Before you are on the run to get hearing aids for yourself, you should know what exactly a hearing aid is and how does it work. Most of the time, people are not aware of many important features which a particular hearing aid can offer. Besides, it is always good to be sure of your requirements before you end up shopping for a crucial device. A hearing aid is an important device for those who suffer from hearing loss to some or a great extent.
Oftentimes, people with hearing loss do not know in terms of which type of hearing aid to go for. Also, being unaware of the features of a particular hearing aid can be one of the troubles they may face. In a study, it has been estimated that there are almost 28.8 million adults who had the opportunity to benefit from hearing aid. But out of those 28.8 million adults, only 30% of older people with 70+ age group have ever used them.
It is evident from the study above that there have been individuals who did have the opportunity to use this useful hearing aid device, but didn’t. This might be because of awareness and understanding with respect to a hearing aid. To steer all the doubts and concerns of yours clear, this article covers all the important facets of a hearing aid device.
What are Hearing Aids?
The first and foremost thing to consider before getting a hearing aid is to know everything about it. A hearing aid device is an electronic device that meets all the demands of a patient suffering from any level of hearing loss.
Throughout America, there are about 15% of adults who are 18 or above experience some sort of hearing loss. Here are a few tips to identify whether you need a hearing aid device or not.
Hearing Loss Statistics in the United States
There is a list of conditions that may fall under the category here. It includes all of the symptoms which a patient suffering from hearing loss undergoes. Such as:
- You may feel like people around you are speaking in a vague or unclear manner.
- You can also face the constant urge to listen to radio or music or watch television in a loud manner.
- You may feel like you are missing out on the things that people say if there is some sort of noise around. For instance, you could find the speaker’s voice slow in a group setting.
- There may be something wrong with your hearing if you repetitively ask people to repeat themselves.
- You may feel trouble while trying to hear the other person on a phone call.
- Consequently, this may lead you to have misunderstandings when you are listening to a person without looking at his face.
- In addition, you may go through difficulty while you try to hear a dialogue of a movie in a movie theater.
- Lastly, going through any of these symptoms can make you annoying or angry in a short time.
How to Diagnose Hearing Loss
Sometimes people complain that they hear the voice through the speaker but cannot understand what it says. It is a different type of hearing loss. For every patient specific need, hearing aids can differ. There are custom hearing aid as well for patients to provide specific results. Such a type of hearing loss can make the patient unable to understand a high-pitched sound. While one can hear mid or low-pitched sounds (e.g. vowels) correctly.
For further diagnoses, the type of hearing loss detection is by using an Audiogram.
During a general speech or a normal conversation, hearing aids are a must. Especially people suffering from hearing loss can be finding it hard to understand certain things. Furthermore, this can lead to a person finding it even more difficult to comprehend. And, what if the distance grows between the patient and the speaker? The situation can become a little embarrassing for the person suffering from this issue.
Identifying all of these problems timely can save you from disturbance to a great extent!
Quick Tips to Choosing Best Hearing Aids
Now, you are aware of what your symptoms might be. The next step is to ensure that you know each factor that can help you buy the best hearing aids. As the condition of hearing loss is two times as common as the condition of cancer or diabetes. It is important to take notes when you do your research as well.
So, below there are multiple factors that can assist you in determining the hearing aids the best kind for your condition.
- Make sure you are buying from reputable hearing aids’ best brands to ensure quality. Moreover, they can provide you a good customer service if anything goes sideways.
- You might have second thoughts in terms of which hearing aids to go for. You can always search for hearing aids reviews and Google is the optimal choice.
- Before buying hearing aids, ensure that it is durable with great manufacturing quality and resistant to water.
- And last but not the least, you can look for such devices that come with additional features. Like good battery lifespan, manual control, stable connections, and wireless connectivity.
How Hearing Aids Work
The purpose of all the hearing aids is to collect the surrounding sounds and make them clearer to your ear. These devices are mostly digital. Besides, many hearing aid designs come with the availability of rechargeable batteries.
The microphones present in a hearing aid are bound to gather sounds from the surroundings. And helps to make them enter into the user’s ear. The inserted computer chip converts the environment sounds into digital form by amplifying them. Keeping your hearing loss level into consideration, the device improves the hearing quality. Lastly, the signals which go through amplification convert back to sound waves. These sound waves enter your ear. The medium through which sound waves enter may be a speaker or receiver.
Major Types of Hearing Aids
All the hearing aids which are under discussion below vary from each other with respect to visibility and wearing styles. Besides, there is a bunch of hearing aid styles that keep up with less visibility. In other words, the hearing aid manufacturers continue to work on making hearing aids the best kind. The less visible as possible, the better it is for users. While the hearing aid device may be small in size, they still have power and high quality.
