Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Hearing Aid Centers Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Advanced Instruments Hearing Aid Center (2013)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a hearing aid provider that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified hearing aid center. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated hearing aid provider and is unparalleled in its

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a hearing aid provider that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified hearing aid center. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated hearing aid provider and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

 

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Sonoma County – Hearing Aids CATEGORY

Eric Stratton is a 19-year veteran of the hearing aid industry and owner of Advanced Instruments Hearing Aid Center, a Diamond Certified company since 2006. He can be reached at (707) 560-1920 or by email.

Eric Stratton

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Eric Stratton: Auditory Restoration

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

VACAVILLE — With a background in both communications and electronics, it’s no surprise that Eric Stratton found a career in audiology to be a perfect fit. “At the time I became interested in audiology, I was working on life safety systems in San Francisco—hauling around a ladder and a tool belt, climbing up high rises, and servicing elevators and fire alarm systems,” he remembers. “I found audiology very appealing because it involved electronics and improved the lives of others. Plus, hearing aids were a lot less heavy to lift than the materials I was working with!”

Today, as owner of Advanced Instruments Hearing Aid Center, Eric says his favorite part of his job is impacting people’s lives by restoring their hearing. “Hearing loss can be quite debilitating, which makes the change that much more significant when it gets corrected. When a family has become used to someone being the ‘weak link’ in the chain of communication, they’re amazed at the transformation that occurs when that person can suddenly hear what they’re saying. It truly reanimates them and enables them to go from being mere spectators to participants in the family’s social life, and that’s something I find really rewarding.”

Originally from Southern California, Eric attended college in San Francisco and later settled in Vacaville, where he now lives with his wife, Mariette, and their son, Tyler. He expresses an appreciation for the altruistic attitude that characterizes Solano County. “I read that Solano County has one of the highest percentages per capita of people who give to charities, whether churches or nonprofit organizations. I like the fact that I get to live in such a giving community.”

Outside of work, Eric spends much of his time outdoors, whether hiking or just relaxing in his own backyard. “I enjoy the world of plants and animals, which is why I like hiking through remote areas like the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness,” he says. “I’m also interested in horticulture, and since I live in the country, I have the opportunity to pursue that in my spare time. In addition to gardening, I recently purchased a couple of beehives in hopes of encouraging the dwindling bee population.”

In his life and career, Eric applies a maxim coined by Abraham Lincoln: ‘Whatever you are, be a good one.’ “I want to be the best at what I do, which is why I’m constantly looking for ways to improve,” he explains. “The Diamond Certified rating is a good example of that. I know of other businesses in town that are Diamond Certified, and they’re all top-notch companies run by wonderful people, so I’m proud to be part of that circle.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Eric says he’d devote more effort toward his horticultural pursuits. “I’d probably spend more time gardening and cultivating my yard. When you have a few acres of plants and trees that need tending, it’s a lot of work, so that would definitely keep me busy.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Ever read a book more than once?
A: “Galaxies like Grains of Sand” by Brian Aldiss, which I read several times when I was a boy.

Q: Do you consider yourself a dog person or a cat person?
A: Both—I like dogs and cats alike.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Learning how to walk. I remember it feeling like a big win when I didn’t fall—I just kept on stumbling forward until I got where I wanted to go.

Q: What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
A: Grasshoppers.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Fresh Bing cherries.

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The Secondary Effects of Hearing Loss

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VACAVILLE — Since hearing loss is a gradual regression, most people who experience it fail to notice the symptoms. In fact, it’s common for those with hearing loss to be in denial about it, blaming their communication issues on the assertion… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Dealing With Hearing Loss

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Complete Video Transcription:

VACAVILLE — Host, Sarah Rutan: In most cases, hearing loss can be a slow and gradual process, which is why it is important to heed… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

