Hearing aids are fabricated with five components: microphones, an amplifier, a loudspeaker, a battery and a computer chip that is automated by the hearing care professional to suit everyone’s unique needs.
Although most hearing aids are created with a similar construction, there can be significant differences in the quality of sound capture and speech recognition between different devices. The higher the quality of the hearing aid, the more natural the listening experience will be. This is because they offer features like bandwidth, automatic volume regulation, noise management and feedback suppression.
The most advanced hearing aids also have a wide range of personalisation options and the ability to connect wirelessly to several devices, such as mobile phones. You will find the most advanced technology in the newer hearing aid models, and these improvements undoubtedly come at a cost. A hearing care professional can recommend a model based on the result of a hearing test and a discussion about your lifestyle and budget.
Caring for hearing aids
Very little care is required. You must keep the hearing aids clean and dry. Every 4 to 15 days, depending on the kind of hearing aids you have, fresh batteries must be inserted. Your audiologist will show you how to do these things when you get the hearing aids for the first time and you will be given a booklet of instructions to take home with you.
How often you change your batteries varies with the degree of hearing loss, the number of hours you wear your hearing aid(s), and the type/size of the battery.
- Keep batteries out of reach of children and pets.
- Store batteries in a cool/dry place.
- Do NOT store zinc-air batteries in a refrigerator.
- When replacing the battery, do not force the battery door closed.
- Check to make sure the battery is the correct size and in the right way.
- When your hearing aid is not in use, open the battery compartment; this will save battery power and allow the hearing aid to dry overnight.
- Keep the ’tab’ on zinc-air batteries until you are ready to use them.
- Extra batteries should be carried in a cloth or leather pouch.
- Do NOT carry batteries loosely with other metal objects (coins, keys, etc.). If metal objects rub together, it could kill the battery.
- Never dispose of batteries in a fire – they may explode.
A 2011 study found that the psychological health as well as cognitive conditions of patients with hearing loss improved within just 3 months of using a hearing aid.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
You are entitled to a 30 to 60 day money-back guarantee for your trial of hearing aids. This does not include the ear molds.