Hearing loss is a very common condition. There are millions of American’s living with some form of it today. Many people’s hearing can be markedly improved by the use of a hearing aid. As a technology, the hearing aid has developed in leaps and bounds over the last decade. Many are very technologically advanced, giving you more to think about than ever before when it comes to selecting the right one for you.
Your audiologist will be able to guide you. They will assess your level of hearing loss, your current lifestyle and your personal preferences before recommending the right one for you. They will also customize it to your particular needs as well as provide aftercare.
Types Of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids come in a range of styles and prices, each with its own pros and cons, including:
- Invisible in the canal (IIC): These are small and almost impossible to detect when fitted in the ear. They are positioned in the ear canal and are good for hearing loss that is very mild. Many people with low levels of hearing loss prefer this style because it is difficult to detect.
- In the canal (ITC): These types sit in the ear canal. They are designed to be comfortable and have a longer-lasting battery. They are suitable for mild-moderate hearing conditions.
- In the ear (ITE): One of the least discreet but more powerful types of hearing aid. The ITE sits within the outer ear bowl. Because of their size, they have more microphones and better battery life. They are suitable for severe hearing loss.
- Behind the ear (BTE): These models have two distinct parts. The main part of the hearing aid sits behind the ear and has tubing that connects to the part that sits in the ear. They can be flesh-colored to make them more discreet or you can buy them in a range of colorful designs to show them off.
A directional microphone is great for a better understanding of speech. Some models have a directional microphone, others have multiple. They amplify the sound coming from a particular direction and lower other sounds from other directions.
Hearing feedback from your hearing aid can be disorientating. Feedback reduction ensures that the sounds that are being amplified aren’t then picked up by the hearing aid’s microphone, creating an unpleasant sound.
Many modern hearing aids are equipped with Bluetooth. Having this feature will allow you to connect with equipment such as your phone, laptop or speakers. The sound will come directly from your hearing aid rather than picking it up externally first.
Similar to Bluetooth, wireless basically lets your hearing aid act as your own personal in-ear headset. You can use it to listen to audio on your TV, phone or tablet.
Hearing aids can be very clever these days. They can learn patterns of use and anticipate them. So, it knows the volume levels you prefer and can make volume changes for you at particular times.
A ringing in the ears is known as tinnitus. It can be a constant noise, or it can come and go. You can choose a hearing aid that can play sound into your ear and mask the tinnitus sound.
Gain control is a more precise way of controlling the sound levels. Sounds are broken down into individual frequencies, which can be controlled individually. You can adjust the channels to get the precise sound you want. Perfect if you have difficulty listening to high or low frequencies.
Adjusting the controls on a hearing aid can be difficult if you aren’t very dexterous. This is where having a separate remote control can come in handy. You can use it to change the settings as you wish without having to remove the hearing aid or get someone else to do it for you. The remote control can be a separate unit or can be an app of your cell phone, so that’s one less thing you have to worry about losing.
Choosing The Right Hearing Aid For You
At The Hearing Spa, our experienced audiologists can work with you to find the perfect hearing aid for your needs. They will take into account your level of hearing loss, lifestyle and personal preference for style before recommending the model for you. You can contact us today at 941-366-4848 (Sarasota) or 941-755-5535 (Bradenton).