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Finding out which hearing instrument is best for you is the audiologist's job. The audiologist will analyze your hearing loss and support you by answering all your questions regarding your individualized care. Because your hearing loss is as unique as your own fingerprint.
Types of Hearing Instruments
Body Worn Hearing Instruments
These were the first type of hearing instrument to be made. The microphone, battery and amplifier are in a case, which is worn in a pocket or harness. The receiver and earmould are worn in the ear and connected to the case with a cord. These aids are usually used for severe and profound hearing losses.
The advantages of these instruments are the ease of handling as the controls are larger and easier to see. Maximum power can also be achieved without acoustic feedback as the receiver and microphone are far apart. The disadvantages are the microphone is not at ear level making localisation of sound difficult and clothing noise can be a problem. The aids are also bulky and inconvenient and the cords get broken very easily.
Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Instruments
These have all the components enclosed in a small case that fits behind the ear. The sound is directed into the ear via a plastic tube and earmould. These hearing instruments can be used for all degrees of hearing losses.
The advantage of these instruments is that the ability to localise sound is preserved when the wearer has a hearing instrument in each ear. They are also much smaller than body worn instruments.
In-The-Ear (ITE) Hearing Instruments
These hearing instruments were developed in the 1970s. All the components are contained in a shell that is custom made to fit the wearer's ear. The instrument is worn entirely in the ear and there is no need for cords, tubes or earmoulds. Some people find them easier to handle than behind-the-ear instruments, as there is only one piece but the controls are much smaller.
Canal Hearing Instruments
Canal hearing instruments are similar to in-the-ear hearing instruments. The components are all enclosed in a custom made shell that fits into the canal portion of the ear. They are very easy to fit into the ear and once in position are concealed from view by the tragus of the outer ear.
Learning to use your Hearing Instrument
You will only obtain maximum benefit from your hearing aid if you use it regularly and become thoroughly accustomed to the new sounds and use of the controls. You need time to get used to these new sounds so don't worry if speech sounds muddled or confused it will become clearer with practice.
Start by wearing your hearing instrument for a short time and as you get used to it gradually increase the length of time you wear it. However, if you become tired turn the instrument off or reduce the volume. Always adjust the volume so the sound is clear, rather than as loud as possible.
Start by wearing your hearing instrument at home in a quiet room. Adjust the volume so that your own voice sounds louder than usual and listen to background noises such as footsteps, doors closing, water running, birds singing, children playing. Learn to recognise these sounds. Also, accustom yourself to your own voice by reading aloud.
Care and maintenance
Care and maintenance of Hearing Instruments
  • Storage - keep hearing aids in a box or container when not in use. Store in cool dry place, out of reach of young children or animals
  • Switch off hearing aid after use
How Hearing Instrumens get broken
  • Dropped or stepped on
  • Corroded batteries
  • Misuse or rough handling
  • Cords pulled, chewed, knotted
  • Earmoulds pulled, chewed, torn
  • Water, food, dust getting inside hearing aid
  • Hearing aids left outside
  • Hearing aids taken apart
  • Old age of hearing aid
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