Hearing Aid Information: The Truth About Hearing AidsPublished On: May 22, 2019
Approximately 20% of the American population have some degree of hearing loss.
While nearly 30 million of those people could benefit from hearing aids, less than 30% has ever used them. So how exactly do healing aids work and what else should you know about them?
Hearing aids are a big investment and you should know everything you can before you buy them. In this Q&A, we give you all the hearing aid information you could possibly need. Read this to find out if hearing aids are right for you.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
The most common and distinguishable symptom of hearing loss is an inability to follow conversations. If you find that the details of a conversation aren’t easy to recall or that sounds are muffled, you may be experiencing the early signs of hearing loss. Over time, sound will gradually fade as the hearing loss becomes more severe.
You should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you start noticing potential symptoms of hearing loss. Your doctor can diagnose the cause and get you treatment that prolongs your ability to hear.
Other, more subtle symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Inability to understand conversations
- Asking people to repeat themselves often
- Turning up the TV or radio
- Avoiding social situations
- Buzzing in the ears
- Difficulty conversing in social settings, especially loud environments such as restaurants, group meeting, or in the car
- Feeling like you can hear but not understand
Hearing loss can be caused by a number of different factors. Depending on what’s causing your hearing loss, you may also experience:
- Pain (this may occur in only 1 or in both ears)
- Tinnitus (identifiable as a chronic ringing in the ears)
- A feeling of pressure or fullness (this can be in 1 or both ears)
Some people brush these symptoms off and others don’t notice them until they become a bigger problem. It’s important to see a doctor as soon as you experience any of the above symptoms.
Hearing Aid and Hearing Facts
From “what are hearing aids?” to “how much is a hearing aid?”, we’ve answered all the common hearing aid questions below.
What Do Hearings Aid Do?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that amplifies sounds to enhance hearing and listening. They come in different sizes, models, and variations.
There are 3 basic types of hearing aids.
- BTE Hearing Aids. With these type of aids, all of the mechanical parts are stored in a case that sits behind the ear. This case connects to the ear canal with a custom mold and a sound tube that is worn on top of the ear.
- RITE/RIC Hearing Aids. These aids are worn in almost the same way as a BTE hearing aid. However, RIC or RITE aids have a speaker/receiver that is fitted to the ear canal. This piece is then connected to the case at the back of the ear with a thin wire.
- ITE Hearing Aids. These customizable aids sit inside your ear canal with no other connected parts. All of the electronics are contained in a small device that can be made invisible within the canal.
While there are many hearing aids styles and brands, you have to find one that suits your particular hearing and listening needs. An audiologist can help you determine what specifications your aids should meet.
Are Hearing Aids Recommended for Minor Hearing Loss?
Your hearing needs depend on what’s causing your hearing loss and how far along it is. While some people with mild hearing loss can function normally without the assistance hearing aids, others might benefit greatly from their use.
Whether you suffer from minor or severe hearing loss, hearing aids won’t cure hearing loss or return it back to normal. Instead, hearing aids improve quality of life for many people who use them by allowing them to join in on conversations as well as listen and socialize with others.
Will a Hearing Aid Damage Your Hearing?
Absolutely not. As long as you’ve seen an audiologist, had your hearing aid properly fitted, and take care of your device, a hearing aid will not damage or hurt your hearing.
Should You Wear 2 Hearing Aids?
While you don’t have to wear 2 hearing aids, 2 is better than 1 when it comes to hearing devices. Binaural hearing aids (aka two-eared hearing aids) can help make sounds and conversation more clear in noisy environments. They can also help you locate where sounds are coming from.
Where Can You Buy Hearing Aids?
If you’ve gone to see your doctor about your hearing, he may have recommended that you go for a formal hearing test, Known as an audiogram, this test will determine how bad your hearing loss is. It does this by identifying the range of decibels you can hear (aka the range of loudness you can hear).
An audiologist typically performs the audiogram. They’ll be able to tell you what’s causing your hearing loss and make recommendations on what will help. They can also point you in the right direction for a hearing aid.
You can purchase hearing aids in a store or online. But before making a purchase online, you should know what exactly you’re looking for. Not all aids are created equal and it’s important that you purchase the hearing device that’s best for your listening needs.
More Hearing Aid Information
If you’re experiencing symptoms related to hearing loss, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Seeing your doctor sooner rather than later ensures you get the diagnosis and treatment you need to prolong your ability to hear and participate in the conversations around you. When your hearing reaches a point where everyday socializing is difficult, it may be time to consider a hearing aid.
And for more hearing aid information, be sure to check out our resources.