Hearing Aid Technology Is Rapidly Advancing
There are many types of hearing aids availablefrom completely invisible aids that rest in the ear canal, to hearing devices custom-molded to fit in your ear, to the familiar behind-the-ear hearing devices. There are even hearing aids that stream phone calls and music wirelessly from your iPhone and assistive devices for special hearing needs.
Hearing aids cant restore your hearing. But they can amplify sounds to help improve your hearing. Most hearing aids are digital. With small microphones, digital hearing aids collect sounds from the environment. They also contain a tiny computer chip with an amplifier that has a big job to do: convert sound into digital code.
The chip also 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 speakers.
Hearing aids vary by price, size and special features. The right choice for you also depends on your hearing needs and your lifestyle. The best way to select the right one is to get guidance from your local audiologists.
Completely In The Canal Hearing Aids
- Ear canal impression used to create a custom fit.
- Comes in a variety of skin tones and colors.
- Can sync to smart a device.
- Smallest and least visible hearing aid.
- Custom-fit for excellent sound quality.
- Less sensitive to wind noise.
- Less feedback from telephone and other interference.
- No extra features such as volume control or directional microphone.
- Not for those with profound hearing loss.
As the name suggests, completely-in-the-canal devices fit entirely inside your ear canal for almost invisible wear. These are ideal hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Because this device fits deep within the ear canal, removal occurs by tugging on a small string attached to the device. The batteries used for these completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are quite small and do not have a long lifespan.
In general, completely-in-the-canal hearing aids can be difficult to handle and adjust. Still, the nearly invisible style makes it popular for those concerned about the cosmetic effects of wearing a hearing aid.
Assessment Of Hearing Aid Needs
Everyone’s hearing loss is unique, soproper hearing aid selection is important.
Your hearing care professional will begin the selection process by conducting an in-depth consultation with you to learn more about your lifestyle, your expectations, your personal preferences and your thoughts on any previous experiences with hearing aids. Your hearing test results, along with this information, will help the professional pull together some options for you to review.
Read Also: Asl Sign For Hungry
Choose The Right Type Of Hearing Aid
During the hearing aid evaluation, your hearing care professional can help you decide which type of hearing aid is best for you. This depends on a range of factors that includes your hearing loss severity, lifestyle, physiology, and personal preferences.
Here are a few points to consider:
- Do you wear glasses and have an active lifestyle? You might prefer a hearing aid that firmly sits in the ear canal.
- Do you fear the stigma of wearing a hearing aid? See if an almost invisible completely-in-the-canal hearing aid works for you.
- Does your ENT expect your hearing loss to progress more rapidly? Choose a hearing aid that can keep pace with any changes in your hearing ability.
- Do you have moderate to severe hearing loss? A behind-the-ear or receiver-in-the-canal unit can provide more processing power and better amplification.
- Does your tinnitus bother you? Pick a hearing aid that can also treat the ringing in your ears.
- Do you struggle with dexterity? Get a hearing aid thats easy to control and maintain, possibly a rechargeable one.
- Do you travel a lot? Make sure your rechargeable hearing aid comes with a two-in-one charging and carrying case.
Learn more:How do hearing aids work?
How Youll Get One
If you dont already know an ear, nose, and throat doctor , ask your regular doctor to send you to one. This specialist can evaluate and treat your hearing loss.
The ENT will do an exam to find out whats causing your trouble. You also will see an audiologist who will do tests to find out the type of hearing loss you have and how bad it is.
These specialists can give you a hearing aid if you need one. Avoid mail-order hearing aids. They often don’t fit well and don’t improve your hearing enough.
If you have hearing loss in both ears, its probably best to wear two hearing aids.
Recommended Reading: Sign Language For Hungry Baby
Change Your Wax Guards
If you want to keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape, make sure you change your wax guards when you need to. The wax guard is the only thing that keeps wax out of the speaker of your hearing aid. Usually, they do a fantastic job, however, if you leave it too long between changes the wax guard can fail and allow ear wax past.
Make a visual inspection of your wax filter, if it is packed with wax, use the brush that came with your cleaning kit on it to try and dislodge it. This is better done in the morning because usually the ear wax will have dried overnight and will be easier to dislodge. If you can’t get it all out, well then it is time to change the wax guard.
Is There A Hearing Aid That Does Not Go Into The Ear
Hearing aids that do not go into your ear work with vibration. The actual hearing aid is positioned on the bone directly behind your ear. This type of hearing aid uses bone conduction in order to transmit the soundwaves although it is not placed in your ear canal.
Those hearing aids oftentimes get mounted on the temple of glasses or are integrated with a headband. First of all this system does not work with every hearing loss. The hearing module is technically and optically integrated into your glasses in such a way that the additional benefit of your glasses is almost invisible. Due to the usual position of the glasses on the head, your hearing system is automatically ideally positioned on the head.
