Hearing Aid: A Simple (But Complete) Guide
Hearing loss can be a difficult subject to talk about for a lot of individuals. Unfortunately we live in a society where hearing loss and any or all communication about the subject is considered a big taboo. No one wants their relatives or peers to know that they are dealing with hearing loss. That is something we can only combat with repeated talk about the subject, normalizing the use of hearing aids and talking about the idea of getting hearing aids simply because you need one, in public. We understand that change will not happen overnight and before we even remotely begin to bring awareness and break the taboo around hearing loss or using hearing aids, we need to give our readers an insight into how a basic hearing aid functions, what are the different kinds of hearing aids and how do they know if they need a pair.
Well, this blog will serve as a complete guide to all your queries on hearing aids. It will aim at logical working details of the hearing device, the use of the hearing aid and questions like when to use a hearing aid/s in very simple yet significant and very important details. Let’s get straight into it and understand all about hearing aids.
What is a hearing aid?
A hearing aid is an electronic device with a Mic , Receiver and an Amplifier.
All hearing aids use these same three important parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and make them louder. Hearing aids are now digitally Customised and programmed based on your hearing level at different hearing frequencies. All hearing devices are powered with a traditional hearing aid battery or a rechargeable power unit.
Small microphones collect sounds from the environment. A computer chip incorporated into an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code. It analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers, called receivers.
What can I expect from my hearing aids?
Unlike eyeglasses, hearing aids do not correct your hearing back to normal. Instead, hearing aids function to amplify sounds in a particular range of pitches – the range where the hearing loss exists. Included in those sounds can be speech or environment sounds such as bells ringing, birds singing, conversations from nearby tables at a restaurant or busy traffic noise.
While the hearing aid technology today is excellent, the devices are still an “aid”. Therefore, it is important to employ communication strategies when using hearing aids in difficult listening environments. Realistic expectations will definitely make the user to get the most benefit out of hearing devices to improve the quality of life.
Do I need one or two hearing aids?
If hearing loss exists in both ears, there is greater benefit in using a device in both ears – similar to wearing eyeglasses with two lenses.
We have two ears to identify sounds from front – back, right side – left side which Audiologists call sound localisation. Normal hearing is listening with two ears. When you have hearing loss in both ears, you have to support with hearing aid amplification in your both ears to understand speech without missing any components of speech sounds. There are always exceptions to the general rule and that will be discussed with your audiologist. Benefits from hearing aids in each ear include:
Improved ability to understand speech in background noise
Less amplification in each hearing aid reducing the possibility of feedback (hearing aid whistling)
Less auditory effort so you are less fatigued at the end of the day
Improved ability to locate the source of sound
Before you buy your set of hearing aids, get a complete ear checkup from a reputable audiologist and plan on the future needs, understand the need of your ears and go for a customizable set within your budget.
Our professional experts have been at your service for the last 55+ years with a track record of 97% success rate and 11 lakh+ happy customers. Call us today to book an appointment or walk-in to any of your nearest HAC centres.