The Importance of Hearing Aids Hearing loss occurs for many reasons, sometimes because of an accident or an illness, medication, or maybe from birth. Some people lose their hearing because of the exposure to constant, loud noises that pierce the eardrums. Hearing loss is a frustrating physical challenge, but there is hope for recovery in many cases through surgery, the use of a hearing aid, or a combination of both. Complete recovery may not always be possible, which is why hearing aids are so important in our society. Children have been teased, misunderstood, abused, and shunned because of hearing deficiencies. A parent who may wonder why their child ignores them on a regular basis or why that child may not learn as well as another should have their child tested for hearing loss. Children's hearing aids have come a long way in recent years. They no longer have to be unappealing, irritating, and a burden. Hearing aids can help your children overcome classroom challenges. The right hearing aid can make a world of difference in whether or not your child makes the decision to pay attention to the teacher. When one can't hear properly, they sometimes just give up trying. A child should not have to be faced with this when help is available. Although many jokes have been told about hearing loss, it can be no laughing matter. Sometimes the biggest challenge is not with society, but with that person's own family. The family members have to be around the person on a more constant basis than anyone else and can become quite irritated with continually having to repeat themselves or arrange themselves so the person who is impaired can read their lips or interpret their hand signals. Televisions or radios that are turned up loud for the hearing impaired can be a source of frustration for those in the family who are not. Television was vastly improved by the addition of closed-captioning. Most dvd movies now include the closed captioning feature so that the hearing challenged can watch a movie with the family and not create an uncomfortable situation for the other members. When a person needs a hearing aid, it can create embarrassing situations, such as when they misunderstand something another person says and they laugh inappropriately. This person will not be able to understand whispering, so communicating in a crowd must be handled with care. There are insensitive people who make fun of this person, knowing he or she can't hear properly. It can wear on a person's self esteem and create depression when one cannot hear properly and constantly has to struggle to be understood and to understand. Feeling like an outcast when you need help and can't seem to get it is a struggle. Even though hearing aids don't solve all the problems of a hearing loss, they can greatly enrich the life of the person who needs the help and those who communicate with this person. Talking on a telephone used to be more of a struggle for people who wear hearing aids. Now aids have been created that are specially equipped with features for phone transmissions, including cell phone use. The Importance of Getting the Best Hearing Aid Do you remember when you were young and you connected two big paper or plastic cups to a length of string, letting your friend hold one while you held the other? This hearing experiment was well-known by many generations, often as an attempt to pretend to use a telephone. Well, it also was one of the inspirations for one of the early types of hearing aids. The hearing device was called an ear trumpet, helpful but certainly not the best hearing aid. The development of hearing aids has come a long way since then! A medical term for hearing loss is 'otosclerosis'. Hearing is defined as the process of perceiving sounds. Having the best hearing aid can help you get past the attitude barriers of others who don't seem to understand your challenges. It opens the door for better, more accurate communication. It's no fun to be made fun of because your hearing aid or your hearing impairment won't allow you to properly interpret the words directed to you or around you. It can be especially devastating to a child. The physical handicap is far from being the only challenge to overcome. A hearing aid can help give a hearing-challenged child courage and ease their stress levels tremendously. Although sign language and lip reading are important and helpful to many people with hearing loss, not every hearing impaired person has learned these tools and these tools aren't always the best for every situation. When you realize the need for a hearing aid, there are several things to consider. The amount of loss suffered, whether you have loss in both ears or just one and how much in each ear, the fit to your unique ear shape, the cost, the service fees for the equipment, batteries and their availability, location of a hearing aid provider, your lifestyle, and the testing to determine your needs. If you're a parent, you'll want more than just a test by the school nurse to determine the extent of hearing loss and the proper needs for your child. There are more choices available for children and more attractive aids created just for their interests. Purchasing the best aid now may make a difference in how their hearing loss progresses. Some of the top hearing companies in the market are Starkey, Siemens, Beltone, Phonak, Rexton, Sonic Inovations, Unitron, Widex, and Sebotek. Just about everyone has heard about the popular Miracle Ear! You can find ads in magazines geared towards the interests of the elderly, check the flyers in the doctor's offices, and ask around. You might be surprised who wears a hearing aid these days! Although the elderly are the first in thought when hearing aids come to mind, anyone at any age can develop a need for a hearing aid. Just asking someone to give you an example of their experience can lead you to your choice of the best hearing aid for you. The best hearing aids will come with a few extras, like a good warranty, extra batteries, the storage case, instructions, important numbers to call for service centers, and the ear wax cleaning tool. How Do Hearing Aids Work? Hearing aids have been around for decades. The first hearing devices were just conical devices that you held up to your ear so that a person could speak into them. This would funnel the sound directly into your ear. Now there are more impressive types of hearing aids, working with a higher degree of technology. So, in modern times, how do hearing aids work? Hearing aids use small microphones to make a soft sound louder. They do this by using a small microphone. This device will receive the sound that comes in and convert it to an electrical or digital signal and send that data to a speaker where it is turned into sound once again. Settings for these microphones take into account the degree of a person's hearing loss and their usual environment. Environment here refers to how much and what kind of noise you are usually around. Are you usually near high frequency noises? If so, do you need to hear them? Do you function mainly in a quiet conversational environment? All these questions will help the audiologist adjust the settings on your hearing aid. This is only part of the answer to how do hearing aids work. There are three basic types of technology that receive and convert the signals in hearing aids these days. The least advanced is the analog adjustable hearing aid, and it costs less than the other two types. This type of hearing aid is adjustable by your audiologist for volume and other specifications. The factory will then custom make it for you. You can control the volume, or it will be controlled automatically. Another type of circuitry found in hearing aids is called analog programmable. These are somewhat better than the analog adjustable because they can be programmed by using a computer. The audiologist sets different programs of sound capture and transmission for different listening situations. The user can select which program to use at any given time by using a remote control. Digital programmable hearing aids are the most advanced and, of course, the most expensive. For years they were impossible and then they were impractical because they couldn't be made small enough. That is no longer the case. So, how do these hearing aids work? Their circuitry contains a feature called DSP, or Digital Sound Processing. They utilize a computer chip to analyze and process the sound data before it is amplified to the ear. It does this by using billions of digital number codes to identify and classify sounds to give them the correct settings. This digital data is then converted into sound and sent on to the ear. The digital hearing aid also has the capability of detecting and eliminating feedback by identifying its frequencies. These hearing aids work automatically with little adjustment from the wearer. Hearing aids have come a long way in a short time. People who can want to hear better have many options now. And, if you find yourself asking, "How do hearing aids work," the answer these days is technology. What You Need to Know to Compare Hearing Aids You have just realized you have hearing loss. Or, you have recently gained the ability to do something about it. Now you have to sort through all the different styles, models, and manufacturers to find the right ones for you. You can no doubt get some help from your audiologist, but if you want to be an informed consumer, you will want to learn to compare hearing aids for yourself. When you do compare hearing