Let’s start with a brief definition of what a hearing aid is: A hearing aid is a medical device that amplifies sounds to improve or attempt to restore a person’s hearing. It consists of one or more microphones, an earphone and an electronic circuit.
That said, we will see that today’s hearing aids are real technological tools that allow for precise adjustment by the hearing care professional. Imagine that even Google can be found in your devices through a translation application or by showing you the best route to take by car!
Advances in the field have made it possible to keep the use of devices very simple while allowing people with hearing loss to have greater control over sounds. Over time, awareness and technology, the barriers to hearing aids are fading. We are in an era where more people want to reconnect with their sound environment.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT HEARING AID?
CHOOSE THE HEARING AID MODEL THAT SUITS YOU
That’s it, your hearing test has passed and confirmed your suspicions and those of your family and friends. You now want to correct the situation and acquire hearing aids to hear and above all better understand! You will soon discover that several hearing aid models exist and that the choice is not so simple.
CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET YOU WILL FIND 5 DIFFERENT MODELS OF HEARING AIDS THAT CAN HAVE MORE THAN ONE NAME:
regular Behind the Ear (BTE);
mini BTEs (RITE – Receiver in the ear or RIC – Receiver in the channel);
In the ears, which are found only inside the ear (IIC – Invisible in the canal, CIC – Completely in the canal);
THE CHOICE OF THE MODEL DEPENDS ON 5 CRITERIA:
of the aesthetics you are looking for;
the degree of your hearing loss;
of your dexterity;
of the configuration of your ear;
and also the paying agencies.
You may want to have the smallest hearing aid, but a hearing loss that is too large, a hearing loss that is too small, or the fact that the Régie d’Assurances Maladie du Québec (RAMQ) does not cover this type of device could redirect your decision.
This is only one example, but you will understand that there are a variety of combinations that will guide the hearing care professional’s recommendation. It is therefore important to discuss with the latter to understand the reasons for choosing the model according to your profile.
There are several brands of hearing aids, be aware that they may have somewhat different philosophies, but their products are similar. Depending on your needs, the comfort of your hearing care professional with particular brands, you can agree on the appropriate model.
DECIDE ON THE DESIRED TECHNOLOGICAL LEVEL OF YOUR HEARING INSTRUMENTS
Once the model has been chosen, it remains to decide on the desired technological level. While this may seem simple enough, it is a crucial step that can easily be overlooked. However, the choice of the technological level of hearing aids is directly related to the price.
“It’s a bit like choosing a television. A basic television will allow you to listen to television in a way that is satisfactory for most situations. A more advanced television will have a better definition and will make it possible to enjoy films in darker situations. Finally, the best television will offer everything that is new, a curved screen for the immersive experience, internet connectivity and applications, etc.”
MOST HEARING CARE PROFESSIONALS IN QUEBEC WILL OFFER 4 LEVELS OF TECHNOLOGY. THE DIFFERENCES ARE AT SEVERAL LEVELS:
The number of channels available for fitting your hearing aids: Usually, a complex hearing loss will require more adjustment channels to increase the accuracy of your hearing aids. When we talk about adjustment channels, we refer to frequency settings (Hertz).
Hearing aid managers: Different managers are used to increase the comfort of hearing aid use. For example, a manager of wind noise, impact noise, reverberation (echo), etc. It should be noted that the performance of managers is proportional to the number of adjustment channels.
Automatism: More efficient hearing aids will also be more automatic. In other words, they will automatically adapt to the different sound profiles of the environment. They recognize the environment (in restaurants, for example) and modify the adjustments accordingly.
Hearing aids: Along with technology also come accessories that can make it easier to use hearing aids. The latter are not mandatory for the operation of the devices. It can be a question of:
of remote controls;
applications on your smartphone;
the possibility of having rechargeable batteries;
Again, after profiling your needs, it is the role of the hearing care professional to advise you on these options/accessories.