If you’ve noticed that you are not hearing well, be sure to schedule an appointment with ENT and Allergy Specialists before assuming that you need a hearing aid. Hearing loss can be due to numerous causes, including medical conditions, medications, ear wax, injuries and other factors. If you have pain, drainage, dizziness, hearing loss in only one ear, or sudden, rapidly progressive hearing loss, it’s important that you see your ENT specialist.
If your doctor suggests that a hearing aid may be right for you, the next step will be to schedule an appointment with any of our licensed audiologists to discuss your options.
Hearing Aid Recommendations
Your audiologist will conduct hearing tests to evaluate your hearing problems. At the same time, your dexterity will be evaluated to determine how easily you are able to handle various hearing aid styles and sizes. Costs will be reviewed as well. All of these factors will be considered so that the hearing aid that is recommended fits your needs, abilities and budget as closely as possible.
Hearing Aid Choices
Generally, a hearing aid works by receiving sound through a tiny microphone, which converts the sound to an electrical signal. This signal is sent to an amplifier, which makes the sound louder and sends it through to a speaker, helping you to hear. Some of the most common styles of hearing aids include:
Behind-the-Ear (BTE): BTE hearing aids have a small case that fits behind the ear. The case contains most of the parts. A clear tube connects the case to an ear mold that fits inside the ear. This is a common hearing aid for children, because it can fit many ear shapes and can be replaced as the child grows.
This relatively new hearing aid style works in a similar way to Behind the Ear hearing aids, but are much smaller, and may be more comfortable. Some patients feel less self conscious with the smaller version.
This style of hear aid fills the entire bowl of the ear and part of the ear canal. All of the components are located in the part of the hearing aid that fills the bowl of the ear.
Completely in the Canal (CIC)
The least visible style of hearing aid, the CIC fit partially or completely into the ear canal. Many people prefer this style for cosmetic reasons, but their small size can make them difficult to handle for some people.
Hearing Aid Features
In addition to different hearing aid styles, there are many technologies and features that can be incorporated to better customize your hearing aid to your needs and preferences. You may have a choice between analog, digital or hybrid hearing aids. Features such as feedback suppression, noise reduction, automatic volume control or low-battery indicators and other features may help you better manage sound. Some hearing aids have Bluetooth capabilities, enabling hands-free use of cell and regular phones, and streaming TV.
Hearing Aid Costs
Hearing aid prices will vary depending on the style and features you choose. Our Audiologists will review all of your options and help you choose the hearing aids that best meet your needs and financial circumstances.