What is a hearing aid?
A hearing aid is an electronic device that makes sounds louder to assist people with hearing loss hear better. It has a microphone to pick sound, an amplifier to make sound louder and a speaker to deliver sounds to the ears. Incoming sound is processed before it is delivered to the ear by the speaker. Different sound frequencies are amplified by different amounts to suit the hearing loss. Hearing aids are tuned to suit both the hearing loss and the shape of the individual ear canal.
Modern digital hearing aids also have features to reduce feedback and wind noise. They can also reduce the effects of background noise, helping wearers hear better in noisy places like cafes and restaurants.
Hearing aids are available in a wide range of styles and prices. Some issues to consider when selecting hearing aids include:
- The degree and type of your hearing loss
- Lifestyle and individual listening requirements
- Cosmetic considerations
- Budget and financial considerations
We will discuss these options with you and help you select an appropriate hearing aid. We offer a six week obligation-free hearing aid trial*, so that you can experience the benefit these devices can provide and decide if the hearing aids meet your needs and expectations.
* Conditions apply
A brief summary of the different styles of hearing aids is as follows:
BTE – Behind the ear
The device sits behind the ear (they do not interfere with spectacles) and sound is delivered to the ear by a plastic tube that terminates in either a custom-made mould or a standard plastic dome that fits in the ear canal.
RITE / RIC – Receiver in the ear / Receiver in the canal
Similar to a BTE, the device sits behind the ear and sound is delivered to the ear by a speaker that sits in the ear canal. The speaker is fitted with a custom-made mould or a standard plastic dome and is connected to the device by a thin wire.
ITE – In the ear
A single-piece device that sits in the ear with a part of it sitting in the ear canal. The shape of these devices is custom-made to fit individual ears.
ITC – In the canal.
A single-piece device that fits mainly in the canal, with a portion fitting in the ear. It is similar to an ITE but smaller. This device is custom made to fit individual ears.
CIC or Completely in the canal
A single-piece device that fits within the ear canal. It is similar to an ITC but smaller in size. This device is also custom-made to fit individual ears.
The cost of the device depends on the level of technology not its shape or size
Hearing aid fitting:
Hearing aids are custom fit to suit not only the hearing loss of an individual ear, but also the shape of the ear canal. The output of the hearing aid is measured and adjusted at various different frequencies of sound.
- Hearing aids are now available with rechargeable batteries!
This means that you don’t have to worry about changing small batteries frequently.
- The latest hearing aids have advanced noise management systems!
These features allow the wearer to hear even in ‘complex listening environments’ and noisy places.
- Some hearing aids can be connected to smartphones!
Phone conversations can be heard through the hearing aids, and apps allow control of the hearing aid.
- Modern hearing aids have excellent feedback cancellation systems!
These systems control the feedback and whistling that used to occur when people or objects got too close to the wearer.