Hearing Aid Guide


What makes a hearing aid?

Hearing aids are essentially a small voice amplifier with four fundamental parts: a microphone, an amplifier, a speaker (receiver) and a power supply. All hearing aids are made up of these four parts, no matter what type or size.
Types of Hearing Aids
Tips for Buying New Hearing Aids
hearing aids

Here’s a basic breakdown of how a hearing aid works:

  1. The microphone collects sound and transforms it into an electrical signal.
  2. The receiver collects the electrical signals from the amplifier and transforms them back into sound.
  3. The amplifier between the microphone and the receiver raises the signal of the sound before sending to the receiver.
  4. The recipient then sends the sound to your ears.

Digital hearing aids

The emergence of digital signal processing has totally reinvented hearing aids, allowing researchers and producers to considerably improve the experience of wearing hearing aids.

These contemporary hearing aids form the majority of the instruments available today and have several advantages, including:

  • Improved voice comprehension in busy environments
  • Increased feedback-free gain
  • Better speech comprehension
  • The ability to adjust instrument settings to suit particular hearing needs

different styles of devices

Types of hearing aids

There are many types of hearing aids and sometimes the amount of choice can be overwhelming. In order to help you decide which type is right for you are some of the most common types and the benefits they provide.
BTE

Behind-the-ear (BTE)

Behind-the-ear (BTE): Most of the components of the BTE hearing aid are contained in a small plastic case that rests behind the ear; the case is linked to the earmold or earpiece by a transparent tube. Favored by those who need higher-power hearing aids, BTE hearing aids are simple to clean and manage, making them a useful option for those with dexterity problems.
RIC

Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) / Receiver-In-Ear (RITE)

Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) and Receiver-In-Ear (RITE): The RIC and RITE hearing aids are both pretty similar to the behind-the-ear hearing aid, but they have a small wire which connects the case and the receiver, instead of a tube. They still have the greater amplification and a battery life you would expect from a BTE hearing aid, but they are housed in a much more discreet package.
ITE

In-the-ear (ITE)

In-the-ear (ITE): The ITE type comes in two types. One is designed to fit the whole bottom half of the ear, while then other only partially covers the bottom half of the ear. Since this is a full-size hearing aid compared to the in-the-canal offerings, you will begin to find additional features such as volume control and increased amplification for those with higher levels of hearing loss. Hearing aids of this size are also easier to handle and have a longer battery life than smaller types. This means they are often seen as a good balance between size and features.
ITC

In-the-canal (ITC) / completely-in-the-canal (CIC)

In-the-canal (ITC) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC): These hearing aids are some of the smallest around. All the working components fit partially or entirely into the ear canal. This makes them among the most discreet type, perfect for those who would prefer not to draw any attention to their hearing loss. Since their microphones are in the ear canal, they also provide a more natural listening experience.

Hearing Aid Batteries

Two kinds of hearing aid batteries are available – rechargeable and disposable.


Rechargeable hearing aid batteries

Hearing aid accessories

Whatever the type, model or manufacturer, a wide range of hearing aid accessories are available to improve the hearing aid experience.

  • Most contemporary hearing aids are Bluetooth-enabled which means that the hearing aid can be connected to other electronic devices such as your smartphone or TV.
  • Remote controls can enable users to set and alter hearing aid settings without using a tiny dial or button. This is especially useful for smaller types of hearing aids.
  • Small, wireless microphones can really help improve speech comprehension during important conversations in noisy environments.

We offer a complete range of hearing aid accessories to help you get the best out of your hearing aid.

assistive listening devices

Tips for Buying New Hearing Aids

If you’re on the hunt for a new pair of hearing aids, you’re in luck. – there has never been a better time to use a hearing device. Hearing aid manufacturers have worked hard to provide sleeker and more technologically advanced hearing aids in recent years.

If this is your first ever pair of hearing aids, then we appreciate that going through all the options on the market can be daunting. Even if you are a seasoned user of hearing aids, there might be so many new features out there that you don’t know where to start.

That’s why we have put together this guide for purchasing new hearing aids.

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT FROM YOUR HEARING DEVICE

You’re going to wear your hearing aids daily, so it’s crucial to think about the different activities that you participate in regularly, and how your hearing aids will help enhance your life.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Would you like to connect to your smartphone or TV?
  • Are there places you frequent where you have trouble understanding conversations?
  • Do you often video chat with friends or family?
  • Do you want your hearing aids to stream content?
  • Do you attend conferences or seminars regularly?
  • Do you spend a lot of time outdoors?

There are hearing aid features and technologies developed to overcome many different listening conditions and lifestyles to help you decide the right model for you.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT HEARING PROFESSIONAL.

Although the device itself is vital, what makes your transition to hearing aids, a smooth one is to find the right provider.

Here at A Better Hearing Center, we will work with you from day one to assess the nature and extent of your hearing loss, and help you select the right solution that suits your lifestyle and hearing needs seamlessly.

We will also be available for follow-up visits, ensure everything is working as it should, and make sure you get a great fit. We will also help you learn more about your equipment, how to change the settings, and help you get the most out of your hearing aids.

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GO WITH A FRIEND

Choosing to go with a friend will help you make the right decision when it comes to buying hearing aids. You could get their advice when it comes to picking your hearing aids, and to accompany you to consultations.

There is a lot of information to absorb during these meetings, and a good friend will help you understand what has been said, and keep track of all your choices. They will also give you an objective opinion about your hearing condition and make sure you choose the best hearing aids.

Tell them to come with you to your hearing test too, so that they can learn first hand about your hearing loss and be involved in the whole process.

GET A HEARING TEST

A hearing test is an essential step in understanding your hearing abilities. Hearing tests are typically conducted in a room with a set of measures designed to assess both the ability to listen to speech, as well as sounds from a range of frequencies.

GOOD HEARING TAKES TIME

Hearing aids don’t work the same way as glasses do. Make no mistake; it does take some time to get used to your hearing aids. Adapting to your hearing aids and getting the best out of them could take up to four months.

Your brain has to switch to a different sound environment and process an entirely new set of sounds. You have invested a lot of money, and, naturally, you want to reap the rewards of this financial investment quickly. But trust us when we say that it will eventually be worth it.

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MAKE TIME FOR FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENTS

Take as many follow-up appointments as you need to fine-tune the sounds you are hearing, change the fit in your ear canal, and talk about the conditions that are most difficult for you. Around two weeks after their first test, most people visit their hearing care specialists to have their equipment fine-tuned, and the volume adjusted.

Remain optimistic and stick to wearing your hearing aids every day. You’re going to get frustrated early on, and that’s inevitable. By taking the time to adapt to your new hearing aids, you will note slight changes every day, and your confidence will slowly increase as a result.