aids, the first question is whether you want to get analog or digital hearing aids. Analog are the least expensive by far. These hearing aids simply receive a signal from a microphone, amplify it, and send the louder sound on to the ear. It's as simple as that. There is a middle ground between analog and digital. These are sometimes called digital programmable, although they are not 100 percent digital, or they are called analog programmable. The idea here is that it is indeed an analog hearing aid. It just has the advantage of a certain amount of customization in programming through the use of computer software. This can give you a variety of settings you can manually switch to accommodate your listening preferences in different listening situations. The settings can be changed by reprogramming at any time. When you compare hearing aids,these are more expensive than the regular analog ones, but less so than fully digital ones. Fully digital hearing aids are the most expensive, and when you compare hearing aids you will find many reasons why this is so. The difference in sound quality is like the difference you get when you go to digital music recordings from old fashioned record albums. This is done through DSP, or digital signal processing. There are differences in the programming as well. One thing to notice when you compare hearing aids is how many channels or bands it has. This is important because if your hearing loss is not the same for all frequencies, you will want different frequencies adjusted differently. Some people may only need a couple of bands while others may need several. It is also nice to know if a hearing aid has directional microphones. If it does, there are two microphones that emphasize sounds in front of you rather than behind you. Some models have a switch so that you can turn this feature on and off. Another way to compare hearing aids is by taking into account how many preset programs there are to switch between. You might want different programs for different aspects of your life, like home and work environments, and the surroundings at your favorite free time activities. Compare hearing aids by noting which ones are "smart" hearing aids. These have the capability to learn your preferences by the way you use them when you get them. These are easy to operate because, after awhile, the hearing aid automatically sets itself the way you usually set it yourself. Other features are reduced feedback and wind noise, and the ability to use the device with phones or even mobile phones. In the end, you will probably talk it over with your audiologist before you make your final decision. It's nice to go in to that talk armed with some facts of your own. That is why it's in your best interest to compare hearing aids yourself. Choosing Discount Hearing Aids Hearing aids come in a variety of makes and models. They are worn in and on the ear in different ways. The ENT doctor, or otolaryngologist, will practically make the decisions for you if you allow it. If, however, you want to save yourself some money, you can march into the doctor's office with some information of your own. Discount hearing aids are one way to save yourself some money without sacrificing quality. Many sellers offer discount hearing aids that are identical to the full priced hearing aids that you get directly from the manufacturer. Often, the only difference is the price, which may be half the price you pay the maker or even less. When you are looking into such a deal, make sure the two devices are actually the same in every respect except for price. There are many features and parameters to check to make sure your discount hearing aids are the real thing. For one thing, if you want to buy a model that is a fully digital one, make sure the discount hearing aids are listed as 100 percent or fully or totally digital. Otherwise, you might end up with a model that has some components that are analog. This will give you less flexibility in the programming and processing of your aids. Compare the number of frequency bands or channels. Having more will give your fitter more latitude in accommodating your hearing losses if they are not consistent through all the ranges. With more channels, your audiologist can give more amplification to the frequencies you have trouble hearing and less to the ones you don't. If the manufacturers' hearing aids' channels are not the same as your discount hearing aids', they will respond differently to programming. Carefully scrutinize the data of the two hearing aids to determine if both are actually the same model with the same directional microphone capabilities. Some brand names offer directional microphones in some of their models but not on others. If one has this feature and one doesn't, then the discount hearing aids you are looking at are not the same as the manufacturers' models that you suspect you are dealing with. Another aspect of the hearing aids to be checked is whether they have memory presets and if so, how many and what kind are they. This will help you determine whether you your discount hearing aids are the same as the originals. More is not always better, as personal preferences vary, but just make sure to get the number and type of memory presets that you want. You can become easily confused, if you're not careful, by the different styles of discount hearing aids. BTE, or behind the ear, hearing aids are readily available at lowered prices. You can also get the other varieties, and you should be aware if you are getting an ITE, or in the ear, hearing aid, which fits in the shell of your outer ear. Be sure to recognize the different ear canal varieties, such as IC, in the canal, and CIC, completely in the canal. Finally, you will, of course, want to make sure you get the best price possible. Compare the prices of identical models and styles and make sure you get the best reliable deal. Just make sure there is a good policy on returns in case you are not happy with them. That, after all, is the most important factor in choosing discount hearing aids. How Low Cost Hearing Aids Can Change Your Life Insurance covers hearing devices for very few people. Most people with hearing loss are on their own when it comes to getting help. Many can't afford the exorbitant prices the manufacturers charge for their hearing aids. Without help they may not see much hope of being able to hear adequately. If you are one of these people, there could be a solution. Low cost hearing aids could change your life. With a little help from your computer, you can go on the internet and find offers from sellers other than the manufacturers on name brand hearing devices. These sellers can save you a lot of money by offering low cost hearing aids that are exactly the same as the kind you are looking for. Because they do this, you may be able to afford a more sophisticated and technologically advanced set of hearing aids than you could have otherwise gotten. Low cost hearing aids can let you hear voices clearly again without the distraction of amplifying every noise in the background. Through data learning functions, the hearing aids can adapt to your own style of listening pleasure. This is technology that you may not have been able to afford without low cost hearing aids. No longer will you be bothered by noises that are behind you if your low cost hearing aids come with directional microphones. You will be able to hear clearly whatever is in front of you. All you have to do is face the sound you want to hear. Then, if you want all the sound in the room to be available to you, many models have a switch so that you can just turn the directionality off. If you're like many people who can't hear certain frequencies, like the high-pitched sounds of children's voices, then you will be glad to know that there are low cost hearing aids available with several channels. These channels or frequency bands will make it easy for your hearing aids to be adjusted to your specific hearing needs. People who suffer from recruitment, a condition where sounds go from being too quiet to immediately being too loud, will find that certain low cost hearing aids come equipped with a feature that reduces this problem. Feedback can also be controlled. Memory presets are available with many hearing aids. If you find low cost hearing aids that are identical to the higher priced manufacturers' aids, your hearing aid might come with several memories to accommodate different specific listening environments. Being unable to use the telephone is very disabling these days. So much of what we do depends on the phone. Devices that allow people with hearing aids to listen on a phone are available on many low cost hearing aids. Some of them even can be used with cell phones. If you get a hearing aid that is identical to a manufacturer's hearing aid, then a low cost hearing aid will not be something that will be thought of as lesser than. In fact, low cost hearing aids, when chosen wisely, can change your life. Where to Find Discount Digital Hearing Aids Let's say you're in the market for a digital hearing aid. Obviously, you want to find the best aids your can get at the best price. It can take some doing, but you can find discount digital hearing aids. You probably won't find discount digital hearing aids by blindly following the recommendations of your ENT doctor. Your audiologist most likely doesn't know the best deals either. The place to find the best hearing aids at the least expensive cost is usually by searching the internet. Before you go too far