Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
Hearing aids are medical devices that are dispensed by a licensed professional and the most common treatment for hearing loss. They amplify sounds in a way that’s optimized to your specific hearing loss. They are personalized, connected, and focused on controlling the sounds around you by reducing competing noise using signal processing and multiple microphones. They are designed for you to use all day long, supported by long-lasting batteries and comfortable wear.
Hearing devices are full of features to help you hear better and engage with others. Devices today do more than just help your hearing—they are connecting to your smartphone and providing a better, more practical experience. But, with many hearing devices currently on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.
The selection of a hearing device can be an overwhelming process because there are so many features and styles. Our audiologists will guide you. We’ll separate fact from fiction, because here at Mass Eye and Ear, we not only dispense hearing aids, but we study their components, test their claims, and stay current on the latest technological developments. Every hearing device we carry has passed very high standards of fit and function.
We will help you navigate transparent and flexible payment options, including insurance advocacy.
NEW in 2020: Unbundled Pricing
Hearing aid services and devices are now charged separately. This model allows for cost transparency and to charge only for services that you use. The first step is a Communication Needs Assessment, when an audiologist will connect your listening needs with your hearing loss to offer a variety of options to help. Our services continue through fitting the hearing devices, as well as long-term follow-up care and maintenance of the devices.
Service Plans and Follow-Up Care
Whether you buy your hearing device at Mass Eye and Ear or at retail, you may receive follow-up care with Mass Eye and Ear. We offer two different pricing options for services and long-term care:
- Fee for service: this option allows you to pay as you go for services.
- Purchase a 1, 2 or 3 year service plan: this option allows you to bundle in services that you may need for your hearing device and ongoing care.
Private health insurance sometimes provide partial coverage for hearing aids. While Medicare does not cover hearing aids, MA Medicaid often does. Some insurance companies require you to use an in-network provider. Call ahead to determine if we are in your network. You may also be able to use your Health Savings or Flexible Spending Accounts (HSA and FSA) for tax-free spending.
Types of Hearing Aids
With conventional hearing aids, there are three basic styles: behind-the-ear (BTE), receiver-in-the-ear (RITE), and in-the-ear (ITE).
- BTE hearing aids sit behind the ear and connect to an earmold in the ear with a sound tube. Because most of the components are behind the ear, they are durable, as they have fewer wax and moisture problems compared to other styles. They vary in size and have the flexibility to fit to every type of hearing loss. The earmold that couples the hearing aid to the ear is made of a lightweight material and is custom made for comfort and fit. Sometimes, for people with no hearing in one ear, sounds can be picked up on the poorer ear and are sent to the better ear. This is a special kind of BTE hearing aid called a “CROS.”
- RITE hearing aids are similar to BTE hearing aids, but the speaker portion of the hearing aid (known as the receiver) sits in the ear canal. It can connect to an in-ear dome or a custom earmold. This can be more discrete than a standard BTE.
- ITE hearing aids are in a shell, which are custom formed to fit in the bowl of your ear and/or the ear canal. They are typically intended for mild to moderate degrees of hearing loss, and come in a range of sizes, from very small devices that fit completely-in-the-canal (CIC) to ones that entirely fill the bowl of your ear.
Only some health insurance companies cover hearing aids. We sell Phonak, Oticon and ReSound.
If you have hearing loss due to sounds being blocked (conductive hearing loss) or are deaf on one side, you may benefit from a bone conduction hearing aidWith a conventional hearing aid, the sound waves need to travel through your entire auditory system, which includes the outer, middle, and inner ear. With a bone conduction device, the sound will bypass these parts and stimulate your inner ear directly by providing vibration directly to your head.
Non-surgical approaches to hold the bone conduction processor on the skin include an adhesive sticker placed on the sking behind the ear or wearing a soft headband or a special plastic band that fits on similar to backward glasses. We use bone conduction hearing aids from Oticon Medical, MED-EL and Cochlear.
Please note, the following devices are not currently offered at Mass Eye and Ear. Please contact us if you have any questions.
- Lyric hearing aids rest inside the ear canal for months at a time. They use part of the ear's natural anatomy to amplify sound. The device is placed near the eardrum by a trained professional, no surgery or anesthesia is required. Learn more
- Earlens hearing aids look like BTE hearing aids, but have a part that looks like a lens and sits directly on the eardrum. Because a part sits directly on the eardrum, a physician helps place this device. Learn more
Meet Our Team
Audiologists are licensed professionals with doctoral-level training who can perform the tests required to fully and accurately assess hearing loss and determine the best course of action for treatment and management. Seeing patients of all ages—from newborns to adults—they can help people with any kind of hearing problem stay connected to the people they love.