What is a hearing aid?
A hearing aid is an electronic device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss. Firstly, sound is taken in through a miniature microphone where the sound is converted into an electronic, digital signal. Secondly, signal is processed, boosted, and modified to meet the user’s hearing loss. These can be considered as medical device and are fitted behind the ear or in the ear.
Who should use hearing aids?
Hearing aids are most useful for those with hearing loss brought on by damage to the tiny sensory cells in the inner ear, known as hair cells, in terms of enhancing hearing and speech comprehension. Sensor neural hearing loss is the name given to this kind of hearing loss. The harm may be brought on by illness, ageing, or trauma from noise or specific medications.
How does hearing aids help in hearing loss?
Hearings aids are broadly helpful in the cases of sensorineural hearing loss. Though the hearing aids cannot restore the normal hearing but certainly improve the hearing of soft sounds by amplifying, which you were missing.
Hearing aids have three parts
•Microphone- It receives the sound and converts into digital signals
•Amplifier- It increases the strength of the digital signal
•Speaker- It produces the amplified sound to the ear
How do I know that I have hearing loss?
Certain signs and symptoms may help you decide if you have hearing loss-
•Muffling of speech and other sounds.
•Frequently asking others to repeat or speak slowly, clearly and loudly.
•Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd.
•Avoidance of social gatherings.
•Withdrawal from conversations.
•Trouble hearing consonants.
How many styles of hearing aids are available in the market?
•Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) - Small, discreet and quick to fit. Perfect for first-time hearing aid wearers.
•Behind-The-Ear (BTE) - Most common hearing aid style. Available in
standard, mini or power.
•Invisible (IIC) - Rest in the second bend of the ear canal where no one can see them.
•Completely-In-Canal (CIC) - Only the tiny removal handle of the hearing aid shows outside of the ear canal.
•In-The-Canal (ITC) - Custom hearing aid that fits in the ear canal. Smaller
portion shows in the outer ear.
•In-The-Ear (ITE) - Custom hearing aid that fits within the outer portion of the ear.
(Wanted to direct with limited info…. *These are taken from our website)
What are Analog and Digital hearing aid?
Hearing aid work differently depending upon the electronics used. These are basically two types - Analog and Digital
Analog- These hearing aids work by making sound waves louder. They amplify all sounds, including noise as well (background sounds) as speech, in the same manner. The receiver then sends the sounds into your ears as it is. These hearing aids have microchip that can be programmed, depending on the environment in which it is being used. The benefit of this feature is that you can switch the setting to hear in various situations, such as church, cinema, sports venue, library, restaurant etc. Settings can be manually controlled by pushing the button on the hearing aid.
Digital- The technology in digital hearing aids operates a bit differently than the analog models. Tiny, powerful computers in the hearing device convert sounds into digital signals through binary code and produce a precise duplication of the sounds. The sophisticated technology in the device gives them the ability to differentiate between environmental sounds and speech sounds. This improves the performance of the hearing aid by allowing it to filter out background noise and feedback.
How digital hearing aids are better than analogue hearing aid?
Analogue hearing aid makes continuous soundwaves louder. These hearing aid essentially amplify all sounds (e.g.: Speech and noise) in the same way. As the listening environment changes, the hearing aid settings may be changed by pushing a button on the hearing aid. These are mostly used traditionally and less common. Digital hearing aids are common. They have all the features of analogue programmable aids, but they convert sound waves into digital signals. Microchips in digital hearing aids analyses speech and other environmental sounds and store multiple program settings.
The digital hearing aids allow for more complex sound processing during the amplification process which may improve performance in certain situations, such as background noise and whistle reduction. They also have greater flexibility in hearing aid programming so the sound they transmit can be matched to the needs for a specific pattern of hearing loss.
Which hearing aid will be best for me?
Before deciding for a hearing aid, it is suggested that you get your hearing test done. After this you and your audiologist should select that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Price is also a key factor as hearing aids range from hundreds to lakhs of rupees. Similar to other equipment purchases, style and features affect cost. However, don’t use price alone to determine the best hearing aid for you. Just because one hearing aid is more expensive than another doesn’t necessarily mean that it will better suit your needs.
Do check services covered like warranty, insurance on the device maintenance & repair costs, upgrade opportunities and customer service.
How can I care for my hearing aid?
Proper maintenance and care will definitely extend the life of your hearing aid.
•Always keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture. Use of dehumidifier kits help to absorb moisture and disinfect.
•Clean hearing aids as instructed. Ear wax and ear drainage can damage a hearing aid.
•Avoid using hair spray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
•Remove hearing aids while sleeping
•Turn off hearing aids when they are not in use.
