a prescription for better hearing


Conventional Hearing Aids

The most basic type of hearing aids, conventional hearing instruments are selected by your hearing professional so that the hearing aid response best matches the client's hearing loss at the time of testing. Volume adjustments can be made manually by the client. If sounds are too soft, the volume can be "turned up". If sounds are too loud, the client can "turn down" the volume control.

Minor changes to the hearing aid sound can be made by the hearing professional. Major changes or changes in the client's hearing loss entail sending the hearing instrument back to the manufacturer so that the response can be altered.

Conventional aids have a microphone to gather sound, an amplifier to increase sound volume and a receiver to transmit the amplified sound to the ear. These aids have a manual volume control for the client. Screw-set controls are usually mounted on the hearing aid for the hearing professional to adjust. The controls handle the amplification and the frequency/tonality, and are adjusted by the hearing professional.

Programmable Hearing Aids

Programmable hearing aids are a step up in technology from conventional hearing aids.

These instruments have an analog circuit that can be adjusted (programmed) on a computer by your hearing professional. The greater flexibility available and fine-tuning allow much greater control in matching the hearing aids to the client's needs. They also feature automatic volume control.

Programmable hearing aids are selected by the hearing professional by matching most closely the manufacturer and circuit they think will work best for the client's hearing loss and lifestyle. When the programmable instrument is received, it is connected to a computer and the computer sets a listening program in the hearing aid based on the client's hearing loss. While being fit with the aids, the client reports likes/dislikes to the professional for immediate changes . Since all people have different needs and hearing losses, it can take a few follow-up visits to set the program to the best match for the client's needs. Most programmable aids have automatic volume control so the client needs only to wear the instruments and listen.

If the client's hearing loss changes, adjustments can be made in the program by the hearing professional in the office.

Many programmable aids are easy to wear and some automatically adjust volume based on the level of the incoming sound. This circuitry makes soft sounds louder and loud sounds softer. The microphone gathers the sound information. The amplifier makes adjustments to the sound based on the program set in the hearing aid by the professional. The receiver (speaker) then transmits the altered sound to the ear.

Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids have the most advanced technology available today. They are programmable hearing instruments with digital circuits. The digital circuits are more flexible than analog circuits. Precise programming to match the client's individual hearing loss, sometimes at each specific frequency/pitch is available in digital aids.

Improved clarity of sound, less circuit noise, faster sound processing, and improved listening in noise are offered by digital hearing instruments. Digital aids adjust volume automatically.

Digital hearing aids process sound digitally. The sound you hear will be clear and free from distortion. Digital aids allow the most precise prescriptive fitting available in hearing instruments today. Older analog aids turned everything up, while digital aids focus on bring understanding through sophisticated control of the sound signal inside the hearing aid. Sounds differ in pitch, volume/loudness which digital processing can shape across changing pitches and volumes.

Due to changing hearing levels at different frequencies, each specific frequency needs a different amplification. Digital hearing aids separate the frequency response into bands and channels, which can be manipulated independently, customizing the hearing aid response to your specific hearing loss. They can examine the sound environment and adapt the amplification accordingly without adding noise or distortion.

Digital hearing aids compared to conventional hearing aids is like comparing a compact disc to a record player.

Types of Hearing Aids

Behind-the-Ear: This kind of hearing aid fits behind the ear and carries sound to the ear through a custom ear mold. Hearing aids that are attached to eyeglasses are a type of behind-the-ear hearing aids. They are useful for mild to severe hearing loss.

In-the-Ear: These are custom made to fit in the outer ear. You can't see any wires because they are inside the aid. They are useful for mild to moderate hearing loss.

Completely-in-the-Canal: This kind of hearing aid is custom made to fit in the ear canal. There are no outside wires or tubes. These hearing aids are almost impossible to see. They help people with all but the worst hearing loss.

On-the-Body: These are for very bad hearing loss. They include a case with a larger microphone, amplifier and battery. The case can be carried in pockets or attached to clothing. The case is connected by a wire to an ear receiver that is attached to an ear mold.

National Heairng Center provides all sizes and brands of hearing aid batteries. Just send us an email stating size, quantity, payment info and shipping address. We will be happy to send them out to you that day.

Only 79 Cents per battery plus
55 Cents for shipping and handling!

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Hearing Industry links:

Starkey Laboratories

Sonic Innovations

Audina Hearing

American Academy of Audiology

Westone Laboratories

Ear Foundation






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