Perhaps you’ve thought about getting a hearing aid, but you’re worried about how it will look or whether it will really help. Modern hearing aids are smaller than ever before, with discreet design and incredible features that bring significant benefits to your life. When searching for new hearing aids, it is important to have an accurate hearing test and to take into account your lifestyle and hearing needs in the real world. Here we provide some information on hearing aids and tips on things to consider when selecting a new pair.
How Do They Work
While hearing aids can’t restore normal hearing, they can improve your hearing by amplifying soft sounds, helping you hear sounds that you’ve had trouble hearing. Hearing aids all use the same basic parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and make them louder. Most hearing aids are digital, and all are powered with a hearing aid battery. Rechargeable hearing aids are the latest offering from hearing aid manufacturers, allowing users to charge their aids with a recharging station.
Small microphones collect sounds from the environment. A computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code. It analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through tiny speakers.
Hearing aid styles
Hearing aids vary a great deal in size, special features, and the way they’re placed in your ear. The following are common hearing aid styles, beginning with the smallest, least visible in the ear. Depending on your hearing needs, we will work with you to determine the best style of hearing aids.
Completely in the canal (CIC) or mini CIC – A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. The CIC is smallest and least visible type.
In the canal – An in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. This style can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
In the ear – An in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is custom made in two styles — one that fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear (full shell) and one that fills only the lower part (half shell). ITE hearing aids include features that don’t fit on smaller style hearing aids, such as a volume dial.
Behind the ear – A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an ear mold that fits in your ear canal. This type is appropriate for people of all ages and those with almost any type of hearing loss.
Hearing Aid Features
Hearing is a personal experience, so there is an array of features designed to address the many different experiences we have with hearing loss. Common hearing aid features include:
- Noise reduction
- Directional microphones
- Rechargeable batteries
- Telecoils make it easier to hear when talking on a telecoil-compatible telephone
- Wireless connectivity
- Remote controls
- Direct audio input
- Variable programming
- Environmental noise control
- Wind noise reduction
- Feedback cancellation
Things to Take into Account with Hearing Aids
An accurate and up-to-date hearing test: At All Ear Doctors, we provide comprehensive hearing tests to determine your hearing abilities. If a hearing loss is detected, we’ll work with you to determine the best solution for your hearing needs.
Your lifestyle: Hearing aids are meant to be worn everyday to ensure optimal benefits. Take into account your daily activities, hobbies, employment, exercise, etc. These everyday routines help determine the style and features that will work best for you. For example, there are hearing aids with high IP ratings to help protect the devices from moisture, which is an excellent choice for people who work out. If you’re often in business meetings, you may want to find a hearing aid with excellent speech recognition features. Music lovers may enjoy the different high-definition music features that improve live and recorded sounds alike.
Think about future needs: Hearing aids are an excellent investment in your overall health and well-being. Hearing abilities change over time, so be sure to inquire about the adjustments that can be made in the future to accommodate your needs.
Getting used to your hearing aid
Getting used to a hearing aid takes time. You’ll likely notice your listening skills improve gradually as you become accustomed to amplification. Even your own voice sounds different when you wear a hearing aid. Your success with hearing aids will be helped by wearing them regularly and taking good care of them. The goal is that, in time, you find a hearing aid you’re comfortable with and that enhances your ability to hear and communicate.
Are you ready to improve your hearing abilities? Contact us at All Ear Doctors today to schedule a consultation.