Hearing Aids & Accessories
What is a hearing aid?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear. It is a device designed to help utilize the auditory system to its fullest. Essentially the function of a hearing aid is to make everything louder. When one loses their hearing, they lose their ability to detect soft sounds. The hearing aid just makes these soft sounds loud enough to be audible. It makes some sounds louder so that a person with hearing loss can listen, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities. A hearing aid can help people hear more in both quiet and noisy situations. However, only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one.
A hearing aid has three basic parts
A microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The hearing aid receives sound through a microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.
There is not a hearing aid that exists today that will "cut out" background sounds completely. However, utilizing the latest technology available we are able to maximize your hearing in difficult listening situations.
When you decide to purchase hearing aids, the audiologist will take impressions (or molds) of your ears, as the hearing aids are custom built to fit only your ears. The impression is then sent to the hearing aid manufacturer who will build the hearing aid.
How can hearing aids help?
Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. The damage can occur as a result of disease, aging, or injury from noise or certain medicines.
A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The greater the damage to a person’s hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification needed to make up the difference. However, there are practical limits to the amount of amplification a hearing aid can provide. In addition, if the inner ear is too damaged, even large vibrations will not be converted into neural signals. In this situation, a hearing aid would be ineffective.
Are there different styles of hearing aids?
There are three basic styles of hearing aids. The styles differ by size, their placement on or inside the ear, and the degree to which they amplify sound
Adjusting To Your Hearing Aid
It will probably take you a while to get used to your new hearing aid. During this time, it is important to keep in mind that your aid will not make your hearing "normal" again, but it will make sounds clearer, enabling you to participate in conversations and hear sounds that you may have missed before.
The first week is often the most trying period. You may here strange "new" sounds, like the hissing of a radiator, and you may be distracted by an array of background noises, such as the hum of a refrigerator or the sound of a knife on a dinner plate. Some everyday sounds, like rustling the newspaper or running water, will sound different. Your own voice may seem loud or strange to you. Your hearing aid should fit comfortably. Report any discomfort, pain, or irritation to your audiologist as soon as possible.
By the second week, you should be more comfortable wearing your aid, and better at identifying sounds. After the third week, you may get the feeling that your hearing is worse when you remove the aid, but this is a sign that you are getting accustomed to hearing again!
Care of your Hearing Aid
Avoid situations where your hearing aid could fall any distance on to a hard surface. Be seated or hold the aid over a table rather than over the floor when changing the batteries, performing maintenance, or inserting it into the ear.
Keep the hearing aid dry. Remove the aid before swimming or taking a shower. Always store the aid in a dry place and keep it away from sources of dampness. Never attempt to dry it in any type of oven or with a blow dryer. Do not leave your aid in a pocket of clothing to be laundered.
Keep the hearing aid away from excessive heat or direct sunlight. Never leave it on a radiator, near a stove, in a sunny window, in a car glove box, or any other hot place. Do not wear the aid when using a hair dryer or near a sunlamp or heat lamp.
Remove the hearing aid before applying hair spray. It may damage the microphone. If you are often in dusty environments (wood shop, outdoors, etc.), your hearing aid may require more frequent cleaning and maintenance.
Store your hearing aid out of reach of youngsters or pets. It should be stored in its case when not in use. Open the battery door when not wearing the aid to prevent excessive battery drain.
Do not attempt to repair your own hearing aid. Never attempt to open its case. Do not wash or lubricate any part of the aid.
Cleaning: Keep the ear mold and tubing free of obstruction. Clean with a damp cloth and remove any accumulated wax with the provided wax removal tool. Clean the case of the aid by wiping carefully with a dry cloth or tissue. See your audiologist or hearing aid specialist twice a year for cleaning and maintenance.
Hearing Aid Options
Phonak Hearing Aids
Phonak is the trusted innovation leader, offering easy and intuitive solutions for every client – regardless of type of hearing loss, lifestyle, personal preferences, age or budget. Discover the benefits of the comprehensive Phonak portfolio of products and services. Share the superior quality and performance of Phonak technology with all of your customers! We are proud to present these exciting new products:
This new custom aid raises the industry benchmark once again. The premium product family now features speech in wind, auto steroZoom, DuoPhone, NoiseBlock and much more.
This new behind-the-ear aid offers all the features of Virto with the option of slim tubing or custom ear molds. This style of aid allows a variety of fitting options for a range of losses and anatomical requirements.
New Audeo Q
A compact behind-the-ear option with the ability to include telecoil. Ideal for combining discreet style with compatibility for landline telephones.
New Naida Q
The latest in a popular line of power behind-the-ear aid. Naida Q combines the latest technology of the Quest platform with the moisture resistant casing patients have come to rely on.
Phonak ComPilot-The hub that wirelessly connects your hearing aids to a variety of communication and media devices.
Phonak RemoteMic-Together with the ComPilot, it takes the strain out of conversations, especially when the person you want to hear is at a distance.
Phonak TVLink S-Together with the ComPilot, it wirelessly streams stereo sound quality from your TV to your hearing aids.
Widex Hearing Aids
Featuring Zen, a new program designed to reduce effects of tinnitus with random sounds. Some patients may experience immediate improvement in their symptoms, while most will see some improvement over time.