Up to 90 percent of hearing losses can be helped with hearing aids, and thanks to technological advances, there is a wide range of devices available. Your audiologist will help you find a hearing aid especially suited to the type and severity of your hearing loss, as well as your lifestyle, needs and budget.
There are several types of hearing aids. These are:
- Device with a sound tube
- includes receiver/speaker in the ear
- power BTE
- standard BTE
- mini/ultra small BTE
- receiver-in-canal (RIC) or open dome
- CIC - Completely in the canal
- IIC - invisible in the canal
- in-the-ear full-and-half-concha
- tiny canal (ITC)
- Cochlear implants
- Auditory brainstem implants
- Bone anchored hearing aids
- Middle ear implants
Hearing Aid Manufacturers
The Hearing Institute offers hearing aids from a number of reputable manufacturers, including:
Siemens, Starkey, Unitron, Oticon, Widex, Phonak, Beltone
What do I need to know about wearing a hearing aid?
First, your audiologist will help you find a hearing aid that is right for you. She will take into consideration the following factors:
- The type and configuration of your hearing loss
- The size of your ear canal
- Wax build-up in your ear
- Your particular lifestyle and communication needs
- Your age and dexterity
- Any previous experience you may have with hearing aids
It can be difficult adjusting to the idea of wearing a hearing aid, but the benefits of dealing with your hearing loss will affect your quality of life significantly. It is important to bear in mind the following factors:
- A positive attitude and a willingness to learn will go a long way in adjusting to your new hearing aid.
- It may take some time for your brain to acclimatise to new sounds.
- Your voice may sound strange to you initially, but you will soon get used to it.
- Remember to clean and dry out your hearing aid regularly, and take it for a professional service at least once a year.
- When having a conversation, stay close to the person you are speaking to, and maintain eye contact.
Is it better to wear two hearing aids?
It can be very helpful to wear a hearing aid in both ears. Some benefits include:
- You will be able to distinguish sounds from each other more easily
- Your sense of distance from a sound will be improved
- You will be able to follow conversations better
- You will be able to hear lower volumes
- Your hearing will feel more balanced, as your hearing will be equal on each side
- The sound quality will be better
What do they do?
Hearing aids are very effective at improving the hearing of those with hearing loss. They work by amplifying sound waves in the ear. The type of hearing aid you need depends on the type of hearing loss you have, as well as the severity of your condition. Speak to your audiologist about the best option to suit your needs.
What accessories are available?
Communication & Connectivity to the world
Thanks to technological advances, there are now a number of accessories available. Although they are not essential, accessories can enhance your hearing experience further. Some useful accessories include:
Adjustments to settings like volume can be made with remote controls, which makes it convenient and easy to adjust your hearing aid.
External microphones can stream sound to your hearing aid, which means that you can choose which sounds are louder than others. For example, you can stream a conversation so that it is louder than the background noise.
In the past, most hearing aids came with disposable batteries, but today hearing aids are rechargeable.
There are a number of applications for smart phones and tablets, which make adjustments like changing the volume, making phone calls and listening to music easy.
With the use of bluetooth devices, your hearing aid can be connected to devices like cell phones, TVs, computer, Mp3 layers and tablets.