Skip to content

Hearing Aid

Stop living with the frustrations of hearing challenges. Start with a simple consultation. Don’t let hearing challenges control your life. Improve hearing clarity in 7 days or less. Call Now!

What is a hearing aid?

A hearing aid is a small electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear. It makes some sounds louder so that a person with hearing loss can listen, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities. A hearing aid can help people hear more in both quiet and noisy situations. However, only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one.

A hearing aid has three basic parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The hearing aid receives sound through a microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.

callusapros-Hearing- Aid- 03

What are the different styles of hearing aids?

  1. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of a hard plastic case worn behind the ear and connected to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. The electronic parts are held in the case behind the ear. Sound travels from the hearing aid through the earmold and into the ear. BTE aids are used by people of all ages for mild to profound hearing loss.

    A new kind of BTE aid is an open-fit hearing aid. Small, open-fit aids fit behind the ear completely, with only a narrow tube inserted into the ear canal, enabling the canal to remain open. For this reason, open-fit hearing aids may be a good choice for people who experience a buildup of earwax, since this type of aid is less likely to be damaged by such substances. In addition, some people may prefer the open-fit hearing aid because their perception of their voice does not sound “plugged up.”

  2. In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear and are used for mild to severe hearing loss. The case holding the electronic components is made of hard plastic. Some ITE aids may have certain added features installed, such as a telecoil. A telecoil is a small magnetic coil that allows users to receive sound through the circuitry of the hearing aid, rather than through its microphone. This makes it easier to hear conversations over the telephone. A telecoil also helps people hear in public facilities that have installed special sound systems, called induction loop systems. Induction loop systems can be found in many churches, schools, airports, and auditoriums. ITE aids usually are not worn by young children because the casings need to be replaced often as the ear grows.
  3. Canal aids fit into the ear canal and are available in two styles. The in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is made to fit the size and shape of a person’s ear canal. A completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid is nearly hidden in the ear canal. Both types are used for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

    Because they are small, canal aids may be difficult for a person to adjust and remove. In addition, canal aids have less space available for batteries and additional devices, such as a telecoil. They usually are not recommended for young children or for people with severe to profound hearing loss because their reduced size limits their power and volume.

callusapros-Hearing- Aid- 04

How can hearing aids help?

Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. The damage can occur as a result of disease, aging, or injury from noise or certain medicines.

A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The greater the damage to a person’s hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification needed to make up the difference. However, there are practical limits to the amount of amplification a hearing aid can provide. In addition, if the inner ear is too damaged, even large vibrations will not be converted into neural signals. In this situation, a hearing aid would be ineffective.

How can I find out if I need a hearing aid?

If you think you might have hearing loss and could benefit from a hearing aid, visit your physician, who may refer you to an otolaryngologist or audiologist. An otolaryngologist is a physician who specializes in ear, nose, and throat disorders and will investigate the cause of the hearing loss. An audiologist is a hearing health professional who identifies and measures hearing loss and will perform a hearing test to assess the type and degree of loss.

How hearing devices work

Someone says hello

callusapros-Hearing- Aid- 02

We hear the hello

A microphone picks up the sound and converts it into an electrical/digital signal.

An amplifier increases the strength of that signal. In more sophisticated devices, the signal is manipulated by advanced processing.

A receiver/speaker converts it back into sound and sends it to the inner ear. The brain “hears” and understands the sound as speech.

Do all hearing aids work the same way?

Hearing aids work differently depending on the electronics used. The two main types of electronics are analog and digital.

Analog aids

Analog aids convert sound waves into electrical signals, which are amplified. Analog/adjustable hearing aids are custom built to meet the needs of each user. The aid is programmed by the manufacturer according to the specifications recommended by your audiologist. Analog/programmable hearing aids have more than one program or setting. An audiologist can program the aid using a computer, and you can change the program for different listening environments—from a small, quiet room to a crowded restaurant to large, open areas, such as a theater or stadium. Analog/programmable circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids. Analog aids usually are less expensive than digital aids.

