The technology available in modern hearing aids, explained by Dr. Touchette, audiologist in Oroville, Paradise, and Chico.
Technology of Hearing Aids – Audiologist in Oroville
When you’re choosing a hearing aid, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer variety of options available. Your audiologist in Paradise will evaluate your hearing and help you decide which options would likely be the best for you, but you may still feel like you have too much to choose from. Making things more difficult, different types of hearing loss are best treated with different hearing aids.
Here’s a primer on some of the options you’ll have when choosing a hearing aid. When you come for your appointment with your audiologist in Paradise, you can discuss this information with your audiologist to get professional advice on how it applies to you.
Location of the Hearing Aid
Traditional hearing aids were located behind the ear, with a receiver in the ear canal. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are still used, although they often have a smaller receiver. Hearing aids may also be entirely within the ear. An in-the-canal hearing aid fits within the ear canal, but may still be visible from the outside. A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is hidden within the ear canal. While many people prefer this option for its cosmetic benefits, it’s not the right choice for everyone. Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are very small, so they can be difficult to handle for those with problems like arthritis. Learn more about hearing aid styles.
Hearing Aid Features
Certain features of modern hearing aids may be useful to some patients. For instance, a hearing aid may have a directional microphone. This feature can be turned on and off as you desire. When activated, the directional microphone will amplify sound coming from directly in front of you more than other sounds, allowing you to more easily have a conversation in the presence of ambient noise.
Another modern hearing aid feature is the telecoil, or “T-coil.” This works with your telephone (all telephones are required to be compatible with a hearing aid T-coil) or other device. When using the T-coil, the hearing aid’s microphone is turned off; instead of picking up sounds from the environment, the hearing aid picks up a magnetic signal from the telephone or an assistive listening device. This makes talking on the phone much easier for those with hearing aids. You can also hook up devices like your TV or DVD player, and some public meeting rooms have a “hearing loop” to transmit sound from the speaker’s microphone directly to your hearing aid T-coil.
Some devices have a “direct audio input” feature to allow you to connect your hearing aid wirelessly to the device. This means that you can hear your device directly, without distracting ambient noises. Not all hearing aids have the capability of connecting in this way, so if you want this functionality, make sure you choose a hearing aid that can do this.
Your audiologist in Paradise will help you decide which features would be most useful to you, and will help you learn how to use all of the features of your hearing aid so that you get the most benefit from it.
Digital vs. Analog
Digital technology has improved hearing aids dramatically. A digital hearing aid has a greater ability to be programmed, to reduce feedback (that high-pitched whining sound you sometimes hear from electronic devices), and to filter out loud noises. Analog hearing aids still exist; these can also be programmed to have multiple settings, and may provide a good result for some patients with a significantly reduced cost. This could be important to patients who don’t have insurance to help pay for their hearing aids. In general, however, digital hearing aids are the standard.
Hearing Aids in Paradise, Chico, and Oroville
At Paradise Hearing & Balance Clinics, we offer a variety of hearing aids in Paradise. We have selected the highest-quality devices available at a variety of price points, to ensure that you get the best possible hearing aid. Your audiologist in Paradise will evaluate your hearing and will suggest the devices that would work best for you, and will then fit the device to you and adjust it as needed.