When people suspect their hearing ability is diminished, the first question that comes to mind is usually, “Do I need a hearing aid?” Many people experience temporary hearing loss for a variety of reasons. These people will not be candidates for hearing aids. However, the majority of hearing loss in this country is long-term, degraded hearing ability due to aging. As people get older (over 60 in general), hearing loss increases for several reasons.
Purchasing and using a hearing device is a new experience for many people, but the process is easy when taken one step at a time. Audiology Associates specializes in making your transition to hearing better through our successful step-by-step MA5P METHOD™.
Hearing Aid Styles
Every ear is as unique as a fingerprint. While the styles of hearing aids are grouped into a few categories, each instrument has parts molded to fit your ear. We recommend the style and fit for every person based on their individual needs. Here are the styles of hearing aids:
- In the ear (ITE): ITE hearing aids are powerful and offer many features. The ITE device contains an electric amplifier in an earmold that fits the outer ear.
- Micro in the canal (IIC) : IIC hearing devices are the smallest and lightest available. They are recommended for moderate hearing loss.
- Completely in canal (CIC): CIC aids are slightly larger than IIC but remain small and powerful, and nearly invisible.
- Full-shell ITE: A full shell is an earmold custom made to fit the outer ear. The electronics and battery are inserted in the shell and fit to the patient.
- Behind the ear (BTE): Sometimes, it is necessary to put the electronics and battery in a compartment that sits behind the ear. In this device, a tube runs to the amplifier in the ear canal. The controls and battery are easier to use than smaller devices.
- Receiver in the ear (RITE): RITE hearing aids offer a smaller behind the ear electronics package because the sound receiver is in the ear canal. These devices are recommended for mild to severe hearing loss.
Hearing Aid Manufacturers
The following is a list of hearing aid manufacturers whose products are available from Audiology Associates:
Oticon likes to “break the rules” followed by hearing device makers of the past. Better technology and innovation are the company’s goals for helping people hear the world around them. The company offers “life-changing, cutting edge hearing aid technology for every type of hearing loss.”
Starkey products “has reimagined what a hearing aid can do.” The company places better hearing as its number one concern and works to develop hearing aids because hearing the world around us “is as vital as breathing.”
The Phonak company wants to create better hearing in a world where “life is on.” The company makes hearing aids and accessories for all hearing loss types. Better hearing devices from Phonak help people “thrive socially and emotionally.”
Widex hearing devices combine the latest technology, aesthetics and functionality for every type of hearing loss. The original “smart hearing aid” is one that Widex says is “intelligent today, smarter tomorrow.”
ReSound products are designed for people with hearing loss who want to “experience, connect and communicate better than ever before.” The company designs products using the latest technologies in electronics, materials and innovations.
Hearing Aid Repair & Maintenance
Hearing aids are comprised of tiny electrical components that may experience wear and tear over time. If this is the case, you’ll likely need to visit your hearing professional to have the problem assessed. Whether it’s simply due to aging or the units have been exposed to moisture, excessive wax, debris or physical damage, you’ll want your hearing specialist to evaluate the extent of repairs needed.
Bluetooth Hearing Aids
One remarkable development in hearing aid technology is the ability to connect wirelessly with any Bluetooth device. This allows instant access to music, cell phone calls and computer connections. Bluetooth hearing connections are available in all but the tiniest devices.
Users are able to connect to apps used to adjust the performance of their hearing aids. They can also better hear remote devices like security and Internet in-home safety units.
Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Most companies make hearing aid versions that contain rechargeable batteries. These products are invaluable to people who have difficulty changing the tiny batteries that last from one to three days in other products.