  • GN Resound

  • Oticon

  • Phonak

  • Siemens

  • Starkey

  • Unitron

  • Widex

  • SeboTek

  • Sonic Innovations

  • Rexton

Audibel Hearing Aids
Audina Hearing Aids
Interton Hearing Aids
Micro-Tech
Oticon Hearing Aids
Bernafon Hearing Aids
Bernafon-Maico
General Hearing Instruments
ReSound Hearing Aids
Sonic Innovations
Starkey Hearing Aids
Unitron Hearing Aids
Phonak Hearing Aids
Rexton Hearing Aid
Sebo-Tek
Siemens Hearing Aids
AudioSync
Avada Hearing Aids
Beltone Hearing Aid
Vivatone Hearing Aids
Widex Hearing Aids
Zounds Hearing Aids

CIC hearing aids (completely in the canal)
BAHA hearing aid (bone anchored hearing aid)
affordable hearing aid
behind the hear hearing aids (BTE hearing aid)
digital hearing aids
analog hearing aids
disposable hearing aids
hearing aid repair
hearing amplifier
assistive listening devices
advanced noise reduction
full shell hearing aid (FS)
cochlear implants
hearing aid accessories
invisible hearing aids
bone conduction hearing aids
automatic volume control hearing aids
hearing aid batteries
open ear hearing aids
ITE hearing aids (in the ear hearing aids)
hearing aid replacement
hearing aid supplies
half shell hearing aid (HS)
hearing aid battery replacement
new hearing aids
background noise reduction hearing aids

Agua Caliente
Alexander Valley
Annapolis
Asti
Bloomfield
Bodega
Bodega Bay
Boyes Hot Springs
Camp Meeker
Cazadero
Cloverdale
Cotati
Duncans Mills
El Verano
Eldridge
Fallon
Fetters Hot Springs
Forestville
Fort Ross
Freestone
Fulton
Geyserville
Glen Ellen
Graton
Guerneville
Guernewood
Healdsburg
Jenner
Kenwood
Lakeville
Larkfield
Lytton
Mark West
Monte Rio
Occidental
Penngrove
Petaluma
Rio Nido
Rohnert Park
Roseland
Russian River
Russian River Meadows
Salmon Creek
Santa Rosa
Schellville
Sebastopol
Sheridan
Sonoma
Stewarts Point Rancheria
Temelec
the Geysers
Sea Ranch
Two Rock
Valley Ford
Villa Grande
Vineburg
Windsor

94922
94923
94927
94928
94931
94951
94952
94953
94954
94955
94972
94975
94999
95401
95402
95403
95404
95405
95406
95407
95408
95409
95412
95416
95419
95421
95425
95430
95431
95433
95436
95439
95441
95442
95444
95446
95448
95450
95452
95462
95465
95471
95472
95473
95476
95480
95486
95487
95492
95497

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (www.agbell.org)
American Hearing Aid Associates (AHAA) (www.ahaanet.com)American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) (www.asha.org)
Better Hearing Institute (BHI) (www.betterhearing.org)

Hearing Loss Association of American (HLAA) (www.hearingloss.org)
International Hearing Society (IHS) (www.ihsinfo.org)
The Caption Center (main.wgbh.org/wgbh/pages/mag)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) (www.nidcd.nih.gov)

Know What You Want
Know What You Want from Sonoma County Hearing Aid Center

Before selecting a Hearing aid professional in Sonoma County, including those that serve the major cities of Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Cloverdale, Sebastopol, there are many factors to consider.

Your hearing loss must be evaluated by a physician and the physician’s recommendation will help determine which hearing aid will be the best for your hearing loss and lifestyle. Because everyone’s hearing needs are different, write down as much as possible regarding what you are looking for before you begin your research.

Following are some questions to ask yourself when deciding what you need from new hearing aids and your hearing aid dispenser:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified hearing aid center that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • How involved do I want to be in the choice of a hearing aid?
  • How important is the distance of the hearing professional from my home?
  • Will the hearing aid professional be able to meet all my hearing needs?
  • Will I get a personal copy of the audiogram along with an explanation of the meaning?
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What To Ask In Person
Questions for Sonoma County Hearing Aid Centers in Person

From your telephone interviews, narrow down your choice of good hearing aid centers in Sonoma County. 

