Marty Layne Hearing

Serving Maine with 2 locations
South Portland • 207-747-4929
Kennebunk • 207-985-8005
Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing Care

Our audiology and hearing care services will improve your overall hearing health.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I have a hearing test?

We at Marty Layne Hearing believe that every member of our community over the age of 55 should have a hearing test as part of their overall wellness program. Because of this belief, we have committed to offering hearing tests to all members of our communities at no charge. You hearing test will determine whether your hearing is normal or not.

If a hearing difficulty is present, we will also review your hearing history, which includes any noisy occupations and family history of hearing loss. We will talk with you about the results, discuss how hearing loss affects your life, and recommend options for better hearing. Some hearing losses can be treated medically or surgically; we can determine if a medical or surgical option is right for you. Most hearing losses can be helped by amplification. Your Hearing Healthcare Professional will discuss what strategy would be best for you.

So remember, if you have not had a hearing test since grade school, you owe it to yourself to find out how your hearing is. Call us today!
South Portland: 207-747-4929  Kennebuck: 207-985-8005

How long does a hearing test last?

The hearing test itself will last approximately 20 minutes. Discussion of test results and what can be done to address your hearing loss will last another 30 minutes. If you purchase hearing instruments, an appointment for fitting the hearing aids will last for an hour. You may have one to two additional half-hour appointments for adjustments.

Could my hearing loss be caused by wax build-up?

Excessive wax accumulation can cause a drop in hearing. In most cases, however, a hearing impairment is not due to excessive wax build-up alone. We will determine for you if wax is a cause of your hearing loss.

Why do I need to bring someone to my hearing test?

We believe that hearing loss is a family issue. The information we will give you about your hearing test and about our recommendations will be detailed. It helps to have someone along to listen, as well and to understand their role in helping you adjust to hearing instruments. We also use that person’s voice as a test for how well your hearing aids sound.

Do you offer free hearing tests?


How do I choose a hearing aid?

You will work closely with your Hearing Healthcare Professional to understand your hearing problem. Your Hearing Healthcare Professional will discuss your amplification needs, learn about your lifestyle and financial considerations, and then suggest a hearing aid that will perform best for you given those parameters.

It is not advisable to choose a hearing aid because your friend or relative does well with a particular brand of hearing aids. Each hearing loss is individual, and your solution should be individual as well.

How many hearing aid brands do you carry?

As independent practice, we have access to many different brands. We choose to carry four main brands of hearing aids. We have chosen these brands because they are technologically advanced, have good reputations, and are backed by companies willing to work closely with our patients.

Can I buy just one hearing aid?

This answer will depend on the results of your audiology evaluation. Generally speaking, your hearing performs much better with two instruments (especially in noise). Using one hearing aid alone will increase volume, but will be detrimental when trying to hear in a noisy environment or when trying to determine where the sound is coming from. Wearing one hearing aid is the equivalent of buying a great stereo system and getting only one speaker. Sometimes financial considerations cause patients to purchase just one instrument. When this is the case, it is recommended that a second instrument be added as soon as possible.

Will a hearing aid let me hear well in all situations?

No one hears well in all situations. If background noise is louder than the voice you are trying to hear, the voice will be inaudible even to someone with normal hearing! Once our hearing system is damaged, there is no way to return it to normal hearing. A hearing aid should improve most of the situations you encounter. The better the technology you choose, the truer this will be.

Can I wear a nearly invisible hearing aid?

While cosmetics is always a consideration, often the degree of hearing loss prohibits us from fitting an extremely small instrument. Powerful instruments need larger speakers and microphones. In addition, use of small hearing instruments costs more in the long run due to shorter battery life and more frequent repairs. Newer technologies are even more discreet than the very tiny hearing aids. Talk to us!

What will my adjustment to hearing aids be like?

Adjusting to hearing aids will depend on your amount of hearing loss and the clarity remaining in your hearing system. Your Hearing Healthcare Professional will counsel you on both these issues and give you realistic expectations. It is helpful if you give us specific examples of where you are not hearing well and wish to hear better.

How will I care for a hearing aid?

Your hearing instrument fitting will include how to take care of your hearing aids. Hearing aids can be damaged by water, so it is not advisable to wear them swimming, in the shower, or in a high-humidity environment such as a paper mill. Wax and debris that may clog the sound tube of the hearing aid or the microphone needs to be removed periodically. Your Hearing Healthcare Professional will help educate you on this process, and we will provide a thorough cleaning of your hearing aids every few months as part of our service to you.

Do I need to wear hearing aids if I’m home alone?

Many people feel that they only need to wear hearing aids when they will be talking to other people or participating in group activities. This is not true. Our brain adjusts to better hearing gradually and as it does so, it becomes better and better at recognizing sound quickly and clearly. This can only happen if the hearing aid is worn from morning until night. (You do not wear hearing aids when you are sleeping.) We’ll cover more on brain rehabilitation at your hearing aid fitting.

Do all hearing aids take batteries?

Yes. All hearing aids, including digital hearing aids, require a battery to power them. Batteries, depending on size, last anywhere from five days to fourteen days. They are not like watch batteries – which only have to move a second hand – they are powering an active instrument all the time. We have a policy of selling highly discounted batteries to our hearing aid users. We are beginning to see rechargeable hearing aids appear in the marketplace.

How much do hearing aids cost?

Hearing aids are prescription devices that are set specifically to the patient’s hearing loss. You may see price ranges from less than $100 up to $10,000. An inexpensive device will likely not help you prescriptively. Our hearing aids range between $1,250 and $3,700 per hearing aid.

What if I can’t afford a hearing aid?

Not being able to afford a hearing aid should not stop you from obtaining a full diagnostic evaluation. Your Hearing Healthcare Professional will discuss hearing aid prices with you and your options in purchasing one or two. The Hearing Healthcare Professional will also discuss financing options with you. There are many financing options available at excellent interest rates and payback arrangements. Even if you choose not to purchase hearing aids at this time, a hearing evaluation is invaluable for tracking the progression of your hearing loss.

Why are some hearing aids advertised at 50 percent off?

Some companies use “big sales” or giveaways to encourage the purchase of hearing aids. When a hearing aid is advertised for 50 percent off, you have to wonder why the hearing aids are so highly priced at any other time! Sadly, some companies boost their prices before offering sales.

Be wary of someone only interested in selling you a hearing aid. You should have a complete hearing evaluation and full counseling prior to purchasing anything. Remember, at Marty Layne Hearing our hearing aids are fairly priced all the time.

Why shouldn’t I buy a hearing aid for a few hundred dollars?

Digital hearing aids are a lot like computers – the more technologically advanced they are, the better they will perform. Low-cost hearing instruments are very basic and their performance falls markedly when used in any situation other than quiet. Our lives, even if we live alone, are seldom quiet. You may find that the pleasure of a “sale” price is quickly replaced by the heartbreak of a poor-quality instrument.

Call (207) 747-4929 or e-mail
We’re always happy to answer questions or welcome you to our practice.