•Replace dead batteries immediately.
•Keep replacement batteries and small aids away from children and pets.
What does “binaural “means?
Binaural hearing allows us to use frequency and clues to determine the direction and origin of sounds. The importance of binaural hearing lies in how our brain processes how we hear using both ears together.
What distinguishes an amplifier from a hearing aid?
Hearing aids are categorized as class 1 medical devices by the food and drug administration (FDA). Hearing amplifiers, on the other hand are not medical devices and are not regulated by the FDA.
Hearing aid includes input from a hearing professional, such as an audiologist. Hearing amplifier does not require a prescription or a visit to a hearing aid professional.
What are rechargeable hearing aids?
Unlike hearing aids with conventional disposable batteries, rechargeable hearing aids have built -in- batteries, that don’t need to be taken out on a regular basis. In a manner similar to how the mobile phones recharge, you dock your hearing aids on a charging unit rather than removing the batteries directly.
What are advantages of rechargeable hearing aids?
•No additional cost of batteries.
•Hassel free convenient use.
•All -day continuous use without keeping stock of batteries.
What type of battery do the rechargeable hearing aids has?
Lithium-ion batteries are used in rechargeable hearing aids.
Are rechargeable lithium-ion batteries safe to use?
Yes, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are a safe and dependable source that can be recharged many times when used under normal/standard conditions. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in mobiles, tablets etc. Problems may arise when batteries suffer damage by being exposed to water, high temperature, and physical damage.
How do hearing aids work?
Essentially, hearing aids include three parts that allow them to work-
the microphone, amplifier, and speaker. Hearing aids amplify sounds via these three parts. First, the microphone receives natural sound and then converts this into a digital signal. Then, the amplifier works to increase the strength of this signal. And finally, the speaker is used to produce amplified sound in the user’s ears.
How do I know if I need hearing aids?
Many people with hearing loss first notice they are asking their friends and family to repeat more frequently, or they feel everyone around them is mumbling. Getting your hearing evaluated is the first step to treatment. Your audiologist will test your hearing to help determine if you have hearing loss and if you can benefit from hearing aids.
How long will my hearing aid last?
The life of a hearing aid is about five years. It is important to have regular appointments to ensure your hearing aid is functioning and programmed properly. Many hearing aids are still functioning well after 5-7 years, while others may need re-programming, repair, or replacement.
How long does it take to get used to a hearing aid?
Each person’s experience will be different. Hearing aids can help you hear sounds you have not heard before (or have not heard for many years). relearning takes place in the central auditory system, and the brain needs some time to sort out any new information entering the ears. You will have to use min. 3-4 weeks which allows time to adjust to your hearing aids and evaluate their benefit. Based on your experience, programming changes can be made to help with the adjustment process. Most patients require several weeks of consistent hearing aid use to adjust to their new hearing aids.
Will a hearing aid restore my hearing to normal?
Hearing aids can make understanding speech much easier. However, they do not restore the natural functioning of your ear.
Do hearing aids use special batteries?
Hearing aids can have rechargeable batteries (lithium ion) or use disposable batteries (zinc air). Rechargeable hearing aids come with a charger that plugs into an outlet or USB for patients to charge their hearing aids. If you chose a model that uses disposable batteries, the batteries can be purchased at hearing aid centers as well as online retailers, such as amazon, flipkart etc.
I have hearing loss in both ears. Is it necessary to wear two hearing aids?
Here’s why two hearing aids can be better than one:
-Better hearing in a noisy environment: research has shown that speech understanding in noisy environments is optimized when the brain receives sound input from both ears.
-Improved ability to localize sounds: the brain uses the sound input from both ears to help determine the direction of the sound source. Having a hearing aid in only one ear can alter this sense of direction making it more difficult to localize sound.
Can I buy one hearing aid?
One hearing aid is probably suggested if a person has hearing loss in one ear and normal or near normal hearing in the other ear. However, two hearing aids would most likely be advised when hearing loss is present in both the ears, whether it is same level or a different level in each ear, because with the help of binaural hearing aid user will get better sound localization, balance hearing and best sound quality.
Can I wear hearing aid whole day?
Yes, you can wear hearing aid whole day. But it is recommended to remove hearing aid while sleeping and bathing.
Can I exchange or upgrade my old hearing aid?
earKART offers certain benefits when you buy earKART’s products. Under such benefits you can exchange your existing hearing aid with our upgraded device by paying the differential.
Do I get insurance on my hearing aid?
Yes, earKART offers one-year free insurance on hearing aids.
What are the timings of customer support center?
Our support center is active from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Sunday is closed.