You will choose a hearing health care professional that will help you select hearing aids with appropriate features. This professional can offer recommendations and advice to help you find the hearing aid that will work best for your hearing loss and your lifestyle.

No hearing aid style is better than any other hearing aid. You must simply choose the one that is right for you.

The hearing health care professional will consider:

  • your particular hearing loss
  • your ear anatomy
  • lifestyle needs
  • manual dexterity
  •  cosmetic preferences
  • hearing aid functionality and cost

Remember, for this interview, don't go alone. Bring along a friend or relative. Two people will hear more and remember more.

Here is a list of possible questions to ask local hearing aid dispensers and hearing centers:

  • Do you recommend one or two hearing aids for my hearing loss?
    Hearing professionals typically recommend wearing two hearing aids for people with a hearing loss in both ears. The name for this is binaural fitting. Also two hearing aids help improve hearing in noise, and improve sound quality and clarity. You can ask for the pros and cons of one or hearing aids.
  • Is a hearing assessment included in the price of the hearing aids or is it a separate fee?
  • Is there a trial period?
    Many times hearing professionals will offer a trial period, so you can try a set of  hearing aids for 30 to 60 days. During this time, the hearing aids can be returned for a refund. Also the hearing professional can adjust the hearing aids to give optimal comfort and sound, so you can know what it is like to wear hearing aids daily.
  • Is financial assistance available for purchasing a hearing aid?
    Sometimes you can get government support and coverage to help with the cost of hearing aids and hearing evaluations. Make sure to ask your hearing professional for more information. ..
  • What type of hearing aid does the hearing professional feel is best for your type of loss?
    Remember that mail order hearing aids won’t take into account the your type  hearing loss. You should avoid these offers.
  • What kind of add-ons can I get with my new hearing aids?
    Never feel pressured into buying something you don't really need. Those extras come at a price. There are benefits. For instance, directional microphones help you  in noisy places.  Tele-coils assist with phone conversations, and feedback cancellation keeps the aid from squealing. Wireless technology will assist with cellphones use and televisions.  Just remember to consider what you really need.
  • Ask for a contract that explains everything that you are buying.
    Include the make and model of the hearing aid in the contract. Know the exact price and the trial period.  Also get the warranty information. Set the dates for the follow-up visits. Usually there are three or four visits in the first eight weeks.
  • What kind of training is given with the hearing aids?
    Just fitting the hearing aid in your ear is not all there is to buying a hearing aid.. You actually hear with your brain. When you get hearing aids, your brain does not know what to do with the sound. You will need aural education and rehabilitation. Some of this training can be done at home on your computer or through group sessions.
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for Patients of Local Hearing Aid Centers

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified hearing aid center in Sonoma County including those that service patients in the major cities of Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Cloverdale, Sebastopol and the surrounding areas.

    That's because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a hearing aid center in Sonoma County, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified Hearing Aid Center within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your hearing aid provider.

    Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by local hearing centers are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process.

    That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    Below are questions for you to consider when speaking with references about the hearing aids:

    • Does the staff take time to make sure you are comfortable with your hearing aids?
    • Were you confident of the doctor’s recommendation of the type of hearing aid?       
    • Are you happy with the training and aural rehabilitation you are receiving to use the hearing aids?
    • Were you happy with the hearing aids?
    • If there was a problem, was the warranty honored?
    • Was there a payment plan that worked well for you?
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  • Review Your Options
    Paying for a Hearing Aid in Sonoma County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    The expense of hearing aids in Sonoma County is an important consideration. Hearing aids are quite varied in price, so before deciding on the best new hearing aids in Sonoma County for you, there are some important things to consider.

    You will have to pay for them yourself unless you happen to be a military veteran who can get virtually free hearing aids. Medicare currently will not pay for the price of hearing aids, but they will pay for the exam to get hearing aids.

    Some private insurance companies will also do this. If a physician prescribes an audiologist hearing test, Medicare will pay for that. Private insurance companies may pay for portions of hearing aid costs or may not pay anything. You will need to check with your insurance to find out what your coverage is.

