Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aids - Attune
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Everything You Need to Know About Hearing Aids

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Acknowledging the hearing loss you may have been recently diagnosed with is a massive step in the aural rehabilitation journey. 

You may have a list of questions regarding the treatment options to address the hearing loss, and hearing aids are likely to be one of those options. However, there is a vast amount of information on hearing aids, and it may feel overwhelming to find out where to begin looking for information. 

We have created this guide to help you navigate the treatment options for hearing loss and make an informed decision on your rehabilitation journey. 

How to Choose the Style of Hearing Aids

There are many different styles of hearing aids currently on the market. They’re designed to meet the different listening and lifestyle needs of those diagnosed with hearing loss or hearing impairment. 

It may be overwhelming at first to see the styles of hearing aids available. However, it is essential to understand the differences in styles, including their benefits and disadvantages. 

Although hearing aids come in different styles, they use the exact mechanisms to transmit sounds to your ears. Hearing aids carry small microphones which receive sounds from the environment. The microphone then feeds the sound into the amplifier and sound processor, which analyses the sounds and adjusts them to the degree of the hearing loss in each ear. This processed sound is then fed back into the speakers of the hearing aids to allow you to hear sounds at a more audible and comfortable level. 

Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aids 

Behind-the-ear hearing aids, otherwise known as BTE hearing aids, are a common type of hearing aid you are likely to have seen on others who have hearing loss. 

These hearing aids come in various sizes, with a significant portion of the hearing aids sitting behind the ears. This is where the microphones sit and where the sounds are processed. The processed sounds are then pushed into the ears through a tube connecting the BTE portion to a custom ear mould or dome in the ears. 

Behind-the-ear hearing aids are often the style of choice for their versatility. Different acoustic parameters can be paired to the hearing aids, allowing them to be catered to those with hearing impairments ranging from mild to profound. The acoustic pairings of the BTE hearing aids will enable them to be very powerful, and it makes them the most appropriate style of hearing aids for those with profound to severe hearing loss. They may also be suited for someone with problems as dexterity as they can come in a larger size with custom-made moulds fitted to the ears. 

One aspect of BTE hearing aids that might deter people from the style is the increase in wind noise that the hearing aid might pick up. The BTE portion of the hearing aid may also interfere with glasses if the user frequently switches between reading glasses and long-distance glasses.

receiver in the earing hearing aids 

Receiver-In-The-Ear Hearing Aids

Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids are very similar in style to BTE hearing aids. However, the acoustic parameters are different – there is thin wiring that connects the portion behind the ears to the earpiece; this is the speaker of the hearing aids. RITE hearing aids are the most popular hearing aids due to their discreetness, versatility and number of features. 

One of the benefits of RITE hearing aids is the ease of maintenance and cleaning. As the hearing aid users will be wearing them for an extended period, a build-up of wax will inevitably happen. RITE hearing aids have one of the most straightforward maintenance systems for earwax management and are simple to clean. 

Another positive aspect of RITE hearing aids is the versatility of the acoustic parameters (similar to BTE hearing aids). If the user’s hearing loss worsens, the parameters can be changed to meet their new hearing loss and listening needs. 

However, it is good to keep in mind the ease of management of this style of hearing aid as those experiencing dexterity concerns may find RITE hearing aids challenging to manage, including inserting and removing the hearing aids. 

Custom Style Hearing Aids 

One of the most popular styles of hearing aids that are considered before making an informed decision is custom style hearing aids. They come in a variety of sizes, including in-the-ear, in-the-canal, completely-in-canal and invisible-in-canal. 

One of the benefits of custom style hearing aids is their discreet nature; as they come in different sizes, they can be tailored to the needs of the hearing aid user. For example, if the hearing aid user is experiencing dexterity issues, then they may consider a larger size for easier management. On the other hand, if the hearing aid user is concerned with the appearance and cosmetics of the hearing aid, then a smaller size and style, such as invisible-in-canal hearing aids, may be considered. 

It is crucial to keep in mind that the size of the hearing aids may compromise the number of features that can be fitted into them, such as connectivity to the phone and ear-to-ear communication. Thus, it is essential to analyse your listening and cosmetic needs and determine which needs you would like to address most. 

hearing aid manufacturers

Hearing Aid Manufacturers 

There are a variety of hearing aid manufacturers in the industry. Different manufacturers have different algorithms to analyse and process sounds, clean unnecessary noise, and have various competitive advantage features. In addition, they use research and development to determine how to best meet the needs of hearing aid users. Therefore, hearing aid manufacturers have different objectives and ways to meet the listening needs of their clientele. 

Marvel is a new platform of hearing aids recently released by hearing aid manufacturer Phonak. Released in October 2018, it was one of the first manufacturers to allow direct binaural streaming of media, including music and phone calls from your smart devices to your hearing aids. This was a significant breakthrough in the hearing aid industry as it allowed hearing aid users the ability to join in and enjoy the music and phone calls from their loved ones without having to strain to listen.

Styletto is a range of hearing aids released by Siemens (also known as Signia). It is an innovative hearing aid that differs from the style of traditional hearing aids. It aims to build a bridge between wearables and hearing aids. It stimulated a lot of change in the hearing aid industry to reimagine the design of the current hearing aids and make a statement. 

How to Choose Your Hearing Aid Provider 

This is often overlooked and neglected as new hearing aid users lookout for the products and not the clinicians behind the products. 

When you commence your aural rehabilitation with hearing aids, you are not only receiving the product but the long-term service and care from a hearing health professional. 

It is essential to research the providers of hearing aids to ensure they can:

  • Provide a comprehensive audiological assessment,
  • Breakdown of hearing aid technology,
  • Discuss the different hearing aids,
  • Provide trials of hearing aids if necessary,
  • Provide aftercare of the hearing aids, and
  • Provide hearing health for the hearing aid user

Hearing aids require regular maintenance and cleaning, and they also need consumables such as batteries. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure a warranty and proper aftercare for the hearing aids, a significant investment for your health. 

In Summary 

There is a significant amount of information regarding hearing aid treatment options for hearing impairment. It is important to ensure that you are supported by an accredited hearing professional, such as those at Attune, when navigating this space. 

If you think you have a hearing loss, book a hearing test with one of the accredited Audiologists at Attune. Or, if you’re looking for hearing aids but don’t know which ones to get, our team will work with you to find the right hearing aids for your hearing needs and preferences. 

If you’d like to book an appointment at an Attune clinic near you, contact us on 1300 736 702 or fill out the form on our website. 

 

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