What Kind Of Hearing Loss Do You Have
If you have hearing loss in the low frequencies , a snug fit from CIC or ITC styles will help process sound while still being quite discreet. The occlusion helps block out unwanted background noise. The same is true if you have hearing loss that is “flat,” meaning it affects both low and high frequencies.
But, if your hearing loss is primarily in the high frequencieswhich most people have, especially if they have age-related hearing lossthe open-fit RITE styles are the most comfortable because they let in the natural low-frequency sounds you are still capable of hearing, while amplifying the high frequencies. These options can also be equipped with advanced features to allow hearing aids to filter noise from speech, adapt to different environments, suppress feedback and wirelessly connect to mobile phones, a personal microphone system or other public assistive listening devices.
Who May Be A Candidate For Hearing Aids
Anyone who has hearing loss that may be improved with hearing aids can benefit from these devices. The type of hearing aid recommended may depend on several factors, including, but not limited to:
The shape of the outer ear
Depth or length of the ear canal
The type and severity of hearing loss
The manual dexterity of the individual to remove and insert hearing aids
The amount of wax buildup in the ear
Ears that require drainage may not be able to use certain hearing aid models
What Are Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are sound-amplifying devices designed to aid people who have a hearing impairment.
Most hearing aids share several similar electronic components, including a microphone that picks up sound amplifier circuitry that makes the sound louder a miniature loudspeaker that delivers the amplified sound into the ear canal and batteries that power the electronic parts.
Hearing aids differ by:
- technology used to achieve amplification
- special features
Some hearing aids also have earmolds or earpieces to direct the flow of sound into the ear and enhance sound quality. The selection of hearing aids is based on the type and severity of hearing loss, listening needs, and lifestyle.
Don’t Miss: Can You Live With Someone With Hiv
What Are Cic Hearing Aids
As the name suggests, CIC hearing aids sit completely within your ear canal, making them very small and discreet devices. Unless someone looks directly right inside your ear, it wont be visible to passers-by.
CICs are custom-fit because they are made from a mold that is taken from your ear canal. This means youll find them comfortable and they wont move around inside your ear.
How do they work? Sounds are funneled down towards your ear canal. The CIC hearing aid processes and amplifies them to be sent down your ear canal to your eardrum.
CICs are a little different from Invisible-in-the-Canal hearing aids which rest in the second bend of the ear canal and can barely be seen at all, even if youre looking right into the ear.
Anecdotal reports on CICs show them to be generally very well-liked by users for a number of reasons.
For one, theyre almost invisible . This might be particularly important to you if youre young or feeling a little embarrassed about being seen wearing a hearing aid.
Second to this is the fact that CICs have an excellent comfort level. As CIC hearing aids are small and custom made, they should sit very naturally in your ear and not feel too burdensome.
Youll also be able to hear where sounds are coming from for this same reason the hearing aid sits far down your ear canal, leaving the outer ear unhindered in its vital functioning. CIC users often have no issues detecting sound directionality.
Is There A Hearing Aid That Does Not Go Into The Ear
Hearing aids that do not go into your ear work with vibration. The actual hearing aid is positioned on the bone directly behind your ear. This type of hearing aid uses bone conduction in order to transmit the soundwaves although it is not placed in your ear canal.
Those hearing aids oftentimes get mounted on the temple of glasses or are integrated with a headband. First of all this system does not work with every hearing loss. The hearing module is technically and optically integrated into your glasses in such a way that the additional benefit of your glasses is almost invisible. Due to the usual position of the glasses on the head, your hearing system is automatically ideally positioned on the head.
Manufacturers making those hearing aids that do not go into the ear are rarer compared to the ones making normal hearing aids. One of the specialized companies in this space is Bruckhoff. They also have a hearing system that does not need to be specifically made only for one of your glasses but you can click it on several of them which makes the system very versatile.
Compared to the normal hearing aids described above this system has a smaller frequency bandwidth which ranges from 200 â 5000 while normal hearing aids provide a frequency bandwidth of 200 â 8000 in most cases.
Also Check: How To Find Out If I Have Hiv
How To Find Hearing Aids Near You
A few years ago, there was only one way to get hearing help: Make a trip to a doctors office or hearing center to be tested and fitted for hearing aids. This was a challenge for many people who didnt have easy access to these locations. Now, there are many ways to purchase high-quality hearing aids.
Do All Hearing Aids Work The Same Way
Hearing aids work differently depending on the electronics used. The two main types of electronics are analog and digital.
Analog aids convert sound waves into electrical signals, which are amplified. Analog/adjustable hearing aids are custom built to meet the needs of each user. The aid is programmed by the manufacturer according to the specifications recommended by your audiologist. Analog/programmable hearing aids have more than one program or setting. An audiologist can program the aid using a computer, and you can change the program for different listening environmentsfrom a small, quiet room to a crowded restaurant to large, open areas, such as a theater or stadium. Analog/programmable circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids. Analog aids usually are less expensive than digital aids.
