Sound Advice on Which to Buy
While getting a diagnosis of hearing loss can be intimidating, it’s reassuring to know there’s technology out there to help. Today’s hearing aids are comfortable, powerful and designed so small that most people won’t even know you’re wearing one!
We are here to help you find the best hearing aids for your particular listening needs. There are different types of hearing aids available including styles and sizes. We make recommendations based on the level and type of hearing loss combined with your preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Not all hearing aids are visible and many have advanced features and will continue to advance with technology throughout the life of your hearing aid.
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A Secret about the Newest Hearing Aids
The digital revolution has made a huge impact on the way hearing aids look, feel and work. They can be so small that they are virtually invisible. It’s no secret why digital hearing aids account for most hearing aids sold today. The quality of sound is amazing. Once you try a pair, you’ll see why they’re the best choice.
Digital Hearing Aid Features
- Dual microphones allow you to hear better in noisy situations. Some can even identify the source of the noise and reduce it!
- Open technology that keeps the ear canal unobstructed eliminates that “talking in a barrel” effect.
- Feedback cancellation does just that–it cancels feedback BEFORE you hear it as an annoying whistle.
- Hands free technology automatically adjusts to your listening environment, whether you are on the phone, in a crowd or in a windy area.
- Your digital hearing aid can be programmed with a computer to meet your individualized needs.
- Wireless technology allows you to hear your cell phone, television and home phone in stereo, directly through your hearing aids!
Digital hearing aids can act on soft sounds in one way and on loud sounds in a completely different fashion. The more advanced the digital chip the more bands that it will possess. Some digital hearing aids have the capability to reduce some environmental noises such as motors running or dishes clanging.
What You Need to Know about Conventional (Analog) Hearing Aids
Why Wireless Hearing Aids Are So Popular
Paired with a handheld device like your smartphone, this type of hearing aid connects you directly and wirelessly to the sound sources you need to hear, such as your TV. This technology picks up the sound you wish to hear while dampening other distracting noises..
Imagine you’re watching television from your favorite armchair. Your hearing aid is working fine until–the clattering of dishes from the kitchen sink fills the house. With wireless hearing aid technology you can cut through the noise clutter and just tune into the TV.
Each person is different, which means the hearing aids you buy need to be selected, fitted and programmed to your individual needs. Our practice can do that, and help you live better with the right hearing aid.
Types of Hearing Aids
Invisible in the Canal (IIC)
This is a custom build style that fits inside your ear canal and remains almost completely invisible. Insertion and removal of these types of hearing aids are very easy. Wind and other similar types of outside noises are not a factor since they are inside the canal.
Behind the Ear (BTE)
Even though this may seem like it is an “old-fashioned” style hearing aid, modern technology and advances in electronics have made these smaller in size than you may remember your parents or grandparents wearing. The inner piece is custom molded to fit your ear and a thin, clear plastic tube connects the device behind your ear to the hearing device inside the ear canal. Most BTE hearing devices offer features like advanced directional microphones which allow you to hear conversations better in noisy situations.
In the Ear (ITE)
In the ear hearing aids are not completely hidden, but they are still not easily seen. We recommend them for most types of hearing loss. The lightweight plastic shell makes this type of hearing aid comfortable and simple to put in and take out. Since they are slightly larger in size, they have more features available including controls that allow your hearing aid to adjust to the listening environment you are in.
Receiver in the Ear (RITE)
RITE hearing aids are the most common types of hearing aids worn today. These have the receiver inside the ear canal rather than behind the ear so the part behind the ear is much smaller. The receiver is like a tiny speaker so it allows for crisp, clear sound directly in the ear canal. The device behind the ear is connected to the receiver in the ear by a thin, clear wire. It is almost invisible, which is why it is so popular.
In the Canal (ITC)
This type of hearing aid is completely camouflaged in the ear with a small plastic retrieval line to help you take it out. It sits in the concha, which is also known as the bowl of the ear. We recommend this type of hearing aid for all levels of hearing loss except for those with the most profound hearing loss. Since they are hidden in the ear canal, wind noise is almost completely eliminated. It has a feature that allows it to automatically adjust for different volumes and different environments.
Completely in the Canal (CIC)
This type of hearing aid is completely hidden in the ear canal so it is almost completely undetectable. It is most often used for treating mild to moderate levels of hearing loss. This type of hearing aid also prevents distracting wind noise and other environmental sounds.
Are Assistive Listening Devices the Solution?
What is the range of assistive listening devices?
- Assistive listening devices (ALDs) help amplify the sounds you want to hear, especially where there’s a lot of background noise. ALDs can be used with a hearing aid to help a wearer hear certain sounds better.
- Augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC) help people with communication disorders to express themselves. These devices can range from a simple picture board to a computer program that synthesizes speech from text.
- Alerting devices connect to a doorbell, telephone, or alarm that emits a loud sound or blinking light to let someone with hearing loss know that an event is taking place.
Assistive listening devices typically use a microphone to capture an audio source near its origin and broadcast it wirelessly to over an FM (Frequency Modulation) transmission, IR (Infra Red) transmission, IL (Induction Loop) transmission or other transmission method.
FM systems use radio signals to transmit amplified sounds up to 300 feet. That makes them useful in many public places such as classrooms, where the instructor wears a small microphone connected to a transmitter and the student listens via a worn receiver, which is tuned to a specific frequency or channel.
Infrared systems use infrared light to transmit sound. Unlike induction loop or FM systems, the infrared systems signal cannot pass through walls. However, infrared systems cannot be used in environments with too many competing light sources, such as outdoors or in strongly lit rooms.
Personal amplifiers are useful in places where the above systems are unavailable or when watching TV, being outdoors or traveling in a car.. As with other ALDs, the amplified sound can be picked up by a receiver that the listener is wearing, either as a headset or as earbuds.