Hearing loss is nothing new - but man-made solutions have certainly evolved. Throughout the years, vanity and convenience combined to produce formidable, fashionable, and ultimately first-rate hearing instruments.
We live in a digital world—and hearing instruments are no exception. Not only does digital signal processing result in more accurate hearing, it can be adjusted to individual needs in a way older analog hearing instruments never could.
WHAT ARE HEARING AIDS?
A hearing aid is a device designed to improve hearing. Hearing aids are classified as medical devices in most countries, and regulated by the respective regulations.
Modern hearing aids require configuration to match the hearing loss, physical features, and lifestyle of the wearer. This process is called "fitting" and is performed by audiologists. The amount of benefit a hearing aid delivers depends in large part on the quality of its fitting. Devices similar to hearing aids include the bone anchored hearing aid, and cochlear implant.
HOW A HEARING AID WORKS?
Sound enters the hearing aid through a tiny opening and is picked up by the microphone. There is an amplifier inside the hearing aid that makes the sound louder. The amplified sound comes out of the hearing aid through a speaker (receiver) and is directed into the ear canal. A tiny battery supplies the power to the hearing aid. Depending on the hearing aid model, the volume can either be adjusted automatically by the hearing aid or by the user with a small control on the hearing aid.
BENEFITS OF HEARING AIDS
1) Make sound louder.
2) Make speech easier to understand in most situations.
3) Help you hear certain pitches better, such as high - pitched consonant sounds (s, t, f and sh).
4) Enable you to participate more fully in life's activities.
HEARING AID TYPES
Hearing aids are available in a variety of styles designed to meet different cosmetic preferences and address different hearing loss needs. Your hearing care professional can help you identify which hearing aid styles are appropriate for your specific needs.
In The Ear
INVISIBLE STYLES (IIC- MICRO CIC).
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW BEFORE PURCHASING A HEARING AID?
First, see a hearing care professional for a complete hearing evaluation.
Discuss with the hearing care professional whether a hearing aid is of potential benefit. If so, determine which hearing aid style and circuitry is right for you.
Be an educated consumer. Find out what brands of hearing aids the hearing care professional offers and ask for literature. Consult the manufacturers' websites for further information. Find out if there is any research on the products the hearing care professional recommends that confirms the benefits the hearing aid manufacturer claims to offer.
See your physician to rule out any medical problems and obtain medical clearance for the use of a hearing aid. Note: Some states permit a medical waiver that indicates an adult has opted not to consult a physician prior to the use of amplification.
Request a trial period and continue to ask questions until the purchase and warranty terms are understood. Ask the hearing care professional to document the terms and conditions in writing.
Ask a relative or friend with you to your appointments. Any medical condition can be overwhelming. Chances are good that you will receive a great deal of information at once. Having another set of ears to listen and possibly take notes will make all the difference once you leave the professionalism's office.
Keep all of the follow - up appointments that your hearing care professional schedules for you.
Stay in touch with your hearing care professional after the initial fitting and adjustment period. Call them immediately if the hearing aid is not working, it hurts your ear or it squeals when it is in your ear
Take advantage of other services that your hearing care professional offers, including lip reading classes, aural rehabilitation programs, literature on hearing loss and amplification, guidance on how to adjust your hearing aid and hearing aid repair. If information is not readily available, ask your hearing care professional what services they provide.
Keep a journal of your daily listening experiences, both good and bad. This will provide valuable information to the hearing care professional during any follow-up visits.
Remember you are your best advocate. Be assertive during your appointments. Write down any questions you have in a notebook prior to your appointment and bring the notebook with you. Ask the questions you have listed in your notebook and write down the answers.