Did you know that the average person waits seven years after they realize they have hearing loss before seeking help? Think about all the conversations they’ve missed.
One of the main reasons people neglect to get their hearing checked is because they’re worried about having to wear bulky hearing aids. But while hearing aids of the past may have been considered a little too obvious, hearing aids today are smaller, smarter and much more discreet.
Don’t miss out on the first babbles of your grandchild, a conversation with a friend or the words of your medical doctor. Here’s what you need to know about getting your first hearing aid.
A Closer Look at How Hearing Technology Has Changed
In the past, hearing aids carried with them a severe stigma. Because of their bulk and visibility, many people were unwilling to wear them. In addition, patients continued to struggle to hear in the presence of background noise, because previous versions of hearing aids simply amplified sounds.
Thanks to great advances in modern digital technology, today’s hearing aids are much more powerful, intelligent and discreet. Hearing aids can now be customized to fit both your own stylistic preferences and come in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes. There are even types of hearing aids that are so small & comfortable you’ll probably forget you are wearing them.
No matter which style you choose, it’s important to understand that hearing aids do not restore your hearing; instead they amplify the sounds you want to hear around you. Here are the various styles:
- In-the-canal and completely-in-the-canal: these devices are contained in a very small case that fits either partially or totally in your ear canal. They are by far the smallest and least visible and contain most of the technologies available in hearing aids.
- In-the-ear hearing aids: These devices are slightly larger and fit totally within your outer ear. These hearing aids are typically more powerful and offer a larger battery, which can result in longer battery life.
- Behind-the-ear hearing aids: as the name suggests, these devices rest behind the ear in a small housing that is connected to an earmold via a clear tube. This is especially appropriate for those with significant hearing loss, or small children.
- Behind-the-ear open fitting aid: this style of aid contains a small housing that rests behind your ear. A thin tube runs from the case into the ear canal, where it is secured by a silicone dome or an acrylic tip. Many adults prefer the cosmetic and listening advantages this style offers.
- Receiver-in-canal aids: these are similar to behind-the-ear devices, except that the speaker is placed within the ear canal and it is connected to the device via a thin wire. These are quite popular with adults because of their low visual profile and versatility.
In addition to considering the style of hearing aid, it’s also important to consider the level of technology available. There are technologies to fit all lifestyles and budgets. It is important to work with your hearing care specialist to select the correct technology and style for you.
Hearing aids are an investment in your quality of life. Miracle-Ear has hearing care specialists at over 1,200 offices across the U.S., and ongoing care is always included when you purchase from them. They offer free regular checkups, office visits and follow-up care, which includes testing, cleaning and even a thorough ear inspection, to make sure your hearing aids are performing optimally.
If you’re still debating whether or not it’s worth getting your hearing checked, consider this: you have nothing to lose, and so much to gain.