on the internet, you will find sellers of discount digital hearing aids that offer you an FDA waiver. These hearing aids are being sold to you with the understanding that you alone are responsible for making sure that you see a doctor to rule out medical reasons for your hearing loss. The waiver states that you don't hold the hearing aid seller responsible and that it's up to you to do that. Once you sign this waiver, they are allowed to sell you a discount digital hearing aid that, by the way, your doctor may not approve of. You will at least need an audiologist to do an audiogram, or hearing test, to define the parameters of your hearing loss and do any other preparatory work to get you ready to order your hearing aid. However, audiologists sometimes work in clinics without ENT doctors. So, you might not actually see a doctor. Several hearing aids fall into the category of very inexpensive. One company offers a Build Your Own digital hearing aid at the small cost of $499.50. The IHear digital hearing aid is the same price. Lloyd's, a discount digital hearing aids seller, offers the Rexton Targa2 digital BTE hearing device for just $675. (All prices are per ear.) These hearing aids may not be the fanciest ones on the market, but they might be a starting point for someone who cannot afford a more expensive pair. There are some discount digital hearing aids that are just under $1000. Some of these have impressive statistics. The Rexton Calibra has 4 channels of frequencies. It has 3 different memories of settings for different environments. It also features good management of feedback. With the help of a hearing professional it is easily fitted to the wearer. This type of hearing aid is good for people who want a certain level of sophistication but can't afford to go all the way to the highest brands. Even the most advanced hearing aids can be found at a discounted price. The Siemens Acuris CIC has programmable e2e technology; handles feedback well, has three memory settings, sorts by sound and noise and emphasizes sound, and has 16 channels. Siemens sells them for $1999, but you can find them elsewhere for $1650. Some companies sell a variety of name brand hearing aids at reduced rates. Genesis hearing aid labs claim to sell discount digital hearing aids for 60 percent off the standard price. Another company promises 50 percent off the price of hearing aids if you will make your own adjustments at home. There are plenty of deals to be had in discount digital hearing aids. It may be best to speak to a hearing specialist to determine what aid is right for you and which one he or she has the most experience in adjusting. In any case, the main thing to remember when purchasing discount digital hearing aids is to know what you are getting. What to Look for in Inexpensive Hearing Aids With hearing aids costing thousands of dollars each in some cases, it's easy to become discouraged. It's easy to give up and say to yourself that you'll just have to learn to live with not being able to hear. Maybe you can learn to lip read, you think. But, what if you can find hearing aids that you can afford? Maybe you can. You just need to know what to look for in inexpensive hearing aids. There are some devices that send the sound to your ear with very little processing except a bit of amplification. Some of these are not even sold as hearing aids, but are sold to hunters who want to be able to hear wildlife noises very well. These are rightfully called listening devices. They do not meet FDA guidelines that describe what constitutes a hearing aid. At prices usually under $20 each, they claim to be inexpensive hearing aids, but they are not considered by most to be hearing aids at all. Watch out for companies that insist on you signing a waiver of medical care before they will send you your hearing aids. These companies do not expect to go through a hearing professional. If that's what you want, then so be it. Just make sure you are aware of the consequences of this decision. If you have a medical condition that is causing your hearing loss, it might be serious and it might be better if you had it checked out. But, that is your call. Maybe this is the way you want to go about getting inexpensive hearing aids. Your best bet is to look for deals on well-known brands and models of hearing aids. These can be found at better prices than the manufacturer offers, if you look on the internet. Just make sure you are comparing the exact same brand names and models of hearing aids to the same inexpensive hearing aids you have found. Also, make sure that they are new and have a warranty. Find out about trial periods and return policies. If you go through your ENT doctor, you will find that you will be given a rather long trial period. At any time during this period, you can bring the hearing aids back for a full refund minus a very small restocking fee. The same policy does not go for all sellers, especially internet sellers. Another thing to look for is how the inexpensive hearing aids are fitted, both in physical conformity to your ear canal and in volume, frequency, and sound memories. Some inexpensive hearing aids are BTE hearing aids that come with a universal ear mold to start you off. They also come with the capability of providing a custom fitted ear mold by taking the aid to your audiologist. Some inexpensive hearing aids are designed for you to do the programming of the hearing aid yourself with the help of computer software. You have to decide if you are up to that challenge if you choose a package like this. Some of these inexpensive hearing aids can be fitted through an ENT doctor and some are done without any doctor. Whatever you choose to do about your hearing problems, look for reliable yet inexpensive hearing aids for the solution. What You Should Know About Digital Hearing Aids There are digital hearing aids available without a doctor's prescription or testing. Some of the aids you can buy that go in the ear canal are digi-ears, which range from $300 to $700 and have various additions. They're versatile to fit either ear, so if you bought two of the same type, you wouldn't have to worry about which aid would fit each ear if you got confused. Many different digital hearing aids are available. Some of them include a two channel value aid, which is a low cost aid, a mid-level four channel aid that provides feedback reduction and a speech amplifier, and the best level (also a four channel aid), which offers echo suppression and layered noise reduction. All of these aids come with a wax remover. (Wax seems to be a problem for hearing aid wearers and must be kept to a minimum for the best reception.) You may want a carrying case for your digital hearing aid, to keep it safe by the bedside or in the nightstand while you sleep. The carrying case can help protect it from insects or dust or even a naughty cat who likes to knock things off furniture! Keeping your digital aid clean and dry is important for proper function and long-lasting use. Digital aids use microprocessors to process sound for you to hear and should adjust volume according to sound levels. There are different frequency levels an aid must allow for; each level will have its own amount of hearing loss. This makes the correct purchase of an aid even more important. An ill fit, improper adjustment, or neglect to the proper levels you will need help with are reasons you should be properly tested and should use a professional to help you choose the right aid for you. Your lifestyle and budget are, of course, two other important factors to consider. You'll want to work with a quality hearing aid supplier, purchase an aid made by a reputable company, and go through the proper medical channels to help you make the best decision. Almost any company that sells hearing aids will now have digital aids available for purchase. Digital aids can reduce or eliminate feedback while the person wears them. They have gain processing, which reduces microphone noise and environmental sounds. Speech recognition is more accurate with less annoying interruptions to filter through to hear what someone is saying. If you've ever held a large seashell up to your ear, you should recall the loud whitenoise it makes. Suppose you had to walk around every day with that noise in your ear, making it hard to decipher what anyone is trying to tell you at any time of the day or night. Digital aids have been improved to overcome that type of obstacle. They have been improved to help cut down on the equipment a person used to be burdened with when wearing a hearing aid. Digital aids are more easily adjusted with more built-in capabilities than ever before. They even include signal generators to increase accuracy with your fittings. All About Open Fit Hearing Aids With so many hearing aids on the market to choose from, you may be overwhelmed by the choices offered. In this article, we will discuss open fit hearing aids. With an open fit aid, you don't have to wait for your ear mold to be made and returned to you; so it takes less time to get the product you'll need. Buying these from a dealer is quicker than waiting on a manufacturer. They'll be maintained wherever you choose to purchase yours. Since open fit aids have evolved into more discreet, less bulky aids, made with better colors and user friendly designs of better quality, people are more willing to wear their hearing aids. It is hard for some people to admit that they need help to function properly physically. Although there is nothing shameful about getting