Choosing the right hearing aid
Hearing loss affects 1 in 6 adults in the UK. The effects are often gradual and can lead to people becoming socially isolated and losing confidence. Hearing aids can help to restore hearing and improve quality of life. However, finding the right hearing aids for you can be very difficult. If you have been searching the Internet you will know that they are available in many shapes and sizes; levels of technology and price.
We can help…
We specialise in finding the right hearing aid for you by matching your cosmetic, performance and budget preferences with available products. We will carry out a full assessment and provide you with a written report detailing a range of options and suggest the best match for your requirements. By remaining independent, we are able to resource aids from any manufacturer, thus increasing choice.
The only way to evaluate a hearing aid is in your own environment, so we ensure that you have ample opportunity to take aids away and use them at home/work etc. If they don’t meet your expectations we will find out why and change the plan if necessary.
Everyone experiences hearing loss differently and you are an individual so no two solutions will be exactly the same.
Types of hearing aid
ITE aids offer a good compromise for people who don’t want to wear a hearing aid behind the ear, but still want an aid that is easy to handle. They are generally more powerful than smaller aids and can benefit from technologies such as directional microphones. They are easy to operate, even for people with dexterity problems.
ITC aids are small and easy to use. They can be provided with adjustable volume control and program selection or set up to work fully automatically. All the electronics are housed within the bottom third of the ear.
CIC aids fit deeply into the ear canal and are the smallest aids available. In some cases they can be almost “invisible” providing a deep enough fit can be obtained.
These are very small behind the ear aids which connect to the ear by means of a very thin tube. The receiver (or hearing aid speaker) is housed in the ear canal. The physical separation of the hearing aid microphone and the receiver allow a greater margin for feedback so the ear can be left un-occluded. They are particularly suitable for high frequency hearing loss and provide a very good cosmetic solution.
BTE aids fit behind the ear and are connected to an ear mould designed to deliver sound into the ear. They are available in a range of styles, colours and technologies.
Although many hearing aids may look the same, it is the technology inside which actually determines the price.
There are around 8 or 9 hearing aid manufacturers worldwide and they are all offering similar products which are priced by performance levels. (Occasionally one of them comes out with something different and revolutionary but this advantage does not usually last for long as it is copied or improved upon by the other manufacturers within a period of eighteen months or so.) The manufacturers all use different proprietary names for their signal processing features and microphone characteristics etc. so for the lay person it is difficult to compare one hearing aid with another.
The price is usually a reflection of the sound quality and performance. In general, the more you pay, the better the product will work in more challenging listening environments, such as in groups, parties, theatre and meetings etc. However in our experience very few people need the top level of performance unless you have a particularly challenging lifestyle. We will only ever recommend the level of performance we think you need.