According to research published on the Hearing Link website there are approximately 11 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss which makes it the second most common disability in this country. With an estimated 30% of these people using hearing aids, there are still a large number of sufferers that could benefit.
Hearing aids are unlikely to solve your problem completely, but they can go a long way to making sounds louder, clearer and reduce the impact that hearing loss has had on your life.
Just imagine being able to:
- Hear when your friends or family ring your doorbell or call you on phone
- Feel more confident when talking to people and be able to follow conversations in different environments
- Enjoy your favourite music and TV shows at a volume that doesn’t make others around you feel uncomfortable
- Hear the first words from your new born baby or grandchild
Types of hearing aids
As technology has progressed, so has the development of hearing aids. With a wide range of styles and fittings available there is sure to be one that suits your needs. It will be necessary to visit your local audiologist to understand the right one for you.
Invisible / In-the-Ear
With no two ear canals the same, these are custom-made closed design hearing aids that fit directly into your ear canal, making them very discreet.
The closed design means that your ear canal is mostly filled by either an earpiece or an in-the-ear hearing aid. Perfect if you are self-conscious about having a visible hearing aid behind your ear.
Hearing aids can be either closed or open in design.
These hearing aids are an open design which means that the sound waves will reach your eardrum more naturally.
Traditionally the most powerful hearing aid, these rest on the back of the outer ear and have an open fitting – the sound tube and earpiece sit in your external ear canal. Because the hearing aid doesn’t fill your whole ear canal, it’s possible to hear louder sounds naturally. Open-fit models also give you better ventilation of your ear canal.
Bluetooth seems to be included in every piece of technology these days and hearing aids are no different. They can be connected directly to your smartphone for hands-free calling or, use your Bluetooth hearing aid like headphones for TV and music without the need to remove the hearing aid.
The latest rechargeable models are environmentally friendly and include powerful battery technology, meaning you never have to worry about buying and changing batteries again.
How to get your hearing aids
To start with you will need to visit your GP who can then refer you to a trained audiologist who will assess the level of your hearing loss.
If it is recommended that you need a hearing aid, they can go through the different types with you and should let you try a few before you settle on the best one for you.
When you have chosen one that suits you best, it should be programmed to suit your level of hearing loss and you will be shown how to use it and how to look after it.
Don’t forget, hearing aids only help if you still have some hearing left, so don’t put off getting help if you suspect your hearing is getting worse.
If you have experience in using a hearing aid and would like to share your experience with others, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch here.