If you have a hearing impairment you may be able to wear a hearing aid. A hearing aid does not cure a hearing impairment, but increases the volume of sound entering your ear so that you can hear better. Hearing Aids are not suitable for everyone and may not be effective if you have profound hearing impairment. What is a Hearing Aid?
A hearing aid is an electronic device made up of a microphone, an amplifier, a loud speaker and a battery. Modern hearing aids are very small and discreet and can be worn inside the ear. The microphone picks up sound, which is made louder by the amplifier. Hearing aids are fitted with devices that can distinguish between background noise (such as traffic) and foreground noise (such as conversation).
If you need a hearing aid, an audiologist will take an impression of your ear so that the hearing aid can be fitted perfectly. Your hearing aid will be adjusted to suit your level of hearing impairment, and you will be shown how to use and care for your hearing aid. The different types of hearing aids available are: Completely-in-the-canal (CIC)
hearing instruments fit deeply inside your ear canal, making them almost invisible. They are cosmetically appealing. CICs are suitable for mild to moderate severe hearing losses. In-the-canal (ITC)
hearing instruments fit almost entirely inside your ear canal, making them very discreet. They have additional room to accommodate options that may not fit on a CIC. ITCs are more suitable for mild to moderate severe hearing losses. In-the-ear (ITE)
hearing instruments fit securely in your outer ear, ensuring optimum performance and comfort. They provide sufficient space for extra options such as directional microphones or tele-coil switches for use with a telephone. ITEs are suitable for mild to severe hearing losses. Behind-the-ear (BTE)
hearing instruments sit comfortably behind your ear. Amplified sounds pass through a tube to an ear mould that fits securely in your outer ear. BTEs are most adaptable to your changing listening needs. They offer longer battery life and most are compatible with assistive listening devices. BTEs are suitable for mild to profound hearing losses.
Things to Consider
At North West Hearing Clinic we will conduct a number of tests and ask you questions to help determine which is the best choice of hearing instrument for you. The considerations include:
• Degree of hearing loss:
not all shell styles and technologies are appropriate for all hearing losses.• Ear anatomy:
some ear canals are very tiny, making it almost impossible to fit a CIC aid.• Lifestyle:
your different listening environments will help dictate the best hearing instrument to meet those needs.• Manual dexterity:
ITCs and CICs are easy to insert, but require steady hands.• Cosmetic preferences:
there’s a wide range of styles colours and sizes from which to choose.• Budget:
hearing instruments are available in a wide range of prices with a model for every budget.