What is a hearing aid?
Loss of hearing has long been a problem and as is the case with mankind’s problems, a solution has to be found in order to survive. Hearing aids have been in existence since the dawn of the 17th century so it goes a long way in showing how far they’ve come as a technology to help out those affected with hearing loss.
Also sometimes referred to as a deaf aid, a hearing aid is a device made to improve hearing. This device comes in handy to those who experience hearing loss which can come about due to a variety of reasons. Hearing aids in many nations are considered medical devices and as such its dissemination is regulated by the appointed medical authority responsible for availing said devices.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Before we get on, it is important to consider what exactly brings on hearing loss. We list a few for you to look out for:
#1 Chronic diseases
Some diseases can directly affect the health of your ears and as such could leave damage in the form of hearing loss.
#2 Buildup of ear wax
Earwax is an important part of maintaining your ear’s health since it blocks out dirt and bacteria but not cleaning them out as appropriate can result in some blockages eventually leading up to hearing loss.
#3 Continuous exposure to Noise
Be it either because of work, environment or whatever reason, continuous long term exposure to noise can lead to hearing loss.
Some medicines have been in fact proven to have hearing loss as a side effect. As such it is imperative to look out for these as much as possible.
Injuries to your head or ears can sometimes eventually lead to partial or long term hearing loss.
History of Hearing Aids
As earlier mentioned, the first version of hearing aids was made way back in the 17th century. It was a device called an ‘ear trumpet’ which basically just conical contraptions meant to receive sound waves and direct them to the ear. Over the years, hearing aid technology has greatly advanced over a number of technologies before arriving at the now current and modern available ones.
Digital hearing aids are what the latest in hearing aid is currently. To reach this point, as earlier mentioned, the design and technology involved in creating the hearing aid has greatly evolved to make it smaller, better, long lasting and less of a hassle to deal with ergo not hampering the quality of life of its user in any way.
Types of Hearing Aids
According to the The hearing aid council., quite a number of people have various levels of hearing impairment that already have or will eventually necessitate the need for a hearing aid. Hearing aids are available for selection based on design, size and required amplification levels. So here we take a look at the types of hearing aids available.
Behind the Ear Aids
This type has the device placed behind the ear and transmits the received sound waves through an earmould or through a small fitting.
In the Ear Aids
These types fit inside the ear canal. They are commonly custom made to fit the wearer’s ear and cannot be easily seen unless someone directly tries to look inside the ear.
Consumer Programmable Aids
As the name may probably imply, these kinds allow the user to set up the hearing aid’s settings according to their own preferences. They can also have the manufacturer’s remotely tune up the settings for them as well.
Disposable Hearing Aids
These types essentially have an irreplaceable battery, a feature meant to do away with the hassle of having to constantly switch in new batteries for your device. Despite this, the battery in place runs for quite a while before running out since its power consumption is well regulated.
In the canal Aids
This type has some of its parts designed in a way to allow the entire hearing aid to fit in the ear canal.
Invisible in Canal Aids
Also known as “completely in the canal” aids, these types are designed to have the complete device fit inside the ear, leaving little or no evidence of a hearing aid to the eye.
Hearing aids can be acquired privately or through the NHS. It is imperative to make sure you get to choose whichever option you think will serve you best. Resources like NIH or CHC can provide more insight into this area so that you can be fully aware of the choices that you make.