Out of the millions of Americans who have hearing loss, less than one in three people who can benefit from hearing aids have ever used them. Today’s hearing aids are much smaller and contain better technology than what has previously been available.
Hearing aids come in many styles and are designed to fit in or behind the ear. The level of hearing loss, personal preferences, manual dexterity, ear canal shape and susceptibility to ear wax or infections are factors to consider when determining the best hearing aid style for you.
How You Hear
Do you know that your ears hear but your brain understands?
- Your ears capture sound and transfer it mechanically to the cochlea, which then sends auditory information to your brain to be recognized and processed.
- Your brain uses information from your two ears to orient to sounds in your environment. It focuses on important information such as speech and separates out unwanted information such as noise.
- Understanding this process is very valuable and can explain why it sometimes feels like it takes a lot of effort to hear and understand conversation.
Hearing Aid Technology
Digital programming relies on converting sound waves into digital signals through the use of digitized sound processing. A computer chip built into the hearing aid determines whether the signal is speech or noise, and converts it into a clear, amplified signal. The advantages include:
- Improved sound quality
- Advanced programming options
- A more precise fit
This wireless communication platform allows a variety of electronic devices, including computers and smartphones to communicate with one another. Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids allow users to stream signals from these devices and others directly to their aids, making them more versatile and convenient than ever. You can make phone calls, listen to music, watch TV, and more through your hearing aids, without disturbing others around you.
Most hearing aid manufacturers now offer rechargeable options, freeing users from the hassle and cost of disposable batteries. Lithium-ion batteries provide up to 24 hours of performance with a single charge, meaning you can wear your hearing aids all day long without fear of them running out of power.
Hearing aids take time to get used to, and support from family and friends can be helpful. If you have hearing loss and are considering hearing aids, see an ear, nose and throat doctor at River ENT to rule out reversible causes of hearing loss. Your audiologist will test your hearing and work with you to choose the most appropriate hearing aid for your needs.