The Best Hearing Aid
How Does Your Hearing Aid Suit You?
Types of Hearing Aids
Comparison of Hearing Aid Technologies
Living With Your Hearing Aids
Hearing Aid Accessories
Hearing Aid Batteries
There is no one hearing aid
that is considered the "best". What works well for your spouse or friend may be
inadequate for your needs.
First, a complete hearing evaluation will
reveal the degree and type of hearing loss, your ability to understand speech in
quiet and in the presence of noise and your ability to tolerate louder sounds.
Next, your lifestyle and expectations for
your hearing are reviewed. Are you active? Are you on the telephone quite
frequently? Have you ever worn hearing aids before? Are there any physical
limitations? Sometimes the amount of hearing loss and ear size or shape will
dictate the style of aid required. Your dexterity in picking up small objects
may also be a factor.
Finally, are there any financial concerns?
Generally, the smaller the hearing aid and the more sophisticated the circuit,
the more expensive the hearing aid will be.
You should select hearing aids based on the
knowledge of the audiologist and then choose a system you will be comfortable
wearing and which also fits into your budget. The full potential of even the
most sophisticated hearing aids often cannot be realized without the expertise
an audiologist can provide. And don't be surprised if it takes a few visits
before you really feel as though you and your hearing aids are "friends".
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How does your
hearing aid suit you?
Hearing aids cannot
restore normal hearing sensitivity and sometimes it is difficult for the wearer
to know what reasonable expectations are. Benefit, though, can be measured in several ways. Go over these points
with your audiologist:
•Does the amplified sound
have a natural quality or is it tinny and sharp?
•Are the aids comfortable
to wear or do you feel plugged up with them in?
•Are you constantly turning
the volume up and down?
•Are the aids easily
inserted and removed?
•Can you hear better with
your aids than without them?
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Aid fits behind
the external ear and is coupled to an ear-mold for sound delivery.
Custom type aid
built from an impression of the user's ear. Aid is designed to fit in the outer
portion of the external ear.
aid which fits mainly in the ear canal with only about one-quarter protruding
into the outer portion of the external ear.
Completely In-the-Canal (CIC)
aid which fits deeply into the ear canal. This is the smallest hearing aid
available. May not fit all ears, may be more difficult to insert and may need
Comfortable and cosmetically appealing digital behind-the-ear style that
uses an ultra thin eartip to reduce the “barrel effect” of hearing your
own voice while providing high frequency amplification.
range: Slight-to-moderate high frequency losses
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Hearing Aid Technologies
Can have more than one listening
program which may switch automatically or through the use of a push button
on aid or remote control
Does not require a volume
control; may have a remote control if desired
Most natural sound reproduction
facilitates understanding in most situations
Distinguishes between speech and
steady state noise, allowing for enhancement of speech and reduction of
Contains millions of tiny
electrical parts which process sound mathematically.
Feedback management system
greatly reduces possibility of “whistling”
Can be easily reprogrammed in
office to accommodate a change in hearing needs
Technology has been available for
over 50 years
Typically only one listening
Volume control is needed to make
adjustments in quiet and loud situations, basically turning everything up or
Beneficial in quieter situations
such as one-on-one and while watching TV
Good for people who have a very
May not be appropriate for
individuals with insensitivity to loud sounds
Does not process sound except to
make it louder or to compress loud sound
Feedback (whistling) control is
accomplished by reducing high pitch amplification which may decrease the
user’s understanding ability
Major circuit changes must be
made at the factory
Some models are programmable
The noise reduction feature which is available in advanced digital technology
circuitry improves listening comfort and reduces fatigue in noisy environments
such as restaurants, social events and sporting events. Some hearing aids have
this feature that can either be turned on or off, while others allow various
degrees of noise reduction depending on your needs and preferences.
Digital Directional Technology:
Digital directional technology is used to amplify the sounds coming from in
front of the hearing aid user while minimizing the sounds coming from other
directions in the environment. Additionally some higher processing digital aids
ensure that the loudest noise source in the room is not overamplified even as it
Digital Feedback Suppression:
Many hearing aid users have high frequency hearing loss which affects their
ability to hear consonant sounds such as s, th and sh. Without adequate high
frequency amplification, the speech signal will typically be unclear.