    Some of the following questions should be considered when buying new hearing aids:

    • What payment options does the facility offer?
    • Can I obtain financial assistance for a hearing aid?
    • Does Medicare provide any benefits for this service?
    • What are the billing practices of the hearing aid center?
    • What is the quality of the staff of the center?
    • Do you assist veterans in getting help with hearing aids?
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  • How To Work With
    Adjusting to Your New Hearing Aids

    Once you have worked with a Sonoma County hearing aid center in choosing hearing aids, you will begin the transition to feeling comfortable wearing them. This may take weeks. At first, it will be helpful to use the hearing aids at your home or in quiet surroundings. You will learn how hearing aids magnify the noise in the background.

    That can make some settings, especially potentially noisy settings like restaurants and church, seem  frustrating. Remember to ask your hearing aid provider about aural rehabilitation services. Hearing rehabilitiation can assist you with the frustrations of learning to use hearing aids.

    Other issues may appear also. New hearing aid users will find their voice sounds very loud or maybe plugged up. (That is an uncomfortable feeling that is like putting your fingers in your ears when you are talking.) This can be a problem with all hearing aids; however, it is a bigger problem with the type of hearing aids that fit deep in the ear canal.

    Feedback might be a problem. This is where you have the high pitched screeching sound from the hearing aid. Learning to adjust the hearing aid correctly should correct this problem. This can be taken care of in the training classes.

    Your hearing aid provider can adjust the hearing aid by drilling a small hole in the ear mold. Or you can change to a different hearing aid style. The open ear hearing aid might be better for you.

    Problems may arise when you find that your cell phone is not compatible with your hearing aid. Usually the hearing aid will cause a buzzing sound during usage. To stop this problem, you can use a hearing aid with Bluetooth wireless technology. With this, you won’t need to raise the phone to your ear.

    Also check the instruction many of the phone if you want to stay with the cell phone. The models of cell phones that work well with your hearing aid will have M3/T3 or a M4/T4 rating. Many of the newer hearing aids will have a rating of M2/T2. You may want to talk to your audiologist about this. You are to add the M and T ratings for the hearing aid and the cell phone, and you will have a combined rating. You want the best sound quality which is obtained by the combined score of M5/T5 or M6/T6.

    Smart Steps for New Hearing Aid Wearers
    Lastly, here are some smart steps for you to take:

    Thoroughly read the hearing aid manual. Reading this will help you get the best use from your hearing aid.

    In theatres, conference halls and churches, you will want to sit near the center of the building. That is the spot with the best acoustics.

    You will want to sit close enough to a person speaking so see his/her face, but don’t sit too close.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Hearing Aid Customer?

    It's the hearing aid center’s responsibility make sure you have quality hearing aid that works best for your hearing loss and lifestyle.  But you play a big part in the success of your hearing aid, too.

    Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when buying new hearing aids in Sonoma County.

    • Be clear and upfront with the hearing aid professional and/or the staff. Let them know what you want from your hearing aid, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way, even if you are experiencing frustrations adjusting to the hearing aid.
    • Before you confirm the hearing aid you want in Sonoma County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the hearing aid professional and/or staff your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local hearing aids occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your hearing aid center if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re processing the hearing aid order. The work will move along more smoothly if your hearing aid center can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When the Sonoma County hearing aid center contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the hearing aid contract on schedule.
    • Make your hearing aid payments promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Hearing aid centers in Sonoma County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Protect Your Investment with Written Guarantees

Warranties with hearing aids are greatly varied. Carefully read exactly what is included and what is not included in the warranty. You should write down and ask these questions about the warranty of the hearing aids you’ve chosen.

  • How long does the warranty last?
  • After the initial warranty ends, can additional coverage be bought?
  • What parts of hearing aid are covered by the warranty?
  • What if the hearing aid gets lost?
  • What if the hearing aid get damaged?

Warranties with hearing aids are greatly varied. Carefully read exactly what is included and what is not included in the warranty. You should write down and ask these questions about the warranty of the hearing aids you’ve chosen.

