Hearing aids and amplifiers– is it something that you should buy? Answer these: Are you tired of missing the crucial sounds around you and in your life? Well, a corrective step is to opt for hearing aids and amplifiers which enable you to take a corrective measure and help you deal with the loss of hearing efficiently.
Often times, people are either reluctant to get help when it comes to their impeding deafness- or are unaware of the deteriorating condition of their hearing to take preventive and restorative action.
What’s more- once you recognize the need for using hearing devices, you open up avenues for the betterment of your life- not just in terms of restoration of proper communication with the people around you, but also in terms of health benefits as linked to getting your hearing back on track.
While there may be people out there selling you ‘quick-fixes’ for remedying your hearing loss, seldom do those alleged treatments work.
And since the whole health industry works on the people’s inclination to use additional contraptions and aides, it becomes difficult to filter the good from the bad, when it comes to choosing a correct device for your needs.
What to do before getting a hearing device?
Getting a hearing aid might just be the best investment you make for your health and body. It has been proven that using a hearing amplifier lets you get back into the fold with respect to your social circle- and also has numerous benefits, directly and indirectly, making a purchase highly sought after.
Nevertheless, since getting a device to aid your loss of hearing is a big step- you ought to be prepared with the following recommendations:
- Getting a test of hearing: Primarily, the best way to determine which kind of hearing device you may require is to get a test done for your hearing- and refer to an audiologist or a doctor for it. These tests are generally quick to get, and are a simple process to help you get a distinct idea about the level of assistance you might require from external hearing devices. Also, most insurance companies cover the cost of getting a hearing test.
- Plan a course of action: In getting to terms with the hearing loss which you might be experiencing, you may be directed to think of ways in which you would want the hearing aid to assist you, in your everyday life. Mostly, this refers to your lifestyle choices and how you intend to use the hearing amplifier on a daily basis. Since every person’s opinion on using such devices would vary- experts suggest that one should have a clear goal in mind before seeking out a suitable hearing aid.
- Setting expectation from your hearing aid: A harsh truth that we must come to terms with is that any and all hearing aids and amplifier are devices which intend to try and improve upon your diminishing hearing capabilities by amplifying the sounds fed into your ear canal. However, the natural hearing ability cannot be replicated even with the world’s best hearing devices.Particularly in noisy environment, almost anyone would face trouble in distinguishing sounds clearly- and it is just another challenge for people who are dependent on hearing amplifiers. Besides, it takes some time for a person to adjust to the world around through the speakers of their hearing aids- allow for that time to feel comfortable with the device.
- The social aspect of hearing aids: As with any other ailment, there is a dependent factor where the people around you are instrumental in helping you gain a level of comfort with the hearing aid. Not only you need to keep an open mind when it comes to using the hearing device- you also need the support of your peers and others around you to help you adjust to the life with hearing amplifiers.
You might also need to keep your expectations from the hearing aid realistic as not only does using such devices require a time period to get adjusted to- they also would sound and feel distinct from your natural hearing.
Support of the people around you, in this regard, helps you get acquainted to the idea of wearing the machine readily- and hopefully, you shall be able to embrace the hearing amplifier as an addendum to your everyday life.
What kind of hearing aids and amplifiers to get?
With respect to the types of hearing aids available on the market, you can get a wide array to choose a suitable one from. Most of the hearing devices available to the people over-the-counter are of are of the hearing amplifier category.
These devices are composed of inherently two parts: the receiver and the amplifier. These devices have the receiver in a form of a microphone, which detects and picks up the sounds around you, and relays it to the amplifier. The modern day devices consist of directional microphones which help the user focus on specific sounds- such as holding a conversation, even in a noisy environment.
The amplifier, the part which is responsible for enhancing the volume of the sounds received in the ear- converts the incoming sound to a more audible relay- and boosts its power, and then transmits inside the ear by a speaker built into the unit.
Previously, the hearing devices available were of the analogue kind.
These units convert the sound to electric signals and then amplify the signal and transmit it along to the inner ear. Usually, these kinds of aid are cheaper, although they are not as commonly available as the digital counterpart.
The digital hearing amplifiers are the devices which capture the sound waves through microphones- generally directional microphones for better sound clarity- and then amplify the sounds digitally, using a sound processor board, which rests within the receiver.
Due to the fact that these kinds of machines utilize digital processors for sound amplification, a trained audiologist might then be able to reprogram the unit to selectively amplify particular frequencies of sound, thereby giving the user a more comprehensive hearing solution.
Who should be getting hearings aids?
Think of hearing amplifiers as an extension to your being- and as a mode through which you shall interact with the world, without missing a sound.
