Do you remember when you were young and you connected two big paper or plastic cups to a length of string, letting your friend hold one while you held the other? This hearing experiment was well-known by many generations, often as an attempt to pretend to use a telephone. Well, it also was one of the inspirations for one of the early types of hearing aids. The hearing device was called an ear trumpet, helpful but certainly not the best hearing aid. The development of hearing aids has come a long way since then!
A medical term for hearing loss is ‘otosclerosis’. Hearing is defined as the process of perceiving sounds.
Having the best hearing aid can help you get past the attitude barriers of others who don’t seem to understand your challenges. It opens the door for better, more accurate communication. It’s no fun to be made fun of because your hearing aid or your hearing impairment won’t allow you to properly interpret the words directed to you or around you. It can be especially devastating to a child. The physical handicap is far from being the only challenge to overcome. A hearing aid can help give a hearing-challenged child courage and ease their stress levels tremendously.
Although sign language and lip reading are important and helpful to many people with hearing loss, not every hearing impaired person has learned these tools and these tools aren’t always the best for every situation.
When you realize the need for a hearing aid, there are several things to consider. The amount of loss suffered, whether you have loss in both ears or just one and how much in each ear, the fit to your unique ear shape, the cost, the service fees for the equipment, batteries and their availability, location of a hearing aid provider, your lifestyle, and the testing to determine your needs. If you’re a parent, you’ll want more than just a test by the school nurse to determine the extent of hearing loss and the proper needs for your child. There are more choices available for children and more attractive aids created just for their interests. Purchasing the best aid now may make a difference in how their hearing loss progresses.
Some of the top hearing companies in the market are Starkey, Siemens, Beltone, Phonak, Rexton, Sonic Inovations, Unitron, Widex, and Sebotek. Just about everyone has heard about the popular Miracle Ear! You can find ads in magazines geared towards the interests of the elderly, check the flyers in the doctor’s offices, and ask around. You might be surprised who wears a hearing aid these days! Although the elderly are the first in thought when hearing aids come to mind, anyone at any age can develop a need for a hearing aid. Just asking someone to give you an example of their experience can lead you to your choice of the best hearing aid for you.
The best hearing aids will come with a few extras, like a good warranty, extra batteries, the storage case, instructions, important numbers to call for service centers, and the ear wax cleaning tool.