help for your hearing, it is often a matter of pride for a person to be afraid to give in and accept the use of an aid. Children especially have a fear of enduring teasing and insults from other children if they have anything outstandingly different about their appearance. For older adults, it may be interpreted as a sign of weakness or of getting older. Open fit hearing aids are also known as over-the-ear, or OTE hearing aids. They are made small for the discretion of the wearer, fitting behind the ear with a clear, thin, almost invisible plastic tube going into the ear towards the ear canal. These aids are actually best for high frequency hearing defects. If you didn't know already, there are many differences from one person to another when it comes to hearing loss. The loss can occur on many different levels and be at different stages. With the open fit aids, you get power and the most circuit options from many other aids for the high frequency defects. These OTE aids are also called BTE, or behind-the-ear aids. Their plastic tubing and ear mold will conduct the sound and keep the ear mold more open. Children are often best benefited by these open fit aids, although many adults wear them as well. These aids are made with bright colors and decorations for the children. One of the possible problems a person could have with an open fit hearing aid is if a tiny hairline crack develops in the plastic tubing. You'll want to take great care with your new aid to protect it from abuse, both by yourself or by others. It should never be left where a child could grab it and chew on it or step on it or where any pets could get to it. Although it is possible to buy hearing aids yourself without being tested, it is always wiser to have an accurate hearing test done to make sure whether or not your hearing condition requires more than just a simple, over-the-counter type hearing aid. Because the ear is such a complex part of the human body, a trained professional is best to get you the preferred help for your condition. Please take your ears seriously! Why Behind the Ear Hearing Aids Are the Most Common There are plenty of choices for the hearing impaired person who wishes to use a hearing device. There are aids that fit in the ear and those that fit completely in the ear canal. For cosmetic reasons alone you would expect these to be very popular. Yet the most commonly used hearing devices are behind the ear hearing aids. Behind the ear hearing aids are constructed of an ear mold that fits in the ear and a piece of tubing that goes from the ear mold to the hearing aid. This tubing is called the tone hook. The hearing aid has an on and off control, a volume control, and a battery compartment. There is a microphone on the top on the hearing aid. The sounds are sent to the ear through the tubing and then the ear mold fitted into the ear. Children are generally fitted with behind the ear hearing aids. This is partly because they are less delicate than some of the other types. Also, the children don't need to have highly developed fine motor skills to put one in or operate one. The controls are large enough for them to manage nicely. Children do have a few problems with behind the ear hearing aids, but they are mostly minor. For one thing, as their ear canal change in size and shape with growth, they will have to be refitted about twice a year. But, this is true of other types of hearing aids as well. Behind the ear hearing aids are small enough that the child might have trouble keeping track of them when they aren't wearing them. Again, this would be even truer of other types. The one problem unique to behind the ear hearing aids for children is that the youngsters may not have large enough ears to hold the device. Correct fitting helps this. If that isn't enough, there is a device called a "Huggy" that can help fit the aid to the head as well. The nice thing about behind the ear hearing aids is that they are slightly larger than the devices that are worn mainly in the ear. This allows for bigger batteries, which translates into more power, and more amplification. They can be useful for anyone who uses a hearing aid, from those who have mild hearing loss to those whose deafness is more profound. Behind the ear hearing aids are also good for people who have problems using their hands and fingers due to arthritis, for example, because of the larger controls. Besides all this, their circuitry can be either analog or the more technologically advanced digital. Behind the ear hearing aids are strong, powerful, and easy to use. This type makes a good choice for a child for many reasons. They even come in a variety of different styles and colors. Add to this that digital sound is available and it is no wonder that behind the ear hearing aids are the most commonly used hearing aids of all. All About BTE Digital Hearing Aids People who are in the market for hearing aids can get aids that fit in and on different parts of the ear. They can obtain hearing aids that have different kinds of circuitry. BTE digital hearing aids combine a common type of hearing device with the latest circuitry. For years, there was no such thing as digital processing. Then, when there was, it was too big and bulky to be feasible to be used. Even when it became possible to use, it still wasn't practical until the technology came along to make the circuits tiny like they are today. BTE digital hearing aids are one type of hearing aid that uses this technology. BTE stands for behind the ear. BTE digital hearing aids have the same basic structure as ordinary BTE aids. They have an ear mold that fits into the ear. This is connected to the hearing aid, which sets behind the ear, by a tube called the tone hook. A microphone sits atop the hearing aid to channel sound into the aid. The BTE aid is durable, powerful, and has easy to use controls. BTE digital hearing aids are capable of so much more than the analog variety. If you've ever listened to a vinyl record album and then a CD, then you are aware of the difference digital sound can make. However, that's only the beginning of what a BTE digital hearing aid can do. BTE digital hearing aids function by converting the sound that is gathered by the microphone into bits, computer bits that is. These bits are processed at an amazingly fast rate. They are used in a processor known in the hearing aid industry as a DSP, or digital signal processor. These DSP's are capable of sorting sounds into channels of frequencies. This is important because certain speech sounds are higher in pitch and other sounds are lower. If you don't have the full range of audible frequencies, speech will sound jumbled to you because you are not hearing all the sounds. BTE digital hearing aids also have more power for amplification to make it even easier to distinguish voices. BTE digital hearing aids can treat continuous noise differently that they process short duration noises. It only makes sense that, for instance, you would be more interested in the sound of the doorbell than in the sound of the air conditioner running. They also minimize feedback by both their circuitry and by the way the ear mold fits into the ear. Another problem BTE digital hearing aids correct is recruitment. This is when a person with hearing loss has trouble because soft noises sound too soft and loud noises sound too loud. The digital processing of sound diminishes this problem. Some BTE digital hearing aids offer two microphones to focus on what is in front of the wearer. This is called directionality. It allows for less distraction from the surrounding environment. BTE digital hearing aids offer the both worlds. They are rugged and easy for even a child to use. They also have the advantages of digital sound processing. For many, it's an easy choice. Are Deals on BTE Hearing Aids by Mail Too Good To Be True? BTE hearing aids can be very costly if you go to your hearing professional to get them. Some people with hearing loss enjoy the privacy and convenience of ordering BTE hearing aids by mail. They feel that they can get a better deal and save themselves a trip to the doctor's office. But, are these deals too good to be true? One thing to be aware of is that so-called hearing aids that do not meet FDA guidelines and simply amplify sound are actually known as listening devices. They are very cheap, both in price and in quality. Some BTE hearing aids by mail like this cost as little as $6.99 per ear. In this case, you probably get what you pay for. If sellers are not going through an ENT doctor, they will be required by the FDA to make sure that you sign a waiver and turn it in to them. They want to make sure that burden rests squarely on your shoulders. And, maybe it should. You do want to make your own decisions about BTE hearing aids by mail, and this is what you will have to do if you choose not to be fitted by an ENT. In any case, most hearing aid sellers require the results of a hearing test, which can be done by an audiologist. They will not sell the BTE hearing aid by mail without one. An audiologist is simply a person who does tests on hearing They are not medical doctors and cannot determine if you have an illness or other medical condition. However, they can deliver an audiogram that can be used to adjust the settings on a hearing aid. The best deals on BTE hearing aids by mail, according to price, are to be found on E-Bay. One reconditioned hearing aid was recently sold there for under $70. It was a Beltone brand hearing aid that was said to have cost over $1000 new. The Siemens High Power 278 BTE aid was sold for around $200. Siemens is a well respected brand name as well. Also available by signing a waiver was the Siemens Infinity Pro, which was priced at about $400. If you can't afford a more expensive set, then you might consider trying this type of BTE hearing aids by mail. Some sellers of hearing aids by mail expect to deal with hearing professionals. These vendors sell products that usually run the buyer into the thousands for a fraction of the cost. The Siemens Intuis is now being offered for a slim $499, while its retail value is around $1800. It is equipped with directional microphones, an auto phone device, and technology that reduces noise and feedback. It is a totally digital aid. There is a similar deal offered in another brand of hearing aid that has similar features. This one lists for $2200 and sells on E-Bay for a mere $399. It may be to your advantage to buy BTE hearing aids by mail. It is always in your best interest to explore the possibilities. Just remember to find out what it is that you are actually getting for your money. After all, a few hundred dollars spent sounds a lot better than a few thousand, but if the hearing aids aren't what they claim to be, it may be a few hundred dollars wasted. And, who needs that?
