Q. How do modern hearing aid systems work?
There are numerous state-of-the-art hearing instruments available with different styles, features, and cosmetic solutions that can greatly enhance your daily life without hindering your individual lifestyle.
All hearing instruments have certain characteristics in common. They are made to selectively increase the volume of the sounds you want to hear. They can make soft sounds audible, while at the same time making moderate or loud sounds comfortable, thus providing relief in both noisy and quiet situations. No hearing instrument can solve every hearing problem or restore normal hearing, but they are designed to provide amplification so that you can hear and understand better.
Q. Digital Signal Processing technology
Thanks to advancements in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology, hearing aids have greatly improved over the last few years. Think of hearing aids as very sophisticated mini-computers automatically analysing speech, noise and amplifying sounds according to how your audiologist has programmed your hearing devices.
When programmed properly, the benefit is an improved, natural sound quality, and better control over issues such as background noise. For example, hearing aids with DSP technology and noise reduction differentiate between speech and noise, lowering the volume for signals identified as noise while maintaining the volume for speech. This improves overall wearing comfort and helps to improve the quality and understanding of speech, meaning you can enjoy conversations and Enjoy Hearing Again!
Q. Benefits of Wireless Hearing Aid Technology
The latest in wireless technology allows two hearing aids to operate together as one complete system, instead of acting as two independent devices. The sound input to both hearing aids is shared. Sound processing is then adjusted according to this shared decision, improving your hearing in conversations.
Wireless hearing aid technology offers many benefits to wearers, including:
- Bluetooth connectivity: Connect your hearing aid to other audio devices, such as televisions, mobile phones and computers through Bluetooth. This technology allows hearing aid wearers easy access other communication avenues for their workplace or leisure activities.
- Improved convenience: When a user pushes a program button or changes the volume control on one hearing aid, the change is automatically implemented to the aid in the other ear.
- Separation of controls: In addition, it is possible to separate the controls on the hearing aids (e.g. a program button on one side, and a volume control on the other side), eliminating the need to operate controls on both aids for each change necessary. In other words, a wearer experiences less “fiddling” with instruments and more confidence because both instruments have the necessary settings for optimal hearing at all times, automatically.
Hearing Aids come in different shapes and sizes and depending on the type of hearing loss, O’Grady’s Hearing Care can recommend the type best suited for you. See below for an explanation of each:
CIC - Completely in the Canal
The smallest of the hearing aid family is Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC). This aid is made to measure to fit completely in the ear canal, meaning the CIC aid is almost invisible to others. Only the tip of a small plastic "handle" shows outside the canal, which is used to insert and remove the instrument.
Suitable for many levels of hearing loss, ask O’Grady’s if a CIC hearing aid is right for you.
ITC - In the Canal
Still discrete, the In-the-Canal (ITC) hearing is slightly bigger than the CIC to help pack in power to the device and meet the needs of users with moderate to severe hearing losses. Should the ITC aid be right for you, a mould of your ear will be taken to allow for the ITC aid to be made-to-measure your ear dimensions.
Speak to O’Grady’s about the option of an ITC aid for you, or a loved one.
BTE - Behind the Ear
With the Behind-the-Ear (BTE) aids, the hearing technology (the speaker, amplifier and microphone) is housed in a hard plastic case that sits behind your ear. A clear, plastic, acoustical tube directs sound from this part of the aid into a customised ear mould that is fitted inside the ear canal.
These aids come in various sizes and serve people with differing levels of hearing loss, primarily moderate to severe losses. BTE hearing aids are becoming smaller and more customisable all the time, including in many different colours to match hair or skin type, helping to further disguise the device.
RIC - Receiver in the Canal
Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC) hearing aids are very small, Behind-the-Ear (BTE) devices. Thin electrical wires are used to transmit the sound from the aid into a customised ear mould that is fitted inside your ear canal. The battery is also held in the case behind your ear.
Relatively small, and available in a variety of colours to match skin or hair colour, these are the most discrete of the BTE devices, not immediately obvious to even the most observant people.
Also suitable for many levels of hearing loss, ask O’Grady’s if an RIC hearing aid is right for you.