Frequently Asked Questions


Hearing loss impacts everyone differently and can occur at any age and for a variety of reasons. Age-related hearing loss occurs due to changes in the structure of your inner ear, although changes can also occur in your middle ear. As such, the National Campaign for Better Hearing recommends a baseline hearing test at 60 years of age, although a baseline hearing test is recommended to serve as a reference point at any age.

After your initial baseline hearing test, if you are 60 years or older, you should have your hearing tested on an annual basis.

The most common type of hearing loss (Presbycusis) is due to age. Presbycusis is a result of hair cell loss inside the cochlea or inner ear. It usually results in more hearing loss for treble than for bass sounds. In speech, the treble sounds are those like /s/, /f/, /th/, /ch/, /sh/, etc. If these are hard to hear, then words that rhyme will be hard to distinguish from each other, and the person is left guessing what might have been said. Think of the words “cat, fat, sat, hat, that.” All of them have the vowel “a,” but it is the high-pitched consonants at the beginning of the words that tell you what the words were.

Hearing loss can also be due to exposure to loud noise. In fact, noise is the second most common cause of hearing loss. It too results in hearing loss for treble sounds. In addition, hearing loss can result from certain medications, ear infections, diseases, head or ear trauma, congenital (birth or prenatal) or hereditary factors. Modern medicine cannot repair damaged hair cells. The only course of action is hearing aids and helpful loved ones.

Another type of hearing loss can result from problems with the middle ear, behind the eardrum. One of the more common examples of this is ear infections that result in earaches. As we all know, hard blowing of one’s nose can be felt in the middle ear behind the eardrum. This is because there is a connection from the throat to the middle ears. Throat infections can creep up into the middle ear through this connection and cause a middle ear infection. Children’s faces are shorter and the connection between the throat and middle ear is therefore more horizontal. This is why kids tend to get more ear infections than adults.

Your hobbies, activities and even work environment can have specific auditory requirements: for example, a librarian will want more amplification for soft sounds, whereas a construction worker will worry more about loud sounds not being made even louder.

Assistive listening devices today are all digital and are like miniature computers. Therefore, they are also very flexible in what they can be made to do in different kinds of listening environments. The way they amplify in different environments can be saved as separate listening programs.

If you have good hearing in one ear and hearing loss in the other ear, then of course one hearing aid is the best option. On the other hand, hearing loss usually occurs in both ears. Binaural (two-ear) hearing devices really help to restore a more “stereo” type of sound. They also help listeners hear better in background noise. It used to be that people with hearing loss in both ears were provided with only one hearing aid. This would be similar to wearing one lens with vision problems in both eyes. We have two eyes in order to see depth. With one eye we actually see as flat as a post card. If you cover one eye you might still think you see depth, but that’s only your brain fooling you for the moment.

In all truth if you were tested for depth perception, you would not have much with one eye. Similarly, we have two ears to tell the direction of sounds. It’s not as simple as saying that the right ear hears from the right, and the left ear hears from the left. The way it works is much more beautiful and fascinating than that.

Consider that sound travels over 1000 km/hr. Now think about the width of one’s head separating the ears one from another. If you are facing some direction, and someone speaks to you from your right-hand side, sound will reach your right ear a split second before it gets to your left ear. The sound will also be very slightly louder for your right ear compared to your left ear. It’s these tiny time and loudness differences between your ears that tell you what direction a sound is coming from. It’s a truly amazing fact about the wonderful sense of hearing! Needless to say, two ears are better than one.

A hearing aid will make it easier to hear, but cannot restore the natural function of your ear. Your hearing will be greatly improved with hearing aids – but, as we aim to set realistic expectations with our clients, we also want to stress that hearing aids won’t provide a 100% hearing restoration. The process of selecting, obtaining and adjusting hearing aids can also take some time; we encourage you to stay with the process and not to give up.

Once you find the hearing aid that works right for you, you’ll also find that it amplifies sound levels so that you are able to hear much more of what is being spoken around you (and all the other sweet sounds that life has to offer).

The goal, therefore, is not to look back at what was once considered “normal” for your hearing level, but finding the best hearing aid solution going forward.

Hearing sounds at a near-normal volume again – after an extended period of untreated hearing loss – can cause sounds to seem loud at first.

Your brain will quickly adjust, however, and the initial shock will fade as you continue to use the devices.

If you find that, as time goes on, the feeling of ‘awkwardness’ or ‘something just isn’t quite right’ persists, NexGen Hearing is here to offer continued support. Your audiologist can give you more information specific to your case.

There used to be more of a stigma with regard to hearing aids, but these have largely been erased in society, fortunately. It may have started with the size of the device, and the fact that hearing aids weren’t yet as prevalent.

Thankfully, today it’s seen as a smart move to take care of your hearing! Especially as society moves more to phones, Zoom, Skype and remote work, hearing becomes a more valuable asset in our day-to-day communication.

