Are there misconceptions when using Hearing Aids? If you haven’t decided on using hearing aids, you are not the only person in the growth putting on white. According to research, about 50 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. However, hearing loss doesn’t only affect elderly people but also children. Furthermore, the American Academy of Audiology rates hearing loss as the third common health condition after heart disease and arthritis in the United State. Regrettably, the Hearing Health Found puts the number of people living in the United State with hearing loss exceeding those living with diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy, and Parkinson disease combined.  As painful as this, only 20 percent of people with hearing loss use hearing aids. To improve your hearing condition, buying a good hearing aid is the best decision you can make. After all, it will improve the quality of your life significantly. It is important to always consult a pediatric and seek medical advice before buying one. Today, you can buy hearing aids in different stores including online. Nevertheless, not all hearing aid is suitable for you because they come in different models. What is a Hearing Aid? A hearing aid is an electronic device, which you can wear in your ear, canal, or behind your ear. Hearing aids makes sound louder in such a way that a person having hearing loss can focus on listening, communicating, and participating fully in daily activities. They can be used in both noisy and quiet environments. Normally, a hearing aid has three important parts – a microphone, speaker, and amplifier. The hearing aid gets sound via the microphone, which is converted from sound to electrical signals. It further sends the sounds to an amplifier, which increases the signal power and sends it to the ear via the speaker. Benefits of using Hearing Aids Hearing aids have various benefits that have been proven clinically. Hearing aids don’t only decrease your listening effort but also help in improving communication. Most importantly, they help you stay connected to the people that matter most in your life. However, if you are experiencing hearing loss difficulty and still sit on the fence whether to use them or not, there are important benefits to consider in correcting your hearing loss issue. Increased Hearing ability It is proven that wearing hearing aids can help increase your hearing ability. Various results also indicate that people with untreated hearing loss reduce their hearing power annually. However, with hearing aids, you correct your hearing loss problem by 90 percent. Furthermore, for people experiencing moderate to severe hearing loss, they can increase their hearing capacity by 77 percent. Slow Mental Decline Further studies have also connected untreated hearing loss to reduced cognitive functioning and increased risk of developing dementia. Do you know that reduced hearing loss has the tendency of accelerating atrophy in the brain, thereby making it difficult to understand speech? However, there is a solution – hearing aids, which help to minimize atrophy and further increase hearing capacity. Interestingly, using hearing aids to treat hearing loss helps in slowing down the cognitive decline, Reduce Annoyance associated with Tinnitus Over 50 million American suffer from tinnitus, which is a clicking noise or high-pitched ringing in the ears. Although it is rare, however, tinnitus is often followed by hearing loss. Nevertheless, using a good hearing aid can correct the hearing loss, which further reduces tinnitus and stress. People using hearing aids can increase the quality of their life than those who left it untreated. Important Features to check before buying Hearing Aids For a novice, buying a hearing device may be a daunting task. Such an individual may be confused as to what to find in a good hearing aid device. Choosing a good hearing aid doesn’t have to be like a toothache that never goes. We have combined some important hearing aid features to keep in mind when you want to shop for one. Total number of Hearing Aid Channels Hearing aids have different numbers of channels. Channels are filters, which cover a range of frequencies. Channels are analyzed and reproduced by the device. For example, some hearing aid model comes with two channels while others may have six channels. However, the number of channels depends on your hearing situation. Primarily, because a particular model has different channels doesn’t mean it is a good aid. Furthermore, if your condition is a severe one, adjusting the settings of the channels may enable you to hear well. Advanced Directional hearing frequency At times, it is called adaptive directionality. It refers to the ability of a hearing aid to filter and direct sound in a particular environment. Adaptive directionality uses two microphones to accept sound while automatically filtering background noise out. In our daily life, it is expected to be in a noisy environment. Nevertheless, a hearing aid with an advanced directionality feature allows the aid to concentrate on the discussion you are having with minimal emphasis on noises from the environment. Most times, it allows you to hear better in noisy environments. However, most hearing aids have the basic directionality feature, but with an advanced or adaptive directionality function, you can hear better. Noise Reduction Similar to the previous feature, noise reduction works with speech enhancement, acting as a barrier to noises such as a person mowing their compound. Almost all hearing aid device sold in the market comes with noise reduction. Nevertheless, this noise reduction feature comes with different quality. You can try