearing environments such as restaurants, worship services, and family gatherings.

How are hearing loss and risk of falling linked?

Even a mild degree of hearing loss triples the risk of an accidental fall. And this risk increases by 140 percent for every additional 10 decibels of hearing loss.

How are hearing loss and dementia related?

Individuals with hearing loss are at an increased risk for developing cognitive decline and dementia. Today’s leading research finds that treating hearing loss is the single most modifiable way to reduce your risk of developing dementia. While your risk increases with the degree of hearing loss, it is important to note that even mild hearing loss can increase your risk by as much as 200%!

Tinnitus FAQs

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of a ringing, buzzing, or other sound in the ears when there is no external sound source. It often coexists with hearing loss and can result from damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. The brain’s neural circuits involved in processing sound may become overactive, contributing to the perception of tinnitus.

Can anything be done about tinnitus?

We are always surprised when we hear from new patients that they were told “nothing can be done about tinnitus, just deal with it.” This is WRONG.

Tinnitus is a common symptom that can cause you to hear a ringing, hissing, clicking, or buzzing in your ears. Tinnitus is a neural consequence of some form of auditory damage and is present in approximately 90% of all people with some form of hearing loss. While it will not cause you to lose hearing, tinnitus is a leading indicator of hearing loss. Tinnitus is different for each person, and it can affect your daily activities and quality of life.

There is no cure for tinnitus; however, our experienced and compassionate hearing healthcare professionals can help recommend a customized treatment plan to treat and reduce your tinnitus symptoms. Click below to watch a short video to learn more:

I have tinnitus and have seen other doctors in the past that were not helpful. What can your office do for my tinnitus?

We hear that all the time. That’s a common misconception. While it’s true tinnitus cannot be cured, it can be treated and managed effectively. We have an 85% success rate at reducing or even eliminating the perception of tinnitus.

What is your treatment for tinnitus- is it just hearing aids?

We follow a 2 step approach where we treat the cause and the effects of tinnitus. We treat the cause by replacing the stimulation your brain is missing by using hearing devices. We also treat the effects of tinnitus such as stress, anxiety, and insomnia with a unique online program called My Tinnitus Therapy.

How much does tinnitus treatment cost?

Unfortunately, as with any chronic medical condition, until we know the cause and extent of your tinnitus, it's hard to say what the cost will be. The good news is that the initial consultation is free of charge, so you won’t have to pay for anything until we know what is going to be the best treatment for you. Regardless of the treatment recommendation, we have affordable, credit-based monthly plans available.

How long does it take to work?

While many people experience almost immediate relief, for many others, it can take 6 weeks-18 months of following the treatment plan to achieve the desired results.

Your 5‐Star Rated & Audiologist In American & Spanish Fork, UT
I love my new hearing aids! —Judie C.
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The reviews listed are from actual patients of Timpanogos Hearing & balance. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
What To Expect On Your First Visit Let’s Have A No‐Pressure Conversation To Get You The Help You Deserve.
  • Discuss Your Goals
  • Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation
  • Custom Treatment Plan
  • Flexible Financing Discussion
  • Bonus: Copy of Dr. Layne Garrett and Dr. Keith Darrow's Book
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343 S 500 E American Fork, UT 84003 Get Directions (801) 763-0724 Monday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm Friday: 9am - 3pm
642 Kirby Ln, Suite 102 Spanish Fork, UT 84660 Get Directions (801) 763-0724 Monday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm Friday: 9am - 3pm
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