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Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have come a long way from the proverbial ear trumpet. You now have choices that range from completely invisible in the ear hearing aids to the conventional over the ear hearing devices. The number of options is almost overwhelming, which is why we’re providing you an overview here.Ultimately which type of hearing aid you buy depends on your hearing needs and your lifestyle. The best way to select the right one of the hundreds of hearing aids available today is to get guidance from your local hearing experts.

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The Newest Hearing Aids

What You Need to Know about Conventional (Analog) Hearing Aids

Conventional analog hearing aids are basically amplifiers that feature manual volume controls and manual fine-tuning. These hearing aids are primarily beneficial for listening in easy, relatively quiet situations, such as one-on-one conversation and listening to the television, because all of the sounds are typically amplified in exactly the same way. This technology provides limited flexibility in meeting individual needs.

Why Wireless Hearing Aids Are So Popular

Paired with a handheld device like your smartphone, this type of hearing aid connects you directly and wirelessly to the sound sources you need to hear, such as your TV.

This technology picks up the sound you wish to hear while dampening other distracting noises. No more cranking up the volume on the television; no more screaming into your cell phone and no more missing out on the things you enjoy most.

Imagine you’re watching television from your favorite armchair. Your hearing aid is working fine until–the kids sit down in front of you and start a conversation, the clattering of dishes from the kitchen sink fills the house, the neighbors basset hound begins to bark and your neighborhood’s annual firework extravaganza comes a day early. With wireless hearing aid technology you can cut through the noise clutter and just tune into the TV.

Hearing Aid Fitting

During the hearing aid fitting, we program the device to meet your specific needs. We’ll give you instructions on how to put the hearing aids in your ears and remove them, how to change batteries and how to care for and clean the devices. We’ll also review with you the function of your hearing aids as it relates to your lifestyle, and how to get the most benefit from wearing your hearing aids.

Digital Hearing Aids: 21st Century Solutions

If you plan to only use your hearing aids at home, the more basic units may suffice. On the other hand, if you want to enhance your hearing at home, in the car, at the supermarket, at restaurants, and at the concerts and football games you attend — in other words, across a wide variety of listening environments, then you’ll want a more full-featured advanced digital hearing aid.

Of course the more you use your hearing aids, the more they will help you, the more you’ll be engaged with your friends and family and the more you’ll get out of life.

The digital revolution has made a huge impact on the way hearing aids look, feel and function. They can be so small that they are virtually invisible, so “cool” looking that you will want everyone to see them and so natural sounding, they mimic the way you used to hear before you experienced hearing loss.

It’s no secret why digital hearing aids account for most hearing aids sold today. The quality of sound is amazing. Once you try a pair, you’ll see why they’re often the best choice.

Digital Hearing Aid Features

  • Dual microphones allow you to hear better in noisy situations. Some can even identify the source of the noise and reduce it!
  • Open technology that keeps the ear canal unobstructed eliminates that “talking in a barrel” effect.
  • Feedback cancellation does just that — it cancels feedback before you hear it as an annoying whistle.
  • Hands-free technology automatically adjusts to your listening environment, whether you are on the phone, in a crowd or in a windy area.
  • Your digital hearing aid can be programmed with a computer to meet your individualized needs.
  • Wireless technology allows you to hear your cell phone, television and home phone in stereo, directly through your hearing aids!

Digital hearing aids can act on soft sounds in one way and on loud sounds in a completely different fashion. The more advanced the digital chip the more bands that it will possess. Some digital hearing aids have the capability to reduce some environmental noises such as motors running or dishes clanging.

There are so many options available to you! There are four basic technology levels: Economy, Basic, Advanced and Best. Each level offers digital hearing solutions based on your level of hearing loss, lifestyle and budget.

Why wait , You don’t have to live with hearing loss.

Are Assistive Listening Devices The Solution?

A range of assistive listening devices is available to help people with distinctive hearing needs. They fall into these general categories:

  • Assistive listening devices (ALDs) help amplify the sounds you want to hear, especially where there’s a lot of background noise. ALDs can be used with a hearing aid or cochlear implant to help a wearer hear certain sounds better.
  • Augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC) help people with communication disorders to express themselves. These devices can range from a simple picture board to a computer program that synthesizes speech from text.
  • Augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC) help people with communication disorders to express themselves. These devices can range from a simple picture board to a computer program that synthesizes speech from text.

Assistive listening device

Assistive listening devices typically use a microphone to capture an audio source near its origin and broadcast it wirelessly to over an FM (Frequency Modulation) transmission, IR (Infra Red) transmission, IL (Induction Loop) transmission or other transmission method.

FM systems

FM systems use radio signals to transmit amplified sounds up to 300 feet. That makes them useful in many public places such as classrooms, where the instructor wears a small microphone connected to a transmitter and the student listens via a worn receiver, which is tuned to a specific frequency or channel.

Infrared systems

Personal amplifiers are useful in places where the above systems are unavailable or when watching TV, being outdoors or traveling in a car. About the size of a cell phone, these devices increase sound levels and reduce background noise for a listener. Some have directional microphones that can be angled toward a speaker or other source of sound. As with other ALDs, the amplified sound can be picked up by a receiver that the listener is wearing, either as a headset or as earbuds.

Personal amplifiers

Infrared systems use infrared light to transmit sound. Unlike induction loop or FM systems, the infrared systems signal cannot pass through walls, making it particularly useful in courtrooms, where confidential information is often discussed, and in buildings where competing signals can be a problem, such as classrooms or movie theaters. However, infrared systems cannot be used in environments with too many competing light sources, such as outdoors or in strongly lit rooms.

Why wait? You don’t have to live with hearing loss.

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