There are more than 10 million people in the UK that have one form or other of hearing loss, that’s a staggering one in six people and 45,000 of them are deaf children and 800,000 of UK people are severely deaf. Apologies for boring you with statistics, that part is now covered I promise you.
We have been looking at hearing aids from an outsiders point of view along with what’s on the market and I must say I was very surprised at the technology and advances made over the years. Okay, I’m not so old that I remember those great big ear trumpets of bygone days but I do remember the behind the ear hearing aids that almost look like the wearer had grown as second ear and I can fully understand why people like my old grandma refused to wear one.
As with all things electronic they have seriously shrunk in size over the last five years or so and the quality, especially of the digital models has been greatly enhanced to make them more adjustable and clearer all round and more importantly able to be tuned to meet the users exact needs.
Analogue or Digital
Both the analogue and digital models can look very similar but work in very different ways. Analogue hearing aids amplify an electronic signal and the user can change the setting to match their surroundings such as a restaurant, quiet room or if they are inside in their own home or outside in a public place. Digital hearing aids on the other hand are more or less mini computers with many detecting the surroundings and making the best adjustments. Digital models are also less likely to produce annoying feedback or whistling that most of us have witnessed.
Behind the Ear
With this type the aid is worn behind the ear with a tube running down into the ear mold that contains the amplifying section. These are now much smaller than the older models and have clear tubing designed to hardly be noticed but are the most obvious of hearing aids to detect.
In the Ear Hearing Aids
These are much smaller and fit directly into the ear, they tend to be used by people with a greater degree of hearing loss.
Invisible Hearing Aids
These are the most recent and in many ways most advances hearing aids, they fit deep into the ear and are suitable for people with slight to moderate hearing impairments. Because of this and the fact that they are virtually invisible these tiny digital wonders are often the preferred option but are only fitted with the advice of a qualified audiologist.
Having a hearing impairment is a funny sort of disability, not funny ha-ha, no disability is ever that. I am saying funny because it is an invisible disability and if the user does not wear a usable aid to compensate for their hearing lose the person having difficulties communicating with them will often have no idea why they are not getting a reply or at worse not getting the reply they are expecting, because of this hidden disabilities are often the most difficult to live with.
So if you are thinking of buying a cheap hearing aid online without an assessment our simple and firm advice is don’t!