There are many different hearing aids available with different styles, features, and cosmetic solutions that can greatly enhance your daily life without hindering your individual lifestyle. All modern hearing instruments have certain characteristics in common: – they are made to selectively increase the volume of the sounds you want to hear. They can make soft sounds audible, whilst at the same time making moderate or loud sounds comfortable, thus providing relief in both noisy and quiet situations.
No hearing instrument can solve every hearing problem or restore normal hearing, but they are designed to provide clear, crisp sound enhancement so that you can hear and understand better.
Digital Hearing Aid Technology
A hearing instrument is basically a miniature computer completing countless processes per second to analyse the sound it is receiving, clean it and produce a sound that is pleasant and helpful for the listener. The speed and sophistication with which this processing occurs is where the cost of the hearing aid varies, rather than the style or size of the instrument. On average every two to three years a new product is released by a hearing manufacturer based on a new platform/chipset. In most cases the new platform is separated into three or four levels of technology. Each level of technology in the platform has a different set of features and as you go higher in the technology, you will generally find improvements in particular environments such as hearing speech in background noise, sound quality and spatial awareness. Choosing the right product and level of technology also comes down to your particular type of deafness, lifestyle and requirements. This is when our audiologists will look at all of your test results and especially your specific needs, to give you the most appropriate advice.
Connect to your Devices
Most hearing aids can have the ability to connect to other devices such as smartphones, TV streamers, remote controls and apps on your mobile phone to help you make the most of your new way of hearing. This might sound complicated, but it doesn’t need to be! We can tailor your solution to be as simple or technological as you like. We will help you to understand how everything works, and be on hand to answer any questions or worries you have at any stage.
Styles of Hearing Aid
There are several different styles of hearing instruments, with multiple designs and colour options. Every hearing instrument is designed and fitted to each person’s hearing needs.
The place where hearing instruments are worn is the simplest way of categorizing the different types. Basically, hearing instruments are worn in the ear or behind the ear.
In The Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)
A hearing instrument style worn “In-the-ear.” ITEs are often called custom hearing instruments because they need to be custom-made to fit each individual ear. The term encompasses several different styles of In-the-Ear hearing aids from full shell filling the whole of the ear, to invisible in the canal versions.
Behind The Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)
Encompass many variations including the most popular style of instrument, the Receiver-In-Canal or RIC. RIC hearing aids are very discreet, very comfortable and almost invisible from the front or side. The receiver (loudspeaker) sits close to the eardrum in the ear canal and provides a natural, clear sound. A thin wire attaches the receiver to a tiny hearing aid behind the ear.
For those requiring a powerful option for severe hearing loss, power BTE models are effective yet still stylish and full of the benefits of modern technology.
Rechargeable Hearing Aids
As we have all become used to charging our phones, laptops, watches etc so we can now do the same with hearing aids. A special case is supplied where you store them overnight to give you at least a full day’s usage – no more running out of batteries!
At the moment, rechargeable devices are only available in BTE styles, but research and development are ongoing to bring the same technology to custom made products so watch this space!
At your consultation, we will listen to your preferences and discuss with you the various options, as not all styles are suitable for each person.