Benefits of Hearing Aids
Hearing loss is a gradual process and many people don’t realize the extent to which their hearing has deteriorated until others point it out. Meanwhile, changes in their activities of daily living reflect their diminished ability to hear (such as turning up the volume on the TV or asking people to speak louder). Often, family members make compensations for the hearing impaired — but at some point, even that is not enough, and the individual begins to shy away from social situations. The effects of untreated hearing loss can lead to anxiety, insecurity, isolation and depression.
With the technology available today, hearing aids can significantly enhance the quality of life for most people with hearing impairment. Hearing aids are designed to make sounds louder, and therefore easier to hear. Most hearing aids also include circuitry to keep sound from becoming too loud and to help reduce the effects of background noise.
Although they can’t replicate normal hearing, hearing aids can dramatically improve one’s awareness of surrounding sounds and voices. Those who opt for hearing aids, experience better relationships with family and friends, higher self-esteem, improved mental health, and greater independence and security.
Every person’s hearing loss is different, and everyone’s listening needs are unique. Hearing aids vary widely in their styles, sizes and types of circuit technology. Our staff provides assistance in helping you determine the best device to meet your individual needs and preferences.
Considerations for device selection include your specific hearing-loss characteristics, physical anatomy and dexterity, lifestyle, preferences in device style and circuitry, and cost.
Compare at $1375
Provide the basic features needed to improve your hearing. A good option for people who spend most of their time at home or in small groups.
An excellent option for people with more active lifestyles. Advanced hearing aids offer features to improve hearing in restaurants, while shopping or at religious services.
The most advanced technology provides all the latest features. Ideal for music lovers, people who enjoy the outdoors, busy places and those with demanding hearing needs.
*Price represents private pay patients out of pocket cost after government funding for one device. Some models may be priced slightly higher. Offer applies to select products. Comparison prices based upon Manufacturer list price and Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario 2019 Recommended Fee Guide. See clinic for details.
Hearing Aid Technology Levels
Everyone’s hearing is unique. It is critical that we understand not only your level of hearing, but your lifestyle needs as well.
Essential Hearing Aids
Advanced Hearing Aids
Premium Hearing Aids
Hearing Aid Components
While there are many different types of hearing-aid technologies, four basic components are common to them all:
- Microphone: Receives sound and converts it into electrical impulses.
- Amplifier: Intensifies electrical impulses.
- Processor Chip: Manipulates sounds to amplify the specific sounds that you want to hear
- Receiver: Translates those electrical impulses into louder sounds.
- Battery: Serves as power source for device.
Hearing Aid Styles
Hearing aids are available in more styles and sizes than ever before; thanks to miniaturization of electronics and a new focus in the hearing industry on style and design. Now, more and more people can wear tiny, nearly invisible models, or sleek styles that are much less conspicuous than the latest Bluetooth headsets.
Hearing aids worn in the ear are usually custom-fit, based on a cast or impression of the ear. They’re available in different skin tones to camouflage with the outer ear. There are several styles – each is listed below, ranging from smallest to largest.
The smallest custom style, CIC instruments fit deeply and entirely within the ear canal. They fit mild to moderate hearing losses and offer high cosmetic appeal as they’re nearly invisible when worn.
ITC instruments sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, making them comfortable and easy to use. Because they’re slightly larger than CIC models, they have a longer battery life, and can host additional features such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments, and controls such as volume controls. They fit mild and moderate hearing losses.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) models sit behind or on top of the outer ear, with tubing that routes sounds down into the ear that connects to an ear tip or earmold to secure them in the ear canal. BTEs come in colors to blend with hair or skin tones, and even chrome colors, leopard print and other funky designs to suit personal styles. Different BTE sizes accommodate different features, controls, battery types and degrees of power (larger instruments generally have more power than smaller ones). While many people choose discreet BTEs that are unnoticeable when worn, others are tempted to show off the cool designs.
Mini BTE with slim tube and tip (Open Fit)
Mini BTEs are designed to hide completely behind the outer ear, and have ultra-thin tubing to discreetly route sound into the ear. The tubing connects to a soft tip that sits in the ear canal but doesn’t occlude it. The result is a natural, open feeling as airflow and sound enter the ear naturally around the tip, while amplified sound enters through the tip. This is known as “open fitting” and is recommended for mild to moderate high frequency losses.
Receiver in the Canal (RIC)
RIC models, are mini BTEs that have the receiver (speaker) of the instrument incorporated in the ear tip, instead of in the main body of the instrument. RITE instruments fit mild to severe hearing losses. This very discreet hearing aid style looks similar to the Mini BTE when worn on the ear. RIC are by far the most popular style of hearing aid.
BTE with Earmold
BTEs with earmolds fit mild through profound hearing losses. They’re longer shaped, following the contour behind the outer ear, generally can house more features, controls, and power than custom models. The earmold color and style, as well as the wearer’s hairstyle, determine exactly how they’ll look on each person.
Fitting & Dispensing
When your hearing aid is ready, you will meet with the audiologist for a fitting of the device and introduction to its use. The audiologist will adjust your device for appropriate levels of loudness and tonal quality; teach you how to insert, use and care for the device; and offer advice and support in adjusting to life with your new hearing device.
Adjusting to Hearing Aid Use
Like most people newly fitted with hearing aids, you will go through an adjustment period of adapting to a new way of hearing. The feel of the devices in your ears, the sound of your own voice, the detection of background noises, and the return of sounds you haven’t heard in quite some time are just a few of the things that will take getting used to.
Just as with other assistive appliances such as bifocals or dentures, the more you use your hearing aids, the sooner you’ll adapt to them. Before long, their use will become second nature and you will enjoy better hearing.
Follow-up & Maintenance
Follow-up visits with the audiologist can happen in person or by remote connection via telephone or video chat. These follow up appointments will be provided to ensure proper fit and functioning after you’ve begun using your device, and to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. Your progress will be closely monitored to assure your comfort and success with your hearing instruments.
We also perform maintenance, repair and adjustment services as needed for optimal performance of your hearing device.