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The Best Hearing Aid Technology
If you have hearing loss, then you are probably keenly aware of the strides that hearing aid technology has made in the last few years. Hearing aids are something that you are unlikely to want to go without once you have tested your first one out. Before we look at some of the best hearing aid technologies, here is some information about how hearing aids work and how they help.
A hearing aid is typically a small battery-powered electronic device. It is small enough to wear comfortably behind your ear, and they make sounds louder. Here is how they work:
- A microphone picks up the sounds that are happening around you
- An amplifier makes the sounds louder
- A receiver then sends these amplified sounds into the ear
It is worth knowing that not all people with hearing loss will benefit from a hearing aid. It is often the case that people who have nerve damage will benefit from a hearing aid. That type of damage will usually come from:
- Loud noises
Hearing loss that is the result of problems with the ear canal, middle ear or eardrum, is called conductive hearing loss. It can be the case that surgery can help these issues. Surgery and medication aren’t right for everyone and that is where hearing aids can come into their own.
If you don’t have an ENT yet, then you should ask your doctor to send you to one. An ear, nose and throat doctor will be able to evaluate and treat your hearing loss. An ENT will check your ears and look for the issue. You will likely also see an audiologist to confirm the findings and from there, you may be issued with a hearing aid.
Types and styles of hearing aid
There are a range of devices that might work for you, and it is worth exploring all your options and perhaps even trialing some if you can. The device that will work best for you will depend on:
- Your age
- How well you can manage small devices
- Your lifestyle
- The type of hearing loss you have
Digital hearing aids
Digital hearing aids are amazing technology. They convert sound waves into something like computer codes, then amplify them. The code has a range of information about the pitch, volume and direction of the sounds. You will be able to adjust the sound much easier, although most will automatically adjust. Digital hearings are small and incredibly powerful.
Three main styles of hearing aids are as follows:
- Behind the ear (BTE): A BTE hearing aid is placed behind the ears and will be in a hard-plastic casing. There will be a plastic mold that fits directly into the inside the outer ear and will direct the sounds into the ear. There are also mini versions of a BTE, which will fit completely inside the ear, and a narrow tube will go into the ear. This prevents an earwax build up. Typically, a BTE will be fitted for mild to severe hearing loss.
- In the ear (ITE): An ITE hearing aid will fit entirely inside the outer ear. There will be a hard-plastic case that will house the electronics. They tend to work best for adults.
- In the canal (ITC): A canal hearing aid will fit inside the ear and can barely be seen, if at all. An ITC will only fit your specific ear canal. There is also a smaller version called a completely-in-canal (CIC) aid and is almost hidden. Most types can be used for moderately severe hearing loss. Due to their size, they are slightly harder to adjust that other styles of hearing aid.
Before you decide on any of the hearing aids, you should be sure that they have the features that you are looking for and that they will work for you in the long run.
There will be a short adjustment period when you start using your hearing aid, and in some cases, you might be able to have a trial period before you commit to anything. You should be sure to ask about the coverage of the warranty too. Take time to get used to your hearing aid, and work with your ENT on any issues like feedback, or background noise.
Learn more about Golla ENT by calling at (412) 927-3331.