At the same time, hearing aids have become smaller and less visible. In fact, invisible hearing aids are now available. Others offer extremely low profiles and slim, sleek aesthetics.

An audiogram is a graph used by audiologists to represent hearing test results. The vertical axis (y-axis) represents the loudness of the sound in decibel. The horizontal axis (x-axis) represents the pitch from lowest to highest. Audiograms plot your hearing thresholds (the softest sound you can detect at least 50% of the time) over different frequencies.

After your hearing test, your hearing professional will review your audiogram with you so you can fully understand your hearing level and any hearing loss you might be experiencing. Learn more about what to expect in a hearing test.

Hearing Aid

There are many styles of hearing aids. Factors that determine the style of the hearing aids that an individual client will need are the degree of the hearing loss, power and options requirements of the hearing aids in question, one’s manual dexterity abilities, and cosmetic concerns.

Hearing aids, therefore, don’t offer a one-size-fits-all solution to hearing loss. When you work with NexGen Hearing Centres in BC, the process begins with hearing tests and assessments to narrow down the custom hearing aid that will work best for you. We’ll also ask the right questions to get a better understanding of what else is important to you in a hearing aid, such as: How ’Natural’ It Sounds; Look (visibility / invisible); Feel / Fit; Battery Life; Sound Directionality; Connectivity (with devices, etc.); and others.

The term “digital” is used so often today, it can be confusing. When the term digital is used regarding hearing aids, it generally means the hearing aid is 100% digital: in other words, they are “little computers.” Digital hearing aids also can communicate with one’s telephone and television using Bluetooth streaming. This means you no longer have to try hearing the sound coming from the speaker of your telephone or television. Instead, the sound is fed by Bluetooth technology right into your hearing aids and into your ears!

Hearing aid choice is a personal decision, but you should work with a professional while you’re deciding. It is important to learn about the different styles of hearing aids, such as the all-in-the-ear and behind-the-ear styles, as there are numerous brands, models, colours and sizes to choose from.

The physical size and shape of your own ear canal will also make a difference as to what style of hearing aid will work best for you. If you have trouble using your fingers or grasping small objects, then a smaller hearing aid will be harder to operate and remove from your ear. You may be better off with a larger model.

The choice is up to you, but the most important thing is that your hearing is improved.

There are two professionals who are involved in testing your hearing and fitting hearing aids: a provincially registered Audiologist or a Hearing Instrument Practitioner (HIP or RHIP). Both of these hearing health care professionals are registered by the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC, to test hearing and prescribe hearing aids. These professionals will help you choose the most appropriate hearing device for your needs and will ensure the best fit for you.

An Audiologist has a Master’s or Doctoral degree from a university. A Hearing Instrument Practitioner has a 2-3 year diploma from a college. Think of an Audiologist as an Optometrist and a HIP as an Optician. Audiologists have a relatively wider scope of practice in that they can test and fit infants and can also perform more specialized types of hearing tests. In the field of adult hearing health however, both of these professionals receive extensive training in the testing, fitting, counselling, and post fitting follow up of hearing aids.

Typically, a hearing aid will last 5 to 6 years, and with proper maintenance can last much longer. Hearing aids can be repaired or tuned over time as well. As different brands and different styles & configurations of hearing ads are available, we’ve found that the expected lifetime of the hearing aid can vary from one brand, maker and/or model to another.

Talk to a NexGen Hearing audiologist for more information.

Maintaining hearing aids is quite simple. Your audiologist at NexGen Hearing can give specific instructions for your specific hearing aid. Typically, a maintenance kit will be recommended that will remove moisture and earwax, and any excess can be wiped away with a clean gentle cloth.

Regular cleaning is highly recommended. If you’re able to make hearing aid cleaning a part of your daily routine, it’s possible to extend the life of hearing aid by years.

Like any other investment, hearing aids well do better over time with a little TLC, something that goes a long way.

The control features and options for hearing aids vary depending on size, brand, model and more.

There are different methods to control your hearing aid. One modern method is through your smart phone. Hearing aids with Bluetooth can connect to any Bluetooth compatible device such as phones, computers and more.

Larger hearing aids, though not invisible or especially low-profile, have distinct advantages for certain people. These hearing aids are more easily controlled, especially people who struggle with dexterity (elderly people appreciate these hearing aid models).

Talk to your NexGen Audiologist for more information on Bluetooth compatible hearing aids, or larger hearing aids for easier controls.

Many new hearing aids now feature Bluetooth compatibility. Bluetooth allows for your hearing aid to connect to other devices such as your smartphone or television. Having your hearing aid connect to your smartphone allows for easier phone and video calls with friends and family without missing a beat. Connecting your hearing aid to your television allows you to watch your favourite programs without turning the volume up too high. If you are interested in getting Bluetooth-compatible, contact NexGen Hearing today.