Digital aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, similar to the binary code of a computer, before amplifying them. Because the code also includes information about a sounds pitch or loudness, the aid can be specially programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others. Digital circuitry gives an audiologist more flexibility in adjusting the aid to a users needs and to certain listening environments. These aids also can be programmed to focus on sounds coming from a specific direction. Digital circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids.
Read Also: How Much Is Hiv Test
Visit A Hearing Clinic
You can visit a hearing center to get an audiologist consultation and buy hearing aids in person. Audiologists are hearing professionals with at least a masters degree in the field of audiology who diagnose and treat hearing loss, as well as fit hearing aids. Hearing instrument specialists are hearing professionals with a high school diploma or two-year degree and are only licensed to help fit or program hearing aids.
How We Research And Review Hearing Aids
Our Reviews Team tests the waterproof claims of various hearing aids
We only recommend hearing devices that we think will have a positive impact for our readers, so we began our testing process by reviewing hearing aid research. We also consulted with audiologists and geriatric care experts to better understand the research, the needs of people with hearing loss, and the hearing aid brands and models on the market. We read thousands of reviews on trusted third-party sites such as Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot to understand customers experiences and where they think hearing aids are falling short. Next, we conducted a survey to discover what people love about their hearing aids, what features they use, and what their biggest challenges are. We focused on brands that:
- Are widely available
Recommended Reading: Why Do Hiv Patients Need Blood Transfusions
What Is The Best Hearing Aid For Me
When shopping for a hearing aid, the choices can be confusing. At a minimum, hearing loss advocates recommend four basic features: Theyre rechargeable, cosmetically appealing, come with built-in Bluetooth, and have the ability to enable telecoil. The challenge? Only receiver-in-the-ear models have all four features, at least for now, so you may miss out if you go with a CIC over a RITE.
We created this flow chart to help first-time hearing aid users or people in the market for a new device figure out which hearing technology might be the best fit.
When it comes to hearing aids, there are multiple features and styles available to suit different hearing loss needs. Its important to consider a number of different things when selecting the right style to fit your needs. .
Flow chart legend: ALDs= assistive listening devices that can augment what hearing aids are capable of advanced technology=generally the newest aids that cost more, but offer the most technologically advanced features ITE=in the ear BTE=behind the ear CIC=completely in canal ITC=in the canal RIC=receiver in the canal .
Where Can I Get Help With My Hearing Loss
If you or an adult family member have questions or concerns about hearing loss, you have options. Over-the-counter hearing aids are a new category of hearing aids that people can buy directly, without visiting a hearing health professional for an examination. These hearing aids are intended to help adults with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. Prescription hearing aids are available from a hearing health professional who will program them for your degree of hearing loss. Prescription hearing aids or other devices may be necessary for more significant or complicated hearing loss.
Also Check: How Does Hiv Look Like
Can You Push A Hearing Aid In Too Far
You can push a hearing aid in too far. In such a case it hurts. When you buy hearing aids your hearing aid professional will instruct you on how deep the hearing aids should be placed optimally. The ear canals usually get smaller the deeper you look into it. But in some cases, the ear canals can be so big you could touch the eardrum with a hearing aid. That would hurt. In such a case it is advised to stop the insertion of a hearing aid and talk to your hearing care professional about the problem.
This is very seldom the case as the professional validates the fitting of a hearing aid during the visit to the shop. But what is common when it is pushed too far is unnecessary pressure that builds up due to squeezed areas of the ear canal.
When this happens the fit can be improved by your acoustician optimizing the custom earpiece with slight changes of the shape. Another way to make sure the hearing aid can not be pushed too far into the ear is by switching from a silicone dome to a custom earmold.
When a little silicone dome is pushed into the ear canal the dome changes its form and can then end in a position that is deeper as intended by the hearing care professional. But when a custom earmold is made the earpiece is already shaped after your ear. This way the hearing aid can not be pushed too far anymore as with a little dome.
Why We Chose The Starkey Picasso:
- Cost: $1,400-$2,300 per pair
- Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to severe
- Bluetooth Capabilities: Yes
- Battery: Rechargeable or replaceable battery
- Warranty/trial period: One-year. 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Financing: Varies with provider
Starkey has designed numerous customizable features for its Picasso model, giving shoppers the ability to tailor their hearing aid to their lifestyle. First, users can choose the right fit, whether its the classic in-the-ear model or the even more discreet in-the-canal style. The shells come in color choices users can match to their skin toneor they can choose a sleek, stark black.
Picasso users can stream from their IOS or Android device for better listening to TV, music, and phone calls. Starkeys advanced hearing technology works to deliver both distortion-free sound at higher volumes and clarity with quieter sounds.
