There are scores of people who have a varying degree of heating impairment today. This impairment could be as a result of injury to the ear, infection as well as age among other causes. However, it’s estimated that more than 4 million people in the UK with hearing impairment can live normally with the help of hearing aids, but they don’t.
According to Louise Hart, an audiology specialist, many people do not use hearing aids as they think it makes them look old or is unsightly. Today’s gadgets, however, are a tremendous improvement from previous versions; they are digital, slimmer, lighter, smaller, and come in a range of funky colors. But the success in getting people to wear them is a change I attitude; hearing aids should ordinary as wearing glasses.
How Hearing Aids Work
Hearing aids are simple gadgets that get the environmental sounds and make them louder so that you are aware of them. Most of these aids today are digital and are powered by a battery. The aids are made up of different parts.
|A microphone that collects sounds around you|
|A computer chip that processes the sounds collected|
|An amplifier that adjusts the sound based of personal needs|
|A speaker that conveys the processed sounds to the inner ear|
It is important to note that hearing aids do not restore hearing; they can only improve your ability to hear by amplifying sounds. They help you have a normal life despite the hearing impairment.
Types of affordable hearing aids
Varied types of hearing aids offer different advantages based on the amplification levels, size and design. However, most of the hearing aids today are battery operated. The main tpes today include the following:
BTE (Behind the ear)
This gadget rests well behind the ear and sends amplified sound through an earmould or an open fitting (which is a small, soft tip).
ITE (In the Ear)
In the ear hearing aid sits well in the ear canal and the ear shell
ITC (In the Canal)
This gadget has some of its working parts in the earmould which enables the whole hearing aid to fit inside the canal.
CIC (Completely in the Canal)
As the name suggests, this hearing aid fits even further in the canal than the ITC option
It is important to note that each of these options is purposely made to suit different preferences and levels of ear damage. The audiologist recommends the appropriate gadget to use after a series of tests. Advice is also given on the use and care of the aid.
When buying hearing aids: private or NHS?
You can choose to buy your hearing aids either privately or get them free of charge on NHS. Private purchase gives you access to a wider range of options compared to NHS options. However, when buying privately, research on the quality and prices of the appropriate gadgets.
The NHS on the other hand will give you a range of quality options. Since they buy the hearing aids in bulk, they can access high quality gadgets at lower prices from various manufacturers. These gadgets are available free of charge to all patients on long term loan. Most people actually find what they are looking for from NHS options.
Tips for shopping for the Perfect hearing aid
It is extremely vital to get the appropriate hearing aid for you condition. Therefore, consult a reputable audiologist for the necessary tests and recommendations. Remember to keep your future needs in mind too. You may ask if the gadget you get can help in case of a progressively failing hearing. When making a purchase, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Testing and lifestyle
Testing is necessary so as to determine the right hearing aid for your condition. The audiologist will discuss with you how the hearing loss will affect your daily life and how the aid will assist. It is also advisable to discuss your realistic expectations so as to come up with the design, style and choice of features that best suit your preferences.
Choosing your hearing aid
Once you get a variety of options that best suits your preferences, it is important to have it tested. You need to know how to adjust it in quiet and noisy environments and how to handle everyday tasks such as talking on the phone.
Handling the finances and contract details
Once you choose the hearing aid you want, be sure to get a written contract detailing all features of the hearing aid. You can always try to bargain for a lower price from the provider if you choose to make a private purchase. You can also decide to have your health insurance help you out.
While hearing aids do not necessarily correct the condition, they make communication with others easier.