Would You Take a Chance on a Cheap Hearing Aid? One of the most frustrating things for a hearing impaired person to deal with is a cheap hearing aid. To have a hearing problem can be frustrating in itself, but to have to continually fight with a malfunctioning or low quality hearing aid is adding insult to injury. Poor workmanship or cheap parts make hearing a nightmare for the hearing impaired. It is understandable that some people just can't afford a good quality aid; and insurance companies have long been ornery about helping the hearing impaired. But buying a better quality aid is better in the long run than wasting hard-earned money on several cheap aids that just don't last! Hearing your car make a noise when starting up or traveling may be crucial to your engine being repaired properly and may keep you from having an accident. Hearing a vehicle approach may save your life or the life of a small child who is with you. Hearing your child scream for help may be what keeps them from being injured further or kidnapped by a stranger. Hearing the phone ring, hearing a baby cry, hearing a warning to keep you out of danger or hearing an animal approach could all be important life happenings that you'd miss should you choose to buy a cheap hearing aid. Suppose you were at an important event and your child or grandchild was counting on you to hear them sing or to hear their important part in a play? If your cheap aid is inhibiting your lifestyle, maybe it would be well worth the investment to treat yourself (and your family) to a quality hearing aid. Unfortunately, not all dealers of hearing aids will have your best interests at heart when trying to sell you a hearing aid. Should you have the little voice inside trying to warn you about a shady deal, it pays to listen to it. The hearing aid should be an important step to changing your life for the better. Research the company, ask people who already have hearing aids, and check out the different brands and prices available before deciding to purchase. In other words, shop around, not only for the best aid, but for the best person to help you make your purchase. Ask an audiologist for references. Make sure the person you purchase your aid from is easily available for any future questions, or can tell you the steps you need to take should any problems occur. You should be satisfied that you are getting your questions answered clearly. Ask about warranties and availability of any service or parts and any costs that may be involved. Don't just assume that paying for the aid itself is all the cost you would have to incur. Technology has made leaps and bounds when it comes to developing better hearing aids over the years. The hearing aids of today make the older ones from years ago seem like cheap hearing aids. Aids today allow even for whispers in some cases. Cheap aids may lack the proper control over volume adjustment, noise filtering, whistling, and clarity of sound. Why Use Hearing Aids for Dogs? You want to be able to hear what's going on around you. You expect it. Sometimes you even need to hear to be alerted to danger. Dogs have the same needs, but we expect them to adapt to life without their hearing. Some dogs can, so why use hearing aids for dogs at all? It is amazing how many dogs live well up into their teens these days. It isn't surprising with all the fine veterinarians and their modern techniques. As in humans, the older the population gets, the more certain conditions will be prevalent. Hearing loss is one of these conditions. It should be easy to tell if your dog has a hearing problem. You can call him and call him and he won't respond. Or maybe he will, but only if he's looking right at you. He might even look the wrong way to find you when you call him. You might notice that he seems to be sleeping all the time, and when you try to wake him up, you can't without touching him. And, just like a child with hearing problems, he might be fussing with his ears or shaking his head around. Hearing aids for dogs can help with these problems. One clinic in Texas offers a hearing test to dogs that come in with suspected hearing loss. When the test is completed, the owner will know what kind of hearing loss the animal suffers from and if anything can be done about it. The center uses hearing aids for dogs in a plan that involves getting the dog used to the aid. This takes about a month during which the volume is slowly raised until it is at the best level. The aids cost about $250 each. These programs for hearing aids for dogs allow the dogs to get settled in to using them without too much discomfort. One type of hearing aids for dogs is a contraption that is mounted on a dog collar. The container with the aid goes on the collar and tubes go from that to a foam plug that is situated in the ear of the dog. It is similar to a BTE, behind the ear, hearing aid in structure. Smaller dogs seem to take to these devices pretty well, but the larger breeds don't seem to like them as much. Some companies offer ITE, or in the ear, hearing aids for dogs. For these, the doctor takes a mold of the dog's ear canal. This is sent in to the laboratory and a human ITE is built into it. Whether or not a dog will take to the testing and fitting and finally the hearing aids' being put in his ears is questionable. Some will and some won't. Many owners feel that it is worth the expense and the trouble to try. In fact, there are some pet veterinary insurance companies that pay the cost for them. Nothing is quite the same to a dog as the sound of his owner's voice. He will be safer because he is better able to sense danger. He will be happier because he won't be confused about unnatural changes in his world that hearing loss brings. Hearing aids for dogs can make their lives so much better. To many owners, that's reason enough. Hearing Aids GA: The Way to Get a Good Fit Most modern hearing aids are fitted by using a computer in some way. Hearing aids GA is a technology that allows for a fairly precise fitting. It is a relatively new tool for the audiologist to use in helping you to have the hearing experience you desire. In hearing aids GA, the GA stands for genetic algorithms. First you need to understand what algorithms are. An algorithm is simply a way to get something done. If you want something done, there may be several possible ways to achieve that goal. The way you choose to do it is the algorithm you have chosen. Different algorithms will have different advantages and disadvantages, but they should all achieve the same basic goal. In this case, different algorithms for fitting digital hearing aids might have different qualitative results, but the fact is that in any case, you will receive some sort of fitting for your hearing device. These particular algorithms are called genetic algorithms because the mimic the attributes of biological genetic principles. There is, for example, natural selection. This occurs when one set of parameters proves to be weaker, or less useful, than another and the weaker set is discarded. In other words, it is not selected. The hearing aids GA have an array of possibilities available and the algorithm does its job of sorting through them and selecting the ones that work the best for you. This is done when the audiologist does your fitting. The idea is that the hearing aids GA, through your audiologist, will present you with two options. You will then say which one is better. Then it will give you another choice of two, and so on. The hearing aids GA will process all the information you give to come to conclusions about what your preferences are. One test was done that studied subjects with normal hearing who were given distorted speech sounds to listen to. The hearing aids GA were then programmed to their preference to see if the aids would end by selecting the best solution to the problem. In most cases, they did. Another study was done to see if subjects would have the same preferences when it came to feedback if they were tested a second time. They did. So, it seems that the hearing aids GA provide an accurate fitting for most individuals. To be truly effective and practical in the long run, the hearing aids GA should have the capability of adjusting to the user's changes