Hearing Aids 101

  1. Hearing Aids 101

If you are among the nearly 50 million Americans living with hearing loss, take comfort in knowing many people benefit from hearing aids. While Miller Reese Hutchison created the first hearing aid in the late 1800s, many people still don’t fully understand these devices. Before you make a decision about whether or not you may benefit from such a device, take a moment to learn more about hearing aids.

Hearing Aids Often Benefit People with Different Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing impairment is typically classified as sensorineural, conductive, or mixed. Age-related hearing loss (presbycusis) is associated with sensorineural hearing impairment, the most common reason for diminished hearing abilities. Because of the diversity with hearing aids manufactured today, you may notice improvements with hearing capabilities regardless of the nature of your hearing impairment.

Hearing Tests Simplify the Process of Finding the Right Hearing Aid

One of the most important steps involved with hearing care is taking the initiative to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist if you are having ongoing difficulty with your ability to hear. During a hearing test (audiogram), you’ll be asked to listen to a variety of sounds and indicate whether or not you can hear different tones. You may also be asked to repeat certain words (word recognition testing). Results from a hearing test will be used to:

  • Identify your type of hearing impairment
  • Determine if you’ll benefit more from a pre-programmed hearing aid or one that’s programmable based on your unique needs
  • Determine how much hearing is diminished in each ear

Hearing Aids Come in Many Appealing and Convenient Styles

There’s a lot of variety with hearing aids, not only with price range, but with style. Behind-the-ear (BTE) models remain popular, but there are many other possibilities. Options with hearing aids also include discrete completely-in-the-canal (CIC) or in-the-canal (ITC) designs and in-the-ear (ITE) styles that fill part or most of the outer ear. Receiver-in-canal (RIC) models are similar to BTE styles, except a small wire connects the pieces instead of tubing.

Expect an Adjustment Period After You Get Your New Hearing Aid

Contrary to popular belief, hearing aids don’t instantly restore your hearing. In fact, hearing aids do not reverse damage. What they do is amplify your existing hearing capabilities. Also, there will be an adjustment period with a new hearing aid. This happens because the part of your brain responsible for hearing has to adjust as you begin clearly hearing sounds again.

If a hearing aid is right for you, proper hearing care that includes maintaining your device can extend the life of your Beltone hearing aid. Even if you are already using a hearing assistance product, you may benefit from a newer model that’s more in line with your current lifestyle and hearing needs. Contact us today at (866) 530-9145 to learn more.