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Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aids.

The most common problem people with hearing loss have is allowing it to go untreated. Although we hear with our ears, our brains listen closely to make sense of the sounds around us. Untreated hearing loss can cause this basic relationship to become distant. It’s one thing to make sounds louder; however, it won’t help if you can’t understand. Hearing aids can drastically improve the quality of what you hear, which can help bridge the gap to understanding and enjoying the world around you.

What do hearing aids do?

Hearing aids are small devices that amplify sounds for individuals with hearing impairments. These devices consist of three components: a microphone to pick up sound, an amplifier to make the sound louder and a loudspeaker to broadcast the sound into the ear.

 

Misconceptions

  • Hearing aids are a sign of old age:

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Truth: Hearing loss affects people of all ages, in fact, only 35 percent of people with hearing loss are over the age of 64. Hearing aids have long had a stigma of projecting “old age,” which is why most people avoid seeking help. Wearing hearing aids is not a sign of old age rather it’s a sign of someone taking control of their loss of hearing.

 

  • Hearing aids amplify background noises.

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Truth: At one time, older analog devices did amplify all noises. However, due to advances in technology, digital devices filter out background noises so you can hear what you want.

 

  • Hearing aids restore hearing like glasses restore vision to 20/20

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Truth: Unlike glasses, hearing aids can not cure hearing loss. Hearing aids can improve the quality of what is heard by refining the individual’s hearing, listening and understanding abilities.

 

  • My hearing loss is not serious, I don’t need hearing aids.

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Truth: Hearing loss can cause you to miss out on more than you can imagine. Untreated hearing loss is more noticeable than wearing hearing aids. Let your doctor determine the severity of your hearing loss and discuss your options.


Different Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids come in many different forms, there are digital and analog devices as well as one that can be placed in your mouth. Listed below are common devices:

 

BTE: Behind the ear

Like the name states, the device fits behind the ear. Most parts of the device are contained in a small plastic case that rests behind the ear. The case is connected to the earmold/piece by clear tubing.

 

Mini BTE: On the ear

This device is a new version of the BTE.  Just like the BTE, the mini BTE fits on/behind the ear, it’s just smaller. A thin, clear tubing connects the aid to the ear canal.

 

ITE: In the ear

All parts of this device are housed in a shell, it fits into the outer part of the ear.

 

ITC: In the canal

Like the ITE, the ITC device is housed in a shell which is then inserted into the ear canal.

Digital vs Analog

 

Digital devices convert sound waves into digital signals that produce an exact duplication of sound. Digital hearing aids have the ability to process sounds more complexly. These devices are also programmable. Most people who seek help for their hearing loss are offered the digital option. Analog devices are programmable devices that make continuous sound waves louder. The analog device can store multiple programs for every environment situation.


If you feel like your hearing is just not up to par, make an appointment to come see us today.

Resources:

http://www.betterhearing.org/hearingpedia/myths-about-hearing-loss

http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Hearing-Aid-Myths-and-Facts/

http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/HomeHealthandConsumer/ConsumerProducts/HearingAids/ucm181470.htm

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