How does a hearing aid work?
A hearing aid is an electronic device with a small microphone to amplify weak sounds through a small speaker. You must have some ability to hear for the device to work. And because hearing loss affects people in different ways, you need to get the right device for you.
Why do people lose their hearing?
Medically, there are two major types of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss involves the outer and middle ear. It usually results from a wax blockage, a punctured eardrum, birth defects, ear infections or it may be genetic. Conductive hearing loss generally can be corrected surgically.
Sensorineural, or nerve, hearing loss involves damage to the inner ear. It can be caused by aging, prenatal and birth-related problems, viral and bacterial infections, genetics, trauma (such as a severe blow to the head), exposure to loud noises, the use of certain drugs, fluid buildup or a benign tumor in the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss usually can't be repaired surgically; it's usually corrected with a hearing aid.
What are the different kinds of hearing aids?
There are several types of hearing aids. Each type offers different advantages, depending on its design, levels of amplification, and size.
There are four basic styles of hearing aids for people with sensorineural hearing loss…
Do all hearing aids work the same way?
The inside mechanisms of hearing aids vary among devices, even if they are the same style. Three types of circuitry, or electronics, are used…
1) Analog/Adjustable: The audiologist determines the volume and other specifications you need in your hearing aid, and then a laboratory builds the aid to meet those specifications.
2) Analog/Programmable: The audiologist uses a computer to program your hearing aid. The circuitry of analog/programmable hearing aids will accommodate more than one program or setting.
What can I expect from my hearing aids?
Hearing aids will not restore normal hearing or eliminate background noise. Adjusting to a hearing aid is a gradual process that involves learning to listen in a variety of environments and becoming accustomed to hearing different sounds. Try to become familiar with hearing aids under nonstressful circumstances a few hours at a time.