Hearing Aids in Palm Harbor, FL
With so many hearing aids available today, choosing the right one can be difficult and time-consuming. Understanding the options available can help to make the process easier and help to assure the one you select will best meet your needs.
For more information on hearing aids, call Gulfcoast Ear, Nose & Throat Associates at (727) 942-4005 to schedule an appointment today in Palm Harbor with audiologist Dionne Murphy, Au.D.
Why Should I Consider Hearing Aids?
Hearing loss can have a great impact on your life. Your hearing affects all areas of your life including your work, your relationships, and your emotional health. Hearing aids can make a big difference, especially if you pick the right ones and get help adjusting to them.
Many of the horror stories about hearing aids were due to lack of advancements in the computer technology realm. With profound improvements over the last decade, many setbacks about hearing aids are no longer relevant.
You may want to consider hearing aids, because you may not realize how poor your hearing has become, or you may find yourself asking others to repeat themselves frequently.
Your audiologist can listen to your concerns and help determine if hearing aids are right for you.
How Do Hearing Aids Work?
Most hearing aids are now digital and powered with a traditional or a rechargeable battery.
Most of the older analog units are being phased out and hearing aids are sleeker than ever.
In a hearing aid, a small microphones collect sounds from the environment. A computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code.
The hearing aid analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers, sometimes called receivers.
Your hearing aids can be uniquely programed to your hearing loss to give you the best outcome and improve your hearing.
What Should I Know Before Buying Hearing Aids?
With so many hearing aids available today, choosing the right one can be difficult and time-consuming. An audiologist can help analyze your hearing loss and help you determine which hearing aid may be right for you.
Before you purchase:
- Choose a reputable audiologist
- Be sure your hearing aid has a trial period
- Understand the warranty and what it covers
- Consider purchasing insurance to cover loss or breakage
Understanding the options available can make the process easier and help you select which one will best meet your needs.
What Styles of Hearing Aids are Available?
While most hearing aids perform in basically the same manner, different styles are available to accommodate your budget and your personal preferences.
An important point to remember is that the smaller the hearing aid, the shorter its battery life and the more it will cost.
Inside-the-ear. These hearing aids are molded to fit completely inside a patient's ear. Ideally they can help to improve mild to moderate adult hearing loss. Since they fit inside the ear they are the least noticeable, have less wind noise and are comfortable with telephone use. However, because of their size, they may not have volume control adjustments and other features. Exceptions to this are the new digital units, which in some cases are self-adjusting.
In-the-canal. This type of hearing aid differs from the 'Inside the ear' types in that it does not fit as deeply in the ear canal. This enables it to have volume adjustment and other features. Because of the way it fits, it may not be suitable for small ears.
Half-shell. This style hearing aid is a slightly larger version of the 'in the canal' type and is appropriate for moderately to severe hearing loss. They will have features like volume adjustments, fit most ears and be easier to handle because of their size.
Full shell (In-the-ear). Full shell, in-the-ear, style occupies the overall bowl-shaped area of a person's outer ear and helps to address mild to severe hearing loss. It is however more visible, more susceptible to wind noise but, because of its larger batteries, will last longer.
Behind-the-ear. This type of hearing aid hooks over your ear and lies behind the ear. The unit picks up amplified sound and carries it to a molded earpiece that fits within your ear canal. It will accommodate most ages and people and is suitable for all types of hearing loss. Because of its size it is the most visible of the hearing aid types, however, it can provide better sound amplification than the other types.
Open fit. These small behind-the-ear units convey sound through a small tube or wire to a dome or speaker within the ear canal. They are best for persons with mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss where low-frequency hearing is normal. Since they leave the ear canal open, they do not plug the ear like small in-the-canal types. However, they do use small batteries that do affect the duration of their use.
Today's hearing aids feature options that can improve a patient's ability to hear under specific conditions. Some key features include:
- Directional microphones to improve one's ability to hear in an environment with substantial background noise
- Telephone adapters to make it easier to hear while on the telephone
- Wireless technology
- Bluetooth compatibility to provide a convenient interface for devices such as cell phones
- Rechargeable batteries
- Remote controls or app integration
- Direct audio input
- Synchronization across two hearing aids
Getting Used to Your Hearing Aids
We realize that it may take some time to adjust to your hearing aids. Be sure to be patient with yourself and talk with your audiologist if you have any concerns. There are often adjustments that can be made or other options that may fit your ear, hearing preferences, or your lifestyle.
Schedule an Appointment in Palm Harbor, FL
To learn more about hearing aids or to schedule an appointment in the Palm Habor, call Gulfcoast Ear, Nose & Throat Associates at (727) 942-4005 today. We are just a short drive from Tampa, Clearwater, Dunedin, and Largo.