Things you should know before buying hearing aids
Hearing loss is a strenuous situation in a person's life. It can happen to everybody from a child to an old. However, this problem is so common among older people. Hearing loss not only affects a work-life of a person, but it also affects the social life and emotional well-being. It studied that a person with hearing loss is more prone to depression. Best hearing aid technology can make a big difference if you choose the correct hearing-aid device for you.
Let's see how a hearing aid works. Best hearing aid technology improves your hearing in both quiet and noisy environments. Some people born without an external ear cannot use a typical hearing aid device. In such cases, a device that sends sound signals to the inner ear through the bone of the skull may be proved helpful. The best affordable hearing aid machine is a small device that you can wear inside or at the backside of your ear and, operated by a battery. The best affordable hearing aid machine using the best hearing aid technology consists of three parts- microphone, amplifier, and a receiver. A microphone picks up the sound from the surroundings, and an amplifier makes the sound louder and, a receiver sends the amplified sound into your ear.
If you are facing some hearing-related problems, then you should consult an ENT doctor. He will conduct some tests to see what type of hearing loss you have and how severe it is. If you face a problem with both of your ears, it is advisable to wear the device in both ears.
Types of hearing loss
According to audiologists, there are four types of hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss- In this hearing loss, the sound does not reach the outer or middle ear. It is due to congenital reasons or an allergy. You can get it treated through surgery or medication.
Sensorineural hearing loss- In this hearing impairment, the inner ear gets damaged thanks to many reasons like aging, a noisy environment, certain drugs like cancer medications. Medication is not effective in sensorineural hearing loss and, the surgical process of a cochlear implant is possible, is bypassed through an inner ear but, it does not work for all cases. In such cases, hearing aids come to your rescue
Mixed hearing loss- This hearing loss is the combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses, and is treated by the combination of treatment for both of these hearing losses.
Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder- In this hearing loss, the sound is entered in the ear normally but, is not organized in a way that the brain can understand, caused mainly due to damage to the inner ear or the hearing nerve.
Apart from these types of hearing losses, other hearing losses are mentioned here. Unilateral and bilateral ear loss are first in the list affecting one and both ears respectively. Also, it can be or, meaning hearing loss before (pre-lingual) and after the person learns to talk (post-lingual). Others are symmetrical and asymmetrical ear loss; in which hearing loss can be the same or different in both ears. Progressive hearing loss may worsen with time whereas sudden hearing loss happens suddenly. Fluctuating hearing loss may also improve or worsens over time while a stable hearing loss will remain the same. Conventional hearing loss is found in people by birth while acquired onset happens at a later stage in life.
The degree of hearing impairment may extend from mild to profound. The person may hear some voices but not soft speeches (Mild hearing loss), he cannot hear anything when another person is talking at a normal level ( Moderate hearing loss). In case of severe ear loss, the person is unable to hear speech at a normal level but will hear some loud sounds. In profound hearing loss, a person cannot hear anything except a loud noise.
Types and styles of hearing aid
Before buying any hearing aid machine for you, you should consult your doctor. The device that you should select depends on your age, type, and severity of your hearing loss, how well you can manage with the device and, the cost of the device. There are mainly two types of hearing aid which is discussed below.
Analog hearing aid- These devices amplify the continuous sound waves after converting them into electric waves and are generally less expensive.
Digital hearing aid- These hearing aids convert sound waves to digital signals and generate the original quality of sound. The code in this hearing aid contains information about the pitch and the direction of the sound. These devices adjust automatically and also enable the user to adjust the sound according to his need at any place whether it is a noisy restaurant or a quiet room. However, they are costlier than an analog hearing aid but they provide much better results than them.
Let's discuss three main styles of hearing aid.
Canal- In the canal hearing aid, the device is placed inside your ear canal and is not visible. Three categories of hearing aid fall under canal hearing aid. They are In-the-canal (ITC), Completely-in-canal (CIC) and, invisible-in-canal (IIC). The ITC hearing aid fits the canal. The CIC hearing aid is much smaller and nearly hidden in the ear. The IIC hearing aid cannot be seen and is used for mild to severe hearing loss. They are useful for both children and adults with severe to profound hearing impairment. Due to their small sizes, they are harder to adjust and remove and have limited power and volume.
In-the-ear (ITE)- In the ITE hearing aid, the device is kept àpproperly outside the outer ear and used for mild to severe hearing loss. The case that is holding the electronic component consists of plastic. Some ITE also has an additional feature of a telecoil. A telecoil is an electromagnetic coil that allows users to receive sound after getting it passed through the circuitry path of the hearing aid rather than its microphone. It eases for them to converse on the telephone. This hearing aid is not suitable for children. Because of their growing size, the casing needs to be changed frequently.
Behind-the-ear (BTE)- The BTE hearing aid is placed at the top of the ear and rests behind the ear. A customized earpiece fitted in the ear canal, known as ear mold, is connected to the hearing aid through a tube. This device can work for all types of hearing loss and people of all age groups.
Tips for caring for your hearing aid
If you keep your hearing aid devices with care, they will work properly for a long time. Some points you should practice to keep them with care, are discussed below.
- Keep them away from heat and moisture
- Clean them regularly according to the instructions because ear wax can damage them
- Turn them off when they are not in use
- Keep them and the batteries away from children
- Replace their battery as soon they got depleted
Hearing aid machine are bliss for people facing hearing loss issues. They are helpful for their emotional well-being and social relationships. You should consult a doctor before buying your hearing aid devices. Your doctor will suggest you some hearing aid device based on your severity of hearing loss.