Don't Let Your Hearing Negatively Impact Your Life
If you have hearing loss, a hearing aid may help. Although hearing aids do not restore normal hearing, they can amplify sounds and improve speech comprehension. This may improve quality of life and daily functioning.
There are different types of hearing aid to choose from. Working with an audiologist is vital to ensure the best hearing aid for your situation.
The article below covers hearing aid choices and what to know about hearing aid fittings.
How do Hearing Aids Work?
Although hearing aids differ, they work similarly. Hearing aid contain:
- A speaker acts as the receiver.
Sounds enter through the microphone. The microphone sends the sound waves to the amplifier and then through the tiny speaker. A hearing aid may work best for someone with moderate hearing loss.
What is a Hearing Aid Fitting?
During a hearing aid fitting, the audiologist may do a variety of things to educate you on how to wear and use your hearing aid. Some of the things you may go over include:
- Instructing you on how to place the hearing aid and remove it.
- Replacing hearing aid batteries.
- Cleaning the hearing aid.
- Adjusting the volume based on the environment you are in
- Troubleshooting problems with sounds that are too low or too loud
- Answering any questions.
When Should You Go to a Hearing Aid Fitting?
As with any type of medical problem, it is best to talk with your doctor about when a hearing aid is appropriate.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders, the hearing aid that will work best for you may depend on the type of hearing loss you have. In general, hearing aids work best for people that have hearing loss due to damage to the auditory nerve or inner ear.
This type of hearing loss is often caused by:
- Certain medication side effects.
- Chronic exposure to loud noises.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are different types of hearing aids available, including the following:
Completely in the Ear Canal: This type of hearing aid sits completely in the ear canal. It is made to fit inside the ear. It is the least visible type of hearing aid. Usually, this hearing aid works best for mild to moderate hearing loss.
In the Ear Canal: This type of aid is custom-made to fit partly in the ear canal. Because of its features, it does not fit completely in the ear, so it is more visible than the completely in the ear canal model.
In the Ear: This hearing aid fills most of the outer ear. It is more visible than larger devices. But it has a larger battery life.
Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid: This is the most significant type of hearing aid. It hooks on top of the ear. It often has more amplification than other styles but is also visible.
Open-fit Hearing Aid: An open-fit hearing aid is a type of behind-the-ear aid. This variation keeps the ear canal open and may help best with people with low-frequency hearing loss. But it is visible.
Best Hearing Aids
There is no one best type of hearing aid. The kind that works effectively for you may depend on the severity and type of hearing loss, as well as your lifestyle. Discuss the pros and cons with your doctor of different brands.
Different brands of hearing aids are available, including over-the-counter and prescription-only aids.
Below is a list of some of the top-rated hearing aids according to Forbes Health.
Jabra Enhance Plus: This is an in-the-ear hearing aid available over the counter. It is lightweight and small. An accompanying app allows the wearer to make adjustments to the sound easily.
Phonak Audeo Lumity: This hearing aid sits behind the ear and is water resistant, which might make it a good option for people that spend a lot of time playing sports or outdoors. It also provides customized tinnitus relief.
Lucid Hearing Engage: The Lucid Hearing Engage allows the users to pair the device with an app to customize various sound settings. It comes in both a rechargeable and disposable battery option.
Sony CRE-C10: This is an in-the-ear canal type of hearing aid. It comes in multiple sizes to fit comfortably. The app helps users analyze and adjust sounds based on their surroundings.
Cost and Insurance
Hearing aids can cost anywhere from about $800 to over $3000. As reported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders, most insurance companies do not cover hearing aids. But some may so check with your company.
In the United States, a ruling by the FDA allows the purchase of over-the-counter hearing aids without an ear exam. For additional information, see the FDA’s page on hearing aids.