Tinnitus and You
Watch our video below to learn more about tinnitus causes and treatments from Dr. Rachel Higginbotham, audiologist and tinnitus retraining therapist.
irreversible–but there are steps you can take to protect against
specific types of ear protection.
and robbed her of silence, a woman speaks about ear
protection and tinnitus.
Tinnitus testing and
While there is no cure for tinnitus, it can improve with treatment. The
first step is a full ear exam, including diagnostic testing to try and
pinpoint the underlying cause behind the tinnitus. Following a full
examination at our hearing clinic, our specialist can recommend a
personal treatment plan that may include special hearing aids,
sound therapy, or changes in diet and medication.
Why is it important to use hearing protection?
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the only type of hearing loss that is completely preventable, with the use of appropriate hearing protection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 12.5% of children and adolescents aged 6-19 years and 17% of adults aged 20-69 years have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive noise exposure.
When should I use hearing protection?
Hearing protection should be used any time you are participating in a high-noise recreational activity or job. Some of these include: hunting, music industry, motor sports, construction, etc. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur from exposure to noise over time, as well as exposure to one intensely loud, brief event. The louder the sound, the less time it takes to cause damage. If you experience ringing in your ears or temporary hearing loss in your ears after a high noise event, the environment was too loud and could cause damage.
How is custom hearing protection different from non-custom hearing protection?
Custom hearing protection is modeled after an impression taken of the ear. This will provide the best and most comfortable fit in the ear, which will eliminate ear pain or soreness that can occur with non-custom products. Custom hearing protection also provides a tight seal in the ear that prevents the unwanted high-level noise to leak into the ear.
How do I properly insert my hearing protection devices?
Some hearing protection devices are marked red (right) and blue (left). If they are not marked, they are not side specific.
For custom products: Slide the thinner side into your ear canal and twist the plug until it fits comfortably in the ear. Pull up from the top of the ear, to straighten the ear canal, as you push the ear mold into the ear.
For non-custom products: Slide the thinner side into your ear canal and pull up from the top of the ear, to straighten the ear canal, as you push the ear plug into the ear. If you are using a foam plug, tightly squeeze and roll it before putting in the ear canal.
Will my insurance cover hearing devices?
More and more often private insurance companies and some Medicare Advantage Plans are offering at least a partial coverage or discount program for hearing testing and hearing aids. Our insurance specialists are happy to verify your benefits prior to your initial consultation and evaluation.
Will I need a referral from a primary care physician?
This is dependent on your specific plan. Most commercial PPO plans do not require a referral from your primary care physician to see one of our in-network providers. Certain insurance policies, including Medicare, do require a referral in order to cover testing and treatment recommendations. We are happy to gather your insurance information to determine if a referral is necessary. If it is necessary we will guide you through obtaining the proper referral or documentation for your services to be covered.
Why doesn’t Medicare cover hearing aids?
Medicare does not currently cover medical equipment as it relates to dental, hearing and vision. This does include hearing aids for the treatment of hearing loss. If your primary care physician feels a hearing test is medically necessary, they can send a written referral to one of our Medicare in-network providers and the diagnostic testing will be covered with your Medicare plan.
I was told my hearing aids were covered at 100%. What does that mean?
In most cases, there is an allowed amount that this percentage applies to based on your particular insurance plan. The exact amount is plan specific. We will check your benefits prior to your appointment to know more specifically what is covered and how it applies to your needs.
What does an out-of-network benefit mean?
Healthcare providers can elect to be in or out of an insurance network. This will determine what type of financial coverage and responsibility you may have versus what your insurance plan will pay. We are in-network for the health insurance plans shown above and are happy to let you know prior to your appointment if we are in or out-of-network with your specific plan.
Can you bill wax removal to my insurance?
Audiologists and Hearing Care providers cannot bill insurance for cerumen (wax) removal, however we are trained and experienced in performing these services. We bill a nominal office visit fee for these services.