Nearly forty million people in the United States have some form of hearing loss. Hearing loss can greatly reduce one's quality of life. Not only do their interpersonal relationships suffer, but hearing loss can also cause bouts of frustration, anger, and anxiety. The good news is, hearing aids are an effective way to treat hearing loss.
If you suffer from hearing loss and would like to know more about hearing aids, here are three things you should know.
1. Know What Kind of Hearing Loss Hearing Aids Treat
There are three primary types of hearing loss. These include conductive, sensorineural, and mixed hearing loss. The type of hearing loss that hearing aids most effectively treats is sensorineural, which occurs when the small sensory cells of the inner ear become damaged.
Some of the most common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include illness, aging, and prolonged exposure to loud noise. Hearing aids will not restore hearing. Instead, they amplify sounds, which allows the wearer to hear them better.
2. Know About the Different Kinds of Hearing Aids
The type of hearing aid a person needs depends on several factors, which include their lifestyle, the severity of hearing loss, and what they can afford to spend.
The different kinds of hearing aids include:
- In-the-ear (ITE). These small hearing aids fit inside the outer ear.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE). These hearing aids fit behind the ear.
- Canal aids. These customized hearing aids fit directly inside the ear canal.
People with mild to severe hearing loss will benefit from these types of hearing aids. Those with profound hearing loss may need a body aid, which attaches to a belt and connects to the ear with a wire. There are pros and cons to each of these kinds of hearing aids. It's important for those with hearing loss to discuss their options with an audiologist.
3. Know That Hearing Aids Require Routine Maintenance
Once a person finds the right kind of hearing aid, they will want to properly maintain the device. Hearing aid wearers can do the following maintenance themselves:
- Keep hearing aids away from heat and moisture.
- Clean the hearing aids with a soft, dry cloth every day.
- Turn the hearing aids off when not in use.
- Take the batteries out at night.
An audiologist that provides hearing aid maintenance services should check the hearing aids on a regular basis. During these regular checks, an audiologist will make any necessary adjustments so that wearers are always hearing their best.