Everything You Should Know About Hearing Aids

Hearing is one of people’s most precious senses. It helps them maintain relationships and connections with family and friends, participate in team and community activities and experience life events.

Unfortunately, hearing can decrease over time for a variety of reasons, most frequently from natural aging or exposure to loud noises. Such impairment can have significant consequences on every aspect of a person’s life, affecting their physical, mental and emotional health.

Although most hearing loss is permanent and cannot be fully reversed, it can still be successfully addressed and managed to improve quality of life. No matter if the impairment is mild or severe, people usually rely on hearing aids to help them hear better and function easier in society.

However, in order to reap all the benefits, it is important that you are well acquainted with the basics of hearing aids. This post elaborates on everything you should know about these listening devices.

Benefits of hearing aids

The truth is hearing aids can do far more than just help you hear. In fact, using the right listening device can alleviate many problems caused by hearing loss including improved relationships with others, greater independence, lower risk of cognitive decline and better performance at work.

For example, the inability to hear well makes it more difficult for you to carry out your daily tasks. Whether it is driving, going grocery shopping or simply communicating with others, it can be challenging and make you frustrated as you cannot hear properly. However, with hearing aids you will be able to do all of these things comfortably and with more ease.  

Hearing aid types and styles

Hearing aids are classified depending on where you place them, how they work and their special features. Generally, there are a few types of listening devices with in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) being the most commonly used ones.

The ITE aids sit inside or partially inside the ear, while the BTE aids sit on the outer ear and have tubing that routes sound into the ear canal. Although the first type of hearing device is more discrete, most people go for the latter as it works for all types of hearing loss and allows for more features.

The importance of aid fittings

The importance of aid fittings should not be overlooked when choosing the right hearing aid device. In fact, hearing aid fittings are probably the most crucial part of the process as they help you make sure your device suits your ears, needs and lifestyle.

While doing your aid fittings, you can decide whether you want your device to be closed or open in design. An open design is typically a variation of BTE hearing aids which allows for sounds to enter the ear naturally, while with closed models, the devices sit better in the ear and ensure more direct transmission.  

Hearing aids additional features

If you want to make the most out of your hearing aids, you should consider adding some of the following features:

  • Noise and feedback reduction
  • Directional microphones
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Remote controls
  • Telecoil switch
  • Variable programming
  • Synchronization

For example, many audiologists recommend directional microphones to patients to provide an improved reception of sounds coming from in front of them with some reduction of sounds coming from behind or beside them. This feature can come especially in handy when you are in an environment with a lot of background noise.

Adjusting to hearing aids

The hearing aid adjustment period is different for everyone. While some people may get used to their new hearing aids right away, for others it may take some time to adapt. The main reason for this is because your brain has to get used to all the sounds it had forgotten due to the hearing impairment.

In order to have the best experience, it is advised that you talk to your audiologist to receive instructions on how to properly get used to your new hearing device. Most doctors typically recommend wearing your hearing aid only for a few hours a day in the beginning so you can get used to the fit.

Everything You Should Know About Hearing Aids

Final thoughts

Although hearing cannot be restored, you can rely on hearing aid devices to improve your ability to hear as well as your overall quality of life. There are several types and styles of listening devices which can be customized according to your needs, lifestyle and preferences so you can hear better and function easier in society.

However, before you make your purchase, it is important that you learn everything about hearing aids in order to reap all benefits. For more information, refer back to our guide and get acquainted with the basics of listening devices. 

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