A Beginner’s Guide to Hearing Aids

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Many people suffer from some type of hearing loss. The vast majority of these individuals are adults aged over 65 years. Often, the condition goes undetected and untreated. This puts patients at the risk of other conditions such as dementia and depression. Hearing aids are an effective solution for hearing loss since they boost your auditory ability, thus enabling you to live normally. 

If you’ve considered purchasing a hearing aid, some of the concerns that will run on your mind include: 

  • How hearing aids
  • The options available to you
  • Key considerations for purchasing hearing aids

It’s equally important to keep in mind that a hearing aid doesn’t restore normal hearing. Instead, it improves your auditory ability by amplifying ambient sounds. 

How Do Hearing Aids Work? 

When the inner ear’s hairs cells begin to die, little can be done to reverse the situation. Your hearing ability will consequently take a hit. Nevertheless, hearing aids can significantly improve your auditory ability by making ambient noises more audible and easier to understand. 

Typically, these electronic devices come with a tiny microphone for picking up sounds, and amplifiers for making the sounds louder. And a receiver for transmitting the sounds into your ear canal. Newer-model hearing aids also feature a computer chip that allows you to adjust the volume of the sound, thus improving your hearing further. 

Digital hearing aids can get programmed to filter out background noise and wind. You can also fine-tune them to match your hearing loss pattern. However, it’s best to keep in mind that hearing aids cannot numb background noises completely. 

Hearing Aid Styles

Since hearing aids feature different styles, size, and special features, they are also worn differently. In recent years, there has been a surge in the demand for small hearing aids since they can be tucked away inside the ear without being noticed. However, these smaller hearing aids may not amplify sound as effectively as the bigger aids. That said, here are the main hearing aid styles:

Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aid

This is the traditional type of hearing aids and is worn behind the ear. The electrical components of this device are all housed in a plastic case worn behind the ear. This hearing device sends sound into the ear via the tubing that links the receiver to the case. Behind-the-ear hearing aids offer both high and low-frequency amplification. This makes them suitable for individuals suffering severe hearing loss. However, they are large and conspicuous. 

In-The-Canal Hearing Aids

As the name suggests, these hearing aids are completely worn in the ear. They recess deeply and tightly into the ear canal, thus ensuring minimal visibility. They are also less susceptible to wind noise. On the flipside, in-the-canal hearing aids are vulnerable to moisture and wax buildup. Plugging them in and removing them is also difficult. 

In-The-Ear Hearing Aids

These are traditional hearing aids, whose components are included in a plastic case that rests in the outer ear’s bowl. Thus, it offers room for telecoils, directional microphones, and wireless streaming. The hearing aids are also easy to insert. Nevertheless, in-the-ear hearing aids are not as invisible as in-the-canal models. Besides, they are not as powerful as behind-the-ear hearing aids. 

Final Words: Choosing the Right Hearing Aid for You

When shopping for a hearing aid, you’ll come across dozens of models. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hearing aids. The type of hearing aid you need depends on the degree of hearing loss, your occupation, and other factors. A hearing aid that works for one person may not be suitable for you, even if the results of a hearing test reveal both of you have similar audiograms. 

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About Annabel Johnson

Part time gamer, reviewer and blogger. Full time geek and tech expert!

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