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Hearing Aids

One of the best ways to correct hearing loss and reconnect with the world around you is to use hearing aids. At Hearing & Balance Doctors, our doctors of audiology help many people in finding the right hearing aids for their hearing and lifestyle needs. We strive to educate our patients on the advancement of modern hearing aids and help them to achieve benefits hearing aids can provide.

What Are Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids are the most common hearing aids on the market, and they process sound in a particular way to deliver a quality hearing experience.

With a digital hearing aid, sounds are captured by the receiver and then sent for processing through a signal processing microchip in your hearing aid. This chip can sort through sounds and determine what should be suppressed (i.e., sharp, loud noises) and what to amplify (i.e., speech). Then the sounds are reconverted into an analog signal to be sent to your auditory nerve.

This process occurs in all digital hearing aids, though most sophisticated hearing aids have greater technology to offer better and more natural sound quality.

Basic Types Of Hearing Aid Styles

When it comes to correcting sensorineural hearing loss, finding the right hearing aids is essential. Hearing aids are not simple, one-size-fits-all devices, which is why it is so necessary to work with experienced professionals to ensure your hearing aids are fitted and programmed for your specific hearing needs.

As modern hearing aid technology has evolved, there are more hearing aid styles available. The styles have different pros and cons, as the size and shape can affect what technology is available. At this time, the basic hearing aid styles are Behind-The-Ear (BTE), In-The-Ear (ITE), and rechargeable.

Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aids


The most basic and recognizable style of hearing aid is the BTE style, where the main body of the device rests behind your ear, with a tube extending into your ear. There are 4 variants of the BTE style, and all major hearing aid manufacturers produce these hearing aids.

One of the major benefits of BTE style hearing aids is that most of them are powerful enough to accommodate all levels of hearing loss and often have more technological features than ITE hearing aids. However, since the BTE style hearing aids rest behind the ear, they are fairly visible which not everyone appreciates.

In-The-Ear Hearing Aids


Evolved from the BTE hearing aids, the ITE hearing aids are designed so the main body of the device rests in your ear. How far they are positioned in the ear is dependent on which variant, of which there are four basic types.  

ITE hearing aids are relatively popular hearing aids thanks to their low-profile styles which range from inconspicuous to practically invisible. These hearing aids are all custom-made, that way they fit correctly in your ears. However, their smaller size means ITE hearing aids have shorter battery lives and can hold less technology.

Rechargeable Hearing Aids


Currently, all rechargeable hearing aids are BTE style hearing aids, as the rechargeable battery requires more room than can be given in the smaller styles. However, some hearing aid manufacturers are redesigning their rechargeable hearing aids to look sleeker and more attractive.

Looks aside, rechargeable hearing aids generally remain powered for 18-24 hours, depending on the hearing aid manufacturer. Some of them, like the ReSound LiNX Quattro, comes with a portable charging station, so you never have to deal with dead hearing aids.

How To Determine If You Need Hearing Aids

As the human body does its best to adapt to hearing loss, it can be hard to determine if you need hearing aids to improve your hearing. However, there are many ways which hearing loss can affect your overall quality of life, some ways which you may have noticed are:

Everyone sounds distorted or like they are mumbling. Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, you may perceive the speech of those around you as mumbled or oddly distorted. Often, consonants like s, sh, f can be lost, making speech hard to understand.

You struggle to hear in crowded areas. Hearing loss can leave your hearing muffled, an effect which is amplified when you are in crowded areas such as shopping malls

The volume on your media devices is near max. It is natural to turn up the volume when you are having a difficult time hearing a certain program, but if you notice that your audio media is always turned up near or to the max volume, it can be a sign of hearing loss.

Your tinnitus symptoms have increased. Hearing loss and tinnitus can often be connected symptoms. So, if you have noticed that your tinnitus has become worse, it can be an indicator that you are struggling with hearing loss to a greater degree.

Hearing children’s and women’s voices is difficult. High-frequency hearing loss is the most common type of sensorineural hearing loss. Once you start losing the higher frequency ranges, it can be tough to hear people who speak with a higher register like women and children.

You avoid social gatherings due to hearing discomfort. Social gatherings can become painfully uncomfortable when you have hearing loss, as it is hard to follow conversational threads when other noises are present. It can leave you feeling isolated and frustrated, but you don’t have to stay that way.

Ways Hearing Aids Improve Your Life

While some people believe that hearing aids provide only minimal benefits, having your hearing improved by hearing aids can provide multiple, far-reaching benefits. Some of the top ones are:

  • Helps protect you from cognitive decline – Recent research has strongly connected hearing loss and increased cognitive decline. This decline can be prevented if your hearing loss is caught early on and corrected with the use of hearing aids.
  • Assists in preventing progressive hearing loss – Hearing loss when untreated can become progressively worse. Rather than allowing your mild or moderate hearing loss to progress to a more serious degree of hearing loss, the use to hearing aids could prevent further loss of hearing as your auditory nerve will finally receive more input.
  • Allows you to hear more easily during gatherings – Many styles of digital hearing aids have excellent sound compression and filtering systems which helps recognize and lower background noises while delivering amplified speech to your ears.
  • Can reduce tinnitus recognition – Not only can improve hearing with hearing aids help lessen the impact of your tinnitus, but many modern hearing aids come with tinnitus support to help you manage your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Helps you reconnect with the sounds around you – There is much to be said for enjoying the simple delights of birds singing and the movement of wind through to trees. You don’t have to be cut off from these sounds any longer when you use hearing aids to improve your hearing.

How Hearing & Balance Doctors Determine Hearing Aid Recommendations

One of the first things our doctors of audiology will do to determine what hearing aids will be right for you is to provide you with a diagnostic hearing evaluation. With the evaluation, they can:

  • Find the degree of hearing loss you are dealing with currently.
  • Determine what type of hearing loss.
  • See if you have other hearing-related struggles, such as loss of speech recognition.

Once these factors and others are determined, our audiologists will work with you to find out what hearing aids will also fit with your lifestyle needs and budget requirements to help you find the right set of hearing aids for your needs.
So, if you are ready to work with highly experienced doctors of audiology to regain your hearing with hearing aids, contact us for a consultation with one of our specialists today.