What are hearing aids?
Hearing aids are designed to make sounds louder. A hearing aid is a small device worn in or behind a persons ear to boost their ability to hear sounds.It enables the user to listen and take part in their daily activities.
Hearing aids has three main parts;
- A microphone, to pick up any sound
- An amplifier, to increase the frequency of the sound
- A speaker, to transfer the sound to the ear
How do I know I need hearing aids?
If you think you might have a hearing problem and having a hearing aid could benefit you a lot, visit your doctor, who may refer you to an audiologist. He or she will perform some hearing tests to determine the type of hearing aid that will work for you. The audiologist will pick the right hearing aid based on how much hearing loss you may be experiencing. In fact, it is recommended that the person suffering from hearing loss should wear hearing aids on both ears, despite the fact that the hearing loss in both of the ears may not be equal.
Different types and styles of hearing aids?
Hearing aids comes in different shapes and sizes depending on where they are placed, and how much sound they can amplify. Majority of the affordable hearing aids use digital technology where they are digitally programmed, but there are those that use analog technology.
The hearing aid can be worn behind the ear, in the ear canal, in the outer ear, or implanted in the ear. There are several styles of hearing aids as seen below:
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
BTE hearing aids contain a hard plastic case that fits neatly and comfortably behind the ear. BTE aids can be used by people of all age, with mild to severe hearing loss. There is also a new kind of BTE that is known as open-fit hearing aid. Some people prefer the new hearing aid because their voice perception do not sound like they are “plugged up.”
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
ITE hearing aids fits comfortably in the outer part of the ear and are used by people who have mild to severe hearing loss. Some ITE hearing aids may contain special features such as telecoil, a small magnetic coil that improves the user hearing ability during phone calls since it receives sound through the circuitry instead of the microphone. It helps the user to hear in public places that have installed sound systems, commonly known as induction loop systems. ITE aids are not used by children since the device must be replaced as the ear grows.
Canal hearing aid fits
Canal aids are placed in the ear canal. They are available in two designs; The in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid which is designed to fit the user’s ear canal, and A completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid that are hidden in the ear canal. Canal hearing aids are ideal for mild to moderate hearing loss. They are designed to fit the size and shape of the user’s ear canal. In addition, both ITC and CIC have a small size which makes it difficult for most people to handle. They are not recommended for use by young children
When do you need to go for a hearing test?
How do you know if you need to undergo a hearing test? Well, hearing loss may occur gradually, and sometimes it is hard for the person to realize it’s happening. Hearing loss is most common when a person is exposed to loud noises especially loud music. This means that being exposed to extremely high-frequency sounds regularly, is bad for your hearing. So, there are several signs that may alert you that you need a quick hearing test.
- Your ears keep ringing hard
- Frequently asking people to repeat what they said
- You cannot hear in crowded places such as restaurants, parties, cafes and so on
- You keep increasing the volume of your music system
- You find it difficult to pinpoint the actual direction of where a sound is coming from.
If you experience any of the following signs, visit a doctor, or a specialist who may refer you to an audiologist. He or she will perform more tests and assess the level of your hearing problem. After you get treatment, it’s a good idea to maintain an annual hearing examination to determine your hearing health over time.