Clarksville Center for Audiology
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Hearing Aids

Frequently Asked Hearing Aid Questions

My friend’s hearing aids talk to each other. How does that work?
There are hearing aids now available that "communicate" through a wireless connection. The purpose is to give the wearer binaural (stereo) hearing. Your brain functions best when sound inputs are equal for both word understanding and background noise.

Talk with a board certified audiologist to see if this new technology will benefit you.

How small are hearing aids?
A recent survey found that vanity is the number one reason that Americans don’t wear hearing aids. The newest designs in hearing aids are winning awards in technology for their innovative size and design as well as superior function.

The new open fit behind the ear hearing aids hide the hearing aid completely behind the wearer’s ear and transmit the sound into the ear through a tiny 1 mm tube. These aids all but eliminate the bothersome loud, hollow sound of the wearer’s voice while providing better signal processing in background noise.

Will I be able to talk on the telephone with hearing aids?
Telephone switches/circuits have been available for many years with most hearing aids. In the past few years, newer technology has been developed to allow for automatic or switchless telephone circuits. You simply put the telephone over the hearing aid and it will change to the telephone setting.

These automatic telephone circuits are available in behind the ear, in-the-ear and in-the-canal sized hearing instruments.

How long do hearing aids last?
Hearing aids typically last 4-6 years. Although this does not seem like a long time, remember they are mechanical devices. Like any other mechanical device, your car for example, they will wear out. Hearing aids are typically worn 10-15 hours daily and compared to your car or television, that is A LOT of use.

Advances in hearing aid technology are moving rapidly, each year hearing instruments offer wider flexibility in fitting and better sound processing. This may also influence your decision making as to when the time is right for you to consider new hearing aids.

Should I wear one hearing aid or two?
For most people with hearing loss, two hearing aids are better than one. Your brain works best when it receives sound from both ears. It is easier to understand speech in background noise, localize where sounds are coming from, and hear from both sides. Sound quality and clarity is generally better.

Additionally, it is important for both ears to stay active to maintain good speech understanding ability. There are times where one ear may not benefit from amplification, but for most people, two hearing aids are best. Your audiologist can recommend what is best for you.

My spouse is hard of hearing, how can we improve communication?
There are many things you can do to facilitate communication with a hard-of-hearing person. Get their attentionbefore you speak and face them so they can see you as they will instinctively do some lip reading. Remember to speak clearly, not just loudly, and slow down!

Rephrasing is always better than just repeating the same word over and over, and don't be afraid to manipulate your environment, like moving to a quieter place, or turning off the TV. But, most important, BE PATIENT!

Remember, that communication can be very frustrating and exhausting for some with hearing loss.