When hearing aids were first being made they were called body aids. Those evolved into the temples of the glasses hearing aids, and then into the behind-the-ear hearing aids. Body hearing aids are rarely used now and the temple hearing aids are no longer made.
Every style of hearing aids has a unique set of benefits, and a hearing test can help us determine the right match for you.
We work with most major brands of hearing aids. We recommend the following manufacturers who are creating hearing aids that help with the challenges of distinguishing between speech and noise and are very beneficial when moving from one sound environment to another.
Many of the all-in-the-ear hearing aids are best used for a more uniform hearing loss where one's hearing has decreased at the same level in all frequencies. All-in-the-ear hearing aids are typically available in deep canal, which are the smallest, and canal, that are a little larger and can be seen in the canal.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are predominantly used for hearing losses in the higher frequencies. Some behind-the-ear hearing aids are used for more profound hearing loss because all-in-the-ear hearing aids are not capable of amplifying and giving proper gain for people with higher or greater loss. Behind-the-ear hearing aids are becoming more popular today.
Behind-the-ear and all-in-the-ear hearing aids are the hearing aids of choice.
Some people will use another type of hearing device known as a cochlear implant, which is used for the profoundly deaf and requires surgery. With a cochlear implant, wires are surgically implanted into the cochlea and a transducer is placed between the scalp and skull. A magnet type of coil is placed over the transducer and a wire is run to a device similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid. That will transmit electronic signals to the cochlea where our nerve hearing begins. Specialized surgeons will perform the placement of a cochlear implant, if needed after our initial testing.
Hearing aid technology and innovation is changing rapidly, and will continue to benefit people in very dramatic ways. For instance, there is now a smartphone app that allows you to change the volume of your hearing aid and the equalization of the sound, all while leaving the hearing aid in your ear and without having to touch it.
Want to hear the TV directly in your hearing aid? You can. There is a device that you connect directly to the TV and the audio is sent directly to the hearing aids.
We have set up a device with body guards. They use a wireless system that utilizes hearing aids in their communication with each other.
One of our patients works in a processing plant where he often has to communicate with others. He uses a hearing aid that is specialized and connected by Bluetooth to his radio. This allows him to hear the other workers, and he uses a remote to talk back to them. The remote also allows him to connect to his digital audio player and listen to his music and cell phone.
Today’s hearing aids have digital technology that uses small computer chips and can be programed to adjust for reducing background noise and improving speech and noise interference. You can go to a restaurant and it will increase the recognized speech and improve speech understanding in that environment.
Generally, we can and do reduce frequencies in areas where there is a lot of noise. We won’t block out an entire frequency because you still want to be capable of hearing and aware of a lot of background sounds. Just like with our natural hearing, we are able to hear a lot of things but we tune it out even though it is there. Even when something like a clap of thunder goes off in the background, we are still capable of hearing that while we’re talking with someone. We don't want to block out any frequencies because we want you to be aware of your surroundings.
Local hunters using our hearing aids don’t worry about the wind and turn up the hearing aid volume to hear elk bugling.