What types of hearing aids are available?
There are three basic types of hearing aids available – completely-in-the-canal (CIC), in-the-ear (ITE), and behind-the-ear (BTE). There are many other, more specialized types, including the disposable hearing aid. The best way to find out which is right for you contact your Hearing Instrument Practitioner.

How do consumers choose the right type of hearing aid?
The degree of hearing loss is a major factor in deciding what type of hearing aid best suits a person’s need. Personal preference and lifestyle are also factors that should be considered. Your Hearing Instrument Practitioner will work with you to find the best fit.

How does a hearing aid work?
A microphone in the instrument picks up the sound in the environment and changes it to electrical energy that goes to a set of amplifiers and other modifying and adjusting circuits. The modified electrical signal is then sent to a miniature speaker (called a receiver) and delivered to the ear. The newest aids are smart enough to amplify certain sounds or frequencies that are tailored to each hearing loss.

How do hearing aids perform with background noise?
Background noise is present in everyone’s life. Unconsciously, the brain filters out most background noise. During hearing loss, the brain becomes lazy in this process because all sounds are reduced or inaudible. When an individual begins using the hearing aid all sounds are once again heard and it is necessary to retrain the brain in selective listening skills. It is critical that the hearing aid consumer participate in follow-up and counseling sessions during this period of adjustment.

How much do hearing aids cost?
The cost of hearing aids varies depending on the type of hearing aid, the number of special features and the professional services provided. As a result, the range of prices varies.

Why does the price of a hearing aid vary by dispenser?
As with all competing industries, brisk competition among hearing aid dispensers provides consumers with a wide variety of pricing and service options.

What kind of research is taking place to improve hearing aids?
Engineers and scientists are designing components to deliver sound to the ear that replaces lost or distorted cues which contribute to the understanding of speech. Changes in directionality of microphones, the nature of the amplifier and fidelity of the sound in noise remain the main focus of most research.