With progressive hearing loss, one often finds themselves at a loss of being- simple because the creeping deafness tends to lock away a person socially.
When it comes to hearing loss, people are often misinformed about the causes and effects- and are thus often at a loss when it comes to effective solutions to the issues faced by them about hearing.
Just as one might have noticed that different issues which are distinct would often require distinct solutions to remedy, similarly, you might find that while the base principle on which the amplifiers and hearing devices function might be the same- there may be several instances where a specific problem in terms of hearing loss would require only a certain type or kind of hearing aid.
Simply put- there are often cases where a particular kind of hearing aid might be better suited to deal with a specific type of hearing loss.
Mild to moderate loss of hearing might need a smart, simple device which is able to amplify the sounds to the extent which is needed by the user- and not really bother with the intricacies of speech isolation or noise suppression as the user may already be able to hear certain sounds on their own.
In this instance, the hearing aid simply provides a basic assistance when it comes to hearing, and hence simpler devices can be used promptly.
In cases where the user may be susceptible to higher than moderate to severe hearing loss, there might arise the need for such hearing aids and amplifiers that are more powerful and versatile when it comes to providing hearing solutions.
A higher powered device along with multiple directional microphones and active noise suppression are some of the features which could be found to combat the severe loss of hearing. Moreover, due to the almost constant usage of such hearing aids by the person- the design of the device should be such that it is actively comfortable for sustained and continuous use.
In all, just as every person’s needs and requisites from a hearing aid might be different- so shall the offerings to the user by the variety of machines available in the market. What one needs is to sit down and take an overview about the kinds of machines available to them- and the intrinsic features which are available with the device to enhance your hearing experience.
A list of additional features to look out for
Hearing devices have a variety of features and orientations one can look for, before choosing one which fits the user’s needs extensively. And since we would have a distinct requirement from the hearing device- simply copying the device which your friend uses might not work right for you.
Regardless of what machine you might end up picking- there are a few features which are commonly available across the devices, and a certain array of features which may be unique to a brand or type of hearing aid.
Which features can you expect from your device?
Keeping in mind your comfort with the available features, and the overall cost of getting those, you can tinker and choose from the following:
- Bluetooth streaming: While the humble Bluetooth has been around for quite a while, there is still no dearth of its user-friendly and easy-to-use charm. Hearing amplifiers now allow you to stay connected through your phones, giving you an added level of connectivity with the world. Not only can you pick up and answer calls using your hearing aid, you can also use the device to stream content directly to your ear.These devices can be connected to your television sets or laptops as well, giving you more freedom when using those devices. Since the hearing aid can also be paired to your phone, you gain better control of the features and use the device optimally.
- Noise cancellation: For the people who find themselves at the helm of work in noisy surroundings, noise cancellation feature comes as a boon during everyday usage. This functionality not only suppresses the background sounds from disrupting your usual hearing- it also allows you to inherently focus on the task before you- be it an assignment involving people or just a normal conversation.A few kinds of hearing devices may also catch the wind-noise, which is a rush of sound one hears when wind blows directly over the microphone of the hearing aid. Generally, directional microphones and the in-built circuit tends to minimize the wind noise and allows for a better experience for the user.
- Does size matter? While people might claim that it does not matter, speaking strictly in terms of hearing aids and amplifiers- it most certainly does! There are certain aspects of hearing aids which are specific to the kind of hearing aid, for instance- smaller listening devices might be less visible and discreet- but also be more difficult to adjust volume on and also have a smaller battery life, leading it to be charged more frequently.In contrast, while the larger one might have better battery life, it might also feel bulky on your ear, and may not be as comfortable as the smaller versions. Best case would be to try certain devices for a small window, before finalizing one.
- Ease of programmability: A simple difference between devices can also be about the ease of their usage and the readiness with which the user is able to program the hearing aid to their distinct needs. The devices need to be tweaked to enhance the sounds which are more likely to be not-heard by you due to the hearing loss- and if this is not done, then almost all sound shall be amplified equally, and that would simply create a louder sound for your ears- without distinctly helping you to comprehend the speech or required sound from its midst.An audiologist can program the device to suit your required criteria. Often, the machines also have a particular in-built settings which you can resort to for easy modulation.
A regular check on your overall health, and certain checks on your hearing can help you tide over the mild forms of hearing loss. And if you still feel like you’re missing out on the world around you- you can opt for a suitable hearing aid for your needs, and get back in control again.
At Hionec, we aim to provide you with the corrective and comprehensive hearing solutions to your needs in terms of hearing, and we make you look upbeat and classy, while at it!