Introduction to Hearing Aids
Hearing aids range from extremely tiny ones that fit completely in the ear canal, to ones that are placed behind a person’s ear and that deliver sound into the ear canal via tubing and an earmold. Some use just a tubing to deliver the sounds or locate a tiny loudspeaker right in the ear canal.
Hearing aids will not correct hearing like glasses correct vision. Don’t expect 100% hearing, but they will help you hear in many more situations. Your new hearing aids may require follow up visits for technical tweaks by your Audiologist or hearing professional.
Adjusting to hearing devices takes time and perseverance, but it is worth it. You may have a love/hate relationship with your hearing aid at first as no one is enthusiastic about getting them, but after a while, you will not want to be without it.
A hearing aid coupled with your willingness to tell others how to communicate with you and using an auditory training program is a winning combination and will get you back to enjoying life as you once did.
Digital Hearing Aids Features
All modern hearing devices are digital and thus permit many types of operations not possible with the previous generation of analog aids. These not only allow more precise corrections to the unique pattern of specific hearing losses, but also include a number of other, possibly helpful, features.
Among these features are those which provide automatic directional microphones, noise suppression circuits, automatic volume control, and the suppression of acoustical squeals. All or some of these may be helpful for some people in particular instances. New and improved features are continually being introduced. A major factor in all modern fittings is to decide just what special feature should be included in the hearing aids.
One feature is certain. Be sure to ask your Audiologist to include a telecoil in your hearing aid. This will enable you to use hearing-aid-compatible phones and hearing assistive technology. The telecoil transforms your hearing aid into a wireless receiver and provides connectivity that helps you hear better in certain situations. A telecoil will expand the usefulness of your hearing device.
It is common to recommend two hearing aids (binaural), one for each ear. This may be modified depending upon the nature of the hearing loss, the person’s hearing needs, or economic considerations.
Different styles of hearing aids are available. Ask your Audiologist about which styles will work the best.
Selecting a Hearing Aid
The appropriately selected hearing device is often the most effective therapeutic measure for an individual with hearing loss. However, the process of selecting a type can sometimes seem daunting.
Obtain appropriate, well-fitted hearing aids through an Audiologist. Hearing devices are necessary and an important first step in treating hearing loss. Hearing aids are not like glasses – they do not correct hearing, but they are helpful in improving hearing and quality of life.
Verify that your Audiologist or the hearing professional is registered with Audiology Australia.
What to Ask When Purchasing a Hearing Aid
Know what questions to ask you’re when purchasing hearing aids.
- Will hearing instruments actually improve my ability to hear?
- If I only have hearing loss in one ear, why should I wear two hearing aids?
- Which style will be best for my hearing loss?
- Which digital features are indicated for my lifestyle needs?
- What are the benefits of specific features—such as directional microphones, number of microphones, automatic volume and others?
- Can I operate all of the programs myself?
- How many channels do the aids have? How many do I need?
- Do the hearing aids I’m considering offer multiple or directional microphones for hearing in noise?
- How many memories do the hearing devices have? How many listening situations do I encounter?
- Do the hearing aids come with a remote control? Do I need a remote control?
- How do I use my hearing device with telephones and other assistive listening devices?
- How do I care for my hearing aids?
If you need assistance or need to ask a question regarding hearing aids please contact one of our Audiologist.