Hearing aids: expectations and reality

“Hearing aids are ultra-compact electroacoustics that are always too loud. They need to amplify the sound a million times, but they don’t generate noise. It’s a sea of ​​sweat, a cloud of talcum powder, or both. It needs to work without failure. It’s a product that defer purchases for 10 years after it’s needed, but defer purchases for 30 minutes that need repair. “ – By Samuel Lybarger. Changed by Wayne Staab with Sam approval for Audiotone in 1979.

Sounds like a big order. We live in an era of many advances in hearing aids, but they are still not perfect and have many drawbacks.

At the age of 10, I was diagnosed with moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss. This means that my hearing loss is caused by nerve damage. There is no cure for this.

Hearing loss is a complex problem of many causes, and not all children are lucky enough to manage it in mainstream schools. Many people have to go through special education channels, often significantly limiting career opportunities.

What is the difference between the hearing impaired and the hearing impaired (HOH)?

Hearing loss

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) article “Hearing Loss and Hearing Loss,” hearing loss means severe hearing loss. This means that you have little or no hearing and use sign language for communication.

Hearing loss covers the range from mild to severe. This means that you still have some hearing and can communicate through spoken language. Hearing can be improved by using auxiliary equipment such as hearing aids and cochlear implants.

How can hearing aids help with hearing loss (HOH)?

Hearing aids improve hearing and enable better communication. Therefore, I was able to attend a mainstream school, go to college, and have a fulfilling career.

But most importantly, it saves you from living in silence – it allows you to communicate and participate in social interactions.

For many years I have been wearing analog hearing aids and I first put on digital hearing aids in my early 40s.

What is the difference between analog and digital hearing aids?

Analog hearing aid

Analog hearing aid

Analog hearing aids assist hearing by increasing the volume. This process is not selective. This means that all sounds are enhanced – not only audible sounds, but also inaudible sounds.

Imagine trying to hear against this background of enhanced noise.
The drawback of analog hearing aids is howling. Not only is this whistling sound stimulating, it interferes with communication and affects our hearing.

Feedback is caused by several factors, including:

  • If the earpiece is not inserted correctly.
  • Another object is too close to the hearing aid. For example, when talking on the phone.
  • The movement of the muscles around the ears when laughing and eating.
  • Turn up the volume in difficult situations to improve hearing.

There is no easy solution. Lowering the volume works, but it does not serve its purpose. In certain situations, there is simply no alternative and you need to get the most out of it.
Telephone conversations are difficult enough without the ability to read lips and body language.

But imagine you’re talking on the phone, and suddenly nothing! Silence only … All you can do, without warning that your battery is just dead, is to tell others your dilemma and promise to call them back.

The range of analog hearing aids is limited and should be replaced if the hearing loss exceeds that range. The average is every 5 years, which is the cost you need to budget with the battery.

Digital hearing aid

Digital hearing aid

Getting a digital hearing aid can change your life! It is designed to clear the sound rather than turn it up. Produces a completely different type of sound. It’s like comparing analog radio to stereo.

This can best be explained by some memories after wearing the first digital hearing aid.

The ambulance passed by, so I turned it on. Where analog hearing aids increased the volume to an unbearable level, it was now just outside noise.

Imagine going to lunch with your husband in a busy shopping center. I couldn’t speak much before, but this time it’s completely different because all the noise drowned out my peers. Thanks to the noise reduction feature of the digital hearing aid, you can hear him talking to you. Not only that, you can actually hear people talking at a nearby table. You can’t follow their conversation, but you can hear them. Much better than being hit by constant noise!

At home, I keep asking about small noises that I can’t identify. All the noise you couldn’t hear before. It’s as simple as hanging a faucet or listening to a dog while walking on a tile.

Feedback is also significantly reduced, which is only an issue if you need to turn up the volume.

Digital hearing aids can be fine-tuned to the correct hearing profile, creating a better hearing experience. You can also create different profiles. For example, a general profile for everyday use or a profile for a noisy environment with enhanced noise reduction. You can also have a profile for watching TV or going to concerts for a more stereo-like experience.

Another important profile is for using the phone. The telecoil function increases the volume of one ear used on the phone and decreases the volume of the other ear.

Unfortunately, this feature didn’t work very well for me, so I have to switch to this profile manually.

The big advantage is that your digital hearing aid will warn you (about 20 minutes) when the battery is low. This is sufficient for most situations, such as ending a call. Or forgive yourself from your current company.

The range of digital hearing aids is much wider. Therefore, unless something dramatic happens, it can always correspond to your hearing profile. That is, as long as the physical component survives.

Therefore, it is expected that digital hearing aids can be worn longer. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Hearing aids cannot be repaired indefinitely as the parts are for a limited time only.

Digital hearing aids are expensive! This means that you need to start saving immediately for the next set. But considering how it improves your quality of life, it’s worth a cent.

It’s robust, but it’s still not 100% compliant with the bill. It should be cleaned regularly to prevent damage from moisture (sweat) and to avoid swimming or showering. Also, the disinfectant ingredients we use all the time for pandemics clog hearing aid speakers. And talcum powder – not even close!

Do you think you often have a hard time listening? Get your hearing test as soon as possible. If a hearing aid is recommended, don’t hesitate for a while. With current advances in technology, digital hearing aids not only improve hearing, but also improve the overall quality of life.

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Author: Susan van der Walt

Author: Susan van der Walt Freelance Writer | Book Blogger Writing Portfolio: https: // Medium Profile: https: // Website: za


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