Man is gifted with five senses; each with the importance of its own. These five senses include the sense of smell, hearing, sight, touch, and taste. Each is significant for a normalcy in life and if one of these senses is missing the life of that person becomes remarkably difficult.
Hearing aids is dated back in the 1890s which had been helping people overcome their disability to hear sounds around them. The evolution of hearing aids had been slow but the help it gives is undeniably great.
Electronic hearing aids became popular in the 1930s and 40s after technology leaped forward during the world war as the telephone and other ways of communication advanced.
Hearing aids were big and bulky at the beginning and were analog rather than digital, but with the advent of the digital age, chips were installed which controlled the volume and other electronic functions.
Now, hearing aids are much more than what was intended to be. It has functions that only the new age technology was able to provide. With time, hearing aids also started to shrink in size to the point that some hearing aids are so small that it is almost invisible to the eye.
The hearing aid has three parts; a microphone, a speaker and an amplifier. The hearing aid obtains the sound in the form of vibrations through the microphone which transforms the vibrations in electrical signals which are further sent to the amplifier.
This amplifier intensifies the capability of the signals entering which is then sent to the speaker which opens into the ear.
In the technologically advanced hearing aids, we also have a microchip which is a small microcomputer which can control the volume of sound. Finally, we have a small battery attached to it from which the hearing aid gets its power from.
Types of Hearing Aids
Invisible in the canal (IIC)
This custom fitted hearing aid it is inserted deep into the ear canal unlike other hearing aids, which makes this completely invisible when worn.
These are designed so that they can be easily removed daily. This kind of hearing aid is generally used in case of mild to moderate hear loss. The best part of this hearing aid is that it is completely invisible which hides your disability from other people.
Completely in the canal (CIC)
CIC is made with a custom fitting according to every individual and is completely in the ear canal as its name suggests. Only the tip of the CIC can be visible, which is a small handle to assist in placing and taking it out of the ear. This is also used in case of mild to moderate hearing disability.
This is also custom made according to the pathway of the ear canal. This is slightly larger than the CIC. A small portion of the ITC can be seen in the outer ear. This is also used in case of mild to severe hearing loss.
This hearing aid is custom made to fit the outer region of the ear. This is visible to other because of its position in the outer ear. This is made for mild to severe hearing loss.
This type is barely visible when worn in the ear; this is a hearing aid in which the receiver or speaker is in the inner side of the ear canal. Electrical wires are used inside this type instead of a plastic tube. RIC provides a comfortable fit in the ear which is used for mild to moderate audible disability.
This is the most common of the hearing aids as it is placed behind the ear and is visible quite clearly even from a distance and is noticeable. As its name depicts, it is placed behind the ear in a plastic casing. This aid sends the sound directly to the earbud or a customized ear mold fitted inside the ear canal. This is used for moderate to severe loss.
Hearing Aid Reviews
Hearing aids reviews and comparisons have led to a choice of the best hearing aids available in 2018. The reviews include the pros and cons of these hearing aids. So the best hearing aids 2018 are
Discreet Hearing Aid
The Audicus Uno which is a CIC type hearing aid is custom made according to each customer requirements. It is both invisible as it is inside the canal and it is sealed really well which helps in a better quality of amplified sound.
It automatically adapts to your environment; it has a filter for noise control that is great for noisy rooms. The only problem encountered on this device is that it is not waterproof. In this case, hearing aids have to be taken off while taking a shower or standing under the rain.
Affordable Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are expensive wherein some may cost you over a thousand bucks. If you’re running low on money and want a good hearing aid do consider buying Pro Ears Pro Hear IV. Not only is this cheaper than many digital hearing aids but also is a low profile back of the ear aid.
It has an adaptive feedback canceling and a microphone with ten channel noise reduction. It also comes with some drawbacks which should be considered while buying such as it is not custom fit according to your ear, it has a universal fitting. It is a bit uncomfortable compared to other expensive models of hearing aids.
Hearing Aid To Help with Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a condition of the ear in which ears hear ringing resulted from the damage of ears by long exposure to loud noise. Sometimes this condition goes away but if it doesn’t, no need to worry we have the Phonak Audeo V-30 which helps solve this problem.
This device has a tinnitus balancing feature which has a balancing frequency which cancels or minimizes the effect of tinnitus. It also has a sound recovered which restores high-frequency sounds. It’s a little more expensive as compared to the usual hearing aids.
Hearing Device For Severe Hear Loss
This type of hearing loss can occur at any age depending upon how much you have abused your organ. The Hi BTE Power Plus is generally used to dampen the effect caused by this problem.
It is a customizable back of the ear hearing aid. It automatically adjusts the level of sound to make it comfortable to the listener which helps to adjust to whichever environment you’re in.
Hearing Device For Mild to Moderate Hear Loss
The Simplicity Hi Fi EP is a hearing aid designed to help people with mild to moderate damage to their hearing ability. It has an open fit design so that your ear canal doesn’t feel clogged up. It lets sound flow naturally into your ear. It can be used for small to large amplification of sound depending upon the suitability of the user.
The best companies around globally are
Resound which originated in Denmark.
Oticon also from Denmark.
Phonak from Zurich.
Signia formerly Siemens.
Starkey, the only American company in the list.
Five Worst Reviews of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids available in the market are generally received with good reviews, but they also have some cons as well some of them are discussed below.
High-end hearing aids are generally very expensive and are out of range for mediocre people. If one does not have health insurance that covers these expenses have trouble buying these gadgets.
Most of the hearing aids available in the market are back of the ear or the ones that are exposed. Only the expensive ones are invisible and cannot be seen. Since the ones that are visible are somewhat exposed and can be seen by other people who are not preferred by many as it exposes their disability.
Most hearing aids available in the market are not waterproof and since they have electrical systems inside water can cause damage to them. Hearing aids have sensitive chips inside which control the volume and other features such as noise canceling and adjustment to the environment automatically.
Most expensive hearing devices are custom fit which is tailored according to the customers need and requirements. They are made according to the ear structure and canal pathway, but that is not the case with inexpensive hearing aids they are manufactured using a single mold which is a universal fit. This causes trouble to the customer since he has to adapt to that fit.
Technology has without a doubt made our lives easy whether it is our daily life commute or our ways of communication but also the most important part of our lives which is our health. Devices, like hearing aids, have made our lives significantly easy and have helped overcome disabilities and diseases for a better and healthier life.
Life without any one of the five senses is incomplete. One cannot enjoy life to the fullest if any part of his body is incapable of unable to function properly. Once you decide on purchasing a hearing aid, make sure that you do your research properly. You should read online reviews of old customers so you buy credible products only.