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Hearing Aids

Everyone will notice you hear better, but no one will notice your hearing aid.

What Are Hearing Aids?

Hearing aids are small electronic devices that you select with the help of your Audiologist. They are worn in or behind your ear. They make some speech louder so that a person with hearing loss can listen, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities. Hearing aids can help people hear more in both quiet and noisy situations. However, only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one.

How Hearing Aids Work

A hearing aid has three basic parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The hearing aid device receives sound through a microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.

How Hearing Aids Can Help You

Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. The damage can occur as a result of disease, aging, or injury from noise or certain medicines.

Hearing aids magnify sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The greater the damage to a person’s hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification needed to make up the difference. However, there are practical limits to the amount of amplification a hearing aid can provide. In addition, if the inner ear is too damaged, even large vibrations will not be converted into neural signals. In this situation, a hearing aid would be ineffective.

Types Of Hearing Aids

At Hearing Care Specialists, we understand that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to assisted listening devices. Our Audiologists are ready with hearing devices for mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, and even severe hearing loss — and one of them will be perfect for you.

There are several different styles of hearing aids. A patient’s lifestyle is a primary factor in selecting the appropriate type of instrument. Additionally, the degree of a patient’s hearing loss determines the power, frequency and options required to maximize the benefit. Other deciding factors include manual dexterity abilities, cost, and cosmetic concerns.

A patient will make the decision about what type of instrument to use with expert advice. It is important that the patient share their needs and preferences with Dr. Pfaff so that together they can arrive at the best solution. Dr. Pfaff is accustomed to guiding this discussion and helping his patients make the right choices.

The most common hearing aid styles are listed below:

BTE Hearing Aid Behind­-The­-Ear Hearing Aids — Behind­-The -Ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of a hard plastic case worn behind the ear and connected to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. Sound travels from the hearing aid through the earmold and into the ear. BTE aids are used by people of all ages for mild to profound hearing loss.Behind­-The­-Ear Hearing Aids — Behind­-The -Ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of a hard plastic case worn behind the ear and connected to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. Sound travels from the hearing aid through the earmold and into the ear. BTE aids are used by people of all ages for mild to profound hearing loss.
There are two styles of BTE instruments—one where the receiver (speaker) is in the ear canal (RITE), or one where the receiver is inside the instrument (Ear Hook).

 

RITE Hearing Aids RITE (Receiver-in-the-Ear) Products All RITE solutions have their electronics, battery and microphone inside a casing worn behind the ear.  An ultra thin, sculpted wire carries the amplified sound to a speaker that fits in the ear canal.  Receiver-in-the-Ear technology works well for hearing losses ranging from mild to severe.
RITE advantages:

  • Superior cosmetics
  • More natural sound quality
  • Comfortable open fitting
BTE w Ear Hook BTE with Ear Hook BTEs with ear hooks are connected to the ear canal via plastic tubing.  The tubing is attached to an ear mold which is custom made from and ear impression to perfectly replicate the size and shape of the patient’s ear. Most BTEs with ear hooks can be fitted with a cosmetically appealing thin tube solution.
BTE with Ear Hook advantages:

  • Flexible physical fit options
  • Accommodates super power needs
  • Best choice for young children

In­-The-Ear Hearing Aids — In­-The­-Ear (ITE) hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear and are used for mild to severe hearing loss. The case holding the electronic components is made of hard plastic. Some ITE hearing aids may have certain added features installed, such as a telecoil.

Telecoil Hearing Aids — A telecoil is a small magnetic coil that allows users to receive sound through the circuitry of the hearing aid, rather than through its microphone. This makes it easier to hear conversations over the telephone. A telecoil also helps people hear in public facilities that have installed special sound systems, called induction loop systems.

Custom Molded Hearing Aids Custom-Molded Products – These products are made from a customized impression of the patient’s ear.  They come in a variety of sizes with the largest known as ITE (In the Ear,) the mid size models as ITC (In the Canal,) and the smallest are known as CIC (Completely in the Canal).  Patients have a choice of technology in this category of products, ranging from basic to advanced.  The fitting and capabilities of these products are determined on an individual basis after evaluation of patient circumstances, attributes and ear size.

Canal Hearing Aids — As the name suggests, canal hearing aids fit into the ear canal and are available in two styles. The in­the­canal (ITC) hearing aid is made to fit the size and shape of a person’s ear canal. A completely­in­canal (CIC) hearing aid is nearly hidden in the ear canal. Both types are used for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Hearing Aid Costs and Guarantees

There are many styles and types of hearing devices. The cost of hearing aids range from $300 to $3,500, which means you can hear and speak clearly in all kinds of situations for as little as $1 per day.

All hearing aids come with an adjustment or trial period, typically 30-to-60 days from the date of purchase. At Hearing Care Specialists we guarantee results or your money back!

What to Do NOW

If you think you might have hearing loss and could benefit from hearing aids, call us directly and schedule a no-­obligation appointment with an Audiologist.

Call Hearing Care Specialists today to find out how hearing aids
can help you hear and speak with more clarity.

Hopkins, Minnesota:  (888) 853-1120
Glencoe, Minnesota:  (877) 864-0069
Watertown, Minnesota:  (888) 853-1120
   
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