What Are The Financial Details You Need To Know
Hearing aids are expensive items, more than that they are devices that should make a real difference to your life for many years. So this is an important long-term purchase, it is important that all of the financial details are very clear. A professional should provide you with a written contract agreement. The contract agreement should cover the cost of the hearing aids, the length of the trial period if any, the money back guarantees, the included warranty and any long-term service and back-up you are entitled to. As a friend of ours is fond of saying, if it isn’t written down, it never happened.
Cleaning The Hearing Aids Is Not Possible Due To The Small Parts
Hearing aids have a lot of small parts that need to be cleaned daily. If this does not happen, the function of the hearing aids will be limited over time. When cleaning can no longer be done by the hearing aid user, it should be done by family members. If there is no possibility to clean the hearing aids, the hearing care professional should be visited more often.
It may well be that cleaning appointments should be made every 2-4 weeks. These should be arranged individually since some people form more earwax than others.
Batteries Repairs And Replacements
If you have an NHS hearing aid, you can get free batteries and repairs from the NHS hearing aid service who fitted your hearing aids.
Ask your audiologist about how to obtain batteries and request servicing and repairs.
You may need to come in for an appointment, or you may be able to send off for a battery or repair in the post.
Your local hearing aid service can also replace hearing aids that have been lost or damaged, although there may be a charge for this.
If you have a private hearing aid, contact your hearing aid provider if you need it repaired or replaced.
You may have to pay for this service if it’s not already included in your payment plan.
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The Perfect Fit With Widex Easywear
First-time hearing aid users may find that their voice sounds strange when they first put their hearing aids on. Getting used to hearing aids does take some time.
There are two other issues that Widex has been working to fix when it comes to how hearing aids fit in the users ear. We recently found a solution to these with WIDEX EASYWEAR:
Lateral migration Older hearing aid models may feel like they are going to fall out of your ears when you move around a lot a problem that is technically called lateral migration. We have worked to fix this problem with EASYWEAR, a feature of Widex hearing aids that helps your hearing aids to better stay in your ears.
Itching Lateral migration can also cause a feeling of itching in your ears due to the friction caused by moving ear molds. EASYWEAR can also help this by minimizing friction and keeping hearing aids firmly in place.
The patent-pending design of WIDEX EASYWEAR allows for a better physical fit, more stability in the ear canal, and a more discreet look.
Special Features For Hearing Aids
Several features are available to improve the hearing aid experience. The most common are:
- Directional microphones that enhance speech understanding in noise and reduce the impact of background noise
- Noise management to improve listening comfort in noisy environments
- Feedback cancellation to alleviate the annoyance of whistling or buzzing when the microphone gets to close to the speaker
- Programs to access sound from phones, TVs and other devices
- Tinnitus masking tools for people who have ringing in the ears
- Cutting-edge hearing aids come with artificial intelligence and deep neural networks
- Wireless capabilities to transfer sound between ears and connect to Bluetooth devices
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What Research Is Being Done On Hearing Aids
Researchers are looking at ways to apply new signal processing strategies to the design of hearing aids. Signal processing is the method used to modify normal sound waves into amplified sound that is the best possible match to the remaining hearing for a hearing aid user. NIDCD-funded researchers also are studying how hearing aids can enhance speech signals to improve understanding.
In addition, researchers are investigating the use of computer-aided technology to design and manufacture better hearing aids. Researchers also are seeking ways to improve sound transmission and to reduce noise interference, feedback, and the occlusion effect. Additional studies focus on the best ways to select and fit hearing aids in children and other groups whose hearing ability is hard to test.
Another promising research focus is to use lessons learned from animal models to design better microphones for hearing aids. NIDCD-supported scientists are studying the tiny fly Ormia ochracea because its ear structure allows the fly to determine the source of a sound easily. Scientists are using the flys ear structure as a model for designing miniature directional microphones for hearing aids. These microphones amplify the sound coming from a particular direction , but not the sounds that arrive from other directions. Directional microphones hold great promise for making it easier for people to hear a single conversation, even when surrounded by other noises and voices.
What Is A Hearing Aid
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear. It makes some sounds louder so that a person with hearing loss can listen, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities. A hearing aid can help people hear more in both quiet and noisy situations. However, only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one.
A hearing aid has three basic parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The hearing aid receives sound through a microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.
