HEARING AIDS

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Last Updated : 1/6/2011
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Fatema Jagmag
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Hearing Aids


What are the different types of hearing aids available?
There are many types of hearing aids available like:
- Body-worn or pocket aids
- Behind the ear (BTE) aids
- In the ear (ITE) aids
- In the canal (ITC) aids
- Completely in the canal or Invisible (CIC) aids
- Spectacle type aids


Type of Hearing Aid

Type of Hearing Aid

Type of Hearing Aid

Type of Hearing Aid


Which hearing aid would suit my child?
The

type of hearing aid

would depend on the child's hearing loss. If the child is less then a year old, then he should be fitted with a body-aid so that he gets amplification even in the sleeping position. But if the child is older, then BTE can also be used.

What are the advantages of a BTE to a pocket-aid?
The BTEs' are compact and they fit at the ear level of the child. In a pocket -aid, here are wires, which get pulled & can break. Also the sound quality may not be same in the pocket-aid compared to a BTE.

When should ITE, ITC or CIC aids be used?
These hearing aids are also called canal products. They fit into the ear & hence eliminate any tubing. Also, the sound is fed directly in the ear similar to what takes place in normal hearing.

But these hearing aids are to be used only by adults. This is because, as the child grows, even his ears grow & so these canal products have to be changed very often.

Is it necessary to have an ear-mould for a hearing aid?
Yes. It is very important. Firstly, it gives a proper fitting so that the hearing aid does not fall off. Secondly, all the sound that is amplified is fed into the ear, which improves the amplification & quality of the sound.

What are programmable &

digital hearing aids

?

These aids generally give better sound quality to the person. These are programmed with the help of a computer to give the desired quality of sound. At times, these hearing aids have more than one mike & they are multi-channelled. All these parameters help in improving the quality of sound & eliminating the extraneous sounds to a certain extent.

Can children be fitted with programmable or digital aids?
Yes, but they have to be fitted precisely & by a highly qualified audiologist so that a child's residual hearing is enhanced & not suppressed.

Are digital hearing aids available for profound hearing losses?
No. Digital hearing aids are mostly for the moderate to severe hearing losses.

DIGITAL HEARING AIDS
What is the latest technique in hearing aids?
These hearing aids work on the digital technology.

What is the difference between the conventional and the digitally programmed hearing aids?
Programmable hearing aids are far more advanced that the conventional types. These types of hearing aids incorporate integrated circuits with a memory chip that can store necessary information. Unlike conventional types, these hearing aids can be modified with the help of a software fed into a computer. Thus the number of parameters that can be altered are relatively more in programmable hearing aid.

What are digital hearing aids?
In a digital hearing aid, the incoming signals are converted to digital signals. This "digitalization" makes its possible to precisely analyze & filter the signals. The signals can be processed in one or more frequency channels. At the end, the digital signal is again converted to its analog form.

What are the advantages of a digital hearing aid?
The advantages are:
- The signal analysis is more sophisticated i.e. there is noise reduction & speech enhancement.
The internal noise of the hearing - aid is reduced.
- It provides "relaxed listening" in noisy listening environments.

What are the benefits to the user?
The benefits are:
- Improvement in quality of life
- Improvement in sound quality
- Higher listening comfort
- Better communication in noisy environment
- Better speech intelligibility in group conversations
- More flexibility in case of progressive hearing less



Contributor Information and Disclosures Fatema Jagmag
Audiologist & Speech Therapist, AURED, SHABA SPEECH & HEARING CENTRE, MASINA HOSPITAL, AL-SADIQUE ENT & OPHTHALMIC HOSPITAL, Mumbai, India


First Created : 1/6/2001
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