What Are Hearing Aids, and What Types Are There?

Hearing aids are amplification devices designed to improve hearing and enhance speech communication for individuals with hearing impairment. There are several types of hearing aids, including box-style, eyeglass-style, behind-the-ear, in-the-ear, and in-the-canal aids. Among them, in-the-ear hearing aids are the most widely used. Completely in-the-canal hearing aids, the smallest currently available, sit deep in the ear canal and go unnoticed, earning them the nickname 'invisible hearing aids,' a favorite among younger individuals.

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When Should You Consider Wearing Hearing Aids?

Whether an adult or an infant, if average hearing loss is ≥40dB, and conventional treatments like medication or surgery cannot improve the condition, hearing aids should be considered for optimal hearing assistance.

Who Is Suitable for Hearing Aid Fitting?

Anyone with the desire to enhance speech communication, regardless of the nature of their hearing loss, can be a candidate for hearing aids. Generally, individuals with moderate hearing loss experience the greatest benefits from using hearing aids.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing Hearing Aids?

Choosing hearing aids not only maximizes language comprehension but, more importantly, enhances the quality of life and social capabilities of the wearer. For children, timely intervention with hearing aids is crucial for the development of speech and perceptual abilities. Failure to address hearing loss in infants can lead to speech disorders, emphasizing the importance of early detection and fitting.

Young and middle-aged individuals play a crucial role in society, and hearing impairment can limit their educational and employment opportunities. Wearing hearing aids becomes particularly vital for them. For older individuals, it helps prevent social isolation, dementia, and psychological disorders.

Can You Purchase and Wear Hearing Aids Without Restrictions?

Hearing aid fitting requires professional assessment based on the individual's condition and comprehensive hearing analysis. It is not a one-size-fits-all commodity; choosing and wearing a hearing aid without proper fitting may result in suboptimal effects, discomfort, and potential damage to residual hearing. Regular communication and adjustments are essential for achieving the desired fitting and treatment outcomes.

Why Advocate for Bilateral Fitting?

Bilateral hearing aid fitting is recommended whenever there is bilateral hearing loss and no contraindications. Benefits include improved sound gathering, noise reduction, balance, enhanced localization of sound sources, and increased language discrimination. Unilateral hearing aid use can lead to progressive auditory deprivation, emphasizing the importance of fitting aids in both ears simultaneously.

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How to Properly Use Hearing Aids?

When using hearing aids, three principles should be observed: moisture resistance, shock resistance, and earwax prevention. Moisture can cause internal components to rust, leading to malfunctions, so it's crucial to store hearing aids in a drying box daily. Earwax can clog the microphone, causing sound issues. Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary to ensure optimal performance."

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