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Getting Used To A Hearing Aid
Getting used to hearing aids takes time. Even your own voice sounds different when you wear a hearing aid. However, you will notice that your ability to hear will continue to improve.
When first using a hearing aid, keep these points in mind:
- Hearing aids won’t return your hearing to normal. Hearing aids can’t restore normal hearing. They can improve your hearing by amplifying soft sounds.
- Allow time to get used to the hearing aid. It takes time to get used to your new hearing aid. But the more you use it, the more quickly you’ll adjust to amplified sounds.
- Practice using the hearing aid in different environments. Your amplified hearing will sound different in different places.
- Seek support and try to stay positive. A willingness to practice and the support of family and friends help determine your success with your new hearing aid. You may also consider joining a support group for people with hearing loss or new to hearing aids.
- Go back for follow-ups. Providers may include the cost of one or more follow-up visits in their fee. It’s a good idea to take advantage of this for any adjustments and to ensure your new hearing aid is working for you as well as it can.
What You Can Expect To Hear
Hearing is a use it or lose it sense. If the brain can no longer hear the sounds of life, then it becomes deprived of stimulation and slowly weakens. Delaying the fitting of a hearing aid can aggravate this process and also makes it much hard to acclimatise or get used to a hearing aid.
It can be many years before a person with a hearing loss seeks help for their difficulties. And then in an instant, all that lost hearing is given back, so its not surprising that getting used to hearing aids is a process that takes time.
Typically as a first time hearing aid user, you will notice an immediate improvement in speech clarity of those around you. You could also notice that your own voice sounds different, but rest assured, it hasnt changed for everyone else, its just because you are hearing it properly for the first time, often in a long time!
Next, it is the smaller sounds, like the car indicator, or footsteps on the ground that may be most noticeable. This is because these are the sounds that you lost first and those which require the most amplification. The tone of sounds may also sound different from what you are used to, and this will depend on the type of hearing loss you have.
Over time your brain will acclimatise to these new sounds, and they will become your new normal. But if you want to be eased in, your audiologist will ensure that you are comfortable with the sounds that you are hearing.
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Beginning The Fitting Process
A sound test comes next, and this is a very important step. Your audiologist places a thin tube in your ear near your eardrum. This tube measures the impact of loud and soft sounds on your eardrum.
Next, your hearing aid is placed in the ear canal along with the tube. By again checking the volume, your audiologist balances the hearing aid amplification, allowing you to hear soft sounds and loud sounds comfortably.
Your audiologist also will check the fit of your hearing aids to make sure youre comfortable.
What Is The Process Like To Get Hearing Aids
The first step is a hearing test given by a qualified hearing care provider. They’ll discuss hearing loss treatments with you. If hearing aids are recommended, they must be fitted appropriately. Hearing aids should amplify sounds so they can be heard comfortably without causing discomfort, and must be secure and physically comfortable in the ear.
The hearing aids are adjusted using a computer in the hearing care professionals office, known as a calibration, and the results can be measured. Keep in mind that the quiet nature of a hearing clinic often does not represent the variety of sounds heard in everyday life, so your new hearing aids will need to be evaluated in the sound environments most important to you, which can always be done later on.
Your hearing care professional will help you understand what your new hearing aids are capable of, teach you how to use them and work with you to get the best hearing possible. Your hearing care professional may also suggest specific assistive listening devices to supplement the hearing aids and to address specific complaints.
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Programming And Fitting Your Hearing Aids
Before your hearing professional can fit your hearing aids, they need to be programmed. Using the results of your hearing tests, they will change the settings using special software so that they are programmed for your ears. The next step is to test them to check if they are providing the right level of sound. This requires a thin tube to be inserted into your ear, next to the eardrum to measure how the eardrum reacts and test the volume. The hearing aid is then put in place and turned on so that the volume can be measured again.
Another part of this fitting process is checking that your hearing aids feel comfortable. This means both that they feel physically comfortable in or behind your ear, and that they provide a comfortable level of sound. Your hearing professional might ask you to answer some questions, as well as carry out speech mapping. This will determine whether you are hearing the sound as you should. It should be clear and pleasant, although it might not sound exactly like it did before your hearing loss. Your hearing professional can adjust get the right fit.