There is a variety of hearing aid styles that have been commonly in use. All the types of hearing aid styles that differ from each other in terms of features and prices are listed below:
CIC stands for Completely in the Canal which is the most popular due to its small size. This sort of hearing aid device needs to be inserted by the person into his ear canal. Its usage is most effective for such patients who face a little amount of hearing loss.
Its features include less visibility which is very important for users. It has the usage of extremely small batteries which further leads to a short life span. So, you will be changing the battery on regular basis. Moreover, you cannot easily control the volume or microphone. Some patients also face clogged ears as a problem when using such kind of hearing aid.
ITC means In The Canal. This hearing aid is a custom hearing device. The designer makes it in such a way that it partly fits in the ear canal. Also, it can add a lot of improvement to the mid-level hearing loss of a patient. Furthermore, its features include less visibility and additional features that are not in a CIC. Also, it can be hard to adjust as it is of small size. Like CIC, it also comes with the risk of ear clogging the speaker.
This hearing aid device is known as In The Ear which comes in two different styles. This custom hearing aid device can either cover the outer ear comprising the bowl-shaped part. Or can cover the lower part of the ear partially. It is one of the best hearing aids in the market now. This device is assistive for people who face hearing loss ranging from mild to severe.
This device includes features that are not available in small-sized hearing aids. Such as a pair of microphones and volume control to improve the quality of hearing. Easier to manage, this device can a great add-on to your daily routine. Besides, it comes up with the option of various rechargeable batteries so its battery lifespan isn’t an issue. On the downside, this hearing device comes up with noticeable visibility. It means it is large and its speaker is also prone to face clogging from earwax.
BTE means Behind The Ear. The design helps it to stay intact while staying behind the ear. There is a custom-made earpiece that connects to the hearing aid via a tube. Such a device is suitable for patients of every age group facing any sort of hearing loss. Being a diversely-used hearing aid, this is one of the hearing aids of the best kind.
Furthermore, this device is the biggest kind of hearing aid which means that it is highly visible. But there have been a few upgrades regarding this model. So there are small-sized models providing less visibility. Among all the other hearing aid models, this design has the best capability to amplify sounds. In addition to that, it comes with features like picking up comparatively more wind noise. Also, bearing a long life span due to rechargeable batteries and using directional microphones.
5. RIC and RITE
RIC (Receiver In the Canal) and RITE (Receiver In The Ear) hearing devices, both are great choices. The features of both of the designs highly resemble the style of BTE (Behind The Ear). As mentioned above, BTE’s speaker/receiver hooks on top of the ear along with a tube. It does the job of connecting the earpiece to the speaker/receiver. Moreover, it has the features of less visibility, manually-controlled options, directional microphones, and rechargeable batteries. Though, its con is, that the speaker may fall victim to clogging. But a person who uses hearing aids knows by now that clogging can happen.
6. Open Fit
Lastly, there is an open-fit style in hearing aids which is an upgrade to the BTE style. This design comes with a really thin tube or RITE/RIC shaped as an open dome. This particular design does not cover the entire or any part of the ear canal. Through this model, the user can hear low-frequency sounds at ease while high-frequency sounds go through amplification. For people facing a hearing loss of mild or mid-level high frequency, this model comes in handy.
However, it doesn’t provide you with the feature of less visibility. Being an open-shaped hearing aid adds to the improvement of your voice. At times, it can be hard to wear as it doesn’t come with customized styles.
How to Wear a Hearing Aid Device?
Now comes the part of how to wear all these hearing aids. Below is the list of important tips which will definitely help you in wearing the device.
- While inserting the hearing aid, use your right hand.
- Prefer using a mirror so that you can see what you are doing.
- Know which one is the right hearing aid and which one is the left. You can determine by looking at the red mark which is for a right and the blue mark which is for left.
- To have a smooth experience with the hearing aids, you should keep them free of dirt.
Result of Getting Right Hearing Aids
Before getting the best hearing aids, it is important to set the right expectations. You should know that hearing aids won’t work like eyeglasses. It means that you cannot get glasses and get your vision right. Hearing issues can be long-term and even for a lifetime. Many women face these issues after operations because of anesthetics. So, you never know how long you are going to be in this situation.
Though, 83% of people are highly satisfied with the use of hearing aids. So the use of hearing aids is definitely worth your need. But, you need to make sure that the device you are choosing is up to your expectations. Know all the factors about which hearing aid suits you best. All the pros and cons with a comparative analysis of the hearing aid are necessary. It can make you a pro at buying a perfect pair of hearing aids with respect to the marketplace. Besides features, you can even jot down the thorough details of how this device would personally benefit you.