Types of Hearing Aids


Hearing aids have come a long way from the proverbial ear trumpet. With the huge advances in technology, we are now able to provide hearing aids that are completely invisible as well as the standard over the ear hearing aid. The possibilities are endless, which is why we have provided a short summary here.

 

Ultimately, your hearing aid will be determined based off of your personal needs and chosen to best fit your personal lifestyle. A sure way to discover which hearing aid is best for you to consult with one of our trained hearing aid specialist.

The Newest Hearing Aids

With all of the different options comes a wide variety of functions, feels and appearances. They can be so small that they are virtually invisible, so “cool” looking that you will want everyone to see them and so natural sounding, they mimic the way you used to hear before you experienced hearing loss.

 

One of the most popular options is the digital hearing aid. With their incredible feel and amazing sound, it is no question as to why thousands of clients have fallen in love with this innovative technology.


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.

 

There are so many options available to you! There are four basic technology levels: Economy, Basic, Advanced and Best. Each level offers digital hearing solutions based on your level of hearing loss, lifestyle and budget.


What You Need to Know about Conventional (Analog) Hearing Aids

Conventional analog hearing aids basically amplify the world around you and feature manual volume controls and manual fine-tuning. Although this option provides limited flexibility in meeting individual needs, they are ideal for listening in easy, relatively quiet situations, such as one-on-one conversation and listening to the television.

Why Wireless Hearing Aids Are So Popular


  • Wireless technology now allows for your hearing aid to be 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 option allows you to hone in on the sounds that you want to hear while dampening the sounds that you don’t. Screaming into your cell phone, turning up volume and missing out on what life has to offer has now become a thing of the past.

Imagine you’re watching television in your living room. Your hearing aid is working fine until–the kids sit down next to you and start a loud conversation, the clattering of dishes in the kitchen seem to echo, the neighbors relentless canine begins to bark and your neighborhood’s annual street party comes a day early. With wireless hearing aid technology you can say goodbye to the unwanted noise and hello to the comfort of easy, natural listening.


Let Your Hearing Aid be as Unique as You Are

Our practice can help you chose the best hearing aid option for you.

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  • Which Type of Hearing Aid is Right for You?

Nobody wants to walk around worrying about people staring at a huge piece of equipment that is strapped to your head. Our patients tell us all the time that they don’t want anyone to notice their hearing aids. That’s why we work to provide hearing aids that are meant to work and not be seen.


Below we review the primary styles along with our recommendations.

Are Assistive Listening Devices the Solution?


Specific hearing needs call for specific assistive listening devices that are listed in these general categories:


  • Assistive listening devices (ALDs) amplify the sounds you want to hear, especially where there’s a lot of background noise.
  • Augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC) are meant to 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. This technology becomes highly useful in situations such as classroom situations where teachers wear small microphones that can be transmitted directly to a student’s assisted listening device.


Infrared systems use infrared light to transmit sound. Due to the fact that infrared signals can’t pass though walls like induction loop or FM systems, this technology becomes choice for sensitive situations such as in a courtroom. However, in situations where there are several light sources or the lights are too bright, infrared technology might not be the best choice.


A simple way to still achieve clear listening conditions when the above systems are not available is to use personal amplifiers. These cell phone-sized devices increase sound levels and reduce background noise for the user. Some are equipped with directional microphones that can be pointed toward a speaker or other source of sound. 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 ear buds.

We’ll help you make the right choice for your hearing needs, lifestyle and budget.

Call us today at 435-272-0297.

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