in preferences. This is where artificially intelligent design is so important in responding to the actual use of the wearer. Some hearing aids GA are designed to be downloaded into a program that communicates with the hearing aid using Bluetooth technology. The audiologist is critical in the fitting of any hearing aids GA. This isn't something you can do for yourself, at least not at the present level of development. Having digitally programmable hearing aids is a plus. Having a means to program them is just as important. Hearing aids GA solves this problem by making hearing aid fitting both quick and accurate. Have You Heard of Beltone Hearing Aids? Your outside ear is really only there to collect and concentrate sound waves, which vibrate the air in your auditory canal. Air passes the vibration to the eardrum. The hammer bone, inside, is attached to the anvil and stirrup bones, which vibrate the oval window and the round window. This causes fluid to move in the cochlea, which encloses the Organ of Corti. This organ is covered with thousands of tiny hair cells which bring about chemical changes that change electrical potential to create nerve impulses. As you can tell, that little ear on the side of your head is just the beginning of the hearing process, which is a complex bodily instrument! There's more to the hearing process that what was just explained, and the Beltone company has known this for many years. Beltone hearing aids have been around for at least 67 years, starting in 1940. Their models of digital hearing aids are of a wide variety. The shell styles include Beltone One!, (which is a mini behind-the-ear hearing aid), Beltone Corus, Beltone Linq, Beltone Access, Beltone Edge, Beltone Mira, Beltone Arca, Invisa (in the canal), Petite (in the canal), and the Opera Plus (in the canal). Beltone has helped countless generations and brought hope and encouragement to many families and individuals who have relied upon their services. They provide other needs besides hearing aids, such as amplified cordless phones, loud alarm clocks, Blue tooth ear sets ($145), neckloops ($150), phone modules ($50), and personal listening systems ($170-$200). Beltone's listening systems help you hear in public places such as theaters. It can be hard to hear in public places even when you aren't hearing challenged. But those who are were limited for a long time to reading lips and interpreting actions when attending theaters, concerts, and other public events. This has caused them to miss out on much of the understanding they needed for proper processing of the information presented to the audience. Hearing impaired people were also challenged in the way of waking up in the mornings, even with hearing aids. Many people don't feel a need to sleep with their aids, but when they did have to; they found the older aids uncomfortable for night time relaxation. A timer would be put on an overhead light so that when the light came on, the person would be awakened by the brightness. This wouldn't work for the person who can sleep through anything! Even so, the timers couldn't be taken on trips. Wake up calls wouldn't help since the person couldn't hear the phone or a knock on the door. But there are devices now that vibrate, like Beltone's wake and shake alarm clock, which sells for $70. It incorporates a vibration and a flashing strobe that comes on upon the time the alarm is set. Beltone reaches as far as New England, Canada, and all across the United States; although, one drawback to finding a Beltone representative might be with the challenge of availability in small areas. Batteries for hearing aids are sold by Beltone, but you can also find them many times in stores. Pharmacies usually carry hearing aid batteries. Typical name brand batteries can sell in a package of 4 for $6. Eco-Gold batteries sell in a package of 6 for $6. You can even order batteries from AARP magazines. They usually sell in bigger bundles than in a store, such as 42 for $25, and offer a refund on the unopened packages if you aren't happy with the product. How Oticon Hearing Aids Are Designed With Variety in Mind No two people expect the same things out of a hearing aid. Some want a hearing aid for practical reasons that affect the way they hear. Some people are interested in the cosmetic aspect of the device. Many have to be concerned about the price. Oticon hearing aids offer many choices for all of these people. Oticon hearing aids come in a variety of models of different styles, types and technological advancement. These are available in a wide range of prices. Different Oticon hearing aids focus on different aspects of the hearing experience. The Go Pro is a relatively inexpensive model. The digital aspect of this aid is its sound quality. It is a simple device, yet it has the advantage of automatic features. This is a good selection for those who want to spend less without sacrificing all the quality of the Oticon hearing aids. Another lower cost model is the Atlas. It measures up to the standards of Oticon hearing aids. However, it is made more economically because it is intended to be made on an assembly line by robots. Some would not appreciate this, but anyone who is considering the price will take it into account. Different Oticon hearing aids are available for different levels of hearing loss. Most of the models will work for mild to moderate hearing loss just fine. The Delta model is only for those with very mild hearing loss. For those with severe hearing loss, the Sumo DM is the best choice. It helps the wearer to hear voices as strongly and clearly as possible with little distortion. Unlike some of the high power aids, it doesn't consume batteries at an alarming rate. The Safran has a different focus than most of the others: it is made to allow the user to hear a variety of sounds besides just speech. This way they can hear nature's sounds, for instance, to enjoy the world around them. At the same time, it still gives emphasis to speech sounds. Then there are the Oticon hearing aids with a higher level of technological sophistication. The Syncro model uses artificial intelligence to sort noise and emphasize speech sounds. It can also distinguish the difference between what we call noise and what we call sound. It lessens the noise, which is usually unwanted, and increases the sound, which is usually what we want to hear. The Epoch is an Oticon hearing aid that also makes it easier for the wearer to distinguish where sound is coming from. You can use it with mobile phones. The Rise, in fact, can be used with Bluetooth technology and MP3 players as well. Many of the Oticon hearing aids come with binaural sound, which means that the two hearing aids a person wears work together as one. To prevent occlusion, which is the shut off feeling in the ear when a hearing aid is blocking the ear canal, Oticon offers the Tego hearing aid with OpenEarAcoustics. It is one of the aids that make changes depending on environment, and it does it automatically. When you are looking for a hearing aid for the first time or for a replacement, you want to have choices. Oticon hearing aids come in such an array of types and styles that you will have many choices just staying within its models. Good Things to Know About Siemens Hearing Aids Siemens offers a wide range of aids for the hearing impaired. One of the most important aids they offer is the Siemens Centra Active. A person would no longer have to be limited because of an active lifestyle if they chose this hearing aid. It is protected against excessive moisture caused by the menopausal hot flashes, which has created havoc with many hearing aid users because of the unusual sweating that occurs during this time. If you are the type of person who enjoys working in your garden or spending time outside during the heat of the summer, you'll perspire at some point. Your hearing aid must be able to stand up to the excess perspiration. If you want to just be outside watching your children play, this will help ease your limitations and allow you and your children more quality time together because you won't have to worry about your hearing aid conking out on you when you start to sweat from the summer heat! This amazing little instrument has a clip-on microphone cover to protect it from moisture, dust, and extra-tiny particles such as pollen. Pollen dust can be thick and annoying during the spring and could be a hindrance to your hearing aid that is not protected against it. Another awesome development Siemens has access to is the charger. Batteries have long been a source of frustration for hearing aid wearers, especially if you aren't able to get new ones when you need them most. Battery chargers have stepped outside the boundaries of video recorders, digital cameras, and cell phones to reach the field of the hearing impaired. Those who were limited by batteries can now extend their capabilities with the Centra Active Charger, which will greatly help active hearing aid wearers. Five hours of charging can be done as you sleep because the smart little charger shuts off when it's done. You'll get a full day of use and onto into the evening. Some of the other great products Siemens offers are as follows: 1. Siemens Acuris Life-the first wireless aid, an open canal aid, has flexible tubes with soft tips, 3 memory settings, 16 channels, 3 year warranty, $1300 2. Siemens Centra Active-water-resistant, rechargeable, optional charger ($150), comes in 11 colors, $1600 3. Siemens Cielo 2 Life 4. Siemens Cielo DIR BTE 5. Siemens