  • How long does the warranty last?
  • After the initial warranty ends, can additional coverage be bought?
  • What parts of hearing aid are covered by the warranty?
  • What if the hearing aid gets lost?
  • What if the hearing aid get damaged?
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Written Warranties
Protect Your Investment with Written Guarantees

Warranties with hearing aids are greatly varied. Carefully read exactly what is included and what is not included in the warranty. You should write down and ask these questions about the warranty of the hearing aids you've chosen.

  • How long does the warranty last?
  • After the initial warranty ends, can additional coverage be bought?
  • What parts of hearing aid are covered by the warranty?
  • What if the hearing aid gets lost?
  • What if the hearing aid get damaged?
Read moreRead less
Top 10 Requests
Types of Hearing Aids and Hearing Aid Services in Sonoma County

Hearing aid wearers in Sonoma County have their choice of several kinds of hearing aid services. Each individual may have special needs or might require specific types of care. This list is a general overview of the hearing aid services.

Assistive Listening Devices
A variety of assistive devices are provided by hearing aid centers. The devices range from specialized telephones for those with hearing loss to devices to help hear the television more clearly.

Counseling and Rehabilitation
After being fit with a hearing aid, it is important to have counseling time to adjust and become comfortable with this product. Counseling and rehab centers will provide individual counseling for each hearing aid user and the family. The family’s input is important also during this time.

Ear molds, I-Pods, Swim Molds, Musician Molds, Hearing Protection
Many specialty ear molds are provided for various areas of life.

Hearing Aid Accessories
Many hearing aid accessories can be purchased, for instance telephones with volume control, pocketalkers, phone pads, battery testers, dry aids – to keep the hearing aids dry inside, hearing aid care kits, and more.

Hearing Aid Batteries
Two types of batteries are available: rechargeable and disposable. The size of the battery will depend of the size of the hearing aid. 5 – 14 days is the average time a battery will last, depending on how many hours a day it is worn.

Hearing Aid Evaluations
A series of test are given to determine the hearing loss of an individual. Hearing loss can vary from mild to profound. An accurate evaluation will give valuable information to make recommendations.

Hearing Aid Repair
If you need to find a place to repair your hearing aid, compare prices and research the company thoroughly. Use the internet to see if the problem can be fixed at home. Always check your warranty first, so that you know if the problem can be fixed under the warranty.

Hearing Aid Replacement
Hearing aid replacement is used if repair isn’t possible, or if a technology upgrade  (because of new technology) would be a better help to the  hearing aid user’s needs.

Hearing Aid Supplies
Many stores carry hearing aid supplies. Your hearing aid center or online searches will help you find the best prices.

Hearing Amplifier
Hearing aid amplifiers are set up to both stop adding gain above a certain level of volume or add less gain when the volume gets louder.

 

Top Hearing Aid and Assistive Listening Brand Requests

  • Beltone Hearing Aids
  • Phonak Hearing Aids
  • Rexton Hearing Aids
  • Resound Hearing Aids
  • Sonic Innovations Hearing Aids
  • Starkey Hearing Aids
  • Unitron Hearing AIds
  • Vivatone Hearing Aids
  • Widex Hearing Aids
  • Zounds Hearing Aids
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Glossary Of Terms
Terms and Definitions Associated with Hearing Aids

advanced noise reduction hearing aids
Noise reduction hearing aids doesn’t actually reduce the noise. Where there is noise and speech, it does reduce the amplification of the frequencies. When a fan is on, the hearing aid will amplify the speech more than the fan. The more advanced noise reduction hearing aids work to break up the frequencies into smaller units.

Also known as: background noise reduction hearing aids

analog hearing aids
Analog hearing aids uses your audiogram to amplify the sound, and this is used in many hearing aids.  It is either conventional or programmable. Conventional aids will equally amplify all sounds; therefore, some sounds will be loud, and other sounds too soft. This can be corrected when the volume is adjusted.

analog hearing aids (programmable)
Analog hearing aids can be programmed to different settings. These settings can be saved, so the person can switch to the setting that works best in the current environment.

assistive listening devices (ALD)
Devices designed to assist people who have hearing loss function better in certain situations. Some examples are: amplified telephones, induction loop systems, FM systems, and infrared systems.

audiogram
Audiograms are a graph of a person’s hearing threshold levels. It shows the softest sounds  a person can detect at different frequencies. Also it shows the lowest and highest pitches heard.

