Important Facts You Should Know Before Buying Hearing Instruments
By Liz Brassine, Au.D., Hearing Services of McKinney, Collin County LIVING WELL Magazine
There are five important facts that one should know about hearing and hearing instruments. Understanding these will help you to make a better decision for yourself or a loved one.
Hearing instruments can improve the quality of life. With over 34 million Americans having a significant hearing loss, this equates to half of all hearing impaired individuals being over the age of 65. The National Council on Aging conducted a study which showed that 71% of people who wear hearing aids reported an improvement in life overall.
The more you know, the better your decision will be. In order to understand your hearing, you need to understand how the ear works, causes of hearing loss and how it affects communication. Sensorineural hearing loss is commonly caused by the aging process. There are some common signs that go along with this loss including people around you seeming to mumble, the TV is turned up louder and certain high pitched sounds are more difficult to hear. Hearing loss also has an impact on speech understanding. In order to improve understanding, hearing instruments need to be fit appropriately and one needs to learn to use communication strategies.
Today, one doesn’t have to be self-conscious about hearing instruments. Hearing devices are smaller and more sophisticated than ever. Some are so small and so effective, even you may not realize you’re wearing them. The latest style is called the invisible in the canal hearing aid and is virtually unseen. Of course, for those that prefer behind-the ear devices, we have newer and smaller versions of that as well called receiver in the canal.
With directional microphone technology, hearing instruments actually help you to hear better in background noise. Directional microphones allow sound to be selectively amplified, enhancing speech from in front and reducing noise from behind. This makes conversational speech easier in noisy environments. Hearing aids today have also become more of a communication system, allowing them to connect wirelessly in order to hear television and telephones better.
Finally, finding the right hearing professional can help you find the right hearing device. You should expect your visit to include the evaluation of your hearing status and eligibility for amplification, learn the cause and degree of hearing loss, determine your specific communication needs and what technologies fill those needs, and explore the options and styles that are available.
If you have any concerns about your hearing, contact an audiologist today.
Liz Brassine is a Doctor of Audiology and the owner of Hearing Services of McKinney.