Hearing aids exist to provide more than just amplification. Not all hearing aids are made equal – some are intricately designed to carry modern technology and power in a small housing while some are just a bit more advanced than hearing amplifiers.
For this reason, working with the right hearing care provider is highly essential so your specific hearing needs are met.
Harbor City Hearing Solutions is an authorized provider of top-grade, world-class hearing aids in Melbourne, FL.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are considered investments. You need to choose wisely because you will be using that device for the most part of your day.
When choosing a hearing device, it’s important to partner with an established audiologist that can walk you through all the important considerations.
Below are six basic factors to look into during hearing aid selection:
1. Programmability – Hearing aids are not created equal. There are inexpensive personal sound amplifiers and there are high-end digital devices powered by artificial intelligence and automated sound adjustments.
Programmability is a big factor to consider because hearing aids should be programmed according to a wearer’s unique hearing requirements.
2. Wireless connectivity – Nowadays, almost everything is powered by wireless connectivity. Hearing aid manufacturers have also been keeping up with this technology and are releasing devices that can connect wirelessly to iPhone, Android, and other smartphones and smart gadgets.
Hearing aids with wireless connectivity allows users to stream calls and music directly to the hearing aids with optimum sound quality.
3. Style – Hearing aids come in various styles and sizes, ranging from in-the-ear to behind-the-ear. When choosing a hearing device, you would want to balance functionality, cost, comfort, aesthetics, and features.
You don’t have to weigh all of these factors alone; an audiologist can help narrow down your choices as they factor in the extent of your hearing loss.
4. Telecoils – Telecoils make it possible for hearing aid users to connect to hearing loop systems and talk on the phone without feedback. Most hearing loop systems are connected or installed in a church, cinemas, terminals, theaters, and other key public places.
5. Directional microphones – Hearing aids with directional microphones have two or more microphones that allow the hearing device to target the specific sound source for more optimal hearing. Directional microphones can minimize unwanted background noise as well.
Hearing Aid Styles
To help make hearing aid selection easier, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic hearing aid styles below:
IN THE EAR (ITE)
These hearing devices are custom-fit to be positioned in the outer portion of the ear canal. ITE hearing aids are ideal for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
INVISIBLE IN CANAL (IIC)
Invisible-in-canal hearing devices are positioned deeper in the ear canal to achieve an “invisible” appearance. These types of hearing aids are recommended for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
COMPLETELY IN CANAL (CIC)
Completely-in-canal hearing aids come with a small handle that sits outside the canal for easy insertion and removal. CIC hearing aids are custom-made for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss.
IN THE CANAL (ITC)
ITC hearing aids sit inside the ear canal with a small part of the device visible at the ear opening. People with mild-to-mildly severe hearing loss can benefit from this hearing aid style.
FULL SHELL IN THE EAR (ITE)
Full shell ITE hearing aids are positioned to fit the entire area of the outer ear. These types of hearing aids are the largest custom models and they have large amplifiers that can accommodate greater sound amplification.
BEHIND THE EAR
BTE hearing aids have a small receiver in the ear that is connected to the hearing aid by a slim tube. People with mild to severe hearing loss can benefit from a BTE style.
MINI BTE WITH SLIM TUBE AND TIP
It has the same build like a typical BTE hearing aid but is a tad smaller and more discreet. This can be used by patients with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
RECEIVER IN CANAL (RIC)
RIC hearing aids sit in the ear and are available in miniature styles. It can accommodate mild-to-severe hearing loss.
BTE WITH EARMOLD
This is the same as a normal BTE model but it is fitted with a customized earmold for a boosted listening experience. This design is recommended for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
How Hearing Aids Work
Hearing aids may vary in style, size, and design but when we look at the bigger picture, hearing aids work in a similar way.
They amplify sound using a three-part system – a microphone collects sound and converts it into digital signals. An amplifier then increases the strength of the digital signals and the speaker produces the amplified sounds into the ear.
Getting Used to Your Hearing Device
People who use hearing aids for the first time may find themselves adjusting to all the new sounds and stimuli that the brain has forgotten about for months or years.
Audiologists can provide support and guidance as you adjust to your new hearing aids.
Keep in mind that hearing aids cannot exactly replicate normal hearing. For some individuals, the biggest change they need to adjust to is the sound of their own voice.
It’s normal to find your own voice weird or funny during the first few uses. Over time, you will get used to the sounds produced by hearing devices.
Hearing Aid FAQs
Does insurance cover hearing aids?
Generally, hearing aids are not covered by medical insurance. However, some insurance may offer optional hearing plans that may include coverage for hearing aid fittings and hearing tests.
What’s the difference between prescription hearing aids and over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids?
Prescription hearing aids can be used for all levels of hearing loss, whereas over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids can only be used for mild to moderate hearing loss.
An audiologist can help program and fine-tune prescription hearing devices to better suit your hearing needs.
Do over-the-counter hearing aids work?
Over-the-counter hearing aids are intended for adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. OTC hearing aids are not recommended for children and adults with severe hearing loss.
OTC hearing aids cannot be accurately programmed, unlike prescription devices. While OTC hearing aids may amplify sounds, they can’t guarantee the precise amplification needed for a person’s individual hearing requirements at every pitch and frequency.
Hearing Aids and Audiologists | Rockledge, FL
With the right hearing aids, living your best life is within reach.
We offer a wide selection of hearing aid technology and we will work with you to find the best solution for your specific hearing needs.
Harbor City Hearing Solutions audiologists in Melbourne, FL, are authorized providers of quality hearing aids and accessories.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!