Recently, I was having a conversation with a gentleman and he seemed disinterested. I tried not to take things too personally, but I thought maybe he didn’t like me, or maybe he was just not very friendly. It turns out, this gentleman suffered from hearing loss, and he had not taken any steps to fix his hearing. I wondered to myself: how many people literally suffer in silence because they don’t know about the advancements in audiology, or because they are afraid a cumbersome hearing aid will make them look older?
Today, hearing aids are smaller, more powerful and less expensive than ever before. Loss of hearing affects millions of Americans and hearing aids are the best way to correct hearing loss for the majority of these people. Hearing aids are not just for your grandfather! A hearing device can help anyone needing additional assistance with their auditory range.
There are two standard types of hearing aid devices: the in the ear models called (ITE) and the behind the ear models, called (BTE). Each of these models has several different sizes ranging from almost imperceptible to large, depending upon what the patient needs. A doctor will help you determine the correct aid for your particular situation.
The smallest hearing aids made are called Invisible in the Canal and Completely in the Canal aids. The fit snugly into the ear canal and are designed for people with minimal hearing loss. These are a great option for folks who want their hearing aid to be virtually invisible. In the Canal hearing devices are placed on the lower part of the outer ear bowl and they are very comfortable and easy to use for the wearer. Since this type of mechanism is larger than the Invisible in the Canal and the Completely in the Canal styles, they have a longer battery life and are a great option for people with all types of hearing loss. Larger devices, known as low profile hearing aids, come in the half shell designs to devices that almost fill the entire outer ear bowl. These types of appliances are excellent for people with limited dexterity, since they are easier to handle. Many of these kinds of hearing aids are large enough to have microphone and volume controls to accommodate the wearer.
Behind the ear devices have not been too popular over the years because they used to be so obvious, but today, these appliances have thin ear tubes and ear tips, making them almost undetectable! These types of hearing aids are gaining a resurgence in popularity due to their sleek cosmetic look, long battery life, and their ease of use. There are several BTE devices to choose from, including the Mini BTE, made with the ultimate discretion in mind; the receiver in the ear or receiver in the canal aids which have speakers built into the ear tip; and the traditional BTE OKC hearing aids with ear molds, constructed for any type of hearing loss, from mild to extreme loss.
Not sure which hearing aid is right for you? Keep in mind that all digital hearing devices have at least one microphone to gather sound, an embedded computer chip to amplify the sound and a speaker portion to send signals to your ear, as well as a battery to make the aid function properly. When you meet with your audiologist or regular doctor, they will take into consideration your level of hearing loss, your budget and your lifestyle. Since there are many hearing aid manufacturers and new innovations are being made almost daily, speak to your hearing care professional about the products available and then have them make recommendations regarding the best device for you.
Once the selection has been made regarding the type of hearing aid that best suits you, you will need a professional fitting and programing by an expert in the field. In addition to the consideration given to your budget and needs, attention will be given to your hobbies, your career and your cosmetic preferences. If you are not particularly tech-savvy, that might play into the hearing aid selection by your audiologist. In addition, your doctor or hearing professional will also consider any other physical limitations you may have, including your dexterity. These factors will make your new device comfortable and user friendly. The most important part of this consultation will be the setting for your new hearing aid; an audiologist or hearing specialist can precisely adjust your device to the frequencies needed to help you hear what you have been missing!
Once you have been fitted with your new hearing device, recognize there will be an adjustment period. It may take some getting used to, even if you have worn a hearing aid in the past. Make sure to ask your audiologist or specialist for instructions and advisement when breaking in your new mechanisms.
Some of the most recent advancements in hearing aid technology is the use of wireless electronic components. With this innovation, two hearing aids can work in conjunction with one another as one complete system. Wireless systems also let the person wearing the hearing aid to customize and program the devices to their specifications. Another great aspect of the wireless hearing aid—it can connect with MP3 players, computers, televisions and even mobile phones.
Now that you have gone through the process of determining your level of hearing loss, you have discussed the various options with a professional and have decided on a model, what will it cost you? The amount depends upon the features, size and the level of customization, but you can expect to spend anywhere from $1000.00 to $4000.00 per ear piece. You can find discounts, depending upon affiliations you may have, but generally, hearing devices are not covered by insurance. You can find financing to make them affordable, however.
A hearing aid can drastically compliment your quality of life. The subtle sounds of nature, the dialogue of a movie, even a conversation with a loved one will be enhanced. With the strives in technology, hearing never sounded so good! Here is a map direction to the nearest hearing aids near me (where I live). They have Norman and Moore locations as well.