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Kathy Mellott, AuD
How To Purchase Hearing Aids
Audiology Unlimited
. http://www.audiologyunlimited.net/

How To Purchase Hearing Aids

Most of the hearing aids are dispensed and fitted by audiologists using advanced computerized procedures and state-of-the-art equipment to individualize their fittings. Options are fully discussed with patients based on the results of a hearing evaluation. Follow-up care and hearing aid accessories are available, as well as extensive hearing aid services to patients with hearing loss.
Hearing aids are
available in four styles
Behind-The-Ear (BTE) the hearing aid is in a small casing over the ear. It is held in place by a custom earmold and clear tubing connected to the hearing aid to send sound to the car.
Open-Fit the hearing aid sits behind or on top of the ear with a thin tubing, fit with an eartip that is inserted into the ear canal. The ear is kept very open, but hearing for high pitches is greatly improved.
In-The-Ear (ITE) is a custom-made device that fits entirely in the ear.
In-The-Canal (ITC) is a custom-made device that fits within the ear canal.
Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC) is a custom-made device that fits down into the ear canal and is the least visible of all the hearing aid styles.
Hearing aids can be divided into three major technologies
The most advanced level of technology is digital signal processing (DSP). These hearing aids can provide millions of calculations per second on the signals received at the microphone before they are amplified and sent to the listener. More than one microphone can further enhance the understanding of speech in noise. Automatic reduction to eliminate feedback or “whistling” is available.
After a comprehensive hearing test, your audiologist will tell you if you are a candidate for hearing aids. Medical clearance is a law, but can be waived in certain cases. Styles and technologies will be discussed, an impression of your ear will be made, and policies, procedures and costs will be explained.
During the hearing aid fitting, the hearing aids will be tried to be sure they fit, that there is no whistling, to verify that the hearing aids are providing appropriate amplification, and to counsel you on the use and care of the hearing aids. It is important to express to your audiologist any problems you are experiencing. Your audiologist can adjust the hearing aids to provide better performance.
You should consult your audiologist annually to check your hearing and measure the hearing aids to assure maximum benefit, or sooner if you notice a change in hearing or the hearing aids. Hearing-aid technology is advancing at a very rapid pace, and you should contact your audiologist regularly to determine if these advances might provide even greater benefit than your current hearing aids.

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