Types Of Private Hearing Aids
How to Chose the Right Hearing Aids for You
Several factors make up what is the correct decision on hearing aid style for you, including hearing loss, ear canal shape and, of course, your personal preference. The selection process can be tailored to suit a range of different budgets.
All our hearing aids are available in a range of technology levels, from standard to premium. We can advise you on which level is required for your specific hearing needs.
As an independent practice we are not tied to a contract with certain hearing aid manufacturers. We supply hearing aids from several manufacturers, with a variety of styles and technology levels. This means that you can choose from a wider range of hearing aids we will advise you to choose the right one to suit you, not the best aid for business! Our staff are here to support you towards the right hearing aid choice for you, even if that means recommending NHS and not private aids.
Types of Hearing Aids
IIC is more than just a tiny hearing aid. It is the perfect combination of maximum hearing performance and minimum size. It is custom crafted to fit entirely in your ear canal, using computer-aided design and the latest generation of advanced materials. Wearing comfort is great while consistently delivering outstanding sound quality, with minimum visibility.
Completely-in-the-canal Hearing Aid
In-the-canal Hearing Aid
In-the-ear Hearing Aid
Receiver In The Ear Hearing Aid
Behind The Ear Hearing Aid
What Causes Hearing Loss In Older Age
Most people who experience hearing loss as they get older do so because of wear and tear to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear.
There are also other factors that can cause hearing loss, such as:
- regular exposure to loud noise
- a history of middle ear disease
- a family history of hearing loss.
Some people have a condition called tinnitus, which causes you to have persistent noises such as ringing or buzzing. This can also be linked to hearing loss.
Completely In The Canal /invisible In The Canal
People who are looking for something smaller than ITE hearing aids may opt for completely in the canal aids that only fill the ear canal and not the concha. They are only noticeable if you look directly at the wearers ear canal but are otherwise unnoticeable.
Invisible in the canal are our smallest hearing aids and are the most discreet type of aid available. They fit deeply in the ear canal and usually have a darker colouring so that they are not easily seen. For comfort, this is similar to the ITE but they are smaller and feel less bulky when in place.
Because they fit completely in the canal, IICs are considered to be very comfortable. As with all custom fit hearing aids, they are made to fit the wearer exactly. With first use, there can be a feeling of ears feeling blocked but less so than an ITE. Over time, this awareness of the aid will subside as the wearer gets used to their hearing aids.
If you would like to discuss the hearing aids best suited for your hearing loss and lifestyle book a free hearing test.
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How Do You Control Hearing Aid Settings
Some hearing aids have controls you can use, some automatically vary their settings depending on the environment you are in and others can be adjusted using a hand-held remote control or through an app on your smartphone. Always ensure that your audiologist discusses your preferences and the options with you to help ensure that you make fully informed and shared decisions.
Sign Language And Lip Reading
If you’ve been deaf from birth or you develop severe hearing loss later in life, it can affect your ability to communicate with other people.
But you can learn different methods of communicating that can be used instead of, or as well as, spoken English.
2 of the main methods are:
- lip-reading where you learn to watch a person’s mouth movements while they’re speaking to understand what they’re saying
- sign language a visual way of communicating using hand gestures, facial expressions and body language
For more information and help, see:
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Can I Obtain Financial Assistance For A Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are generally not covered by health insurance companies, although some do. For eligible children and young adults ages 21 and under, Medicaid will pay for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, including hearing aids, under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment service. Also, children may be covered by their states early intervention program or State Childrens Health Insurance Program.
Medicare does not cover hearing aids for adults however, diagnostic evaluations are covered if they are ordered by a physician for the purpose of assisting the physician in developing a treatment plan. Since Medicare has declared the BAHA a prosthetic device and not a hearing aid, Medicare will cover the BAHA if other coverage policies are met.
Some nonprofit organizations provide financial assistance for hearing aids, while others may help provide used or refurbished aids. Contact the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Information Clearinghouse with questions about organizations that offer financial assistance for hearing aids.
How Can I Adjust To My Hearing Aid
Hearing aids take time and patience to use successfully. Wearing your aids regularly will help you adjust to them.
Become familiar with your hearing aids features. With your audiologist present, practice putting in and taking out the aid, cleaning it, identifying right and left aids, and replacing the batteries. Ask how to test it in listening environments where you have problems with hearing. Learn to adjust the aids volume and to program it for sounds that are too loud or too soft. Work with your audiologist until you are comfortable and satisfied.