S Of A Hearing Aid Fitting
Have questions for our Audiologists? Read Our FAQ Contact Our Office
Like many medical maladies, the process for solving hearing loss can be a lengthy one. Hearing loss requires proper diagnosis, accomplished through a series of tests, choosing the right hearing aids and making sure the hearing aids are properly fitted. The hearing aid fitting is one of the most important steps of the process. The appointment, which can last between one and two hours, often involves four steps.
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Getting The Most From Your Hearing Aids
Your hearing aids will also help you to get the most from your hearing aids. Wearing your hearing aids can feel strange at first, both in terms of the physical feeling of wearing them and the sound that you receive. It’s not unusual to find the sounds that you rediscover overwhelming. There can be some things that you have heard for a long time. You might feel many emotions about wearing your hearing aids and hearing things differently. Being honest with your hearing professional will help them to make the right adjustments.
When you first start to use your hearing aids, you might only start wearing them for a few hours each day. It can be overwhelming if you wear them for too long, especially as your brain needs to adjust to the new input. As you start to use them more, you will get used to them. You can attend further appointments to adjust your hearing aids, which will help you to get a better fit. The first fitting is often just a first step, and you can later perfect how your hearing aids are programmed. Having a positive attitude and practicing with your hearing aids can make a big difference.
Get in touch with us at Peninsula Hearing to learn more about our hearing aid dispensing and fitting process. You can reach our Poulsbo office by calling at 360-697-3061 or our Port Townsend office by calling at 360-379-5458.
Do You Need One Or Two Hearing Aids
If you have hearing loss in both ears, your hearing care professional will recommend two hearing aids. Two hearing aids provide superior benefits for the majority of people, allowing for better word recognition in quiet and noisy backgrounds, quality of sound, ability to determine the direction from which sound is coming and an overall more natural hearing experience.
Research has also shown that when both ears are candidates for hearing aids and only one ear is fitted, the unaided ear may lose speech recognition ability more rapidly than the fitted ear, according to a review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.
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Help And Support If You Wear Hearing Aids
Adjusting to hearing aids can be difficult at first. It may take a few weeks or months to get used to them.
You’ll have follow-up appointments after they’re fitted to check how things are going, but get in touch with your audiologist at any point if you’re having problems.
Several hearing loss organisations can also provide help and support if you’re adapting to hearing loss or life with a hearing aid.
Hearing Aid Fitting Faq
How Long Does It Take to Get a Hearing Aid Fitted?
If the hearing aids are in stock fitting can often be done on the same day. Custom and other non-stock devices need to be ordered from the manufacturer, which usually takes three to ten days. The actual fitting process normally requires 60 to 90 minutes.
Is It Hard to Adjust to Hearing Aids?
In most cases, new hearing aid users will note that their own voices sound amplified, and that certain external sounds like running water and crumpling paper can be sharp or harsh. This is a natural result of hearing sounds at full volume after many years of not hearing them naturally due to hearing loss. As the brain readjusts to hearing these sounds at a healthy volume, they will again become normal and natural. In most cases, this process begins almost immediately and lasts several weeks.
How Often Do Hearing Aids Need to Be Adjusted?
It is normal for new hearing aid users to return to the clinic one to three times during the first months for minor adjustments. We also encourage our patients to return once a year for a retest if the test shows changes in hearing, the hearing aid programming will be readjusted to compensate.
Do Hearing Aids Have Volume Control?
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Do You Need A Prescription For Hearing Aids
There are two separate answers to this question, the answers are different because of the different contexts of prescribed. So answer one: Yes, for a hearing aid to work well for you it needs to be prescribed. The term prescription, when used for hearing aids is really more about customisation of any hearing aid for you, your hearing loss and your lifestyle. When I speak about prescription in this context, really what I am speaking about is the instructions for customisation of sound. It is this customisation that allows a hearing aid to deliver exactly what you need to hear better.
Answer two: In the normal context of prescribed, where only a doctor can prescribe medicine. Only a hearing care specialist can prescribe hearing aids in most countries. In order to provide hearing aids, they need to be qualified to do so.
Can You Buy Hearing Aids Over The Counter
Over-the-counter hearing aids are not yet available in the U.S. In 2017, a law was passed that would allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter for mild to moderate hearing loss, pending the Food and Drug Administration releasing regulation to govern over-the-counter hearing aids. However, these regulations have yet to be released, facing further delays due to COVID-19.
Currently, there are some amplifiers available for purchasing directly. These are called personal sound amplification products, or PSAPS, and they are neither regulated by the FDA nor intended to treat hearing loss.
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