Hearing Properly Opens Up A New World - Ask My Mum


by Graham.J.T. Hodgson - Date: 2006-12-08 - Word Count: 1085 Share This!

WHAT IS AN HEARING AID

A hearing aid is a small, electronic device that amplifies sound. It is an electronic device with a small microphone that amplifies weak sounds through a small speaker. A fairly recent development, the bone anchored hearing aid is helpful to patients who are unable to use a conventional aid. The average life of a hearing aid is three to five years. The size of a hearing aid is not a good indicator of the device's sound quality. Most people now buy digital hearing aids as they are far superior in performance to an analogue hearing aid. Through the use of digital signal processing, digital hearing aid now offers what the analog hearing aid cannot offer. Digital hearing aids first appeared about five years ago and have been improving ever since that time. Digital Hearing Aids are all the rage today and the attention is well deserved.

WHAT CAUSES HEARING LOSS

Obviously many of us will lose our hearing as we get older as part of the ageing process but apart from that noise is a major cause of hearing loss. Hearing aids will not restore normal hearing or eliminate background noise. Expectations often are too high as hearing aids will not restore normal hearing or eliminate background noise.

BUYING AN HEARING AIDMaking the decision to have your hearing tested and purchase a hearing aid is a significant one. After a hearing aid is sold is when you will need the best customer service so selecting a reputable hearing aid supplier is vital. The size and visibility of a hearing aid is often a major consideration when selecting a hearing aid. Selection of a hearing aid is a complex process in which a medical doctor, laboratory technician and patient participate. No one hearing aid is appropriate for everyone. The audiologist will test your hearing and then take an impression of your ear ( assuming you are having the type that go in the ear canal). Once your hearing aid is ready, you will return for a fitting appointment.

HOW DOES MY HEARING AID WORK.

We will assume that most of you will now purchase a digital hearing aid as opposed to an analogue one as they are so much more efficient.Sound received by a 100% digital hearing aid is converted to binary code to be digitally processed. The true digital hearing aid contains a microprocessor which controls the daily operation of the instrument. Digital circuitry provides the most flexibility for the hearing professional to make adjustments for the hearing aid. Recently some manufacturers have introduced digital feedback reduction. Some modern hearing aids even fit deep within the canal and have internal controls which automatically adjust in extreme noise conditions. They basically have a very small microphone that amplifies weak sounds and sends them to the earpieces.

HEARING AID PROBLEMS

A major problem for hard of hearing people is the difficulty of hearing in noise, indeed, the inability to hear in noise is still the number one reason for dissatisfaction with hearing aids.Many digital hearing aids can reduce the amount of background noise you hear.The problem ocurs because most of the time, background noise is speech, which is the exact same signal that the hearing aid is trying to amplify. This is why you hear people say that they get problems, hearing with an hearing aid, when they are in a room with a lot of people. Many hearing aids are very affected by wind noise when worn outdoors on a windy, or even breezy day. Wind noise is different from most background noise and must be treated differently by a hearing aid.

BATTERIES

The length of time your aid batteries last depends on the strength and volume setting of your hearing aid. Batteries make a difference in hearing aid performance. Check the hearing aids and batteries each morning and always keep extra hearing aid batteries available, don't get caught out. I don't want to advertise but Rayovac is considered one of the leading batteries available and is preferred by many audiologists and hearing aid dispensers. Any equivalent battery will do however.

TO FINALISE

If you are wondering about buying an hearing aid but cannot decide on whether its worth it, let me tell you a short story. My own mum had been unable to hear for nearly 10 years. We decided that although they were expensive we were going to buy her some hearing aids. She was very dubious about it all to start with but let me say now 3 months down the line she cannot wait to get them on. My mum is 83 and it has given her a complete new lease of life. She has been unable to join in conversations for nearly 10 years and this week she heard her great granddaughter speak for the first time, Believe me she is like a new woman with a new lease of life. Considering that she was seriously ill for 16 weeks last year with MRSA, I look at her now and think that miracles can happen and I will tell you what. "If those hearing aids had cost double what they did,they would have been worth every penny."

Further Information On Hearing Aid Types

The various digital hearing available come into the following categories.

In The Ear

These are the most comfortable digital hearing aids to wear.they are not too dear and are very easy to use.

In The Canal

Digital hearing Aids that fit into the ear canal are normally more expensive than the "in the ear" ones. They are quite small and unless you have small hands they can be a bit tricky to adjust, especially for older people who sometimes through artritis etc have difficulty operating them.

Mini Canal

When you are looking for the smallest hearing aid with a tiny volume control then the Mini Canal Digital Hearing aid may be the answer.

Behind The Ear

Although these digital hearing aids are the cheapest they are also the biggest. They are usually very powerful and very reliable. They rest behind the ear and are linked to the ear canal by something called an ear mould.

Completely In Canal

Completely in the canal digital hearing aids are the tiniest hearing aids made. Due to the fact that they fit deep into the ear canal they need a string to remove them. Because of their size it is very difficult to remove one from the ear if the "removal string" is missing.

Post Auricular Canal

These hearing aids are the very latest technology. The processor fits behind the ear but the receiver/speaker fits deep in the ear canal.

More information at www.askabouthealth.com/hearing_aid.html


Related Tags: hearing aid, hearing aids, buying an hearing aid, digital hearing aid, audiologist, hearing aid supplier

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