Enjoy better hearing
no matter what your age may be
Hearing aids will not restore your normal hearing. With practice, however, a hearing aid for profound hearing loss or moderate hearing loss will increase your awareness of sounds and their sources. You will want to wear your hearing aid regularly, so select one that is convenient and easy for you to use.
Other features to consider when you rate hearing aids include parts or services covered by the warranty, estimated schedule and costs for maintenance and repair, options and upgrade opportunities, and the hearing aid company’s reputation for quality and customer service.
Hearing Aid Styles
The size, placement on or inside the ear, and the degree to which a hearing aid amplifies sound are all used to determine the best solution to your hearing problem. Let’s look at each style, and then we’ll talk about how they work.
Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of a hard plastic case worn behind the ear and connected to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. The electronic parts are held in the case behind the ear. Sound travels from the hearing aid through the earmold and into the ear. BTE aids are used by people of all ages for mild to profound hearing loss.
A new kind of BTE aid is an open-fit hearing aid. Small, open-fit aids fit behind the ear completely, with only a narrow tube inserted into the ear canal, enabling the canal to remain open. For this reason, open-fit hearing aids may be a good choice for people who experience a buildup of earwax, since this type of aid is less likely to be damaged by such substances. In addition, some people may prefer the open-fit hearing aid because their perception of their voice does not sound plugged up.
In-the-Ear Hearing Aids
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear and are used for mild to severe hearing loss. The case holding the electronic components is made of hard plastic. Some ITE aids may have certain added features installed, such as a telecoil.
Telecoil Hearing Aids
A telecoil is a small magnetic coil that allows users to receive sound through the circuitry of the hearing aid, rather than through its microphone. This makes it easier to hear conversations over the telephone. A telecoil also helps people hear in public facilities that have installed special sound systems, called induction loop systems. Induction loop systems can be found in many churches, schools, airports, and auditoriums. ITE aids usually are not worn by young children because the casings need to be replaced often as the ear grows.
Canal Hearing Aids
As the name suggests, canal aids fit into the ear canal and are available in two styles. The in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is made to fit the size and shape of a person’s ear canal. A completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid is nearly hidden in the ear canal. Both types are used for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Because they are small, canal aids may be difficult for a person to adjust and remove. In addition, canal aids have less space available for batteries and additional devices, such as a telecoil. They usually are not recommended for young children or for people with severe to profound hearing loss because their reduced size limits their power and volume.
At Asheville Audiology Services , we understand that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to assisted listening devices. Our audiologists are ready with hearing devices for mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, and even severe hearing loss…and one of them will be perfect for you.
Call Asheville Audiology Services to find out how hearing aids can
help you hear and speak with more clarity
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How Hearing Aids Work
Hearing aids work differently depending on the electronics used. The two main types of electronics recommended by our Audiologists for their patients are:
- Digital aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, similar to the binary code of a computer, before amplifying them. Because the code also includes information about a sound’s pitch or loudness, the aid can be specially programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others. Digital circuitry gives an Audiologist more flexibility in adjusting the aid to a user’s needs and to certain listening environments. These aids also can be programmed to focus on sounds coming from a specific direction. Digital circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids.
The Best Hearing Aids for YOU
The hearing aids that will work best for you depends on the situations you are struggling to understand in, as well as the kind and severity of your hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss in both of your ears, two hearing aids are generally recommended because two aids provide a more natural signal to the brain. Hearing in both ears also will help you understand speech and locate where the sound is coming from.
Your Audiologist will make the best recommendation for you and select a hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Price is also a key consideration because hearing aids range from hundreds to several thousand dollars. Similar to other equipment purchases, style and features affect cost.
Let hearing aids re-open your door to sound so you can turn up the volume on life
Call Asheville Audiology Services today
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Hearing Aids FAQ
Now that you know about the different types of hearing aids, you may have some other questions. Let’s see if we can’t answer them now…
What questions should I ask before buying a hearing aid?
Before you buy a hearing aid, ask your Audiologist these important questions:
- What features would be most useful to me?
