Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Test Results for Different Types of Hearing Aids




“There are specific types of hearing aids for differing types of hearing loss and individual preferences.– Michael Gehan, Audiologist, Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation


Your local audiologist can test your hearing to determine if you need a hearing aid or have hearing loss.


Types of hearing aids for different types of hearing loss:

  • Analog Hearing Aids – uses transistor technology and consists of a microphone, amplifier and receiver.
  • Digitally Programmable Hearing Aids - capable of adjustments in audiologist office by connecting hearing aid to a computer system.  The sound processing is NOT digital.

“Our product testers unanimously agree that digitally-programmable analog hearing aids are not equivalent in performance to our top-rated fully-digital hearing aids.” –Texas D.A.R.S. - Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

  • Fully Digital Hearing Aids - The Central Processing Unit, CPU, can look backward in time and make decisions about what is unwanted noise and what is the desired speech signal, thus this kind of hearing aid is more desirable when confronting background noise.
  • Directional Microphones - More sensitive to sounds arriving in front of the listener than to those arriving from the back or sides.  Fitting these on a hearing aid requires a skilled audiologist, as directional microphones are finicky.  Some sophisticated fully digital hearing aids do constant calibration of the two microphones so that the hearing aid’s noise reduction capabilities are always functioning properly.

“When both the background noise and the desired speaker of interest  are in front of you, directional microphones can not help you.” –Texas D.A.R.S. - Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services 

  • Automatic Noise Reduction - Fully digital hearing aids have the capability of reducing noise that does not vary in pitch or loudness over time, i.e. the roar of your car tires becomes softer as you continue to drive (because this noise is a constant and does not vary much in pitch or loudness).
  • Multi-Memory Fully Digital Hearing Aids - Multiple memories (or programs) are set for various listening characteristics.  One program may be set for quiet, one for noise and one for telephone, for example. Most of the digital hearing aids tested by this group had more than one program.
  • Multichannel Fully Digital Hearing Aids - These break incoming sounds into multiple chunks, called channels, which make automatic noise reduction and hearing aid fine-tuning more effective. 

Most Manufacturers will have 5 to 6 levels of technology. These levels typically dictate the price of the hearing aid. Ranging from lowest price (Entry) to highest price (Premium)– Michael Gehan, Audiologist, Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation

Achieve Hearing & Rehabilitation (AHR) is located in Plano, Texas and establishes individualized relationships with patients. AHR can employ a state-of-the-art hearing aid and auditory testing to provide you the best method of treatment for your hearing problems.  To speak to an audiologist please call 972-608-0416 today.

Reference: 
Texas D.A.R.S. - Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services 

1 comment:

  1. FCC encouraging manufacturers to consider hearing aid compatibility at the earliest stages of the
    product design process, ensuring that consumers with hearing loss are not always trying to catch
    up to technology: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-ensures-hearing-aid-compatibility-wireless-voice-technologies

    ReplyDelete