Digital aids

Digital aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, similar to the binary code of a computer, before amplifying them. Because the code also includes information about a sound’s pitch or loudness, the aid can be specially programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others. Digital circuitry gives an audiologist more flexibility in adjusting the aid to a user’s needs and to certain listening environments. These aids also can be programmed to focus on sounds coming from a specific direction. Digital circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids.

What are the benefits of hearing aids?

Hearing aids will not make your hearing perfect, but they make sounds louder and clearer, reducing the impact hearing loss has on your life.

Hearing aids can:

  1. help you hear everyday sounds such as the doorbell and phone
  2. improve your ability to hear speech
  3. make you feel more confident when talking to people and make it easier for you to follow conversations in different environments
  4. help you to enjoy listening to music and the TV, at a volume that’s comfortable for those around you

But hearing aids only help if you still have some hearing left, so do not put off getting help if your hearing is getting worse.

callusapros-Hearing- Aid- 05

Which hearing aid will work best for me?

The hearing aid that will work best for you depends on the kind and severity of your hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss in both of your ears, two hearing aids are generally recommended because two aids provide a more natural signal to the brain. Hearing in both ears also will help you understand speech and locate where the sound is coming from.

You and your audiologist should select a hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Price is also a key consideration because hearing aids range from hundreds to several thousand dollars. 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 does not necessarily mean that it will better suit your needs.

A hearing aid will not restore your normal hearing. With practice, however, a hearing aid will increase your awareness of sounds and their sources. You will want to wear your hearing aid regularly, so select one that is convenient and easy for you to use. Other features to consider include parts or services covered by the warranty, estimated schedule and costs for maintenance and repair, options and upgrade opportunities, and the hearing aid company’s reputation for quality and customer service.

callusapros-Hearing- Aid- 06

How can I care for my hearing aid?

Proper maintenance and care will extend the life of your hearing aid. Make it a habit to:

  • Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture.
  • Clean hearing aids as instructed. Earwax and ear drainage can damage a hearing aid.
  • Avoid using hairspray or other hair care products while wearing hearing aids.
  • 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 is the difference between analog and digital hearing aids?

Analog hearing aids

  1. Make continuous sound waves louder.
  2. Amplify all sounds in the same way (some analog hearing aids are programmable)
  3. Have a microchip that allows the aid to have settings programmed for different listening environments.
  4. Can store multiple programs for various environments.
  5. Allows you to change settings as the listening environment changes.

Digital hearing aids

  1. Have all features of analog programmable aids, but convert sound waves into digital signals and produce an exact duplication of sound.
  2. Analyze speech and other environmental sounds through computer chips.
  3. Allow for more complex processing of sound during the amplification process that may improve performance in certain situations (background noise and whistle reduction).
  4. Have greater flexibility in hearing aid programming so that the sound transmitted can be matched to the needs for a specific pattern of hearing loss.
  5. Provide multiple program memories.
callusapros-Hearing- Aid- 07

Why do hearing aids cost so much?

Hearing aid costs are typically bundled with other services to ensure the hearing devices you purchase match your or your loved one’s specific hearing needs. This is frequently why hearing aids are so expensive.

However, a bundled cost model can leave room for upcharges and unclear pricing.

If you’re interested in purchasing a hearing aid and are exploring potential ways to save on costs, ask about unbundling. With an unbundled price, you get a better understanding of what services you’re paying for.

You can also ask for an itemized sheet to really understand your costs. Online stores can also reduce the cost of hearing aids by selling their products and providing consultations entirely online.

Does health insurance cover the cost of hearing aids?

Medicare does not cover the cost of a hearing test, hearing aid evaluation, or hearing aids.

When it comes to private insurance, coverage for hearing aids varies. Although most private insurers do not cover the full cost of hearing aids, some may cover hearing tests and evaluations. It’s best to contact your insurance company directly to determine whether your policy includes hearing aids as a covered benefit.

callusapros-Hearing- Aid- 08

Get Your Hearing Tested, Get an Expert Consultation Free. Our Expert Audiologists Are Committed to Deliver the Highest Levels of Service & Care. Call Today!