Hearing Aids: How To Choose The Right One
By gahear on July 20, 2021 in Hearing Aids For Sale
Hearing aids come in a huge number of shapes, sizes, and styles. Certain models can also come programmed with different technology, with some advanced models having networking and smartphone apps.
If you’ve been considering hearing aids, you might be curious about which ones are best for you. Some people have cosmetic concerns. Others wonder whether the device will have a real effect. The most important thing to consider is your lifestyle and what you need and want and how severe your hearing loss is. Some styles of hearing aids are great when people are marketing them but they simply may not fit your hearing loss if it is too severe. This is why a hearing test is the first step to choosing the right type of hearing aids.
Example: Because examples make everything easier
It’s like trying to buy an electric car that only drives 35 miles but you need to drive 40 just to get to work. That electric car will not be a good fit for you, but it may be a good fit for someone who only drives 10 miles to work. These big companies have become great at advertising “cool” styles and features in hearing aids and not really giving you the disclaimer that it may not work for the majority of people. That’s why we wrote this. to help you make a good decision while exploring hearing aids.
How Hearing Aids Work
First let’s get into how they work. Digital hearing aids amplify sounds in your environment and deliver that information to your inner ear. they only amplify specific sounds that you are missing, not all of them. An amplifier or a hearing aid you may purchase online will amplify groups of sounds and not others but they are not custom to your hearing loss. It is important to understand that all “real” hearing aids MUST be custom programmed based on all of the testing completed in an office, in a sound isolation booth, by a licensed specialist. These online tests and applications are not accurate when it comes to programming a hearing aid. They can tell you that there is a hearing loss present and a range of about where it is but there are so many techniques and rules when it comes to a real audiogram test that most specialists and audiologists take 1 to 2 years of licensing to learn how to properly do a hearing test. So BEWARE these places that offer online hearing tests and try to sell you hearing aids online, it’s simply not possible to be accurate as of now.
Hearing aids follow these steps: This is the simple breakdown
- A microphone gathers the sound around you.
- A computer processes the sound and adjusts it to your hearing needs.
- The hearing aid will then determine what sound is background noise, recorded audio, and human speech and clean it all up to make it easy for you to understand everything.
- The sound is presented into your ear through a speaker.
This helps you hear quiet sounds and differentiate between different noises. Signal processing can emphasize high frequencies or low ones, depending on the specific type of hearing loss. They also categorize sounds in several groups such as: background noise, distant speech, close speech, live music, recorded audio such as tv or recorded speech, road noise in a car and so on. they turn down the noises that would make human speech harder to hear and turn up speech. Real hearing aids do this automatically and make listening effortless, so long as they were programmed properly.
Styles of Hearing Aid
Some hearing aids are discreet enough to be nearly unnoticeable. Some are completely invisible and go all the way down in the canal. Others are larger, but they provide more power or additional features that some people need. Here are some of the most common hearing aid styles used.
Completely In the Canal
This style, commonly called CIC, is fitted to the shape of your unique ear canal.
- The batteries are small and have a short lifespan.
- The speaker can be clogged with earwax.
- The models are usually too small for more advanced features.
- These hearing aids are hard to repair and if anything happens to them you could be without hearing aids for a few weeks while they are being repaired at a separate facility
In the Canal
This style, commonly called ITC, is also molded to the shape of your ear. It fits partially within the ear canal. Though it isn’t as invisible as a CIC model, it is more unnoticeable than on-the-ear or behind-the-ear styles.
Like CIC models, this design is vulnerable to earwax. However, its larger size might have more features than CIC models. These styles can have rechargeability only with Starkey line but do have the same cons list as the Completely in the canal.
In the Ear
ITE models come in two different categories: full and half shell. The full shell fits inside the whole bowl of your ear. The half shell fits in the lower half of the ear.
These models can be used for more severe hearing loss than the CIC and ITC ones. There are also models that have directional microphones, which allow the hearing aid to filter sounds based on where they come from.
Since ITE models are larger, they can fit buttons like volume control. They also have longer-lasting batteries and are easier to manage. Because they operate outside the ear, they might pick up more ambient noise and be more visible than CIC and ITC options.
Behind the Ear and Receiver in the canal
BTE models are commonly considered the most visible. That is not quite true though. They are the most exposed but they are typically harder to see than the custom hearing aids since they sit behind your ear and the wire that goes in your ear is very thin and hardly noticeable. They hook over your ear and rest on the back of it. These models can amplify sounds to higher volumes than other styles for many reasons. They often come with directional microphones to help with sound processing. BTE hearing aids are typically where the newest technology comes out first since they can support a better battery and they have more room in the shell of the hearing aid for new technology.
A BTE model can be helpful for anyone with mild to profound hearing loss. Honestly BTE hearing aids were not always the best option till the last 3 to 4 years, now they are some of the best devices you can get. They last longer, they tend to actually be more discrete, and they are much easier to repair and maintain. The best part with these models is they can grow with your loss. We can change the speakers out on them in the office and make it stronger as your loss progresses, meaning you don’t have to buy new hearing aids every time you lose a few decibels in sound.
The Short Answer
Hearing aids have lots of factors that need to go into consideration when trying to choose the correct ones to get. The things we mentioned here just scratch the surface. Hearing Instrument Specialists need to take your hearing loss into consideration but your lifestyle, battery requirements, needed features, budget, waterproof rating, and so on all must be considered. The most important thing to remember is what is actually going to sound best. You can’t lose sight of what will actually work for you. Its like going to look at cell phones and getting distracted with all of the features like the camera, the color, the size and never actually checking if that phone can make and receive calls. You should always try the hearing aids out before you decide. They are not all created equal and what works for one person does not mean it will work for you. You need to find a good hearing aid specialist that will take the time to program and let you actually try the hearing aids. After you do this and you know they work, then you start looking at all of the bells and whistles that will make a difference.
Our test and demos are free. Our patients are always satisfied. Give us a call and book an appointment so you can take the first step in treating your hearing loss, making sure hearing aids will work for you.
Hearing Aid Comparison and Online Store
To learn about your hearing aid options, check out our online hearing aid comparison page, and feel free to check out the most frequently asked questions about hearing aids. Georgia Hearing Aid Factory Outlet is here for all your hearing aid purchasing, repairing, and accessory needs!