several aids to determine which one is best in terms of noise reduction. Wind Suppression For those who spend a lot of time hiking in the mountains, on a boat, at a concert or windy climate areas, selecting an aid that comes with wind suppression is the best option and a smart move. The wind suppression technology limits the noise of the wind while using the hearing aid. If your hearing aid doesn’t have this feature, you may find it hard to hear anything, especially in windy situations. Telecoil Switch Telecoil switch is the tiny coil that works as a receiver in picking up signals, which act as an electromagnetic field. The T-coil as it is something called allows you to switch how your device functions. Rather than depending on the microphone of the hearing aid, it works using a magnetic coil, which serves as the input source and eliminates noisy backgrounds. Furthermore, it improves the quality of the audio of the device. Digital or Analog Hearing Aids Similar to other technologies like your TV antennas, hearing aids are gradually going digital. Hearing aids now come in digital or analog; the analog aids takes sound and makes them louder. On the other hand, the digital hearing aids receive sound waves and assimilate them into digital format. Furthermore, they process, distort, filter, and intensify the digital format into a custom range depending on the hearing need of the individual. Why people don’t wear hearing aids Nowadays, modern hearing aids come almost undetectable when worn in the ear. They are dust and water repellent, miniature technological marvels, and connectable to other electronic devices. Irrespective of these features, most people with hearing difficulties find it hard to put on a hearing aid. There are many reasons when these people are reluctant to use a hearing aid. Some people haven’t come to the fact that they have poor hearing issues while a large percentage of those having hearing loss don’t even know. It is not easy to recognize that one has hearing loss issues because it comes slowly. Most of the people affected firstly think that people are muttering. They set the volume of their TV set a bit louder without knowing. At times, their phone rings beside them without them knowing. To them, none of these is a problem. What is the cost of hearing aids? The cost of children hearing aids is different from that of an adult. However, the NHS can give hearing aids to those with hearing loss issue at no charge based on a long-term loan. Nevertheless, you may be charged for damaged or lost hearing aids. Furthermore, the cost of acquiring a professional service through a private pediatric and the hearing aids may vary depending on the fitting style, technology, and individual needs. At times, private audiologists include both their professional services and aftercare in the overall cost. It is important to compare prices of different private audiologist before making the final decision. Furthermore, some professionals have services that other providers don’t offer. The price of an infant hearing aid will be different from that of an adult. Furthermore, the price will vary depending on the features, style, and technology. Most things we buy ranging from cell phones, televisions to tires come in a good-better-best hierarchy and this same applies to your hearing aids. It is all about weighing the benefits, cost, and features of the device to determine how much you are willing to pay. What to Expect When Wearing Hearing Aids If it is your first time of wearing a hearing aid, it will take you some time to adjust. It doesn’t matter if you have used hearing aids for years. Adjusting to a new hearing aid may take some time. Instead of using your ear, your brain has to adjust to the new sound through the hearing aid. This may take days or several weeks depending on the person with the condition. Hearing through the help of a hearing aid isn’t a natural hearing process. However, the following are important tips for those using hearing aids.
  • Wear the hearing aids together – your brain functions and process sound effectively when both ears are functioning together. It will be beneficial to wear both hearing aids than using one. Although you may still get by using one hearing aid, however, the benefits aren’t comparable with when the two hearing aids are used.
  • Don’t think you will hear everything – The truth is you will miss certain sounds. In as much as using hearing aids technology will help in improving your hearing condition, they are not perfect. You must have realistic expectations of what the hearing aids can do. Therefore, don’t expect to understand what a person says from another room. No matter how good such hearing aid can be, you cannot hear everything.
  • It takes time to adjust – If you have hearing loss issues for a while, you may be accustomed to hearing your own voice. However, when using hearing aids for the first time, the hardest part is amending to the sound of your voice. If you want to get your natural voice again, you have to wear a hearing aid consistently.
  • Be an active listener – It takes an effort to listen to someone or something. Nevertheless, hearing aids make it easier to both listen and communicate. Stay positive and take advantage of your environment. Improved communication leads to a better and productive life.
  • Use hearing aids as part of life – like you brush your teeth and comb your hair daily; in a similar manner, you should use hearing aids if you have hearing loss. You are supposed to wear it 12-16 hours each day and not necessarily when you need it. Importantly, if you observe any discomfort in the course of wearing hearing aids, it is essential to consult your pediatric.
