Technology to get the Most out of Your Hearing
There are many different types of hearing devices available in the market to meet a variety of needs. Devices like hearing aids are designed to make sounds louder while devices like a cochlear send sound signals directly to the brain. The type of device that is right for you will depend on your diagnosis, what the device will be used for, your budget and your personal preferences.
You may have seen hearing devices available online, in stores or in magazines for cheaper than those available elsewhere. It is generally not a good idea to purchase these “over the counter” devices – only a qualified audiologist can help to select and fit a device that will ensure the best outcomes for your hearing.
Below we have provided a brief description of the different types of hearing devices available. This document is not meant as medical advice, rather, it is an overview of what is available. Please speak to your GP or an audiologist to discuss the best options for you.
Hearing aids amplify the sound and send the sound down the ear canal to the inner ear where the hearing nerves are located. There are many different types of hearing aids and the type and style will depend on your needs, preference and budget. For example;
- Behind the ear
- High powered
- Open fit
- In the canal
- In the ear
- Completely in the canal
- Bone anchored hearing aid
The first step in ensuring you are getting the correct hearing aid is to visit an audiologist for an audiogram and professional advice on the devices suited to you.
Cochlear implants are generally used for moderate to profound hearing loss. They work by bypassing the damaged part of the ear and directly stimulating the auditory nerve. As the name suggests, a surgical implant is required. Cochlear implants are a very effective with up to 80% of adults showing communication improvement after receiving them. As with hearing aids, the first step toward getting a cochlear implant is visiting an audiologist.
Personal Sound Amplification Products
Personal sound amplification products are pieces of equipment that amplify the sound around you. They may exist as a stand alone piece of hardware, an application on a device or a mix of the two. While generally being cheaper than hearing aids, they do not address the key issues associated with hearing loss, they only amplify sounds around you.
Apart from the devices listed above, there are many other types of equipment available. Visit your audiologist to find out about options such as bone conduction implants, middle ear implants and brain stem implants.
Before you visit an audiologist, we recommend you read our guide to choosing an audiologist.