A Short Guide to Hearing Aids

Written by Your New Trainer on . Posted in Assistive listening device, Hearing protection, Tinnitus

Assistive listening device

Many people suffer from hearing loss without doing anything about it. In the United States, there are 15 million people who have some degree of hearing loss but have yet to do anything to make that better. Nearly 20% of all adults and 30% of all teenagers have some level of hearing loss. It is unfortunate that people suffer from this without seeking any help because it is available. Hearing aids are being improved on all of the time and the people who get them see a real improvement in the quality of their lives.

There are several different kinds of hearing aids today to choose from. The kind you select will depend on how severe the level of hearing loss that you suffer from is, what your level of manual dexterity is and your general lifestyle. When discussing hearing aids, they are usually put into categories depending on where on the ear they will be placed. The smaller the device, the harder it is to place so the person wearing it will have to have a greater level of dexterity. The smaller hearing aids also have a much smaller number of features that are available. If your level of hearing loss is more pronounced, you may do better with a model that sits behind the ear. Some people have found that the best way to improve hearing in settings with louder noise is to use an open fit model that goes behind the ear. When you are looking at different hearing aids, make sure you ask about what services are included in the price. Some places will include an evaluation, fitting, training, etc.

Behind the Ear Hearing Aids

These assistive listening devices are placed into the ear canal. They go by several names: “receiver in the ear”or RITE, “behind the ear” BTE, “canal receiver technology” or CRT and the “receiver in the canal which is also RITC or RIC. The banana shaped case of these kinds of hearing aids are inserted into the ear canal. These are attached to the ear by a ear mold that has been custom made to fit the individual. The fit is very snug. It can also be attached with a done style ear mold that has not been made to custom fit the person who will wear it.

Most people find them to be very comfortable and they are not conspicuous. They are easy to put in, work well with telephones and do not leave the wearers with a plugged up feeling. Because you can get them with ear molds that are not custom made, most people can get them in one day.

The drawbacks are that they do not give the same level of amplification for lower frequencies. Their potential to amplify sound is more limited. Any wax or moisture from the ear can also leave deposits that limit the lifespan of the devices.

Behind the Ear Hearing Aid

These are often called receivers in the aid or RITA, they are great for the amplification of both low and high frequency sounds. They are great for people with moderate or sever hearing loss. It is very easy to maintain and clean the ear mold. The larger size makes these easier to use. The main downsides to these is that the ear mold has to be custom made and are very visible. It needs to be cleaned often because it is prone to ear wax and sweat build up.

Inside the Ear Canal Hearing Aids

One of the upsides of this kind of hearing aid i that they do not use any kind of telecoil and that drops the visibility factor down. It is very easy to remove and insert. It is also resistant to noise from wind. There are some problems with this kind of hearing aid. These are too small for a directional microphone and are hard to control. The hearing aid batteries can be problematic.

Finding the right hearing aid is not just about the model but also things like how hard it is to deal with their kind of batteries for hearing aids. It is important to do your research and find the right hearing aid for you and your lifestyle.

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