Your ability to hear is essential, it connects you to the world. You can communicate, work, and socialize. Hearing helps you move around effortlessly, empowers you, and keeps you safe. When hearing loss occurs, it can change the quality of your life tremendously. Hearing aids help treat the hearing loss, allowing you to return to a normal life.
A hearing aid is a small battery-powered device with main parts that include a microphone to pick up the sound, a chip that processes the sound and amplifies it, and a speaker that sends the signal to the ears.
There are various types of hearing aids which can be customized depending on the severity of the hearing loss, personal preferences, and lifestyle. More sophisticated devices also have emerged with features, such as smartphone connectivity.
Amplifying the sound
One type of hearing loss is called sensorineural, where most of the tiny hair cells in the ears are damaged. With a hearing aid, the remaining tiny hairs can pick up the sound and send the signals to the brain.
Standard hearing aids work well for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, while those who have severe to profound cases can benefit more from power devices. A specific type of hearing aid is recommended based on your hearing test results.
Types of hearing aid
There are two main types of hearing aids—in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE)—with varying sizes and styles. Hearing aid models include invisible in canal (IIC), completely in canal (CIC), mini in canal (MIC), microphone in helix (MIH), receiver in canal (RIC), and receiver in the ear (RITE).
Hearing aid manufacturers
Several manufacturers of hearing aid devices still engage in continuous research and development of products to address various types of hearing loss and needs of the users. Hearing care professionals are knowledgeable about different types of hearing aids from different manufacturers and can guide you in choosing the device that fits your needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Over the years, hearing aid technology has evolved, and today, there are telecoils and wireless features. Telecoils are designed for public settings while wireless technology allows two hearing aids on both ears to communicate with each other and work as one.
Choosing your hearing aid
When choosing a hearing aid device, you will have a fitting that will consider several factors, such as the severity of your hearing loss, cosmetic preferences, work needs, and budget. Your hearing care professional can assist in selecting the right device the best suits you.
Getting used to hearing aids
As with anything new in your life, it can take time getting used to new devices attached to your ears. However, what is important is that you can hear right away when you wear your device. During the fitting, there will be some adjustments to the setup, depending on what you need. Follow the instructions of your hearing care professional on how to properly wear your hearing aids to get the most benefit from it.