Also known as: hearing test, hearing loss test, hearing frequency test

audio induction loop
An assistive listening device where wire is placed around a room and connected to audio devices, like a television. This creates a field that will transmit sound to hearing  impaired people wearing hearing aids. Inside the loop, sound is clear without any background noise.

audiologist
A health care professional educated to assess a person’s hearing loss and other hearing problems (i.e. tinnitus). A variety of procedures are used to check hearing function, then assist in choosing hearing aids and other hearing devices.

Also known as: hearing doctor, hearing aid provider, hearing specialist, ear doctor, pediatric audiologist

aural rehabilitation
People with hearing loss go to rehab to learn to improve their speaking and communication. abilities.

automatic volume control hearing aids
Hearing aids that adjust automatically and instantly to make loud sounds comfortable and soft sounds louder.

Also known as: self-adjusting hearing aids

bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA)
BAHA’s are a special bone conduction hearing aid. It will transfer the sound through the skull, not the ear canal. It does that through a surgically implanted post. The hearing aid attaches to this post. The vibrations go through the hearing aid, to the post, to the skull, to the cochlea to help in the hearing of sound. This is used for conductive loss.

Bluetooth hearing aids
Bluetooth hearing aids are advanced digital hearing aids that connect wirelessly to Bluetooth devices. This might be audio devices PDA’s, computers, or cell phones. They are connected to s a streaming device that make the hearing aid a hands-free headset.

BTE hearing aids
This hearing aid fits behind your ear, and it connected to a mold that fits inside your ear with tubing. These custom made devices attach to the ear with an ear hook. They are known for their durability and practicality.

CIC hearing aids
The hearing aid is totally inside the ear canal. CICs are very small in size (almost invisible). Not all people can wear this device because of canal shape or size.

cochlear implants
This device will be a substitute  for damaged hair cells in the inner ear. It is implanted into the cochlea with surgery. It uses an external process to send an electrical signal to the auditory nerve. The user will then perceive sound through the cochlear implant. It is used for severe to profound hearing loss.

decibels
A unit used in measuring sound.

digital hearing aids
Digital hearing aids revolutionized hearing when they came onto the scene in 1996. This translates sound to digital code. After changing the code, it sends it back using math calculations. This technology duplicates sound transmission, and now it has created a more quality sound with increased accuracy.

disposable hearing aids
This hearing aid has a battery that is built in. After a certain amount of hours or time, the entire hearing aid will be disposed of and replaced.

feedback
Feedback is best described as a high pitched screeching sound experienced by hearing aid users.

frequency
The unit used in measuring the pitch of sound.

half shell hearing aid
A type of hearing aid that is smaller than the ITE aid, but bigger than the canal aid. It fills half of the bowl of the ear.

hearing aid
An electronic device which amplifies and sends sound to the ear. The three basic parts of a hearing aid are the microphone, the amplifier, and the receiver. Hearing aid battery replacement

hearing aid battery replacement
Hearing aid batteries will need replacement. Check with the individual battery directions for frequency.

hearing aid trial
A set period of time when a hearing aid buyer may try the hearing aids made for him/her. If the person isn’t satisfied, they may return them for a refund (there may be a trial fee).

hearing amplifier
An electronic device that will increase the electrical signal strength.

hearing loss
A decrease in a person’s ability to hear is called a hearing impairment or hearing loss. With mild and moderate losses, the person may not be affected. In profound hearing loss, the person can not hear, but can sense vibrations.

  • Normal hearing        -10  thru 15 dB
  • Slight hearing loss     16 thru 25dB
  • Mild hearing loss        26 thru 40 dB
  • Moderate hearing loss            41 thru 55dB
  • Moderately severe loss    56 thru 70 dB
  • Severe hearing loss                71 thru 90dB
  • Profound hearing loss       91 thru 120 dB

Also known as: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, profound hearing loss, unilateral hearing loss, congenital hearing loss, severe hearing loss, mixed hearing loss

hearing test
A series of tests that use an audiometer to measure hearing loss.

