A Hearing Aid is a device that amplifies sound and transmits it into your ears.
PARTS OF A HEARING AID
A traditional Hearing Aid will have the following components:
- Microphone - this picks up sound around you
- Amplifier - this makes the sound louder for you.
- Receiver - sends sound into your ear. The sound is louder
TYPES OF HEARING AID
Depending upon the Type and degree of hearing loss, patient profile, ear anatomy, etc different types of hearing aids are prescribed. These commonly are:
- ITE - In The Ear - These are discreet and though visible they fit into the ear canal. Though preferred by patients on account of the fact they are practically invisible, the truth is that these hearing aids can only be offered to patients with a mild or moderate hearing loss. Unfortunately, by the time patients decide to use hearing aids their hearing loss is usually in the severe category and these hearing aids may not be adequate.
- RIC - Receiver In canal - This open fit hearing aid uses a slim tube that extends from the hearing aid into the receiver placed in the canal. These hearing aids are slim and sleek.
- BTE - Behind The Ear - These are the most comfortable versatile and most commonly prescribed hearing aids. Microphone lends itself to variations depending upon the patient's requirements.
WHO NEEDS THEM ?
All persons with a hearing loss that leads to Social disability, unable to follow conversation or watching TV too loud, whose hearing loss is of a type that cannot be corrected by medicine or surgery is a likely candidate for a hearing aid.
Early signs of hearing loss are - missing out on conversational speech, asking people to repeat themselves, not hearing call bells or phone rings when others around can hear them, listening to the TV or radio very loud, talking or speaking loudly are all signs of hearing loss. These persons should be tested and a Simple Audiogram should be carried out to determine the type and degree of hearing loss.
HOW SHOULD YOU GO ABOUT GETTING A HEARING AID?
I strongly recommend that in the presence of the above signs of hearing loss, the initial and first point of contact should be an ENT Specialist.
The ENT Doctor can check out your ears and treat you for minor ENT problems which could be causing a hearing loss, including wax in the ears, Middle ear infections etc.
He will then order an Audiogram which will guide the type of hearing aid to be used.
An appropriate Hearing aid is then fitted by an Audiologist who is a highly trained professional who will then take care of your hearing needs.