A hearing aid is a small electronic device that facilitates people with hearing difficulties to hear better. People normally wear it just behind the ear. These hearing aids help by making some sounds louder and clearer for the person with hearing challenges and make it easy for them to listen, communicate and even participate actively in day-to-day life. The ability of such hearing aids is not limited to any particular environment, i.e. – they work well in a quiet as well as a noisy environment. However, only a few people choose to wear one.
The hearing aid is made up of three major components. They are a microphone, amplifier, and a speaker. It receives the sound with the help of the microphone. Then it helps in converting the sound into electrical signals and then finally amplifies it. Then the amplified signal is sent to the ear through the speaker. Let us look into the benefits and how to find out the right hearing aid.
How does the hearing aid benefit the user?
The hearing aids help in improving hearing and makes speech comprehension better for people with hearing loss. The hearing loss might occur owing to the damage in the sensory cells called hair cells. It is known as sensorineural hearing loss. This occurs due to the result of injury, disease, or aging.
The hearing aid magnifies the sound wave entering the ear. If the inner ear is damaged so much then the large vibrations would not be converted into neural signals. Hence, the hearing aid would be ineffective in that case.
How to find out if you’d need one?
If you feel like having a hearing loss, then you must visit the physician who would then refer you to an audiologist in Chennai. An otolaryngologist is a person who specializes in ear, nose, and throat problems and will carry out a detailed investigation on the cause of hearing loss. An audiologist is the health specialist who identifies the hearing loss and performs a test to assess the degree of loss.
Many hearing aids are available in the market. It cannot restore normal hearing. However, it aids your hearing ability through technology. Which one will suit you? Find out the methods to consider while choosing the hearing aid. You have an idea of buying a hearing aid but are confused about how it will work or worried about its functionalities. Let’s see the different styles of hearing aids.
Hearing aid styles:
Hearing aids vary in size, style, price, and also in some special features and the way they have been placed in our ears. Professionals try making the smallest and least visible hearing aids which are not noticeable to others. They indulge in making small ones meet the demand of a hearing aid. But the smaller ones may not be effective in amplifying the sound.
Completely in the canal or mini-CIC:
A completely inside the canal is designed to fit inside the ear canal. It is useful for mild and moderate hearing loss.
Features of the completely in the canal hearing aid:
- It is less likely to pick up the wind noise
- It is the smallest visible type available
- Uses small batteries with a shorter span of life and is difficult to handle
- It doesn’t have volume control and directional microphone features
- Possibility of earwax clogging into the speaker
In the canal:
In the canal hearing aid fits partly inside the ear canal and it is custom molded. It also helps with mild to moderate hearing loss for people.
Features of the ‘in the canal’ hearing aid:
- It is less visible than larger ones
- Its features don’t fit in the canal and are also difficult to handle owing to its small size
- It is susceptible to earwax clogging into the speaker
In the ear
This type is custom made and comes in two styles. One fills the outer area of the ear and the other fills the lower part of the ear. This is the style that helps people with hearing loss from mild/moderate to severe hearing problems. It also comes with two directional microphones for better hearing.
Features of ‘in-the-ear’ hearing aid:
- These features cannot be fitted into smaller styles, such as volume control
- Easier to handle
- Uses a long battery with longer life with the rechargeable options
- Possibility for the earwax to clog the speaker
- Picks up maximum wind noise than the other smaller devices
- Visibility is high compared to other devices
Behind the ear:
This style covers the top portion of the ear and rests behind the ear. It has a tube that connects the hearing aid and fits into your ear canal. This is suitable for all types of hearing loss and of all ages.
Features of behind-the-ear hearing aid:
- Largest hearing aid although mini versions are being built
- Contains directional microphones
- Amplifies more than the others
- Picks up more wind noise
- Available with rechargeable battery
Receiver in the canal:
This type of style is similar to the behind the ear aid where the speaker or receiver fits into the ear canal. A tiny wire instead of tubing connects the piece to the receiver.
Features of receiver-in-canal hearing aid:
- It is less visible behind the rear portion
- Contains directional microphones
- Include manual controls
- Comes with a rechargeable battery
- Possibility of earwax clogging to the speaker
It is the variation of the behind-the-ear hearing aid with a thin tube or the RIC hearing aid that comes with an open dome in the ear. This style keeps the ear canal open and allows sound to enter the ear naturally. It is better for people with low to moderate hearing loss.
Features of open-fit hearing aid:
- It is often visible
- Do not get plugged into the ear like in the ear style
- Difficult to insert into the ear
With all these types available, one can choose the best hearing aid owing to the degree of hearing loss and the hearing aid price in Chennai.