In many cases, the most effective method of dealing with hearing problems is the use of a hearing aid. If you have heard people react negatively to hearing aids in the past, keep in mind that today's devices are highly sophisticated, and that many of the problems that plagued hearing aid users in the past have been corrected or eased. Most people with hearing loss can benefit greatly from the use of a properly selected and fitted hearing aid.
Today’s hearing aids are advanced amplification systems that incorporate a microphone, loudspeaker and tiny computer chip that is able to differentiate speech from background noise. Although it will not replace the natural hearing mechanism, those who approach its use with positive motivation find it enhances the quality of their lives greatly. Once an audiologist has assessed a hearing problem and arranged for the correct hearing aid or assistive device, it is important that the device be fitted correctly and explained fully.
This is where our certified dispensers take over to complete your Upper Canada Hearing and Speech Centre service.
- Dispensing and fitting of all hearing aid styles and manufacturers
- Repair and modifications to all hearing aids
- Fitting of all custom earmold products, such as hearing aid molds, musician ear plugs and noise/sound plugs, and swim plugs
- FM and Assistive listening devices
- Batteries and accessories
Your audiologist or hearing aid dispenser can also help with advice for family and friends in how to help make communication easier among a person with hearing loss and his/her loved ones. For example:
- Before you speak to someone with hearing loss, get their attention. This helps the person hear and lip-read.
- Look directly at a person with hearing loss when you speak. Eye contact helps a lot.
- Keep your hands away from your face, so you do not interfere with the person with hearing loss seeing your mouth.
- Speak in normal loudness and at a regular speed.
- Keep background noise in the room at a minimum when conversing.
- If the person does not understand your statement, try rewording it. There are some words that are much easier to lip-read than others.
- Use body language, as well as words, to convey your message.
If you are experiencing difficulty in functioning in your day-to-day life because your hearing is impaired in some way, you may. Amplification by a hearing aid can work in different ways - by relieving the strain of hearing by making sounds louder. A hearing aid can also help you understand speech. Most people who wear hearing aids think of them as symbols of courtesy to others, in addition to helping in their own lives.
A hearing aid has two functions: select sounds to enhance, then amplify the result to help overcome a hearing deficiency. An amplifier is an analog device based on the transistor, and all hearing aids have some level of analog circuitry. The main difference between an analog and a digital hearing aid is how the sound is processed. An analog hearing aid is like the controls on your stereo - you can increase or decrease the bass (low) and trebal (high) sounds. The analog hearing aid has only a few basic abilities to change sound. A digital hearing aid has a small computer in it. The sound is received by the microphone and converted into computer information. The computer then processes the data to enhanse the sound. This enhancement can range from simple to very complex. Once processed, the data is sent to the amplifier and played in the ear. The key advantage of digital is the ability to handle more complex adjustments to the sound.
- Transmitters and microphones that use infrared transmission, FM transmission or inductance loop transmission.
- Vibrating alarm clocks
- Telephone amplifiers
- Visual alarm systems
- TV closed caption decoders
- Telephone devices for the deaf (TDDs)
- Hand-held amplifiers
If you wear a hearing aid a lot, you won't lose your ability to hear without it. The device helps you to hear better. Most people who allow themselves the time to get used to the hearing aid no longer want to go without it, because they enjoy hearing the sounds of life so much.
If you are, and you are in a profession that involves the necessity for hearing accuracy, consider special earplugs designed for musicians.