Hearing Aid

You are buying more than just a speaker to put in your ear when buying a hearing aid. You are making an investment to improve your lifestyle and quality of your life. It is important to be able to understand friends, co-workers and family members.

Hearing aid prices vary from several hundred dollars up to a few thousand, and it all depends on the advancement of the technology used in each device. Each price level of hearing aid will come with different features. If your listening needs are simple, it just might be that even the most basic hearing aid is enough for you. If your lifestyle is more active, and you find yourself needing to hear better in more noisy listening environments, then a more sophisticated level of hearing aid features will give you more benefit.

Whichever hearing aids you choose, NexGen Hearing offers a lowest price guarantee. We promise to match any valid competitor quote or advertised price on the same make and model of hearing instrument, PLUS we will pay out 15% of the difference.

Some hearing devices are not fully covered by all insurances, so it is important to find a professional that can offer you a finance program that allows you to hear now, and pay for the device on a weekly or monthly basis.

NexGen Hearing is one of the first hearing aid retailers to offer a leasing program, and we’re delighted to provide a complete range of hearing aid styles and technology levels within this program.

We also offer in-house financing options, so make sure to discuss this with your clinician if you are interested in this program.

Many hearing aids will qualify for some level of insurance coverage, but it is advisable to check with your insurance company and hearing health professional to make sure you are choosing a device that is fully covered by your insurance. If it is not, you may still qualify for other hearing assistance programs. Your NexGen Hearing health professional can discuss the details of these programs with you.

Yes! If you’re familiar with a subscription-based hearing device, that’s likely the Lyric that you’ve heard and/or read about.

Lyric is an extended wear hearing device, fitted directly into the ear canal by a hearing professional and worn for several months. The Lyric subscription includes tech upgrades, support and replacement devices.

NexGen Hearing Centres are your Lyric authorized hearing professionals in BC. Talk to one of our audiologists today about how Lyric hearing devices could be right for you.

There is a pretty wide range price range for hearing aids. The most important factors influencing the price of a hearing aid are:


Technology level: Hearing aids have a variety of technology levels depending on your hearing goals and news. More advanced technology translates to higher prices for hearing aids.

Size: Hearing aids are becoming more and more discrete, with smaller hearing aids typically having a higher price. Larger, outside the ear models tend to have lower prices.
Style of hearing aid: There are a variety of hearing aid styles, with your particular choice having an impact on price. Custom made In the Ear (ITE) hearing aids generally cost more than Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids.
Features: Hearing aids are now made with a wide variety of features such as bluetooth connectivity, telecoils, rechargeable batteries, directional microphones, and noise reduction technology. The more advanced your hearing aid’s features are, the more expensive they are likely to be.


Almost every hearing aid comes with some form of warranty, but at NexGen Hearing we offer a 3-year, all-inclusive manufacturer’s warranty, and 3-year all-inclusive loss and damage insurance.

There is also a 3-year supply of batteries included with your hearing aid purchase.

Additionally, NexGen Hearing provides the following services:

• Hearing aid accessory kit
• Follow-up evaluations and assessments
• Unlimited cleaning, re-programming and adjustments
• Communications counseling and advice as needed
• Loaner hearing aids if we need to send yours out for repair (as available)

Once you have made your hearing aid purchase, be assured that your support will not end. NexGen Hearing will continue to assist you through the following services:

• Follow-up evaluations and assessments
• Unlimited cleaning, re-programming and adjustments
• Loaner hearing aids if we need to send yours out for repair (as available)
• Online support videos to help you use your new hearing aids
• Communications counseling and advice as needed, to make your transition as smooth as possible

Many companies will provide a return guarantee of 30 days when you buy a new device, but at NexGen Hearing we are proud to offer a 90-day trial period for your new hearing aids, with no money down for 21 days. If you are not satisfied with your purchase at the end of this trial, 100% of your money will be refunded.

Much as hearing aids have evolved over time, so have hearing aid batteries – which now tend to last longer and provide better reliability than their predecessors. For the majority of hearing aid devices, the typical hearing battery will last up to a few weeks, depending on the amount of use, levels, conditions and other factors.

Most hearing aid batteries are made of zinc (aka “zinc-air batteries”). Hearing aid batteries come in a variety of sizes, configurations and levels of quality. You can find hearing aid batteries in many retail stores, Amazon and elsewhere.

NexGen Hearing is proud to offer hearing and repair and servicing. While hearing aids are built to last, they occasionally repair servicing, repairs, and technical adjustments. NexGen Hearing repairs hearing aids which are both under warranty and outside of warranty. Contact us today to get in touch with an audiologist or hearing aid expert today. We can discuss hearing aid options with you and provide repair estimates.