How do hearing aids work and which ones work best?
Here is a simpled guide for the most frequently asked questions about getting and using today’s modern hearing aids.
The 12 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Aids
1. Describe what hearing aids actually do
Every hearing aid has four basic parts:
A microphone which grabs the sound
An amplifier that turns up the volume of the sound
A speaker that delivers the sound to you
A battery which juices up all the power
In order to hear you need the sound coming into you ear that is turned up loud enough so that you can recognize it. There needs to be enough energy to make all the parts work.
2. What are the three different types of hearing aids?
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?
An adjustable analog hearing aid is the least expensive and works well for people who will not be in noisy environments.
You must turn the volume up and down manually.
Adjustable analog hearing aids are on the way out and manufacturers will be producing mainly digital hearing aids in the future.
Programmable analog hearing aids can be adjusted for different settings, unlike the regular analog. This means the programmable analog can be turned up or down according to your situation by pushing a small control on the hearing aid. These will also be replaced by digital hearing aids in the future.
Programmable digital is the most advanced type and is equipped with a computer chip that analyzes all the sound and delivers it to you after it has adjusted the sound exactly to your hearing needs. These are the most expensive.
3. What are the four different styles?
A behind-the-ear hearing aid is on the outside and will fit behind the ear.
The in-the-ear hearing aid will fit inside the outer ear.
The in-the-canal hearing aid will fit partially in the ear canal.
A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid will be totally inside and will not be easily seen by others.
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each style?
A behind-the-ear hearing aid is the largest and works for most people suffering from hearing loss. They are the most powerful and can be the easiest to adjust. They have generally been noticeable in the past although newer smaller models are not as visible.
One of the problems with this style is that they have to be fitted and if the fit is not right the person could pick up irritating squealing sounds.
The in-the-ear hearing aid works for people with mild to severe hearing loss. They also have large batteries which help them last longer than smaller ones. They are quite visible to others and will sometimes pick up some noises you don’t want such as wind.
These are not good for children because their ears are still growing. They may produce unwanted squealing sounds and can be damaged by ear wax or ear drainage.
The in-the-canal hearing aid will work for mild to moderately severe hearing loss. It won’t fit completely inside the ear canal but it is still small enough to be hidden. One problem is that it has very small controls that may be hard for some people to adjust.
A completely-in-the canal hearing aid works for mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. These are the tiniest and least visible, but generally most expensive. Their batteries are smaller and will have to be changed more often. Also, because of their miniature size they may be hard for some people to adjust.
This hearing aid style has the highest repair rate and can also be damaged by ear wax and ear drainage.
5. How will I know I need a hearing aid?
See your doctor first so such conditions as an ear infection, earwax build-up, or a tumor are not the cause of your hearing loss. This should be done before you reach the point that you can’t hear conversation easily or you think people are mumbling.
6. What is the best way to find an audiologist?
Your doctor will be able to refer you to one, or you can do your own investigation by asking friends who have bought hearing devices. Get as much information as you can before making an appointment. You need to go to an audiologist who sells several brands of hearing aids rather than only one. This will give you more choices better fitting your needs. Your audiologist should be certified by the American Speech Language Hearing Association.
7. What can an Audiologist do for me?
He will test your hearing and investigate your lifestyle to see exactly what your hearing needs are. For example, he will evaluate how you hear. He will want to know if you talk on the phone a lot, watch television, live alone or in an apartment complex, etc. These situations are just as important as the kind of hearing loss you may be suffering from.
8. What if I find a hearing aid too difficult to use?
That’s another important part of the audiologist’s job. He will see that your hearing aid fits and that you know what to do about the batteries. He will also see to it that you understand how to operate your hearing aid. That’s why some audiologists offer classes so that you can learn how to adjust to your hearing aid and you can get with others who also have hearing loss.
9. Do hearing aids come with warranties?
Some do, others don’t. You will want the warranty just in case anything goes wrong. It goes without saying your warranty should cover parts and labor. A good company will back up its product.
10. I’m still concerned about something happening to my hearing aid
Don’t be. Get everything in writing ahead of time and you will know what to do if your hearing aid is damaged or lost.
11. Can a new hearing aid really give me my hearing back?
No. It is unfortunate that you will not have natural hearing from today’s hearing aids, but many can go a long way toward helping you hear. That’s a big difference. You should never believe hype that promises you complete hearing.
12. What if my new hearing aid doesn’t work for me?
Get everything in writing before you buy. Make sure you will have a guarantee and trial period and that you can bring it back if it doesn’t work for you.
With a little research you can quickly become an expert in concerning your hearing needs and care. You will know which hearing aids work best for your unique hearing loss and how to operate your hearing aid properly to get the maximum advantages.none