Hearing Aids Information and Reviews
Welcome to HearingAidsGuide.net; your free resource dedicated to informing you about the range of styles, types and brands of hearing aids on the market. Our website provides a variety of information that includes how to choose between different brands of hearing aids and learning about the technology of the various types of hearing aid styles.
Hearing aids can do wonders for people that are hard of hearing in helping them communicate and participate better during daily activities. However, even though such people would find huge advantages in using a hearing aid, only a small percentage of those that would benefit from one actually use one.
How Do Hearing Aids Help?
Hearing aids are designed to improve the speech comprehension and hearing of people that have suffered hearing loss through disease, injury or aging, which has caused damage to the hair cells within the inner ear resulting in what is called sensorineural hearing loss.
How hearing amplifiers and aids then help is by magnifying the sound vibrations that enter the ear, so that the working hair cells can detect these larger vibrations. Of course there are varying degrees of hearing loss that can be suffered which effects how much amplification is needed by an individual. In addition, in some situations where a person's inner ear has been damaged to a great extent, even a hearing aid may not be able to provide enough amplification to be effective.
The Different Types of Hearing Aid Styles
There are several different hearing aid styles including in-the-ear (ITE), behind-the-ear (BTE) and canal.
- In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are used for people suffering from mild to severe hearing loss. They are made from hard plastic and are positioned inside the outer ear.
Some of the ITE hearing aid models have certain features such as telecoil. Rather than receive sound through the microphone of the hearing aid, the telecoil feature receives sound through the circuitry, which makes it easier to hear conversations on telephones and also in public venues that have induction loop systems installed.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are the styles that most people envisage when think of hearing aids. These are positioned outside the ear in a plastic case, which is where the electronic parts are situated. A plastic earmold then sits inside the outer ear which is what the sound is transferred through from the outer casing.
People may also choose a slightly different kind of BTE hearing aid which is open-fit. This sits completely behind the ear with only a narrow tube inserted into the ear canal. Some people prefer this type because the ear canal remains open and the sound of a user's own voice doesn't sound as "plugged".
- Canal hearing aids come in two styles; the completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid. The CIC style is barely visible as it fits in the ear canal, whereas the ITC style is designed and made to fit the shape of a person's ear canal. Both the CIC and ITC style are used by people that have mild to moderately severe damage.
As you can imagine, these styles are small which means that they are sometimes difficult to remove or to adjust. In addition, because of their size they aren't usually as powerful as other hearing aid styles or include features such as a telecoil.
The Types of Hearing Aids for Sale
Hearing aids are available with two main types of electronics; analog and digital, which effects how they work.
Analog Hearing Aids
The analog type hearing aids work by converting sound waves into amplified electrical signals. They are custom built to meet the needs of person wearing them and programmed according to the recommendations of a otolaryngologist or audiologist. As analog hearing aids are adjustable the settings can be set according to the environment they are being used in. For example a person may require a different setting when in a quiet room to when in a crowded cinema.
Digital hearing aid prices are usually higher than analog prices. Whereas analog hearing aids convert sound waves into electrical signals, digital aids convert into numerical codes. Being digital the hearing aid is more adjustable and so can meet a user's needs more specifically. The numerical codes are able to include loudness and pitch information too. This means that digital hearing instruments can be programmed to amplify varying frequencies differently, and also to focus on sounds from certain directions.
Hearing Aid Reviews and Consumer Reports
At HearingAidsGuide.net we know how important it is to get value for money and buy the best hearing aids you can afford. Because of this, we aim to provide guides, reviews, ratings and comparisons of many of the popular hearing aid brands and some of the lesser-known brands too. We also compare the various types of hearing aids and provide free advice to help you make a good choice when you buy a hearing amplifier or aid.