Hearing Aids The Perfect Help For Hearing Impaired.
Hearing loss can have a significant impact on your life, from work to your relationship as well as emotional wellness. Hearing aids can make a considerable difference, especially if you choose the right ones and get help with customization.
What is a hearing aid?
A hearing aid is an electronic device powered by a battery that improves your hearing. Small enough to be used inside or behind the ear, they make faint noises louder. They can help you listen better if you are hearing impaired. All hearing aids have three parts – there is a microphone to pick up the sound, an amplifier to make it louder and an earpiece through which the sound is reproduced inside the ear.
Not everyone with hearing loss can benefit from a hearing aid. They are usually best for people who have trouble with the nerve which carries sound impulses to the brain or a damaged inner ear. Such problems mostly occur due to disease and aging. Any hearing loss due to problems with the ear canal and eardrums is called a conductive hearing loss (the ear mechanism for conducting sound from outside to the nerve has stopped working.) This can be corrected by surgical procedures and not using hearing aids.
How to avail of a hearing aid?
Hearing loss is diagnosed by an ear, nose, throat or ENT specialist. The specialist will examine what is causing the hearing loss and refer the patient to an audiologist who does measurements to find how severe the decline in hearing. Hearing loss is measured in decibels (which is actually a measurement of loudness of sound) and will calibrate a hearing aid accordingly. If there is a hearing loss in both ears, then it is advisable to wear two hearing aid. Hearing aids delivered by mail order without any measurement by an audiologist are not of good quality.
Types of hearing aid
The appropriate device depends on the patient’s age, the degree of hearing loss and cost. Some hearing aids are prohibitively expensive.
By technology, there are two kinds of hearing aids.
Analog – These hearing aids convert sound signals into electrical waves and amplify them. This is the same principle as we commonly found in music systems and telephones until about 2000. They do not cost much and have simple controls.
Digital – These convert sound waves to digital codes made of 0 and 1 and amplify them. It is the same technology as found in cell phones and the internet. They cost much more than an analog set and usually have auto volume adjustment. This compensates by making it lower volume in a quiet restaurant and raising it in a noisy environment.
Based on where they are placed there are three types of hearing aids.
• Canal hearing aids fit inside the ear and are hard to see. They may be “in the canal” and also “completely in canal” type. They are hard to remove and adjust.
• In the ear hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear and have a hard plastic shell.
• Behind the ear hearing aids are located in a plastic case situated just behind the ear.
Take the time to learn how your hearing aids work and insist that they are well fitting. Work closely with your audiologist to avoid problems such as discomfort and echoes caused by your own voice.