Can hearing aids contribute to hearing loss? This question is among the frequently asked question by those considering using hearing aids. The simple answer to this question is definitely not because hearing aids are programmed to help your hearing loss. Actually, using hearing aids helps in keeping your hearing abilities shaper while delaying the progress of hearing loss in a long-term. This question always stems from a trick of perception. Some people express concern about not hearing even without using their hearing aids. Actually, this is a misconception, which their brains play on them. Interestingly, when you start using hearing aids for the first few weeks, you may experience that the volume and clarity of sounds can seem to shudder. If you have experienced this, you don’t have to fret because the brain is readjusting and learning its new learning ability. Immediately that takes place, your hearing loss becomes noticeable when you are not using any hearing aids. Another concern is that these aids have negative effects on the eardrums. Nevertheless, it is different if the device is fit and correctly programmed. The mechanism of hearing aids operates by amplifying and processing sounds to make it easier to hear. While it is true that powerful sounds directly affect your ears, the hearing aids won’t affect your eardrum because they aren’t made to be loud enough. Guide to Buying Hearing Aids You have decided to buy hearing aids, but what next. If you don’t want an audiologist to buy one for you, you have to be a smart shopper by considering certain things. Hearing aids come in various designs, styles, and brands. Additionally, their sizes, shapes, and features are different from one another. Every variation changes the cost of the hearing aid, which is why you have to think before taking the step personally. There are many things that come to play when you decide to buy a hearing aid. These aids come in different style including those you put in your ear, canal, and behind the ear. No particular style works for every individual. For some, they feel uncomfortable using a hearing aid behind their ear. For others, it blocks the natural sound they receive when used on their ear canal. Importantly, take your time to try which style suits you and which makes you comfortable. Before buying hearing aids, you should consider the following.
  • Size isn’t relevant – Don’t be confused by how small the hearing aids are. Small hearing aids are stealth and compact making it the best choice for some people. Although it may look like it can’t be as effective as the chunkier ones, however, the mechanism in smaller hearing aids are as effective as the chunkier ones.
  • The more the amplification, the more the cost – Hearing aids is expensive, therefore buy those that offer much more than a tiny speaker. Additionally, buy one that is suitable for your lifestyle. Furthermore, you should consider what you want to achieve by using the device. Make your priority list before shopping for a personal hearing aid.
  • Hearing aids won’t restore your hearing – The way you hear things when using hearing aid will not be the same with how you previously hear things. No matter how good a hearing aid may be, it won’t restore your normal hearing.
  • You need the right hearing aids – Unlike other items you may buy online stores quickly. You need a professional to help you sort out the best hearing aid you need for your ear.
  • Undergo an examination before buying hearing aids – This will help to identify the primary cause of your hearing loss. Furthermore, it will be instrumental in finding the best hearing aid you need for your situation. Importantly, not all types of hearing aid you see in the market will benefit you. However, if you undergo a professional hearing test, you are a step closer to getting the perfect hearing aid for your situation.
  • Find a provider that allows trial period and in-store demo – You must be a smart buyer because hearing aids are expensive. A hearing aid is one investment you want to give all your attention. The in-store demonstration allows you to verify the functionality of each feature and make adjustments as the case may be. If it is possible, you can negotiate for a trial period, which allows you to use it in a real-world situation.
  • Read the contract carefully – Besides having a maximum of 60-day trial period, you may consider maintenance, warranty, and appointment when buying a hearing aid. It is important for you to ask for a written copy of the contract and take your time to read to be sure that are no hidden charges.
  • Know the lifespan of the battery – Compact hearing aids needs small batteries, which require repairing frequently. Depending on the device, some last for few days while other takes hours. Don’t rush when you want to buy, because buying the right aid is better being desperate to get one.
Is there any natural remedy for hearing loss? Irrespective of what you may have read, THERE IS NO NATURAL REMEDY for your hearing loss. This is because the sensitive hair cells of the inner ear is charged with the responsibility of translating noise collected from our outer ears into electrical impulses for the brain to interpret. Nevertheless, there are healthy ways of taking care of your ear. In the meantime, you should protect your ear from noise louder than 85 decibels (fireworks, explosions, concerts etc.). Additionally, you shouldn’t put anything into your ear canal because they have the tendency of puncturing your eardrum. Most times, the ears are self-cleaning and require only gentle washing using warm water.  Moreover, you should consult a medical professional if you discover your sound muffling and you think there is an impediment in your ear canal. Hearing aids aren’t 100% safe but they are lifesavers. Take the first step of reducing your hearing loss by investing in a good hearing aid. Find a professional pediatric audiologist to consult when considering buying a hearing aid. Taking Care of your Hearing Aids Proper maintenance of your hearing aids is essential as it increases the lifespan of the device. It is important to maintain a habit of:
  • Replacing dead batteries immediately
  • Keeping hearing aids away from moisture and heat
  • Turning off hearing aids when not in use
  • Keeping the hearing aid away from pets and children
  • Cleaning the aids as instructed in the manual
  • Avoiding hairspray or other hair care products when using the hearing aid
  Conclusion Hearing loss may occur in both ears and have the tendency of affecting the ability of children learning spoken language. However, for adult, it may restrict their work and social interaction with friends and family. Your condition shouldn’t continue this way when technology has made it possible to hear better using hearing aids. They are designed to improve hearing in a way that makes the sound more audible. With a good hearing aid, you can improve your life and socialize freely without thinking of your hearing loss condition.