Hearing Aid Guide
Here at Ability Superstore we understand that buying a hearing aid can be confusing, with many different styles of hearing aids available to buy.
We have put together this guide courtesy of GoHear™.
Please note this guide doesn't focus on different manufacturers products but rather on the problems you may be experiencing and what can be done to help correct it.
We hope you enjoy reading it!
Hearing Loss And How It Affects You
Communication is a huge part of who we are. Our sense of hearing has the power to inform, entertain and connect us with our family and friends.
When our hearing begins to deteriorate, regular conversations can become tiring. Group discussions can become hard to follow which can quickly lead to frustration and isolation.
How Bad Is Your Hearing?
There are 4 levels of hearing loss; Mild, moderate, severe and profound. By assigning the hearing loss to one of these categories it can help find the correct treatment.
The person can hear without a hearing aid in most situations. Mild hearing loss may not even be noticeable, a simple hearing test can help determine if you have mild hearing loss.
This is the most common of the hearing groups. It can be noticed in many situations. They can still hear without a hearing aid but the problem will be noticed on a daily basis.
Severe hearing loss will affect everyday life as it will be very noticeable. The person can only hear with a hearing aid if they concentrate and block out surrounding noise. Often the hearing impaired person wont be able to hear everything even with the speaker is loud and clear.
With profound hearing loss the user will need to use the hearing aid constantly. Even whilst wearing the hearing aid they will still miss much of what is going on. These hearing difficulties often require extra aids such as vibrating or flashing doorbells.
So What Causes Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can be caused in any of these three sections:
The most common problems with the outer ear include infections of the auditory canal and ear wax.
These can be easily treated but it is important to get them treated as it can lead to further, more serious problems.
The most common problems with the middle ear include inflammation, penetrations of the ear drum, fluid behind the ear drum and otosclerosis (stiffening of bones in the ear). These problems can still be treated by surgery or medication. Hearing loss can be compensated with a hearing aid.
The most common issues come from the inner ear. Usually inner ear issues are caused by the aging process, but other issues such as loud noise, medication or skull fractures can have a negative influence on a persons hearing ability. Most inner ear issues cannot be addressed medically but can be corrected with a hearing aid.
There may be many different causes for hearing loss but a hearing aid is a simple solution for most cases.
Great Technology At A Great Price
There are so many different variations of hearing aids available it can become difficult to compare prices. Even though the price is displayed for the hearing aid it doesn't help you understand its true value.
Just because a hearing aid is expensive it doesn't mean it is any better that a cheaper alternative.
If a hearing aid is large and bold it doesn't mean the technology is any greater of that in a small discreet hearing aid.
So what are you paying for?
You simply pay for the technology inside the hearing aid. Just like modern televisions although the technology inside is the same the prices can be very different.
That's why we charge just for what's inside.
We understand that manufacturers use highly technical sounding acronyms to try make their products stand out from the rest, but we like to keep things simple so you know exactly what you are going to receive.
Be sure not to use this guide to replace a fully qualified hearing audiologist, we stress that you should never buy a hearing aid without taking proper advice from a specialist.
All GoHear™ audiologists are highly trained and fully qualified to practice with the Health Professions Council.
Making Sense Of The Technology
Problem: Mild Hearing Loss
The Solution? A Poppit
A poppit is a common name used for a standard fit hearing aid. They are designed to just 'pop' into the ear when needed. They are small and discreet making them perfect for those who don't want the world to see their hearing aid. These type of aids are aimed at those who need just a slight correction. As they are standard and not made to order one of their big benefits is cost. A great example of a poppit is the A.M.P. from Starkey.
Problem: Moderate Hearing Loss
The Solution? Frequency Shaping
Frequency shaping simply means the hearing aid can be adjusted to your specific hearing loss.
Ideal for people who tend to miss lower pitched words. For example:
sHE sELLs sEA shELLs ON thE sEA shORE
The only words heard may be
_HE _ELL_ _EA __ELL_ ON __E _EA __ORE
The frequency shaping is perfect for helping pick up those sounds you might miss.
Problem: Background Noise Too Loud
The Solution? Compression
Compression allows the hearing aid to give extra emphasis on the softer sounds whilst compressing and controlling the louder sounds so that they remain comfortable. You can have this technology built into your GoHear™ hearing aid very easily.
Problem: Background Noise Unclear
The Solution? Directional Microphones
Most hearing aids are designed to pick up sound coming from every angle which can make it difficult to concentrate on a certain sound.
The directional microphone allows the hearing aid to focus on a single sound by giving more emphasis to the sounds coming from the front.
The directional microphones make hearing clearly in noisy environments simple.
Solution 2: Noise Cancellation
Using modern technology the hearing aid can devise certain algorithms that differentiate between unwanted noise and speech.
Noise cancellation is only recommended for those who are in a constant noisy environment.
If all this technology just seems too much to understand then a automatic hearing aid may be ideal for you. One of our specialists will come to you and program the hearing aid for you. Then the hearing aid can adjust automatically in different environments.
We have hearing aids for everyone, from discreet hearing aids that cant be seen to the most flamboyant of devices.
To view our full range of hearing aids please click here.