- What is the total cost of the hearing aid? Do the benefits of newer technologies outweigh the higher costs?
- What fees are nonrefundable if the aids are returned after the trial period?
- How long is the warranty? Can it be extended? Does the warranty cover future maintenance and repairs?
- Can the Audiologist make adjustments and provide servicing and minor repairs? Will loaner aids be provided when repairs are needed?
- What instruction does the Audiologist provide?
How can I adjust to my hearing aid?
Hearing aids take time and patience to use successfully. Wearing your aids regularly will help you adjust to them.
Become familiar with your hearing aid’s features. With your Audiologist present, practice putting in and taking out the aid, cleaning it, identifying right and left aids, and replacing the batteries. Ask how to test it in listening environments where you have problems with hearing. Learn to adjust the aid’s volume and to program it for sounds that are too loud or too soft. Work with your Audiologist until you are comfortable and satisfied.
What are some of the adjustment issues people experience with hearing aids?
You may experience some of the following problems as you adjust to wearing your new aid.
- My hearing aid feels uncomfortable. Some individuals may find a hearing aid to be slightly uncomfortable at first. Ask your Audiologist how long you should wear your hearing aid while you are adjusting to it.
- My voice sounds too loud. The plugged-up sensation that causes a hearing aid user’s voice to sound louder inside the head is called the occlusion effect, and it is very common for new hearing aid users. Check with your Audiologist to see if a correction is possible. Most individuals get used to this effect over time.
- I get feedback from my hearing aid. A whistling sound can be caused by a hearing aid that does not fit or work well or is clogged by earwax or fluid. See your Audiologist for adjustments.
- I hear background noise. A hearing aid does not completely separate the sounds you want to hear from the ones you do not want to hear. Sometimes, however, the hearing aid may need to be adjusted. Talk with your Audiologist.
- I hear a buzzing sound when I use my cell phone. Some people who wear hearing aids or have implanted hearing devices experience problems with the radio frequency interference caused by digital cell phones. Both hearing aids and cell phones are improving, however, so these problems are occurring less often. When you are being fitted for a new hearing aid, take your cell phone with you to see if it will work well with the aid.
Call Asheville Audiology Services to discover how hearing aids
get your hearing back on track
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How can I care for my hearing aid?
Proper maintenance and care will extend the life of your hearing aid. Make it a habit to:
- Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture.
- Clean hearing aids as instructed. Earwax and ear drainage can damage a hearing aid.
- Avoid using hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
- Turn off hearing aids when they are not in use.
- Replace dead batteries immediately.
- Keep replacement batteries and small aids away from children and pets.
Watch Cynthia Earle, Au.D. instruct how to clean different types of hearing aids below:
Are new types of aids available?
Although they work differently than the hearing aids described above, implantable hearing aids are designed to help increase the transmission of sound vibrations entering the inner ear.
- A middle ear implant (MEI) is a small device attached to one of the bones of the middle ear. Rather than amplifying the sound traveling to the eardrum, an MEI moves these bones directly. Both techniques have the net result of strengthening sound vibrations entering the inner ear so that they can be detected by individuals with sensorineural hearing loss.
- A bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is a small device that attaches to the bone behind the ear. The device transmits sound vibrations directly to the inner ear through the skull, bypassing the middle ear. BAHAs are generally used by individuals with middle ear problems or deafness in one ear. Because surgery is required to implant either of these devices, many hearing specialists feel that the benefits may not outweigh the risks.
Can I obtain financial assistance for a hearing aid?
Hearing aids are generally not covered by health insurance companies, although some do. Financing is usually available. For eligible children and young adults ages 21 and under, Medicaid will pay for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, including hearing aids, under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) service. Also, children may be covered by their state’s early intervention program or State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Medicare does not cover hearing aids for adults; however, diagnostic evaluations are covered if they are ordered by a physician for the purpose of assisting the physician in developing a treatment plan.
What sounds would you like to hear? Our hearing aids will let you hear the world again…loud and clear!
Now is the time to let hearing aids
improve your hearing loss
Call Asheville Audiology Services today
Or click here for our handy webform