Hearing loss is a common problem globally. But, thanks to technology, this is one that’s also easily treated. If you’re lucky enough that your hearing loss is still within a manageable range, a hearing aid is a gift. Finally, for the first time, you’ll get to know what it’s like to hear things. Moreover, with advancements in technology, the hearing aids of today are more advanced than it was many years back. Each of these models or types have their respective pros and cons.
A hearing aid is the most common treatment form for hearing loss. But, before you fully decide on having one, you must also first get to know the basics about it. The more informed you are about your decision, the lesser pitfalls can happen. Remember that using one is a life-changing, but also big experience to make.
That said, here are some of the important things that you need know about hearing aids.
1. A Brief Background of Hearing Aid
A hearing aid refers to that small, electronic device, fitted on the ear that can help people who suffer from hearing loss. Generally, this small device holds one piece of a computer chip to amplify and process sound, microphone to pick up sound, battery for power, and speaker to send the signal of the sound to the wearer’s ears.
For more advanced models today, some of these have the power to be connected to a rechargeable battery and a smartphone.
2. There will Be an Adjustment Period
Right after putting the hearing aid on the ear, the patient will begin to process sounds. Essentially, this will be the very first time that they can finally hear. But, it’s also important to note that there’ll be an adjustment period. Depending on how your ear, brain, and body process the presence of this new device. The adjustment can be anywhere from six weeks to six months. After which, it’ll already seem natural for you to wear this device every day.
At the very beginning, a hearing instrument specialist from expert clinics like www.mdhearingaid.com will be there upon fitting to adjust the settings and fit of your hearing aid. That way, all the potential side effects are avoided right on the get-go. This will help make your transition easier.
During the adjustment period, these tips will come in handy:
- If there’s anything that’s a concern for you, bring this up with your hearing instrument specialist or doctor immediately;
- Always work with a specialist to ensure you’ve got the right hearing aid matched and adjusted to your needs;
- Clean your hearing aid regularly, and keep your ears clean, to clear them of dust, grime, and moisture that can potentially lead to the build-up of debris and bacteria.
3. How Hearing Aids Works
Hearing aids works wonders for those who need it. For most people who suffer from hearing loss, the problem lies in tiny hair cells found in the inner ear. When this tiny hair cells are responsible in sending sound signal in the brain. When this tiny hair cells are damage, they result in hearing loss.
Hearing aid will work together with the remaining healthy hair cells to amplifies the sound going to the ear. The hearing aid will magnify the sound vibrations while the remaining hair cells will convert it into neural signal. The auditory nerve will then carry the signal to the brain.
4. There are Potential Side Effects
Because a hearing aid is a machine that’s foreign to the ear and brain, it’ll take the ears some time to adjust to its presence. During this adjustment period, there are potential side effects that are considered normal. Eventually, these side effects will die down.
Some of these include:
Excessive Feedback or Noise
There are normal annoying sounds that are usually present in a hearing aid such as hissing, whistling, and crackling.
This can start to happen when you’re wearing a hearing aid that has an improper volume level. It’s also a normal side effect, as your brain is still adjusting to hearing loud noises again, or for the first time.
Inability to Hear Properly
This is a minor problem that you may be able to fix by yourself. Your hearing aid specialist will teach you how to solve sound problems on your own, before going back to them. In most cases, it can be as simples as keeping your ears clean and making sure that nothing is blocking the microphone or the receiver.
Soreness Around The Ear Area
These can happen especially if the hearing aid isn’t properly fitted. This is something that has to be done professionally.
Itchy Ear Canal
Whenever your ears start to feel itchy, no matter how tempted you may be to remove your hearing aid and scratch your ear canal, don’t do it. This will only cause infection. Rather than scratch it, clean your ears instead with a moist cloth. That way, you can keep it moisturized and it can handle the hearing aid staying there.
Most of these side effects are quite manageable. But, if there’s anything that’s already causing discomfort, be sure that you’ll see your specialist immediately.
5. There are Different Types of Hearing Aid
To ensure utmost comfort and performance to the wearer. Below are the two type of hearing aids. Here’s a brief description of each:
In-The-Ear (ITE) Style
As its name suggests, this kind of hearing aid is worn inside the ears, positioned right at the ear canal. These are usually custom-fit by your doctor and specialist at the time of consultation. Not only are they custom-fit according to function, but they’re also made to match your ear’s skin color, so they’re less visible.
Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Style
This is the more frequently known kind of hearing aid. It sits on top of, or behind the outer ear, usually through a dome style or a custom-fit earmold. Because it’s worn on the outside, it doesn’t block the entire opening of the ear canal. These can also be customized according to your skin tone and preferred style and size.
With these insights, perhaps now you’re more convinced that using a hearing aid could be the best solution for you. Why deprive yourself of listening to music, talking, and all the other beautiful gifts that come along with the sense of hearing. If you’re up to using a hearing aid, talk to your doctor about this. That way, you’re guided smoothly through the adjustment process, and up until your mind and ears finally get used to this device.