Hertz
The frequency of a sound in cycles per second. It  is named after Heinrich Rudolf Hertz.

ITE hearing aids (in the ear)
A type of hearing aids that fits in the bowl part of the ear. They are most often used for moderate hearing loss.

Also known as: full shell hearing aid (FS)

invisible hearing aids (IIC)
Invisible hearing aids are not visible because they fit further down in the ear canal than the other types. It is out of sight even if you look directly into the ear bowl. They use venting and their placement to make the hearing experience more natural. These are most suitable for users that are middle age or younger.

mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensor neural losses.

open ear hearing aids
This hearing aid fits over the ear with a wire that runs into the ear and a small, soft tip. There are holes in the tip to keep the user from feeling plugged. These hearing aids are used for high frequency loss.

occlusion
The strange sound that hearing aid wearers experience, where their voice sounds distorted, as if speaking in a tunnel. This is caused when canal blockage keeps sound from escaping.

otologist
A physician who specializes in ear diseases.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ for Local Hearing Aid Dispensers

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified hearing aid center?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a hearing aid center with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only hearing aids rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified hearing aid.

Q: How do I know if I have a hearing loss?
A: The best way to know if you have a hearing loss is to consult with an audiologist or a licensed medical professional who can assess your hearing ability. Many times, people with a hearing loss know they have a reduced ability to hear because they find following speech or conversations difficult. They feel frustrated because they feel others are mumbling, and they must ask often people to repeat themselves. Some will find that others mention how loud they are listening to the radio or television. If hearing loss is suspected, you should have tests done to make sure it is diagnosed and treated properly, and also to confirm that isn’t another disease or ailment.

Q: What are the various types of hearing aids?

A: Behind-the-Ear (BTE) – This hearing aid will sit behind your ear. It is attached to an ear mold that fits  inside your ear with tubing. An ear hook is used to fasten it on the ear. The molds are custom made for each user.

In the Ear (ITE) – These fit in the ear of the wearer.

In the Canal (ITC) and Completely in the Canal (CIC) – With ITCs and CICs, the entire hearing aid fits inside the canal. CICs are extremely small in size, and nearly invisible. ITCs are usually larger.

Disposable hearing aids – You can choose a disposable hearing aid. They have a built-in battery and after a certain amount of time or use, the person will replace the whole hearing aid.

Q: What is the cost of buying new hearing aids?
A: To estimate the price of a hearing aid, you must consider many factors. What type of hearing aid do you want? Do you need accessories? Would you like digital or analogue? Would you it to be programmable? Do services come with the aid, like a hearing consultation? What are the hearing aid’s capabilities and features?

A single hearing aid may cost $50 for a disposable hearing aid or up to $5000 for hearing aid models that have the most cutting-edge technology.

Q: What type of battery will I need for the hearing aid?
A: There is a specific size of battery for each hearing aid. Currently, a new color coded system helps hearing aid wearers to know and match the particular battery with their hearing aid. The hearing aid manual will give the size. All you have to remember is the color to buy the right size.

Red – Size 5, Yellow – Size 10 (230), Orange – Size 13, Brown – Size 312 and Blue – Size 675

Q: How long is a hearing aid battery expected to last?
A: Much will depend upon the energy and power the aid needs. It will also depend on the type of hearing aid and how often it is used. Some batteries will last weeks, but some last only days. Speak to your hearing aid professional, as well as reading the manufacturer’s advice to make sure you maximize the  life of the battery.

Q: How long is a disposable hearing aid expected to last?
A: Some brands of disposable hearing aids can last up to 400 hours or 90 days. It depends on which is reached first. Others will last for 600 hours or 120 days, depending on which is reached first.

Q: Is it best to wear one hearing aid or two?
A: This is a very difficult question to answer since each one has a different type of hearing loss with a different extent of loss. Two hearing aids do have advantages. They bring more balanced hearing, more clarity, and better hearing in noisy situations.

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