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Hearing Aids

Hearing aids can help patients with hearing difficulties.  Some common symptoms of patients with hearing difficulties are:
  •     People sound as if they are mumbling
  •     Difficulty hearing one-on-one or in group conversations
  •     The TV or radio cannot be fully heard unless the volume is louder than conversation in the room or you must turn it up louder than friends or family
  •     Restaurants, movies, stage plays, church and public speakers cannot be fully heard or clearly heard
  •     Difficulty understanding people when their faces cannot be seen
  •     Difficulty understanding people on the phone
  •     Ringing or noises in your ears or head
  •     Having to ask people to repeat themselves
Hearing Aid Patient Story: John

Hearing aids do not restore lost hearing; rather, they make hearing easier by amplifying speech and reducing background noise. Hearing aids should be worn consistently to benefit the most from them, and the benefit provided will vary from patient to patient due to the different types and degrees of hearing losses.

It is important to understand what hearing aids can and cannot accomplish. Depending on the model being used, hearing aids are able to:
  •     Amplify soft sounds, the sound of normal conversation and loud sounds, so that each can be fully heard without being too soft or too loud
  •     Amplify consonant sounds over vowel sounds to improve hearing in noisy situations
  •     Amplify speech using directional microphones to help hearing in noisy environments.
  •     Better localize sounds or tell where sounds are coming from
Hearing aids are not able to:
  •     Restore lost hearing or change how a patient’s auditory system functions
  •     Totally eliminate unwanted background noise
  •     Stop hearing loss from progressing
Temple's audiologists offer several different types of hearing aids, each with its own advantages. These include:

Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids (CIC) are custom molded to fit deep inside the ear canal. The least visible type of hearing aid, they can improve mild to severe hearing loss. They require very small batteries and therefore suffer from shorter batter life than other types of hearing aids.They are custom molded to fit deep inside the ear canal. The least visible type of hearing aid, they can improve mild to severe hearing loss. They require very small batteries and therefore suffer from shorter batter life than other types of hearing aids.
 
In-the-canal hearing aids (ITC) are custom molded to fit partly inside the ear canal. They are more visible than completely-in-the-canal hearing aids, but are less visible than larger models. In-the-canal hearing aids can improve mild or greater hearing loss.They are custom molded to fit partly inside the ear canal. They are more visible than completely-in-the-canal hearing aids, but are less visible than larger models. In-the-canal hearing aids can improve mild or greater hearing loss.

In-the-ear hearing aids (ITE) are custom modeled in two styles. Half shell models fill the lower half of the deepest area of the outer ear, while full shell models fill the entire area. Both models can improve mild or greater hearing loss. They are more visible than smaller types of hearing aids, but they feature longer battery life and have easily adjustable volume and directional microphones. They are custom modeled in two styles. Half shell models fill the lower half of the deepest area of the outer ear, while full shell models fill the entire area. Both models can improve mild or greater hearing loss. They are more visible than smaller types of hearing aids, but they feature longer battery life and have easily adjustable volume and directional microphones.

Behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE)
sit behind the ear and are connected to a custom earmold inside the ear by a small tube. Because they are better at amplifying sound than other models, behind-the-ear hearing aids are appropriate for patients with any type of hearing loss. They are the largest and most visible type of hearing aid, though recent models are smaller and less visible.

Receiver-in-canal and receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids (RIC/RITE) are similar to behind-the-ear hearing aids, only the external portion is connected to the earbud by a tiny wire instead of a tube. The receiver or speaker is placed directly in the ear without a fitted ear mold, which makes them the most comfortable forms of hearing aids and allows the wearer to hear low frequency sounds naturally. The external portions of these hearing aids are smaller and less visible than behind-the-ear hearing aids and can fit most types of hearing losses and are similar to behind-the-ear hearing aids, only the external portion is connected to the earbud by a tiny wire instead of a tube. The receiver or speaker is placed directly in the ear without a fitted ear mold, which makes them the most comfortable forms of hearing aids and allows the wearer to hear low frequency sounds naturally. The external portions of these hearing aids are smaller and less visible than behind-the-ear hearing aids and can fit most types of hearing losses

Open-fit hearing aids are similar to BTEs and RICs. Similarly to the RIC style hearing aids, these consist of an ear bud that allows low-frequency sounds to be heard naturally while high-frequency can be better amplified by the hearing aid. Open-fit hearing aids are smaller and less visible than behind-the-ear hearing aids. They are similar to BTEs and RICs. Similarly to the RIC style hearing aids, these consist of an ear bud that allows low-frequency sounds to be heard naturally while high-frequency can be better amplified by the hearing aid. Open-fit hearing aids are smaller and less visible than behind-the-ear hearing aids.

It is essential that patients considering a hearing aid be seen by a board-certified audiologist. Audiologists are specially trained healthcare professionals who have extensive experience diagnosing hearing loss and choosing the best type of hearing aid to correct it. Without the guidance of an audiologist, patients could receive the wrong type of hearing aid—wasting money at best, and further damaging their hearing at worst.

Temple's board-certified audiologists offer:
  • Hearing aid assessment, fitting and maintenance
  • Custom molded protection and musicians' earplugs
  • Leading edge-technology in digital hearing aids
  • A variety of brands and designs to fit all patients' preferences and needs
In order to see a Temple audiologist, it is necessary to obtain a referral from an otolaryngologist.