Types Of Hearing Aids

Things you must know before purchasing Hearing Aids

Purchasing Hearing Aids is a huge decision for many people, however the hearing aid market is largely is irregular and misleading. As a consumer you must be aware of the following things before you decide to purchase hearing aids.

1. Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation with Speech Audiometry

The most important step before you purchase a hearing aid is having a comprehensive audiological evaluation (complete hearing test). Comprehensive audiological evaluation assesses all paths of auditory system including how a person performs with speech rather than just Puretone’s in basic hearing test. This helps finding the right hearing aids and realistic expectations of hearing aids and help in proper programming of these expensive devices.

Unfortunately, very few clinics or hospitals offer this test, so it is important to find the right centre.

2. Hearing Aid Selection / Trial

There are more than 7 international hearing aid manufacturers, each manufacturer has its advantages and may excel in certain aspects such as a particular manufacturer may offer better speech processing in noise, while other can provide better tinnitus features, etc. It is extremely important that your audiologist try at least two different manufacturers based on your lifestyle and needs, so you and audiologist know which manufacturer suits you best.

Do not fooled by manufacturer advertisement, as it may not fit everyone’s needs.

AVOID any clinic that only deals with only one manufacturer.

3. Real Ear Measurements

Every ear is different, even the better programmed hearing aids sound may be modified as it passes through ear canal. SO, for appropriate fitting considering your ear canal acoustics it is required that we do Real Ear Measurements, a verification method to adjust the hearing aid programming based on your ear canal by placing a small mic near tympanic membrane.

4. Hearing Aid Maintenance / Follow up Care

Hearing aids are not like earphones, these are medical grade devices and need frequent follow ups for maintenance to provide proper amplification. If not, hearing aids performance will slowly reduce eventually and may further affect the hearing even after spending lot of money.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need a hearing aid?

First, you need to figure out if hearing loss is affecting your daily life. Your family may have noticed you are not hearing as well as you did in the past. If you are having trouble communicating and keeping up with your regular lifestyle, this can have an impact on your decision. Your audiologist can test your hearing to help determine if you have hearing loss and, if necessary, work with you on options that may help you.

Will a hearing aid restore my hearing to normal?

No, hearing aids are designed to make things easier to hear, but cannot restore the natural functioning of your ear. Hearing aids also do not prevent the progression of hearing loss over time.

How long will my hearing aid last?

The life of a hearing aid is about five to six years. Many hearing aids are still functioning well after six years, while others may need a tune-up or repairs. The key for a long life is frequent maintenance

Do hearing aids use special batteries?

The majority of hearing aids today use zinc-air batteries. This kind of battery is made specifically for hearing aids and comes in a variety of sizes to work with different devices. You can find hearing aid batteries at almost any store that sells regular batteries, including most pharmacies and grocery stores.

How long do hearing aid batteries last?

This depends on the type of battery and how many hours per day you wear your hearing aid. Smaller hearing aid batteries need replacing within one week, while larger batteries may last two to three weeks.

I have hearing loss in both ears. Is it necessary to wear two hearing aids?

Here’s why two hearing aids can be better than one:

  • Better hearing in a noisy environment: Hearing in a noisy environment can be improved if the signal reaching each ear arrives at a slightly different moment in time. This time difference can help the brain process a speech signal more efficiently.
  • Improved signal vs. noise level: Sound source matters: If you have a hearing aid in only your left ear and the person speaking to you is on your right side, much of the speech signal is lost by the time it gets to your aided ear, while the level of the noise in the room enters the aided ear at its normal volume level.
  • Improved ability to localize sounds: The brain uses the sound entering the ears from the right and left side of the head to determine the direction of the sound source. Having a hearing aid in only one ear can alter this sense of direction.
How long does it take to get used to a hearing aid?

Each person’s experience will be different. Hearing aids can help you hear sounds you have not heard before (or have not heard for many years). Relearning takes place in the central auditory system and the brain needs some time to sort out any new information entering the ears. You will have a 60-day trial period that allows you time to adjust to your hearing aids and evaluate their benefit. Based on your experience, programming changes can be made to help with the adjustment process.

Why do hearing aids cost so much?

Apart from the regular reasons such as research for manufacturing, low production, and small components. The major part of the cost of the inclusion of audiological services such as regular programming, maintenance, cleaning and programming. The cost depending on the price the services may be provided longer period.

What style of hearing aid I should wear?

Your audiologist can help you make an appropriate choice based on your degree of hearing loss, the shape of your outer ear, the size and shape of the ear canal, your ability to place and adjust the device, any special features you need and any issues with excessive wax or drainage from the ears.

What is the best hearing aid brand?

There are more than 7 internal brands. It’s not about the brand but it is about the requirement of the patient. One brand may be better for pediatric while other may be better speech in noise condition or tinnitus features. be ware that brands to spend a lot on marketing and you must try more than one manufacturer to find the best not by others suggestion but by trying them you can finalize which is best for your condition.

Are there any side effects of wearing hearing aids?

No, expect your hearing aids to be comfortable. You should know they are there, but you should never experience pain, soreness, bleeding or skin irritation. If any of these occur, remove the hearing aids immediately and see your hearing care professional for an adjustment in fit. Your hearing care provider also can help with itchy ears, which hearing aids can sometimes cause but is easily treated.

Expect to be able to hear soft sounds once again and to be able to hear louder sounds comfortably. See a hearing care professional, however, if “normal loud” sounds, such as the roar of a car engine or a door slamming, are pain

How much maintenance does hearing aids need?

Hearing aids contain expensive computer chips and other microelectronics—you want to do your best to take care of them so they last a long time. They need regular cleaning and may need regular servicing from your hearing care provider.

In general:

Follow your hearing care provider's guidance for cleaning your hearing aids on a regular schedule.

Try to develop smart habits about their safekeeping, so that you never leave your hearing aids in places where pets or kids can get to them (dogs especially). Disposable batteries are highly toxic to pets and people.

Why hearing aids are cheaper online sites?

A person's hearing levels vary from frequency to frequency and ear to ear, a proper Hearing aid must be able to amplify the sounds as per your variations in hearing levels, otherwise it can damage your hearing further. To do this, the hearing aids utilize advanced technology and must be fit considering other ear physical and acoustic characteristics. The cheaper online products may just have a mic, amplifier and speaker that amplifies all sounds equally and can damage the hearing further.

How does few online sites or centers offer huge discounts on hearing aids?

Hearing aids are not a consumer product, but a medical grade device. Unlike your earphones or AirPods these need frequent maintenance, cleaning, replacing of few parts to properly work and to preserve your hearing. Generally, hearing aids price include these services for 2-4 years so that patient may not hesitate to avail these services. Usually, these discounts will be offered either may be these services are not offered or may be older products. One must be careful while going for hearing aids with huge deals, as these hearing aids might not have longer repair support

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