The hearing journey doesn't end when you've purchased hearing aids. In order to get the highest value from hearing aids, you will need to practice using them and continue to deploy hearing tactics to make it easier to understand the speech of other people.
There is a common discipline followed by all men and women who successfully make the transition to hearing aids. It is called practice. Wearing hearing aids requires time and patience. They are an investment that usually begins to pay dividends within 45 days. Once you have logged a sufficient number of hours for your brain to readjust to ambient sounds, you will be able to go on with your life without thinking so much about your hearing.
Hearing Aid Styles
Hearing aids come in a wide range of styles based on the physical shape of the instrument and the position in which it's worn. There are many factors your hearing specialist will consider before recommending a hearing aid style, including your hearing needs, your preferences for fit and the look of the hearing aids.
Hearing aid styles fall into the following categories:
The hearing technology is housed in a casing that rests behind the ear. A clear plastic acoustical tube directs amplified sound into an earbud or a customized earmold that is fitted inside the ear canal. The BTE device is for moderate-to-severe hearing loss.
A smaller version of the BTE style, where the hearing aid's technology is housed in a casing that rests behind the ear. A thin clear acoustical tube directs the amplified sound into the ear. Inside the ear canal, a small earmold or earbud holds the tube in place. Mini BTE hearing aids are ideal for people with moderate-to-severe hearing loss.
Barely visible when worn, the RIC style is an instrument in which the receiver, or speaker, is inside the ear canal. Thin electrical wires are used instead of a plastic acoustical tube, reducing distortion. RIC hearing aids provide a comfortable, open fit for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
The technology components are housed in a custom-formed earmold that fits within the outer portion of the ear canal. ITE hearing aids are custom made for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss.
In-the-Canal (ITC) or Half Shell (HS)
Features an earmold that fits down into the ear canal. It has a smaller profile than the ITE. ITC or Half Shell hearing aids are custom made for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
CIC hearing instruments fit completely in the ear canal. Only the tip of a small plastic "handle" shows outside the canal, which is used to insert and remove the instrument. CIC hearing aids are custom made for people with mild-to-moderately severe hearing loss.
This custom-fitted style is inserted farther into the ear canal than other styles, so it's completely invisible when worn. IIC hearing aids are designed to be removed daily to promote good ear health and are prescribed to people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Within these various hearing aid styles, there is a range of technology features that can be used to manage and amplify sound. Today's hearing instruments offer many kinds of advanced programmable and digital processing features to enhance the listening experience in different environments.
Your hearing professional will demonstrate the various styles and explain the technology features available, recommending the combination that best suits your hearing needs and lifestyle.
Courtesy of National Council for Better Hearing
Does your hearing aid have a T-coil? This very old technology is making modern technology an amazing experience for hearing device users all throughout Europe and now to users here in the United States.
Be sure to read the section on Hearing Loops for more information on how you can experience the Joy of Better Hearing with one simple click to the T-coil setting on your hearing device.
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