Also Check: How Many Strains Of Hiv Are There
Do You Have Problems With Dexterity
If you have dexterity issues , its usually better to avoid smaller devices. Low-profile ITE or BTE devices with earmolds might be suitable because they are the largest instruments and easiest to handle. Additionally, the batteries will be the largestsizes 13 or 675 or rechargeable, which are easy to use. Lastly, hearing aids that come with automated features should also be considered so you don’t have to use the tiny buttons to adjust the volume. You may also want to talk to your hearing care practitioner about the possibility of a remote control if the volume or program controls on your hearing aids are difficult to use.
Wearing A Hearing Aid
Once the hearing aids have been fitted for the ears, the individual should begin to gradually wear the hearing aid. Because hearing aids do not restore normal hearing, it may take time to get used to the different sounds transmitted by the device. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery recommends the following when beginning to wear hearing aids:
Be patient and give yourself time to get used to the hearing aid and the sound it produces.
Start in quiet surroundings and gradually build up to noisier environments.
Experiment where and when the hearing aid works best for you.
Keep a record of any questions and concerns you have, and bring those to your follow-up examination.
You May Like: How Long To Wait For Hiv Test Results
Completely In The Canal Hearing Aids Brands And Models
Following models of CIC hearing aids are available which is widely used :
- Century Rosebud
- Resound Live Phonak Milo
If you are from India and want to know about the prices and features of these models, read our page Hearing Aids price list in India.
Does Insurance Cover The Cost Of Hearing Aids
Many health insurance companies recognize that hearing is important to your overall health, and now provide hearing care benefits to their members. Hearing care benefits can cover up to 100% of the cost of hearing aids and services. Your employer benefit packages may also include an FSA or HSA that allow you to save up to $2,500 tax-free each year for healthcare costs such as hearing aids.
At Miracle-Ear, we accept most major insurance plans at many of our 1,500 locations. With so many plans and carriers, we recommend calling the location near you to verify your coverage and get answers for any questions you may have.
If we do not accept your insurance, not to worry, we will never let you go without the care that you may need.
You May Like: What Is The Diffrence Between Hiv And Aids
Hearing Aid Finder: See What Type Suits You
Take 1 minute to find out what hearing aid models suits your preferences.
Based on your answers the following hearing aid types would suit your needs:
*The result of the test may only be used for guidance and is not meant to replace a more accurate measurement of your hearing abilities and needs by one of our hearing care experts.
Whats The Difference Between Digital And Analog Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are available in analog or digital. Although digital is the most common type of device, some companies still carry analog hearing aids. The difference between analog and digital hearing aids comes down to the type of electronics used. Both devices convert sound waves, but the process used sets each type apart.14
With an analog hearing aid, you will experience amplification with all sounds, including noise and speech. In other words, they make continuous sound waves louder. Analog hearing aids require the user to change settings when in different environments, but some people feel that analog devices provide a more natural hearing experience.
Digital hearing aids convert sound waves to digital signals, providing the clearest hearing possible. These devices are capable of clearing out background noise, reducing feedback, and helping you focus on the sounds and voices you want to hear. Digital hearing aids also offer more complex programming, which allows you to process sounds more selectively.
Most often, you will find more digital hearing aids than analog devices. Some companies have already discontinued selling any analog styles, while others continue to carry one or two types of analog hearing aids.
Recommended Reading: How Is Hiv Contracted Anally
How Can I Save Money On In
Many hearing aid companies offer promotions and special offers. A budget shopper will find cheaper options with a company that sells directly to consumers rather than through a distributor, as pricing through a third-party hearing center can be highly variable and hard to predict.
Alternatively, a discount network like Zip Hearing can offer savings on leading brands of hearing devices, sometimes at 30 percent off the regular pricing.
The biggest savings on hearing aids come from insurance coverage. We recommend inquiring with your insurance company to see if they offer even partial coverage on hearing devices. Unfortunately, Medicare Parts A and B do not cover hearing aids, but there are some Part C plans and private insurance providers that do.
Why We Chose The Phonak Virto Marvel:
- Cost: $1,400-$2,250 per aid
- Type of Hearing Loss: Mild to severe or mild to profound, depending on model
- Bluetooth Capabilities: Yes
- Battery: Rechargeable or replaceable battery
- Warranty/trial period: One-year. 60-day money-back guarantee.
- Financing: Varies with provider
Phonak is one of the leading hearing aid brands, having manufactured hearing devices for over 70 years. Years of hearing research come together in the Virto Marvel, one of their most popular models, offered in a variety of sizes and styles. But the Virto B-Titanium is its smallest in-the-ear model to date.
Because the metal used in the Titanium-B model is much stronger than the typical acrylic used in hearing devices, designers were able to minimize bulk without compromising strength. The Virto Marvel Titanium-B is 26 percent smaller than its comparable acrylic aid, making it inconspicuous as well as durable.
You May Like: Does Hiv Affect Blood Pressure