Ear today
Your information portal on hearing aids
and all things hearing

Ear today
Your information portal on hearing aids and all things hearing

The use of hearing aids is very common today. Since the 1960s, hearing systems have been manufactured to be virtually invisible while offering maximum functionality. Without question, hearing aids have become smaller and smaller in recent decades – to the point that they disappear when worn. The two most frequently used styles are in-the-ear and behind-the-ear devices. To find the best device for your hearing situation depends on your hearing loss, lifestyle and ear anatomy.

When should you use a hearing aid?

You should use a hearing aid when a hearing care professional diagnoses you with deafness due to age, tinnitus, or a congenital hearing impairment. If the first signs of hearing loss are creeping up on you and barely noticeable, you will eventually feel the negative impact on your quality of life.

Find the right hearing aid

Depending on how badly your ears are damaged, different hearing systems may be able to provide the relief you need. The most widely used hearing aids are those worn behind-the-ear. Around 65 percent of all people who have hearing problems use them. A hearing care professional first creates an earmold of your ear canal to ensure a perfect fit. Otoplastics are then connected to the device by a small tube.

Less noticeable are the hearing aids that work completely or at least partially in the ear canal. These completely-in-canal hearing systems are virtually invisible to others. You can easily remove the devices from your ear canals with a nylon thread. The only drawback is the batteries are extremely small, so they don’t last as long as the ones that power the behind-the-ear devices.

There are a lot of hearing aids to choose from.

Hearing systems in which the sound transducer is outsourced are called Ex-earphone devices. The small, thin tube is brought close to the eardrum, so the sound has to travel only a short distance. In addition, the market still offers some specialized hearing aids. The latest developments include hearing glasses. Although this digital variant is still somewhat rarely used in practice, it is becoming more and more fashionable. If there are diseases in the inner ear, the sound is not transmitted through the air into the ear but projected onto the bone. These bone conduction hearing aids are used, for example, if you were born without ear canals.

The right accessory for your hearing aids

There are many accessories for hearing instruments. Since it is particularly important to clean the hearing aids regularly, many opt for a complete cleaning kit. In addition, one can buy a cerumen filter, which is applicable to all common in-the-ear devices. Earwax eventually affects the quality of your ability to hear; a filter prevents damage to the device. Replacement sonic tubes, silicone lenses, hearing aid brackets to help them fit better, and umbrellas for behind-the-ear hearing aids are also available.

It is imperative you see an ENT specialist and a hearing care professional

If you (or a loved one) is having trouble hearing, you should visit an ENT specialist. The physician usually performs a hearing test to determine the nature and extent of your condition. You will then be given a prescription, which you can take to a hearing care professional. Do you need hearing aids in both ears? Is your ability to hear good or bad? All these questions are answered with a comprehensive hearing evaluation.

Depending on your hearing analysis, the anatomy of your ears, and personal preferences, you can choose a hearing system to try risk-free. The hearing care professional knows what is most important in terms of suitable hearing technology and can recommend the best solution for you. Once the hearing aids are fitted, you can wear them for 45 days. During this trial period, you can have the devices fine-tuned to ensure you get the best sound quality and clarity. Adjustments are very common because it takes some time to get used to listening while wearing hearing aids. In fact, it can take a few weeks to adapt to your new-and-improved hearing. After a view visits to the hearing care professional’s office, you need to see the ENT specialist again to confirm medically that your hearing has improved.

How much do hearing aids cost?

Currently, there are 2,000 different hearing aids on the market, which explains why prices vary. However, it’s important to note that your health insurance provider may cover some (or all) of the costs of your hearing aids. If you want more advanced technology and a wider range of features, you may have to pay more. On average, people pay approximately $4,400 for a pair of advanced hearing aids. A hearing care professional can work closely with you to find devices that fit your lifestyle and budget.

Many hearing aid manufacturers

Manufacturers like Signia, Starkey, Oticon, Widex and Phonak have made it their mission to improve people’s hearing and change their lives. Signia was the first manufacturer to introduce hearing systems as a solution to treating hearing loss. Whichever manufacturer and hearing instruments you choose, make sure to discuss all your options with your hearing care professional. Hearing aids are not one-size-fits-all, which is why there is such a large selection of devices to choose from.

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