Cielo Life 6. Siemens Artis 2 Life Some of the tests performed to determine the best hearing aid for your degree of hearing loss include: whispered speech, tuning fork, audiometry, otoa coustic, emissions and auditory brainstem response. An audiologist (someone who is trained to evaluate and treat hearing defects) can best determine which type of hearing aid is the best type for you. Sometimes there is added bone growth which interferes with the transmission of sound waves. It can be stopped or reversed with surgery 70% of the time. Even so, a hearing aid may be necessary until you can have the surgery, or it may be necessary if you do have the surgery and suffer still from a certain degree of hearing loss. Siemens Artis Hearing Aids May Be the Solution for You When you are trying to choose the right hearing aid, you may be overwhelmed by the choices on the market. Siemens is one of the top hearing aid companies that wants to help the hearing impaired with their outstanding products. A hearing consultant can help you narrow the many choices Siemens offers. You'll often hear the term 'occlusion' when learning about hearing aids. This means something which blocks the passage. Like some hearing aids that make you feel like you have a big cotton ball stuffed in your ear, occlusion can make you more aware that you have a hearing loss. If you've ever gone under water and tried to hear someone speaking to you who is still above water, you can understand occlusion. You shouldn't feel intimidated by the big terms used when discussing hearing aids or hearing loss. The person who is helping you should be willing to break the terms into more acceptable explanations so you won't walk away feeling like you just don't get it. Siemens offers aids with digital noise management, speech enhancement, special feedback management, wind noise reduction, trial periods, and ear-to-ear aids. There are 4 types of Artis aids alone---the BTE (behind the ear), the ITE (in the ear), the ITC (in the canal) and the CIC (completely in canal). These can be found for $1600. A hearing aid is not simply to allow you to hear. It must also monitor, filter, clarify, receive, and control loudness. For many years, people who needed aids in both aids faced additional challenges. Siemens aids can ease that situation as well. If your ears were damaged because of an unhealthy exposure to loud noise on a constant and regular basis, damage to both ears is often the case. Two aids must be able to function well together rather than as 2 separate units for the best performance. The ones Siemens makes are meant to compliment each other and work as a team. The Artis e2e can be found for $1500. Although with this aid, you do have the control to make manual adjustments, they work in sync. A remote control further aids your adjustment capabilities. It can work with only one aid or with an aid in each ear. The Siemens Artis 2 Life sells for $1100. Feedback is stopped before it happens so there's no uncomfortable squealing whistle to scare those around you. A high pitched sound breaking through the air suddenly can keep a person on edge if it happens often. The Artis 2 Life has an adaptive directional microphone to help you get the most out of the system. If also offers wind screen and automatically adjusts for telephone usage. Battery life is 120 hours. The Siemens Artis S sells for $1600. The pocket remote is optional and has readouts for volume, program number, and battery life (a whopping 190 hours!). This aid is for mild to moderate loss. Siemens also offers Artis hearing aids as a full shell, half shell, canal, mini canal, and CIC at price ranges from $1350 to $1450. All are available with the remote control option for $150. Why Seimens Artis Hearing Aids Are Popular Seimens has no problem selling hearing aids. In fact, they make about 20 percent of all hearing aids. Seimens Artis hearing aids are some of the best they have available. There are many reasons why Seimens Artis hearing aids are so popular. The Artis 2 is the newest model available. It has several features that make it more desirable than other aids. For example, these Seimens Artis hearing aids offer a technology called e2e wireless. When you have this technology, your hearing aids will function as one unit even though you're wearing them in both ears. You don't have to keep adjusting one and then the other to get the volume right. It's all done with the touch of one button. They each have microphones to take in sounds and circuitry to process it and send it to the ear. The only difference is that they are linked in control and directionality. To make this even easier, a device called an ePocket remote can be used to control the two aids simultaneously. These Seimens Artis hearing aids use a system of acquiring data about the volume and setting levels a person who wears them uses the most. After a short while, these adjustments will become more automatic, something like tivo technology. It is called DataLearning. Also available on the Artis 2 is DataLogging, which keeps track of data that the audiologist will be able to put to good use in doing your next fitting. Seimens Artis hearing aids can emphasize speech sounds while putting background noises in the background where they belong, and they are very advanced in recognizing the difference. They do this automatically with a dozen channels of frequency bands. It makes using them a breeze. By the way, Seimens Artis hearing aids can reduce or eliminate the noise the wind usually makes when it whistles in and around your ears and hearing aids. This is called the eWindscreen. These aids also are good at controlling feedback, that squealing noise you hear when people put in or adjust their hearing aids. A poorly made hearing aid will squeal at other times as well, but the Seimens Artis hearing aids will not have feedback in any of these situations. Autophone is featured, too. This allows a person wearing a hearing aid to talk on the phone while wearing their aid. It comes on automatically when you put the receiver up to your ear, and you will hear a small beep to let you know it has switched. Then, it will switch back when you take the phone away from your ear again. Seimens Artis hearing aids also come in another version, which is the Seimens Artis Life. It has many of the same features as the Artis 2, but it is a tiny BTE hearing aid that is both inconspicuous and comfortable. If you've ever worn ear plugs all day, you will remember that clogged up feeling you got and how glad you were to take them out. The Artis Life is designed in such a way as to eliminate that feeling, otherwise known as the occlusion effect. These hearing aids make hearing comfortable, easily managed, and accurate. They are the best that the company offers at this time. With all the features they offer, it is clear that there is good reason that Seimens Artis hearing aids are so popular. How Phonak Hearing Aids Make Listening Easy Paying attention to your surroundings at all times isn't easy for anyone. It's even harder for those with hearing deficits. Sounds seem muffled or far away. Voices are indecipherable. Furthermore, some hearing aids amplify all sounds, even the ones that are just distracting. Phonak hearing aids can make listening easier for those with hearing loss. Phonak hearing aids come with different levels of technology. Analog is the least advanced. These are manually adjusted and do not accommodate themselves to a person's preferences automatically. They just receive sound, amplify it, and send it to the ear. Digitally programmable, also known as analog programmable, is a type that is actually an analog device that can be programmed by using computer software. This allows for some of the advantages of a digital Phonak hearing aid, such as preprogrammed settings, without the expense of a digital. The digital Phonak hearing aids are where Phonak really shines. With digital technology, it is possible to acquire a hearing aid that is suited to your own personal preferences. This process begins with the fitting, but it doesn't end there. As you use your Phonak hearing aids you will naturally set the volume as you see fit for the way the setting around you sounds. You will adjust it differently in a crowded football stadium than you will in the relative quiet of your own back porch. After awhile, the Self Learning technology will adapt to the way you do things and will begin to take over the volume adjustments. Self Logging in you Phonak hearing aids will store information about your choices for use by your audiologist. Then, there is the AutoPilot feature. This element of the hearing aid will automatically change to any of several preset adjustments. The SurroundZoom feature diminishes sounds you'd rather not hear in the background. Phonak hearing aids offer a version of their aids called the microPower. It is tiny. It only weighs about 2 grams. It is also powerful enough for people with greater hearing loss, because it is essentially a behind the ear, BTE, hearing aid. Its tiny speaker rests in the ear canal. As with other BTE's the speaker and microphone are separate from the speaker and rest behind and on the ear. The tubing they are connected with in this case is extremely small. In fact, all the microStyle hearing aids are similar in size of both the case of the hearing aids and of the tubing. They are also very lightweight. Phonak hearing aids come in the usual styles. There are ITE, in the ear, hearing aids. These are fine for hearing loss that is not too severe. The