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Hearing Aids

What is a Hearing Aid?

A hearing aid is an electronic, battery-operated device that amplifies and changes sound to allow for improved communication.

Parts of a Hearing Aid

There are four main parts of a hearing aid

  • A microphone to pick up sound
  • An amplifier to make the sound louder
  • A receiver to deliver the louder sound into the ear
  • A battery to supply power to the electronic parts.

How common is Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic health conditions in the United States. It affects people of all ages, in all segments of the population, and across all socioeconomic levels.

Hearing loss affects approximately 17 in 1,000 children under age 18. Incidence increases with age: approximately 314 in 1,000 people over age 65 have hearing loss. Hearing loss can be hereditary, or it can result from disease, trauma, or long-term exposure to damaging noise or medications. Hearing loss can vary from a mild but important loss of sensitivity, to a total loss of hearing.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

There are several causes of hearing loss. It can be hereditary, or it can result from disease, trauma, or long-term exposure to damaging noise or medications. Hearing loss can vary from a mild but important loss of sensitivity, to a total loss of hearing.

Difference between a Hearing Aid and a Cochlear Implant

A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sound, while cochlear implants compensate for damaged or non-working parts of the inner ear. A cochlear implant does not amplify sound and hearing from an implant may sound different from normal hearing.

Types of Hearing Aids

There are several types of hearing aids. Each type offers different advantages, depending on its design, levels of amplification, and size. Before purchasing any hearing aid, ask whether it has a warranty that will allow you to try it out.

The most common types of hearing aids are:

  • In-the-Ear hearing aids fit completely in the outer ear and are used for mild to severe hearing loss.
  • Behind-the-Ear hearing aids are worn behind the ear and are connected to a plastic ear mold that fits inside the outer ear.
  • Canal Aids fit into the ear canal and are available in two sizes.
  • Body Aids are used by people with profound hearing loss. The aid is attached to a belt or a pocket and connected to the ear by a wire.

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