You may experience some of the following problems as you adjust to wearing your new aid.
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How Can Hearing Aids Help
Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. The damage can occur as a result of disease, aging, or injury from noise or certain medicines.
A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The greater the damage to a persons hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification needed to make up the difference. However, there are practical limits to the amount of amplification a hearing aid can provide. In addition, if the inner ear is too damaged, even large vibrations will not be converted into neural signals. In this situation, a hearing aid would be ineffective.
What Hearing Aids Are Available On The Nhs
The NHS tends to provide hearing aids from a smaller range than are available privately and so there is less of a choice.
The NHS provide hearing aids for patients that have been referred by their GP and they tend to offer BTE or Behind the Ear type hearing aids.
There are benefits of getting a hearing aid on the NHS such as the fact that they are provided for free as a long-term loan. Batteries are also free, but you may be charged if you break your hearing aid and it needs to be replaced. You also do not have to pay if you need follow up appointments or aftercare.
Should you require greater choice, more personal after care and the ability to benefit of the latest in hearing aid technology it might be a good idea to make an appointment to see a private audiologist such as Steven Hale.
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Receiver In The Ear Hearing Aids
Receiver in the ear hearing aids are similar to BTE hearing aids.
The main difference is that with RITE hearing aids, the part of the hearing aid that sits behind the ear is smaller and is connected by a thin wire to a speaker placed inside the opening of the ear.
RITE hearing aids are less visible than BTE hearing aids and are suitable for most people with hearing loss, but they can be more fiddly to use than BTE hearing aids.
Paying For Hearing Aids
If you do not mind paying for treatment, you can choose to go to a private hearing aid provider directly.
This may mean you can pick from a wider range of hearing aids, including the smaller, less visible models.
Not all hearing aids are suitable for everyone, but the hearing specialist will tell you which hearing aids are suitable within your budget.
If you choose to pay for private treatment:
- make sure you research typical costs of hearing aids and any aftercare you can pay anything from £500 to £3,500 or more for a single hearing aid
- shop around to see what types of hearing aid are available from different providers
- consider the cost of batteries and if you can change them easily
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Looking After Your Hearing Aid Tubing
If your hearing aid has an ear mould you are most likely to have a plastic tube that has been cut and tapered to fit securely in your ear mould. At the other end the tube will attach to your hearing aid. This type of tubing will get brittle over time and will need replacing about every 6 months to keep it working efficiently. Moisture can be another element that causes a problem with this type of tubing. If you suffer a lot with perspiration, sweat or moisture build up around your hearing aids, there is a likelyness your hearing aid tubing will block up with moisture. This can be the case as well if there is no air circulation getting into the ear which is normally provided by a vent in the ear mould.
Some tubing are also made with a cut tapered end. This allows for easy application into your ear mould. A hearing aid tube is cut to fit the mould and also cut to measure up neatly to match up with the hearing aid. This allows the hearing aid to sit comfortably behind the ear. If the tubing is cut too short it can feel tight or if it is cut too long the tubing will make the hearing aid sit higher allowing it to move off the ear.
Benefits Of Nhs Hearing Aids
So why would you opt for NHS hearing aids over a private clinic? Well, the most obvious reason is financial. Having the opportunity to restore your hearing ability without having to spend four figures is a big plus.
Theyre also not cheaply made. When you see a free product, the first inclination is to think that its low quality anything but premium. But NHS hearing aids are up to a solid standard, and while they dont have the biggest range of selectable hearing aids, youll still have some choice in regard to what youll be getting.
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Children And Ear Molds
Many children with hearing loss often use ear molds together with their hearing aids. One reason is that the type or degree of the hearing loss makes the use of ear molds necessary. Another reason is a practical one as hearing aids with so called open fittings are more delicate instruments and harder to handle and may therefore not be the optimal solution for physically active child.
Children need to have new ear molds made regularly as their ears grow and mature.
When Is A Hearing Aid Unsuitable
Hearing aids could be unsuitable when other medical treatment options are available or required, such as surgery. The decision is generally made with an audiologist and ENT consultation. Hearing aids might also be unsuitable when the benefits of conventional hearing aids are limited, for example if a patient has:
- conductive hearing loss that fluctuates between normal and mild hearing loss within a relatively short period of time
- infected or discharging ears preventing the wearing of a closely fitting earmould
- profound hearing losses
- neural components in hearing loss as hearing aids are designed to compensate for sensory impairment
Patients individual communication needs and psychosocial aspects are of paramount importance when deciding whether to fit hearing aids or not.
