What are hearing devices, how do they work, and what to expect when you use them
Hearing devices and How the Help
Hearing devices have been around for hundreds of years. The earliest were earhorns that acoustically drove sound from an area into the ear. These were replaced with electrical devices, known as body aids, in the 19th century. These body aids soon became obsolete when large, analog behind-the-ear hearing aids were popularized in the mid-20th century.
Modern hearing aids (from 2000-present) run on a digital mini-electronic circuit enclosed in a water resistent coating. These aids are small, lightweight and some are nearly invisible. Fit exactly to your hearing loss, modern hearing aids give you volume and clarity where you need it, instead of making all sounds too loud.
Below are some misconceptions about hearing aids, and how modern hearing aids have solved those problems:
- Hearing aids don’t work
- Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, even thr best hearing aid may not work because of the losses effect on the brain. But for most people with hearing loss (98%), hearing aids can and do help you hear sounds that you may have missed or haven’t heard in many years. Modern hearing aids can adjust automatically in many situtations, including in loud places, to help you hear in those places better.
- Hearing aids whistle all of the time
- Whistling, known as feedback, occurs when there is a leakage of sound from the aid that is then picked up and routed back through the aid. This was a very common problem in older hearing devices (analog aids) because the physical seal wasn’t very good and the aids could not get rid of the sound once it started. Modern hearing aids have a ‘feedback suppression’ feature in them which detects feedback and eliminates it without interferring with the sounds around you
- The hearing devices sold on the TV are the same as the ones sold in medical offices
- Hearing devices that are sold on television are not called “hearing aids”. They are typically called ‘amplified devices’ because they are not classified as an ‘aid’. Hearing aids are classified by the FDA and can only be fit by a licensed professional. The amplifier seen on TV are just that, they amplify ALL of the sounds around you, when most hearing losses do not need ALL of the sounds to be louder
- Hearing aids are too expensive
- When purchasing modern hearing devices, you are not only purchasing the aids themselves, but all services tied to them, including the hearing evaluation, hearing aid check ups, cleanings, warranties, all subsequent hearing tests, as well as batteries for the life of the aid. Modern hearing aids also have complex micro-processing powers which can analyze bit of sound information instantly, without delay. As mentioned before, modern hearing devices adapt to your surroundings automatically, helping you hear better in those environments than you had before. Modern hearing aids also last at least 5 years, which is a lot longer than most things.
- I have hearing loss in both ears, but I am only buying 1 aid
- Buying two devices when you need 2 devices is always best. When you buy glasses, you don’t buy just a monocle, do you? If you have hearing loss in both ears, you need to stimulate both sides of your brain, or else, just like if you wait on getting hearing aids, the brain will soon decrease in function and it will be too late. Using two ears also allows for better hearing in noise as well as localizing sounds around you.