Some Important Aspects about Modern Hearing Aids

ID-10065612Hearing aids are electro-acoustic devices, which are designed to amplify sound for the user (of hearing aid). The main aim of wearing/using hearing aid is to make speech more intelligible, and to correct/improve impaired hearing. Audiologists measure hearing impairment and your doctor prescribe various modern hearing aids for you, if you have any degree of hearing impairment. Hearing aids cannot correct hearing loss, but they can help in making sounds more accessible to the user.

Hearing aids are medical devices; hence subjected to various regulatory control, e.g. in the United States, the quality control of hearing aids are regulated by FDA.

What are the types of hearing aids available currently?

At present there are several types of hearing aids available and include:

  • Behind the air hearing aids. These hearing aids, sits behind the ear (pinna) and very popular, currently
  • Body worn hearing aids, first hearing aid to be developed
  • Disposable hearing aids
  • In the ear hearing aids. These hearing aids are fitted in the concha (outer ear bowl) and popular type of hearing aid.
  • In canal hearing aids, which cannot be seen from outside, because they are fitten deep inside ear canal.
  • Open fit hearing aids devices
  • Bone anchored hearing aids has to be surgically implanted by and expert.
  • Extended use hearing aids
  • Eyeglass hearing aids were popular once upon a time (1950-1970s). Hearing aid devices used to be fitted in the temple piece of spectacles, specially suited for those who had eye/vision problem with hearing problem
  • Hearing aids that are programmable (by the consumer/user for the personal use of the consumer)
  • Stetho-hearing aids (used by doctors/physicians)

Do I need to use hearing aids? Who should use hearing aids?

If you are suffering from any of the problems described below, you should use hearing aids:

  • When your primary auditory cortex in brain can not receive regular stimulation due to loss of cells that process sound, you need to use hearing aids. The number of cell loss increases degree of hearing loss.
  • Damage or loss of hair cells in inner ear cause sensorineural hearing loss and the person can not discriminate between sounds, which make understanding speech difficult. Use of hearing aids in such patients may not restore satisfactory hearing, despite use of hearing aids, because they only amplify sound, but can not help in discrimination of different sounds.

Your doctor (ENT surgeon) or audiologist will determine if you need hearing aid and if use of hearing will be beneficial for you. hearing is an important part of our social life and communication, hence do not hesitate to use hearing aids if you have any hearing problem that can benefit from using hearing aids.

Image courtesy of dream designs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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