If you believe you’re suffering from hearing loss, don’t fret — you’re not alone. An estimated 33 to 36 million Americans experience hearing loss; it is the third most common health problem in the U.S. Many conditions, illnesses, genetics, and even age can contribute to hearing problems. In fact, one out of three people aged 65-74 experience some level of hearing loss. At the age of 75, that ratio goes up to one out of every two people. Fortunately, modern hearing aid technology has made great strides in improving the quality of life for those individuals with hearing loss.
Hearing aids are small electronic devices that help make sounds louder so that individuals suffering from hearing loss can listen, communicate and more fully participate in daily activities. Although hearing aids will not fully restore your normal hearing, it can significantly improve your awareness of sounds. Unfortunately, only one of five people who could benefit from hearing aids actually uses them, and people often experience hearing difficulties for 5-7 years before seeking help. Hearing aids are an investment that shouldn’t be underestimated, because they can help make your time spent with friends and loved ones much more fulfilling and enjoyable.
Do I Need a Hearing Aid?
If you frequently ask people to repeat themselves, prefer a louder volume on the television or other audio electronics, or are having trouble understanding group conversations, it may be time to get your hearing checked. Some hearing problems stem from issues that can be corrected medically without the need for hearing aids — things such as excess ear wax, ear infections, or a perforated ear drum. A proper hearing exam performed by a trained hearing care professional can determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for hearing aids. This process involves using sounds, tones and speech to test the effectiveness of your hearing. It is recommended that everyone over the age of 50 receive regular hearing screenings.
Hearing Aid Fitting is Important
Successful use of hearing aids is more nuanced than just selecting the best device for your hearing needs. It is essential to have your hearing aids fitted by a trained professional to ensure that they provide the correct amount of amplification to maximize your hearing aid benefit.
Before fitting your hearing aids, a professional conducts a thorough hearing test to measure both the softest sound you can hear at different pitches, and the volume of sound that is uncomfortably loud for you. Based upon this information, your hearing aids’ gain can be adjusted to amplify soft sounds so that they are audible and to compress loud sounds so they are not uncomfortable.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are a variety of different types of hearing aids, each suited to different needs. Your professional may recommend one or more types based upon your level of hearing loss, aesthetic preferences, lifestyle and budget.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids involve a small plastic case that hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A clear piece of tubing connects the hearing aid to a custom earmold that fits within your ear canal. Because they can accommodate various earmold types, BTE hearing aids are versatile and appropriate for individuals of all ages. They are also easy to clean and are relatively sturdy.
- Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids are BTEs that utilize a small wire instead of a tube and often times have eartips or domes instead of custom earmolds.
- In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear. ITE hearing aids are larger and more visible than canal hearing aids, but some people find them easier to handle. They also may include a larger battery and features not found in smaller hearing aid styles.
- Canal hearing aids are custom molded to fit within your ear canal, and come in two styles. Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids are usually completely hidden within the ear canal. This style is the smallest and least visible, and is less likely to pick up wind noise. In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids fit partly within the ear canal and usually include features that won’t fit on CIC aids.
Hearing Aid Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I know if I have a hearing problem?
Hearing loss typically happens gradually, and most physicians do not routinely screen for hearing loss. You should consider scheduling an appointment to have your hearing checked if you often have trouble understanding speech, experience ringing in your ears, or are told you speak too loudly.
How will I know if hearing aids are right for me?
Canary Hearing will work with you to ensure your complete satisfaction. Initial follow-up visits and fine-tuning of your hearing aids will help ensure that you get the most out of them. We stand behind our work with a 90 day money back guarantee. .
Will I need two hearing aids?
Usually people who lose hearing as a result of inner ear damage will experience the same degree of loss in both ears. If you only have hearing loss in one ear, a single hearing aid might be sufficient. However, it has been shown that wearing two hearing aids can improve speech recognition, localization, and overall sound quality. Over 80 percent of hearing aid fittings today involve both ears.
Will my hearing aids make me look unfashionable?
Many of today’s hearing aids are designed to be small and discreet. There are also more fashionable “meant-to-be-seen” styles of hearing aids that come in fun color combinations and unique patterns.
How should I care for my hearing aids?
You can extend the life of your hearing aids by keeping them clean with a soft cloth. You should also keep your hearing aids away from heat and moisture. Turn off your hearing aids when you are not wearing them, and replace batteries regularly. If ear wax builds up on or in the ear domes or custom ear molds that you cannot easily remove, see your hearing care professional for assistance.
Better Hearing Starts with Canary Hearing
Are you experiencing hearing loss? Canary Hearing can help. We are a family owned and operated hearing aid dispensing practice with over 40 years of professional hearing correction experience. Our full time hearing care professionals can assist you in selecting and fitting the right hearing aids to help you start living life to the fullest. Get in touch with Canary Hearing today or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also find us at our two Maryland locations:
- Annapolis: 130 Holiday Court, Suite 105 Annapolis, MD 21401 (410-224-4327)
- Easton: 8262 Ocean Gateway Easton, MD 21601 (410-822-4327)