Hearing aid technology is constantly evolving and becoming increasingly advanced. Early models were very basic and just amplified sound, whilst they offered considerable benefit in quiet surrounds they had major limitations in noisy environments. Modern hearing aids are small high-tech computers, constantly being refined and developed to provide better reproduction of natural human hearing.
The most advanced modern digital hearing aids are constantly analysing the sounds of your environment and changing between built-in programs, automatically selecting the appropriate programming mode for the specific situation.
The entire sound reproduction is constantly adapted by the hearing aid to provide you with the best possible hearing.
Hearing aid styles
The most popular types of hearing aids can be divided into the following categories:
Receiver In-The-Ear (RIC)
This is an elegant, invisible, anatomic and discreet Behind-The-Ear solution. The speaker unit is sitting right in your ear canal and provides very clear and natural sound.
Micro BTE (Behind-the-ear)
These tiny instruments sit behind your ear, and they are small-sized. The sound tube between the instrument and the earpiece is very thin and transparent. Micro BTEs are discreet and almost invisible.
Instruments of this type sit behind your ear. A separate piece called an earmold is custom made to fit the contours of your ear and to guide the sound into the ear canal. Although BTE instruments may appear larger than the other types, they can often be hidden by the hair and they can incorporate more power and features than may be possible with smaller styles.
These instruments are somewhat larger than the CICs and fill a little more of the ear canal. They may be a little easier for some people to manipulate, though they are still small.
These instruments are the smallest style. They can be nearly invisible but some people with severe hearing losses or with very small ear canals may not be able to use them.
10 Reasons why two hearing aids are better than one?
1. Better understanding of speech. Research shows that people wearing two hearing instruments routinely understand speech and conversation significantly better than people wearing only one hearing instrument.
2. Better understanding in group and even noisy situations. By wearing two hearing instruments rather than one, selective listening is more easily achieved. This means your brain can focus on the conversation you want to hear.
3. Better ability to tell the direction sounds are coming from. With two hearing instruments, you are more able to tell which direction sounds are coming from and how far away they are. This is important to allow you to know which way to turn when someone is talking to you or to help you locate danger signals such as oncoming traffic.
4. Better sound quality. When you listen to your stereo system you use both speakers to get the smoothest, sharpest, most natural sound quality. The same is true for hearing instruments. With two instruments you achieve a better sensation of balanced sound reception and sound quality.
5. Greater listening comfort. Wearing two hearing instruments generally requires less volume than wearing only one. This results in greater listening comfort because the amplification level is lower. A lower volume control setting also reduces the chance of feedback and whistling.
6. Hearing is less tiring and more pleasant. More binaural instrument wearers report that listening and participating in conversations is more enjoyable with two instruments, instead of just one. This is because they do not have to strain to hear with the better ear. Thus, binaural hearing can help make life more relaxing.
7. Keeping both ears active preserves speech understanding in both ears. Research has shown that when only one hearing instrument is worn, the unaided ear tends to lose its ability to hear and understand. This is called the auditory deprivation effect. Wearing two hearing instruments keeps both ears active and can prevent deterioration of the speech understanding ability in the unaided ear.
8. Tinnitus masking. About 50% of people with ringing in their ears report improvement when wearing hearing instruments. If a person has an instrument in only one ear, there may still be ringing in the ear without an instrument.
9. User preference. When given the choice between listening with one instrument or two, the overwhelming majority of users choose two instruments when they have a hearing loss in both ears.
10. User satisfaction. Research with more than 5,000 hearing instrument users with bilateral hearing loss has demonstrated that those using two hearing instruments are more satisfied than those fit with only one instrument. Nature gave us two ears for a reason, just like it gave us two eyes and tow limbs. So logically, just as you use both eyes to see clearly, you need two healthy ears to hear clearly.