Previously, providing adequate high frequency amplification often resulted in
feedback or a high pitched ringing or screeching sound. The newer digital
feedback suppression systems can eliminate or significantly decrease the
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Most people will benefit from
the use of two hearing aids because of the following:
hearing helps you sort out and understand individual voices. Our "built-in
signal processor" combines signals from both ears into a single sound. Without
such blending, our brain can only present us with incomplete information.
Less Stressful Listening
Listening with only one ear is
physically tiring and stressful. The more realistic sound of stereo hearing lets
you respond more confidently. And you don't need to worry about always turning
your "good" ear toward sounds.
Our brain locates a sound source
by measuring the tiny differences in duration and intensities between each ear.
When a person hears with only one ear, the difficulty in locating sound can be
dangerous, especially in traffic.
When a hearing
impaired person who has an equal hearing loss in each ear wears a hearing aid in
only one ear, the unused ear tends to lose its ability to hear and understand.
hearing generally requires less volume, giving a more natural sound to voices
and music. Sudden loud sounds lose much of their jarring effect when divided
between two ears.
which sound almost exactly alike when heard in one ear can be identified more
easily when heard with two ears.
intended, hearing with two ears allows you to enjoy more natural sound. Hearing
with one ear is like trying to see with one eye--it's possible, but, in most
cases, not very effective.
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Living With a
on the Right Foot
goal is to improve your hearing. Unfortunately, a complete return to the hearing
of your youth is not likely, so try and keep your expectations realistic.
to Ask Any Questions You Have During Your Instruction Classes
any scheduled follow-up sessions or adhere to any maintenance schedules your
audiologist recommends. If you have a problem with your aid, make an appointment
to have it checked. It may only need a simple adjustment
Just like a
camera or other sophisticated piece of equipment, hearing aids provide best
results when used properly. Read the manual thoroughly.
Your brain may
take a while to get accustomed to hearing again. Some insignificant sounds may
appear too loud at first, until your brain learns to screen them out in
preference to important sounds. This is completely natural and shouldn't cause
are not a special occasion dress or suit. For best results you should wear your
aids every day. If you only wear them occasionally, or continually take them in
or out, you are "teasing" your brain. While not harmful, you probably won't get
the best hearing improvement this way.
Give Them TLC
hearing aids tender loving care and they'll do the same for you. Your manual
contains tips for the best care of your hearing aids, such as keeping them dry
and clean. Cerumen (ear wax) can reduce your aids' efficiency and even cause
them to malfunction.
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Hearing Aid Battery Testers
Pocket size testers
are available that can be used with all standard hearing aid battery
If you have a problem with
earwax getting into your hearing aid, consider the use of these cerumen guards.
They firmly stick like an adhesive bandage over the end of the hearing aid and
prevent wax and debris from entering and damaging the electronics of the hearing
This is a special container with moisture absorbing
pellets. Once the battery is removed from the hearing aid, the instrument is
placed in the container and sealed overnight. Hearing aid users who perspire
heavily or notice rust in their aids should utilize this kit.
||Dry and Store
Dry & Store® is a
conditioning system for all types of hearing instruments - traditional
hearing aids as well as cochlear implant equipment, noise maskers, ear monitors,
and more. Best results are achieved with in-home use every night. While you
sleep, it removes moisture, dries earwax, kills germs, and deodorizes your
Better sound quality
Relief from itchy ears
· Longer battery
· Fresh and clean
Foam pad that adheres to
the telephone receiver which helps prevent feedback (whistling) during telephone
use while wearing a hearing aid.
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Hearing Aid Batteries
Fresh hearing aid
batteries are always available at the Bella Vista Hearing Center.
The size of the battery your hearing aid uses
depends on the size of the hearing aid and its circuit requirements.
Zinc air batteries have
replaced mercury or silver batteries. Battery life will vary between hearing aid
users depending on the number of hours the hearing aids are used, the power of
the aid, the preferred volume setting and the actual listening environments the
person is exposed to.
If you have difficulty
inserting and changing the battery in your hearing aid, consider the use of
Energizer EZChange products. For more information
Store batteries in a dry
location at room temperature in their original protective package. Do not put
them in the refrigerator. It is a good practice to open the door on the hearing
aid when it is not in use to be sure that the hearing aid is not draining the
Hearing aid batteries
can be dangerous if swallowed or used improperly. Always keep them out of reach
of anyone who might swallow them, especially children.
IN THE EVENT THAT A BATTERY IS
INGESTED, CALL THE NATIONAL BUTTON BATTERY INGESTION HOTLINE: 202-625-3333