2018 Hearing Aid Guide: Know the Facts
Hearing Aids have come a long way in recent years. Analog hearing aids have improved, but the real improvement in hearing aid technology is the advent of the digital hearing aid. With the improvement in hearing that comes with a digital hearing aid, many consumers are making the switch and never looking back.
For people with sensorineural hearing loss, having a high functioning, quality hearing aid is a must. Loss of hearing is common, especially in those between the ages of 65 and 74. According to the National Institute on Deafness almost one- third of people in this age range experience some form of difficulty hearing, ranging from minor to major hearing loss. And that number spikes at 75, where about half of people 75 and older reported some form of hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is the typical hearing loss experienced, and its caused by damage to the tiny hair cells in the ear. These cells are responsible for converting the sound waves that enter the ear into electrical signals for the brain to interpret. These cells can suffer damage over the course of one’s natural life, leading to the hearing degradation that plagues you as you age.
Hearing is important, not only to your ability to function in society but also to your health and well being. Hearing loss is linked to a number of health issues, both physical and mental. Knowing this, its only natural to want the best hearing aid possible, the top of the line, the cutting edge technology. Previously the most common hearing aid was the analog hearing aid, which comes in a variation of two major styles, In-The-Ear (ITE) and Behind-The-Ear (BTE). ITE hearing aids typically fit inside the ear canal and are better for mild to moderate hearing loss. BTE hearing aids have more physical space for hardware and functionality, making them better suited for those with moderate to severe hearing loss. However, in recent years, new innovation in hearing technology has changed the market.
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Enter the digital hearing aid, which comes with better battery life, better performance, and a new set of features. Digital hearing aids don’t suffer from the same draw backs that analog hearing aids have in the past. Gone is the low pitched buzzing common to analog hearing aids. The hearing aid market is now dominated by digital devices which offer new and amazing features, such as background noise suppression and dynamic or automatic adjustment. While digital hearing aids do tend to cost more than analog hearing aids, the benefits are worth the extra cost. Hearing aids can cost several hundred dollars to several thousand, with digital hearing aids almost always costing more than analog hearing aids, although there are deals available.
Perhaps the most important aspect of modern day hearing aids is the use of wireless technology. Analog hearing aids functioned as separate units, forcing you to adjust one or both to properly hear a conversation or enjoy a movie. Today’s digital hearing aids operate as one with wireless technology, meaning you no longer have to worry about two finicky devices. Instead you have a single device to monitor, one that also has greater customization and capabilities.
Digital hearing aids do require a bit of maintenance, as professional technicians are required to install and check the hearing aids every year or so, to ensure you are getting the most out your device. Even so, a digital hearing aid is worth the extra effort.
Here is a handy hearing aid guide that highlights the benefits of digital hearing aids compared to traditional analog hearing aids:
Digital Hearing Aid Guide Highlights:
- Increased Battery Life
- Increased Power
- Better Capabilities
- Enhanced Customization
- Feedback Suppression
- Background Noise Reduction
- Directional Microphones
Analog Hearing Aid Guide Highlights:
- Some ease of use