A Hearing Aid Was Recommended…Now What?
After the diagnostic hearing assessment, an appointment will be made with the audiologist for a hearing aid evaluation. The audiologist will discuss the different styles and technologies that are appropriate for your hearing loss. The policies and procedures for dispensing hearing aids, prices, and options will be explained. When selecting a hearing aid, the patient’s lifestyle, age, hearing loss, budget and expectations are taken into consideration. Hearing aids are fit on a trial basis, with the opportunity to wear the hearing aids for a period of time in multiple environments to help you decide if the aid is appropriate for you. The Head and Neck Center, PC also offers a convenient payment plan to help with the cost of the hearing aid.
When your new hearing aids are ready, you will return to the office for the hearing aid fitting. At this appointment, the audiologist will ensure that your hearing aid feels comfortable and you understand its operation. Extensive counseling on the use and care of the hearing aid will take place at this visit. Follow-up visits will be scheduled if you need further assistance or if the aid needs additional adjustments. You will be encouraged to contact your audiologist with any questions or concerns that you may have about your new hearing aid.
Styles of Hearing Aids
Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC). The smallest, least visible model is the Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC). It fits deep inside your ear, where it's hidden in the shadow of your ear canal.
In-the-Canal (ITC) The In-the-Canal (ITC) hearing aid is small enough to fit almost entirely in your ear canal, occupying about one quarter of the ear to reduce its visibility significantly.
In-the-Ear (ITE) The In-the-Ear (ITE) model is a one-piece aid custom designed to fit inconspicuously within the outer portion of your ear.
Behind- the- Ear (BTE) The open fit Behind- the- Ear (BTE) hearing aid fits behind the ear, but leaves the ear canal open for a more natural sound quality.
Behind- the- Ear (BTE) The Behind-the-Ear (BTE) model fits snugly behind your ear, and is attached to a custom earpiece molded to the same shape of your outer ear. It is designed to fit a wide range of hearing loss.
Hearing Aid Technology
The majority of hearing aids dispensed today have digital signal processing. This is the most advanced technology available. Digital programming allows the audiologist to adjust the parameters of the hearing aid through special computer programs. This highly developed signal processing allows manufacturers to create hearing aids with enhanced processing and features.
Today’s hearing aids offer a large number of optional features that help to improve your listening comfort and your understanding of speech. These features are described below:
- Gain processing helps to increase the audibility of sounds of interest without discomfort resulting from high intensity sounds
- Directional microphones help to improve your speech understanding in noisy environments.
- Digital feedback reduction can reduce the annoying squeal that some hearing aids produce, without the reduction in your listening volume. This can substantially benefit users who experience occasional feedback, such as that associated with jaw movement
- Digital noise reduction automatically lowers the hearing aid volume for many types of noises, which may improve your listening comfort.
What To Expect From Hearing Aids
It is likely that your hearing gradually deteriorated over time, so you should not expect your hearing aids to immediately return your hearing to normal. Time and patience is needed to use hearing aids successfully. It is important to tell your audiologist about any problems you are experiencing so appropriate adjustments can be made.