When you should update or change your hearing aid?
A small electronic device worn in or behind the ear that aids in hearing is called a hearing aid. The main function of a hearing aid is to help an individual with hearing impairment in listening and communicating. It can help individuals to listen in both quiet and noisy environments.
The 3 basic components of the hearing machine are - a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The microphone receives the sound and converts the sound waves into electrical signals which are then sent to the amplifier. The amplifier, after increasing the power of the signals, sends them to the ear via the speaker.
There are various types of hearing aids available in the market. The most common types on the basis of their placement are.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) - In this type of hearing aid, a hard plastic case is worn behind the ear which is connected to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer part of the ear. The plastic case that comes behind the ear holds all the electronic parts. The sound reaches the ear through the earmould. These are very commonly used and are helpful for age groups and for all types of hearing loss.
- In-the-ear (ITE) - this hearing aid fits completely inside the outer ear. It also consists of a plastic case that holds all the electronic parts. Although it can be worn by people of all age groups, it is not commonly used for children as it needs to be replaced as the ear grows in size. It can be used in mild to moderate hearing impairment.
- Canal Aids - these devices fit directly into the inner ear. These are of two types - In-the-canal, which fits directly in the ear canal and is made according to the shape and size of the individual’s ear; Completely-in-canal is almost hidden in the ear canal. Both of these hearing aids are used for moderate to profound hearing impairment.
On the basis of the functioning and working, there are 2 types of hearing aids:
- Analog - In these devices the sound waves are converted to electrical signals and are then amplified. These hearing aids can be individualized according to the need of the person and recommendations by the audiologist. This provision of customizable circuits can be used in all types of hearing aids and are usually less expensive.
- Digital -In these devices, the sound waves are converted into numerical codes before they are amplified. Since the code has the information regarding a sound’s loudness, it can be specially programmed to amplify frequencies accordingly. These aids can also be customized to focus on sound on the basis of its direction It can also be used in all types of hearing aids.
The best hearing aid is one that fits into the ear well and is able to suppress the environmental noise along with providing a good sound quality.
A hearing aid can range anywhere from INR 4000 to INR 3,00,000. It depends on the type of hearing aid, the circuitry used, features, and the technology level of the product.
Like all electronic devices, hearing aids also come with an expiry date. Howsoever well maintained the hearing aids are, there is no guarantee that they are gonna last forever. The most important aspect here is to decide about the correct time for a change.
Before changing the hearing aids, one has to weigh all the available possibilities so as to be best suitable for the new conditions.
When does the hearing aid require a change/ update?
- Change in health/ hearing:As the age increases, the hearing loss may worsen and may call for a change in the hearing aid. In case the hearing loss has progressed from severe to profound, it's time to change the hearing aid. Also, a change in health conditions like arthritis can make the in-the-ear hearing aids difficult to operate.
- Change in the lifestyle:Changes in the current lifestyle might make an individual decide to change the hearing aid he/she is currently using. The development of a new physical activity or taking up a new sport might require one to advance to a higher model of hearing aid that is better able to mask the external noises. Similarly, if an individual is more confined to his/ her home, they might prefer a more basic version.
- The hearing aid is more than 5 years old:The life of most hearing aids is 3-7 years. Even if the device is taken good care of, the device gets damaged due to continued exposure to moisture and the ear wax. The functioning of the old device is not as efficient as the newer models. Also, with time, the technology changes, and the model might become obsolete.The modern hearing aids might have better technology with regards to minimized background noise or being connected to a smartphone or any other device via bluetooth.
- Financial factor:With better prices, comes a technologically advanced hearing aid. With time and better finances, one might want to opt for a better hearing aid with technically better features.
- Attitude towards hearing aids:It often takes time to adapt to a hearing aid. Also with time, one realizes which type of hearing aid is best suitable for one’s needs.
Tarang speech and hearing clinics are the best audiometry and speech therapy clinics in Delhi. In addition to providing hearing aids, they also provide complete rehabilitation services to people with hearing loss and speech difficulties. Under the able guidance of a certified speech pathologist and an audiologist, this state-of-art center provides a full range of hearing, language, and speech facilities, and the latest technology hearing aids to people with hearing loss and speech defects.
Because of their personal approach and the quest to provide high-quality hearing and speech services, they have 100% customer satisfaction and this is what makes them a highly trusted center for dealing with speech and hearing issues.