Manufacturers making those hearing aids that do not go into the ear are rarer compared to the ones making normal hearing aids. One of the specialized companies in this space is Bruckhoff. They also have a hearing system that does not need to be specifically made only for one of your glasses but you can click it on several of them which makes the system very versatile.
Compared to the normal hearing aids described above this system has a smaller frequency bandwidth which ranges from 200 â 5000 while normal hearing aids provide a frequency bandwidth of 200 â 8000 in most cases.
Recommended Reading: Beltone Hearmax Pairing
Hearing Aid Clean And Care
It is important that you follow a hearing aid clean and care process to ensure you protect your investment. The process involves drying and cleaning your hearing aids and you can read a fuller description of the process here. In essence, you should wipe your hearing aids with a clean dry cloth to remove oil and ear wax. You should take careful note of your wax filter and change it when needed. You should invest in a drying kit, simple kits will cost you not much more than a tenner, and they will ensure your hearing aids keep going for longer.
What Is An Open
An open-fitting hearing aid is an adaptation of the receiver-in-the-canal device. Like most hearing aids, a unit fits on the back of the ear and connects to a receiver inside the ear by a wire. The speaker wire delivers the sounds into the ear canal. We then fit a dome within the ear.
Open-fit describes the piece we attach to the wire within the ear canal. This piece, called a dome, is crafted with vents so the ear doesnt feel closed up. We also place the dome to be less occluding in the ear canal.
You May Like: Ear Curette Walgreens
How Can I Care For My Hearing Aid
Proper maintenance and care will extend the life of your hearing aid. Make it a habit to:
- Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture.
- Clean hearing aids as instructed. Earwax and ear drainage can damage a hearing aid.
- Avoid using hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
- Turn off hearing aids when they are not in use.
- Replace dead batteries immediately.
- Keep replacement batteries and small aids away from children and pets.
How Do You Get A Good Fit With Hearing Aids
A poorly fit hearing aid wont help you hear better. Aside from giving you a bad impression of hearing aids, it could also make your hearing worse.
Getting a perfect fit isnt easy to do on your own. It requires precise measurements of your hearing ability, the right type of hearing aid for your hearing loss, and physically fitting each hearing aid to your ear. Lets unwrap everything you need to know to get perfectly fitted hearing aids.
Don’t Miss: How To Say Take In Sign Language
Is There Anything You Need To Know Ahead Of The Fitting Appointment
There are different styles of hearing aids that you can get. This varies on the levels of technology being used, and with advancements being made all the time, things are constantly improving. Thankfully, the audiologist will discuss all the options available to you, so that you can make an informed choice of what is best for you. You can choose different styles that may include:
- In the ear
- Completely in canal
- Invisible in canal
Once you have decided and you are fitted with the sizing, they can take some time to arrive and you will have your actual fitting appointment.
What Is The Hearing Loop/t Setting
Most hearing aids have a T programme for use with a hearing loop found in very many public places where you see the hearing loop sign .
Make sure that you ask your audiologist if your hearing aids can be programmed so that the T setting is activated. This will mean you can use them with hearing loops in public places and with hearing aid compatible landline phones.
If your hearing aids dont have a T setting, ask about the best setting for telephone use. For mobile phones, you should ask how your mobile phone can connect wirelessly to your hearing aids as you can with many modern hearing aids.
Recommended Reading: Warm Compress For Earache
Comparison Between Rie And Bte Hearing Aids
Receiver-in-Ear hearing aids and Behind-the-Ear hearing aids both sit behind the ear and have a thin, wrap-around, transparent tube running to the ear canal. These types of hearing aids also have subtle differences, which are important to consider.
RIE hearing aids
On RIE hearing aids, the receiver, i.e. your speaker system, sits directly in your ear.
RIE hearing aids usually have a small plastic or silicone dome covering the receiver that sits in your ear canal.
RIE hearing aids are suitable for many types of hearing loss.
BTE hearing aids
BTE hearing aids house the receiver in the main body of the hearing aid.
BTE hearing aids can use custom-made earmoulds or domes that sit snugly in your ear, providing amplified sound and preventing whistling sounds.
BTE hearing aids tend to be the preferred solution for people with severe to profound hearing loss, as well as those susceptible to ear infections and earwax build-up.
What Are Your Lifestyle Needs
When considering your hearing aid, it is important for the professional to get a picture of the lifestyle you desire. You may have gradually avoided certain environments and social situations as your hearing loss worsened. Now is the time to think about what youd like to be able to do with the help of your new hearing aids! For example, if you spend your evenings talking on to family and friends on the phone, youll want a hearing aid that works well with your phone. If you work in a busy office, a hearing aid and assistive listening devices may be recommended to make group conversations easier.
