A hearing aid is an assistive device which should alleviate the patient’s communication problems,
it will never restore your hearingto normal, natural hearing!!! However, the new digital hearing aids
strive to be as close to normal hearing as possible. Many clients are very satisfied with the sound quality
and improvement of their communication abilities. Hearing aids today are digital and can be programmed
on a computer according to the client’s specific test results.The technology is extremely advanced, allowing
for natural sound quality.
Hearing aids are available in a variety of styles.
- Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)
- Custom Hearing Aids (ITE)
- Receiver-In-The-Canal or Receiver-in-the-ear Hearing Aids:
It is important to take note that certain hearing aids will be more appropriate for certain hearing losses.
Let your audiologist guide you towards the appropriate option for you! Most hearing aids today, are
digital in nature, basically it is a small computer. This Digital Signal Processing allows enhanced
processing, and more features in a hearing aid and explains why these devices are expensive.
Some features available in hearing aids include:
- Automatic Sound Processing:
Sound is analysed and processed to best amplify speech and reduce noise.
- Multiple Listening Programs:
Different programs for different listening environments.
- Automatic Multiband Adaptive Directionality:
Uses input level of the sound, signal location of the sound and Signal to Noise Ratio to determine
the switch between directional and omni-directional microphones. That means to determine where
the hearing aid’s microphone will ‘focus’.
- Multiband Adaptive Noise Management:
Reduce amplification in frequency regions where background noise is present thus ‘lessening’ the
background noise and enhancing the speech signal.
- Wind Noise Reduction:
Reduces the sound of noise by changing microphone positions and sound processing strategies in
an effort to reduce the amplification of wind noise over the hearing aid’s microphone. This will also
enhance the speech signal.
- Dynamic Feedback Cancelation:
Reduce or eliminate the irritating whistling from the hearing aid without affecting overall hearing
- Environment Detection:
Detect different sound sources and adapt settings to optimise comfort by focussing more on the
speech signal and less on the noise source.
- Data Logging:
Stores data about adjustments made as well as listening environments. This data can be used effectively
by the audiologist to make adjustments to the hearing aid during programming and re-programming.
- Volume Control Learning:
Automatically adjust volume after a number of changes have been made. The hearing aid will therefore
monitor the adjustments made to the volume control and will set the hearing aid louder or softer to
eliminate the constant adjustment of the volume control.
- Tinnitus Management:
Many high-end hearing aids have the option of a Tinnitus program which will consist of random harmonic
tone programs and/or music programs which theoretically will mask the tinnitus.
- Wireless Technology:
This technology allows direct, wireless, streaming between the patient’s hearing aid/s, the television, the
radio or even the mobile phone.
In certain instances, a conventional hearing aid will not be the best option for a patient and Carina Avenant
Audiologist Inc. will then assist in the process of becoming a candidate for a cochlear implant or a
bone-anchored hearing aid.