BTE, behind the ear, aids are more appropriate for such user with any treatable level of hearing loss and also for children. Neither Phonak hearing aids nor any other hearing aids are capable of giving your hearing back the way it was before you suffered hearing loss. But, they can make it easier to hear and understand the world around you. With that goal in mind, the use of Phonak hearing aids is worth exploring. What Does Siemens Have to Offer? Siemens, sometimes misspelled as Seimens, is in the business of hearing aids. Having been in the business for more than 100 years (since 1847), it is an unusual name and has most likely suffered through just as many years of spelling mishaps! But while the spelling may confuse you, their hearing aids should not. They have representatives specially trained to help you determine what is best for your needs. The Siemens company understands how hearing loss can occur due to medication, ear infections gone out of control, head injuries, childhood diseases, and birth defects. Loud noises are often taken lightly and grossly miscalculated risks are taken which wear on a person's ability to hear properly until one day, they realize it's time for a hearing aid. Siemens knows the importance of getting evaluated for the proper aid and proper fit, and also the importance of taking care of the needs of children with hearing problems. Children benefit from Siemens BTE aids because they are more durable. Anyone who has an active child knows how important it is that anything the child must use has to stand up to the rugged lifestyles. Your child shouldn't be missing out on their chance to enjoy life simply because of limitations imposed by hearing aids that won't meet their needs properly. Are you a frequent traveler? Ask your Siemens (also known in error as Seimens) representative about locations you can stop by for service to your hearing aid. Make a note of the locations for future reference and keep it with your important paperwork. They're very widespread, operating in Africa, America, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Is your hearing loss conductive? If so, you'll need an aid that has the primary function of sending sound through the middle or outer ear. Your hearing should be restored simply by amplified aids, so the analog aids should work well for you. If your hearing loss is associated with aging or has other causes, restoring your hearing could be a bit more complicated. But whatever the type of hearing loss, Siemens (not Seimens) is sure to have the right hearing aid to improve your life. Siemens offers value Digital, Basic Digital, and Ultimate Digital choices. Their aids offer AutoPhone features, which is a huge step for hearing aid users who know how inconvenient it can be to try to use a telephone with a hearing aid of the past. The Siemen product families include Triano, Prisma 2, Music Pro, Phoenix Pro. Just the Prisma 2 basic BTE model can run from $1700 and up. Siemens (Seimens) participates at Trade shows and educational symposiums. They can provide you with an event calendar, support program, website service, and marketing services. Whether you wish to buy a hearing aid, sell one, or just have a program at your school or business about hearing aids and hearing loss, this is a company that should be able to help you out. Some of their charity project partners include the Pangea Foundation, the Line of Safety civic association, and the Children to Children project. The Benefits of Starkey Hearing Aids Hearing aids have become so much more technologically advanced that they even include devices which allow the users to listen to IPODS! In-line telephone amplifiers can be carried on trips to help with hotel phone use. There are devices the hearing impaired can take to movie theaters to help them hear the movie while blocking out the unnecessary background noises. One of the popular companies that seem to be on top with their innovating products that carry users into the future is Starkey. They have aids that will appeal to children as well as adults. If your child is embarrassed at the thought of having to learn to use a hearing aid, their feelings should be respected. Starkey can help ease the situation. They've taken the care and the time to help equip children around the world. It may help to have the child first try the hearing device at home for a short while before having them use it at school. They must become accustomed to the feel of the aid and may need help feeling less self-conscious about using an aid. They'll have to be taught the proper care, handling, storage, and not to share the aid with other curious children. Try finding other children who also wear a hearing aid who may be willing to communicate with your child. Children's care facilities, children's hospitals, other adults who wear hearing aids... all have potential for a support system for your child. The Starkey Hearing Foundation has provided over 20,000 aids to people who needed help acquiring them. It's located in Minnesota, but reaches far beyond with its assistance. Starkey has a program called StarKids, which is a help to parents and children as they learn about hearing aids. You may need the hearing aid yourself and will want to help your child understand your device better. Starkey Laboratories used to be a small ear mold company until William F. Austin took an interest in it. He merged it with his own company, which repaired hearing devices. Now there are Starkey facilities in more than 24 countries, with subsidiary companies in California and Minnesota. You may have heard of Audibel, Micro-Tech, and Nu-Ear. Starkey has aids with helpful features that include a diagnostic tool that provides a performance report of the hearing aid. It will actually remind you when it's time for your follow-up visit! If you're interested in this particular aid, it's called the Destiny 1600 and runs around $2400. Keep in mind that the best hearing aid features will cost more. If you just want the basics, Starkey has those as well. For models like the Davinci PSP line, the cost can be as much as $2200. The Sierra line sells for $1700. Starkey's Axent line sells for $2100. The Aspect Xtra sells for $2100. There are lower cost Starkey products, such as the Starkey A13 MPT-1 and the Starkey A13 Sequel MMP BTE-1. Aids along this line can run anywhere from $570 to $1400. A few of the famous people who have been associated with the Starkey name are Ronald Reagan, Elton John, and Jay Leno. Some Choice in BTE Hearing Aids Many of the excellent hearing aids come in a variety of styles including BTE (behind the ear), ITE (in the ear), ITC (in the canal), MC (mini canal), and CIC (completely in the canal). Some manufacturers, though, make special models that are specifically designed with the usual user of BTE hearing aids in mind. Oticon, for instance, makes the Sumo DM with plenty of power to amplify sound for those with greater hearing loss. With the increased ability to amplify comes the possibility of voices that don't sound weak or distorted. Its design also conserves battery life, and even when the batteries do start to run down, the Sumo DM's performance doesn't suffer. This is a good practical choice for the BTE hearing aid wearer with significant hearing loss. For a high-tech solution, try the Widex Senso BTE hearing aids. These have all the fancy features. They are fully digital. They process sound at an extremely fast rate, which is not true for all digital models. They process it in three bands. They analyze the signal, regulate it within each frequency, process the signal and send it through to the speakers. These BTE hearing aids separate speech from noise and put the emphasis on the speech sounds. Also, they have a great system for eliminating recruitment. This is a phenomenon in people with hearing loss where at first they can't hear you at all, and then you speak just a little louder and suddenly they feel as if you're shouting at them. These BTE hearing aids are also programmed to deal with feedback. They come with directional microphones on each hearing aid. They reduce the noises that are more constant in your environment, like the hum of a refrigerator. And, these BTE hearing aids are also available in special models that have more power for the people with more profound hearing loss. One type of BTE hearing aid that is made by several manufacturers is the open ear BTE aid. These are very lightweight and comfortable. The ear mold often comes in designer colors. The aids are equipped with extremely thin tubing for their ear hooks. The actual aid compartment itself that sits behind the ear may be so small and light that it's barely noticeable. For example, the Siemens Prisma BTE hearing aids weigh only two grams, but still have two microphones and a couple of memories that you can switch by pushing a button. The Starkey Aries BTE hearing aids are also extremely small. The open ear hearing aids have the added bonus of not blocking your ears. Many people are very uncomfortable having their ears shut off the way they are with most hearing aids. With the open ear hearing aid the ear has room to breathe, so to speak. Many also come with nanocoating. This is a covering substance that repels foreign matter such as sweat, dirt, and water. Each kind of hearing aid is advantageous for someone. If you decide that BTE hearing aids are your best decision, explore the options carefully. There are many choices available within that category.
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