Hearing aids are small electronic devices that you select with the help of a hearing care professional. They are worn in or behind your ear. They make some speech louder so that a person with hearing loss can listen, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities.
Hearing aids can help people hear better in both quiet and noisy situations. However, only about one out of five people who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them.
Hearing aids are designed to bring sound more effectively into the ear. Most hearing aids consist of at least four parts:
Converts external sound waves into electrical energy which is delivered to the amplifier
Increases the strength of the incoming signal as programmed by the professional
Converts the amplified electrical energy back into sound waves and delivers them to the ear
Provides energy for the various hearing aid functions
Picks up electromagnetic fields from the telephone to allow for a clearer signal with less background interference and no feedback. Telecoils are often compatible with many assistive listening systems, such as those found in concert halls or theaters.
Allows adjustment of gain.
Allows user to change between programs or settings on a multimemory device.
Allows user to change gain or programs, and some allow direct input of audio devices.
Amplifies sound from the front more than the sides and rear. This feature is very useful in understanding speech in noisy situations.
Hearing aids: Though the name of this type of technology is an accurate one – they do, in fact, aid your hearing – it oversimplifies the positive effects of what hearing technology can do for those with a difficulty.
The aid that this technology is designed to provide is really a means for achieving other life benefits. Better relationships with family and friends, a more confident performance at work and in social situations, a way of alleviating the effects of Alzheimer’s and tinnitus – these are just some of the benefits that can result from regular use of properly fit hearing devices.
Hearing aid use is positively related to the following quality-of-life issues:
From Quantifying the Obvious: The Impact of Hearing Instruments on Quality of Life; The Hearing Review, Jan 2000
Hearing aids are a bridge to a better way of life for those with a treatable hearing loss, and it’s our job as trusted hearing professionals to act as guides through the process of rediscovering better hearing. We take this responsibility seriously, and we strive to create the pathways that don’t disrupt the way you live your life but instead support who you are.
If you’ve wanted to learn more about hearing aids, or if you already wear hearing aids and feel it’s time to consider new technology, we’d love to offer our help.
Call our practice today to make an appointment for a free hearing screening and technology demonstration. You’ll be amazed at how effective, responsive, and adaptable today’s hearing technology truly is. We look forward to serving you!
Hearing aid types come in many types and sizes including Invisible In the Canal (IIC), Completely in the Canal (CIC), Behind The Ear (BTE) and more.
Thin tube or Open fit hearing aids are currently very popular. They offer many of the benefits of BTE hearing aids with the cosmetics of CIC hearing aids.The non-occluding earpieces are very comfortable and allow you to hear unamplified sounds normally while giving you a boost just where you need it. They are ideal for high-frequency hearing losses.
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CIC hearing aids fit completely in your ear canal, and are virtually unnoticeable when fitted. They usually do not have a volume control but contain an automatic gain control in the circuit to maintain a comfortable listening level.They are usually easy to insert and remove, making them a good choice for those with limited dexterity. However, they have shorter battery life and generally have more wax problems.
Canal hearing aids fit mostly inside your ear canal, with the microphone opening located at the canal entrance.They offer average battery life, and volume controls are available. However, people with limited manual dexterity might have difficulty with a canal hearing aid.
BTE hearing aids sit snugly behind your ear, and are attached to a custom earpiece molded to the shape of your outer ear.They can be cosmetically appealing, have more features available, have less wax problems, and offer longer battery life than other sizes of hearing aids.
Full shell or ITE hearing aids are one-piece instruments custom designed to fit within your concha, or the main bowl of your ear. They are the largest in-ear style.Benefits include the availability of directional microphones and telecoils, large vents, longer battery life, easy insertion and removal, and larger controls.
As an independent hearing healthcare practice, we are under no obligation to any particular hearing aid manufacturer. This means that we can recommend the best hearing aids for your loss and lifestyle needs without worrying about an underlying contract agreement. We carry Oticon, Phonak, ReSound, Signia, Starkey, Unitron and Widex hearing aids.
Oticon More is the first hearing aid to utilize a Deep Neural Network (DNN), which has been trained with over 12 million real-life sound scenes
Widex Moment hearing aids use ZeroDelay technology to process sound with lightening speed, reducing the delay that causes that annoying the “tinny” artificial sound found in other hearing instruments.
ReSound One hearing aids have been introduced with something that has never been done before - a microphone and receiver positioned inside the ear.
Phonak Audéo Paradise hearing aids is for mild to profound hearing loss with features like speech understanding and personalized noise canceling capabilities.
Myth: Buying hearing devices online, by mail, or at big box stores saves time, money, and gets the same results as a professionally fit device.
You should always work with an experienced hearing care specialist. The correct device for your needs, an appropriate fitting, and follow up appointments are important in the success you have with your new devices. Also, the FDA warns against the use of inexpensive sound amplifiers to treat hearing loss. See: Hearing aids & personal sound amplifiers
Myth: Hearing loss affects only “old people” and is merely a sign of aging.
Hearing loss affects all age groups. According to the recent Johns Hopkins study, nearly a fifth of all Americans 12 years or older have hearing loss so severe that it may make communication difficult.
Myth: Wearing two hearing devices is unnecessary.
Most people with hearing loss in both ears can hear better with two devices. Why? We hear binaurally (with two ears), which helps us determine where sounds come from, assists us in noisy settings, and provides natural sound quality.
The conversation continues at facebook.com/hawkinshearing. “Like” our Facebook page and share your hearing loss questions on our wall. We’d love to answer your questions online!
You’ve likely seen them advertised on television—small electronic sound amplifiers that allow users to enjoy nighttime TV without disturbing sleepers, or to hear their toddlers from many yards away.
While these personal sound amplifiers may help people hear things that are at low volume or at a distance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to ensure that consumers don’t mistake them—or use them as substitutes—for approved hearing aids.
“Hearing aids and personal sound amplification products (PSAPS) can both improve our ability to hear sound,” says Eric Mann, M.D., Ph.D, deputy director of FDA’s Division of Ophthalmic, Neurological, And Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices. “They are both wearable, and some of their technology and function is similar.”
Mann notes, however, that the products are different in that only hearing aids are intended to make up for impaired hearing. He says consumers should buy a personal sound amplifier only after ruling out hearing loss as a reason for getting one.
“If you suspect hearing loss, get your hearing evaluated by a health care professional,” he adds.
Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs), or sound amplifiers, increase environmental sounds for non-hearing impaired consumers.
Examples of situations when these products would be used include hunting (listening for prey), bird watching, listening to a lecture with a distant speaker, and listening to soft sounds that would be difficult for normal hearing individuals to hear (e.g., distant conversations, performances).
PSAPs are not intended to amplify speech or environmental sound for individuals with impaired hearing or to compensate for hearing impairment.
Choosing a PSAP as a substitute for a hearing aid can lead to more damage to your hearing, says Mann. “It can cause a delay in diagnosis of a potentially treatable condition. And that delay can allow the condition to get worse and lead to other complications,” he says.
Treatments for impaired hearing can be as simple as removal of a wax plug in the doctor’s office or, in rare cases, as serious as a major surgery to remove a tumor or growth in the middle or inner ear, says Mann.
We use only state of the art hearing aids from the best global hearing aid manufacturers. We offer demo hearing aid trials to empower patients to make a more informed purchasing decision.