General Hearing Aid Information
We learn to communicate by hearing sounds around us. If you have hearing loss, it limits the sounds that you can hear.Once you have been identified with a permanent hearing loss, it is time to select the appropriate amplification for yourself or your child. Hearing aids will help you to hear those sounds better.
It is important for you to be fit with hearing aids as soon as possible after the hearing loss is identified.
The earlier the hearing aids are fit, the better the chance that listening, speech skills, language, and reading will develop appropriately if you are a child. Hearing aids can be fit on patients of any age.
What are Hearing Aids?
Hearing Aids will not restore your hearing to normal, but the hearing aids will provide you with more access to those sounds around you.Hearing Aids are electronic, battery-operated devices that amplify or make sounds louder.
Hearing Aids Contain:
- A microphone
The microphone picks up sounds in the environment and changes it to an electrical signal.
- An amplifier
The amplifier then takes the electrical signal and increases the level.
- A receiver
The receiver takes the signal and converts it back to sound, which is then directed into the ear canal so your child can hear the sound.
The hearing aids contain digital technology and are programmed for your exact hearing loss.
It is important that hearing aids are worn during all waking hours and used consistently so that you can better adjust to listening.
The style of hearing aid that you will need depends on:
- The size of the ear
- The amount of hearing loss
- The age of the patient
Hearing aids and earmolds can come in many colors. Also hearing aids can come with many memories or programs to help you hear in most listening environments.
Special settings on hearing aids can be used for use on the telephone.Tamper-resistant battery doors are also available.
Hearing aids can sometimes be compatible with FM systems for school and at home.
Common Questions About Hearing Aids
Types of Hearing Aids
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) fit behind the ear and direct the sound into the ear by tubing, which is connected to an earmold that is worn in the ear.
BTEs are appropriate for most hearing losses. BTEs are the most appropriate style for babies and children because of their growing ears.
Some patients say theadvantage of the RIC hearing aid is improved sound quality, reduced hearing aid size, and “open-fit” technology.
Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) (CRT/RIC/RITE)hearing aids place the loudspeaker directly in the ear without a fitted earmold. These instruments use soft ear inserts to position the loudspeaker in the patient’s ear.
Open-fit (OTE) are small behind-the-ear hearing aid types. It leaves the ear canal as open as possible. Often, these hearing aids have a small plastic case behind the ear and a small clear tube running into the ear canal attached to a small dome.
In-the-Ear (ITE) are custom made to fit into the ear and are worn in the ear much like an earmold. All of the components of the hearing aid are built into the custom shell.
The ITCs are the smallest of the hearing aids.
In-the-Canal (ITC) are custom fit to the ear and sit in the ear canal.
The Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) is a smaller version of the ITC and fits only in deep in the ear canal. Also the ears need to be large enough so that the components of the hearing aid can fit into the custom shell.