Hearing Aids

Find all hearing aids ratings on hearing aids like Siemens hearing aids, Phonak hearing aids, Beltone hearing aids and Starkey hearing aids. Get all information about hearing aids, hearing aid technology and hearing terminology.

A hearing aid is a device that is worn behind or fits in the wearer’s ear which helps to make sound more audible for the wearer. Typically, hearing aids are designed to amplify and deliver quality sound to the ears. Hearing aids are used to help people who have hearing problems. People with hearing problems are usually as a results of damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear. This is called sensorineural hearing loss and due to disease, aging, or injury from loud noise and even medications.

By using hearing aids, people are able to hear and communicate better with other people. This aids to facilitate people to continue and participate in their everyday  activities with minimum difficulties. Most hearing aids can even help people hear better than normal people in certain environments. Some of the best Hearing Aids Brands are Beltone Hearing Aids, Starkey Hearing Aids, Phonak Hearing Aids and Siemens Hearing Aids.

What is a Hearing Aid Make Up Of – How Do Hearing Aids Work?

What are the basic components to a hearing aid? It consists of three basic functional parts: a microphone, a amplifier and a speaker. The microphone will receive the surrounding sound and convert the sound into electronics impulse. The amplifier will increase the strength of the impulse and send this to the speaker. The speaker will produce the amplified sound to the ear. Of course there are other important components like the switch, program and the electronics. The switch for on and off button for the hearing aid.

Electronics in the hearing aid that does the processing of the electronics impulse. The electronics can also do an analysis on the sound received. Next the electronics will do some cleaning and filtering of this information and process the impulse to the optimal for the wearer. The program switch is used to suit different environments to produce the best results for the wearer.

Benefits of using Hearing Aids

As hearing aids are designed to help the hearing impaired, of course its main purpose is to improve speech comprehension.  It helps improve the hearing capacity of a person who suffered hearing loss due to some disease or injury and aging.  In this instances, what is usually damaged is the hair cells within a person’s inner ear which results in sensorineural hearing loss or deafness.  And how does it work?

Hearing aids contain amplifiers which magnify the sound vibrations and frequencies that enter the ear.  The hair cells in the inner ear which are not damaged and are still working well can detect these vibrations through this aid.  This is true in most cases, however, varying degrees of hearing loss require different amplification levels, thus, this would depend on how much hearing loss an individual is suffering.

Hearing Loss Examination

How do you know that you will need a hearing aid? When you feel that you are experiencing hearing difficulties, you can approach an audiologist for assistance. Audiologist will be able to identify the causes of your hearing loss. They will be able to advise on the extend of this problem and how to improve on your hearing capabilities. There are also some simple online self testing tools by various hearing aids companies like Siemens Hearing Instruments.

Only in rare cases that even hearing aids will not provide help if a person’s ear has been damaged extensively in that amplification may not be effective at all.  But if hearing aid is useful to you as explained above, it is important to know the different types of Hearing Aid Styles so it will be easier for you to choose which is right for your hearing needs.


Hearing Aids Types

There are different types of hearing aids, mainly Behind-the-ear, In-the-ear and Invisible-in-Canal types. These types are different in sizes, shapes and power.

Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aid Type

Behind-the-ear is also known as BTE. BTE consist of two parts, one hard plastic case worn behind the ear and another soft earmold that fits inside the outer ear. The hard plastic case contains the electronics parts and also receive the sound from the surroundings. Inside


the electronics, it does all the analysis and conversion. Then it will produced the amplified sound to the earmold to the ear. BTE can be used by all people to people with extreme earing problems.

Some people use an open-fit model of BTE hearing aid which is slightly different in form.  In this kind, the hearing aid is placed behind the ear but with a narrow tube inserted inside the ear canal for a clear sound and which provides an unplugged own voice sound effect.

In-The-Ear Hearing Aid Type

In-the-ear is known as ITE in short. As meant by the name, this type of hearing aids fits completely inside the outer ear. Usually this type of hearing aids are for middle range hearing loss. This type contains all the electronics inside the hard plastic case. This type does the receiving, processing and output of the sound to the ear.  This hearing aid is less visible than the Behind-the-ear type. As it is inside the outer ear, it is convenient especially talking over a phone. However this type may not be suitable for kids as their ears will grow and the shape will change. As such, the ITE will not fit well into the outer ear.

Some models of ITE hearing aids have special features like telecoil where sounds are received through a circuitry rather than through the usual microphone.  With telecoil, hearing conversations on telephone are made easier.  And listening to sounds even in public places where induction loop systems are installed would be much easier.

Invisible-In-Canal Hearing Aid Type

Lastly the smallest of all is the Invisible-in-Canal aid, IIC. This type is the smallest and almost invisible. Usually for mild hearing loss only. This is due to the limited size and power that it can produce. Also because of the size, there is no much space for bigger batteries and complex components. On the other end, canal aid is the most esthetics among the rest.

Completely-In-Canal Hearing Aid Type

Canal – Canal hearing aids are in two styles: the completely-in-canal or CIC and the in-the-canal hearing aids.  The former style visibly fits in the ear canal while the latter style is purposely designed to fit the shape of the ear canal of the user.  Both are small in size and are difficult to remove or adjust.  This type of hearing aid is not also as powerful as that of the other hearing aid styles. But whatever style they may appear, both are made for people who suffer mild to moderately severe hearing damage.


Digital or Analog Hearing Aids

Commercially, hearing aids are available as an electronic device.  It can be purchased as analog or digital hearing aids.  And it is worthy to note their difference in function:

Analog Hearing Aids

The analog hearing aids are custom-built to meet and satisfy the needs of the one who will wear it.  It is programmed in accordance with the specifications and recommendations of a professional in the field, an otolaryngologist or an audiologist.  As an analog hearing aid, its settings are adjustable and can easily be shifted to suit the need of the environment and are less costly.  The analog hearing aid successfully works by transforming sound waves into comprehensible and amplified electrical signals.

Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids are priced higher than analog hearing aids.  It is understandably so considering that it employs advance technology.  Unlike analog hearing aids, digital hearing aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, including loudness and pitch, which are more adjustable to the specific needs of the user.  Thus, digital hearing aids are easily programmable to amplify different varying frequencies and adjust sound focus from different directions.

Go to an Audiologist