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Ordering Hearing Aids Online
Its possible to get hearing aids by ordering them online or through the post. These are usually basic amplifiers that come in standard settings. They wont be tailored to your individual hearing loss. Its in your best interests to have a face-to-face consultation where you can discuss your particular needs and be properly diagnosed.
Do You Currently Wear Hearing Aids
If you’re already wearing hearing aids and want to update them, the best place to start is with the current device style. If you’re happy with that style, you’ll often be able to find the same or a similar style to your outdated device, just equipped with newer and more modern features. Its possible the type of hearing loss has changed over time, however, so its important to have your hearing tested before updating hearing aids. More: Signs you need a new hearing aid.
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Different Types Of Hearing Aids Offered
Behind-the-ear hearing aidsA range of digital BTE aids are available to suit differing degrees of hearing loss.
Body-worn hearing aidsThese hearing aids are usually worn on the clothing and a cord links the device to an ear piece. Body-worn hearing aids may be suitable for patients with sight problems, or problems using very small switches or buttons.
CROS/BiCROS hearing aidsThese are for people with severe to profound unilateral or asymmetrical hearing loss. A hearing aid is fitted to the better ear with a separate microphone placed on the worst ear side. The microphone and hearing aid are wirelessly connected to each other. The purpose of this aid is to provide better sound perception on the worst ear side.
Which Hearing Aid Will Work Best For Me
The hearing aid that will work best for you depends on the kind and severity of your hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss in both of your ears, two hearing aids are generally recommended because two aids provide a more natural signal to the brain. Hearing in both ears also will help you understand speech and locate where the sound is coming from.
You and your audiologist should select a hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Price is also a key consideration because hearing aids range from hundreds to several thousand dollars. Similar to other equipment purchases, style and features affect cost. However, dont use price alone to determine the best hearing aid for you. Just because one hearing aid is more expensive than another does not necessarily mean that it will better suit your needs.
A hearing aid will not restore your normal hearing. With practice, however, a hearing aid will increase your awareness of sounds and their sources. You will want to wear your hearing aid regularly, so select one that is convenient and easy for you to use. Other features to consider include parts or services covered by the warranty, estimated schedule and costs for maintenance and repair, options and upgrade opportunities, and the hearing aid companys reputation for quality and customer service.
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Are Nhs Hearing Aids Good
To summarise, obtaining NHS hearing aids requires some degree of patience. The quality of care and the performance of the hearing aids have grown significantly better in the last few years. Generally, the NHS will only provide behind the ear hearing aids unless the problem requires a different solution. In ear or Invisible Hearing aids are not provided and you will need to buy these privately.
As we said, we are big fans of the NHS and the work it does to help people with hearing problems. Hearing Direct was established to provide an additional alternative to the private provision of hearing aids with more affordable prices. We give people a wider range of hearing aids to chose from than the NHS and in a more affordable and convenient way than many private hearing aid providers. We offer affordable digital hearing aids which can be delivered to your door the very next day if required no waiting, no fuss, and no appointments.
Update To Nhs Services For Covid
Following the stay at home advice issued on the 23rd March 2020, some NHS audiology departments have stopped routine appointments, for example two audiology departments which have published advice are Tayside and Lincolnshire.
If you require replacement hearing aid batteries or a repair you must either:
- make a request by post
- telephone your local audiology department
- or email them
Please note that HearingDirect can only repair their own brand hearing aids, although we are able to supply NHS accessories such as domes, tubes, and filters for NHS Hearing Aids.
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Help With Hearing Aids
It can take some time, and plenty of patience, to get to grips with your new device but over time you will be able to learn how to use it. Youll have follow-up appointments after theyre fitted to check how things are going, however you should get in touch with your audiologist at any point if youre having problems.
Some self-care tips for your hearing aid, suggested by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders , include:
- Keeping it away from heat and moisture.
- Cleaning your device as instructed by your audiologist. Earwax and ear drainage can damage your device.
- Avoid using hairspray and other hair care products whilst you have your hearing aid in.
- Always turn your hearing aid off when youre not using it.
- Replace dead batteries immediately.
There are several hearing loss organisations out there, who can provide help and support with your new hearing aid.