Generally, more advanced digital hearing aids are designed for people who encounter many different listening situations with varying degrees of background noise. For sedentary people who are mostly at home with little background noise, basic models may be recommended.
You May Like: How To Say Angel In Sign Language
Itching In The Ear Canal
As tempting as it is to rip out your hearing aid and stick your finger in your ear to get rid of the annoying itch, we advise you not to do this. Sticking anything in your ear can result in worsening problems with ear wax compaction and can even lead to damage to the ear drum. The best thing to do is to clean your ears with a spray or drops every evening to moisturise the ear canal. Products such as the Earol Olive Oil Spray can help.
In The Ear Or Behind The Ear Whats The Best Hearing Aid For Me
Its a staggering statistic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition in the United States, surpassing diabetes and cancer. But we often take our hearing for granted.
If you have signs of hearing loss and a hearing evaluation reveals you should start using hearing aids, sorting through the options may be overwhelming.
When I talk about hearing aids with my patients, I usually begin with the style because thats dictated by the amount of hearing loss you have. The two categories are behind-the-ear hearing aids and in-the-ear hearing aids and there are pros and cons to both.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids sit behind your ear and can have a thin wire, dome or custom-fitted mold that goes into your ear canals. They can improve sound with most types of hearing loss.
- They may require more repairs due to the moisture and wax in the canals.
- They use smaller batteries, which dont last as long.
- Typically, theres only room for one microphone, which can impact hearing in noisy environments.
Next I look at dexterity and lifestyle needs.
The ability to handle the hearing aid, put it in, take it out and replace the batteries can be challenging if you have tremors, arthritis or any other issue using your hands. In-the-ear hearing aids are typically best if you have dexterity issues.
Also Check: Guinea Pig Ear Wax
Types And Styles Of Hearing Aids
Work with an audiologist to figure out which kind of hearing aid will work best for you, as well as any special features you need. The right device for you depends on:
- The type of hearing loss you have and how severe it is
- Your age
- Cost. The devices vary greatly in price, from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
There are two main types of hearing aids:
Analog hearing aids convert sound waves into electrical signals and then make them louder. Theyre usually less expensive and have simple volume controls.
Digital hearing aids convert sound waves into numerical codes similar to computer codes, then amplify them. The code includes information about the direction of a sound and its pitch or volume. That makes it easier to adjust the sound to what you need, whether youre in a restaurant, a quiet room, or a stadium. Most will adjust automatically. Although this type costs more than an analog hearing aid, the results are much better. Theyre also smaller and more powerful.
There are three main styles of hearing aids. They differ in size, placement in or on the ear, and how well they make sound louder:
In-the-ear hearing aids fit completely inside your outer ear. They have a hard plastic case that holds the electronics. Theyre best for people with mild to severe hearing loss, but they dont work as well for children whose ears are still growing.
Be sure to ask if the device you choose has any special features you want. Not all hearing aids have the same ones.
Get Help Finding The Right Hearing Aid
While its rare for something like a fit issue to cause enough problems that it leads to distortions in your sense of balance, an uncomfortable hearing aid fit can cause a variety of other small problems for you throughout the day. If you need a new hearing aid and youre looking for something comfortable you can count on for hours without having to think about, contact our team for an appointment. Getting help from professionals like our crew at the Happy Ears Hearing Center in Surprise, AZ is the easiest way to make sure you get just the right device for your needs.
Recommended Reading: Alcohol Ringing In Ears
One: Hearing Aid Evaluation
First, your audiologist will conduct a hearing aid evaluation. He or she will record the softest sound you can hear at different pitches and figure out what level of sound is uncomfortably loud for you. This test will determine how much amplification your hearing aid needs. Your audiologist might also ask questions about how much your hearing loss impacts your day-to-day-life, when you first noticed symptoms, and whether or not you experience tinnitus. Tell your audiologist what youre looking forward to doing with your new hearing aids, as your lifestyle will affect your selection. For example, do you often chat on the phone? Do you enjoy dining at busy restaurants with lots of background noise? Have you been avoiding any environments or situations due to your hearing loss? After your hearing evaluation, your audiologist should have a good understanding of the severity and particularities of your hearing loss.
How To Fit Your Aid Correctly
It is very important to take care when putting on your hearing aid. When you first buy your hearing aid, you need to make sure you know how to put it in properly. Digital hearing aids usually come with detailed manuals for use and most have accompanying images showing the right steps of inserting and adjusting the hearing aid to the ear. If you feel unsure, it is best to ask your dispenser or audiologist for more information or assistance. Once you know how to place your hearing aid, you can put it on and check with a mirror or ask someone to see if it looks correctly inserted. However, regardless of the look, your hearing aid should feel comfortable in your ear. If that is not the case, then you should remove it and put it on again until it fits correctly.
You May Like: How To Say Im Hungry In Sign Language