Hearing Aids

This is a section about Hearing Aids. For information on Hearing, Deafness and Tests to detect the same, please click here.

Hearing aid turns invisible when inserted in the canal

Q) What is a hearing aid?
A) A hearing aid is a battery operated device to make sound louder. Hearing aids are available in different shapes and sizes and can be put either in, or around ones ear. They can be digital or analogue. The type of hearing aid offered depends on ones hearing loss and individual comfort.

Q) How does a hearing aid work?
A) Hearing aids have a built in Microphone that picks up sound. This is then electronically processed and amplified by digital technology or analogue circuits. These signals are then passed on to a receiver in the hearing aid where it is converted back to audible sound which you can hear.

Q) Would I achieve perfect hearing with my hearing aid?
A) Hearing aids can never promise perfect hearing but they definitely make sounds louder to make conversation easier and may help listening on the telephone and television. This facets help build up the confidence of the hearing aid user but won't necessarily make sounds perfectly clear. Important thing here is to note that it takes time to get used to a hearing aid. After acquiring a hearing aid one would need to build up the amount of use of the instrument in order to get used to new sounds and the feeling of wearing ones hearing aid.

Q) Will my hearing deteriorate on using a hearing aid?
A) No. If you use your hearing aid a lot, it will not make your hearing worse. In fact, if you have hissing or buzzing noise in your ear (tinnitus), you may hear it less when using a hearing aid.

Q) How long do hearing aids last?
A) Hearing aids last on average about 5 years, though it really depends on the care and maintenance of the instrument. After that, a newer hearing aid can be fitted to the patient.

Q) What does analogue and digital mean?
A) Hearing aids may have different technologies to process sound, which may be analogue or digital. Digital aids are the newest kind of hearing aids and are increasing in popularity in India. They have a tiny computer chip within them which makes possible to listen to sound comfortably irrespective of the pattern of your hearing loss. Most digital hearing aids can be programmed with different settings for different sound environments. Some adjust them automatically.

Type of Hearing Aids

The hearing aids can be categorised based on the shape / or based on the technology. While the technology required for a patient is ascertained after a rigorous pre-fitting check up and patient's life style profile, the shape is often left to the patient to decide based on their comfort. The following are the models of hearing aids based on the shape:

  Regular Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
            In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids                      
  Completely in the Canal (CIC )Hearing aids

 Invisible in the Canal (IIC) Hearing Aids
 Receiver in the Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids