After your Audiologist completes your hearing evaluation and counsels you on the results, the discussion will move to recommendations. If you have been diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss that cannot be corrected by surgery or medication, hearing aids and other assistive listening devices are the standard treatment. In fact, 90% of hearing loss is related to damage deep within the inner ear and is not surgically correctable.
Hearing instruments come with a wide range of technology and features; there is no such thing as one type or model fits all. Each patient’s hearing is unique to their ears and their brain. This is why your audiologist will spend time getting to know you as an individual to help select the most appropriate hearing solution for you.
In the most basic terms, hearing aids are typically categorized by what environments the features are most suited to help improve. Basic digital hearing aids generally require the wearer to make some manual adjustments in certain listening environments such as turning a volume control up or down, or pushing a button to change listening programs. Because there is a requirement for manual control these models are often recommended for patients in quieter environments. In contrast, premium or more advanced hearing aids react automatically to changes in the listener’s environment, making changes based on the signals being detected by the hearing aid. Every patient can benefit from a hearing aid that can react or interact with their environment but it may not necessarily be required to improve your hearing needs.
The cost of hearing aids generally does not depend on style/shape of the aids but more on the technology and number of features the instrument has available to utilize. There are multiple levels of technology and feature packages to meet the needs of each individual user. It is the belief of your Audiologist that a variety of manufacturers and technology options be available. Our goal is not to promote a manufacturer, it is to promote improved health and quality of life through hearing. We are not limited to one specific manufacturer so our options remain open to find the perfect solution for each patient.
When selecting a style the following is considered:
- Severity of the hearing loss
- Unique anatomical structure of the ear
- Listening needs
- Environments most often exposed to
- Manual dexterity & visual abilities of the patient
- Patient budget
Styles of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are available in many different sizes, shapes and styles. The advancement of digital and micro technology have allowed for the miniaturization of hearing aid parts. Hearing aids today are sleeker and more compact than they ever have been before allowing for more available options and features in a package much less visible than your hearing loss. These are not your grandma’s hearing aids!