Hearing Solutions


Solutions

Once your hearing loss has been identified, the Audiologist will recommend hearing aids based on a number of factors including:

  • Your lifestyle
  • Your hearing loss
  • Your expectations

There are many different types of hearing aids available today. Not every hearing aid is right for every person. Our Audiologists will help you to choose the best hearing aids for YOUR needs.


Types of Hearing Aids

Behind-the-Ear (BTE)

This style of instrument fits comfortably behind your ear and is available in various sizes and appealing colors. It is attached to your ear via plastic tubing. The tubing is held securely in place by an earmold, which can be a custom earpiece created by taking an impression of your ear to perfectly replicate the size and shape of your ear. Some patients can also utilize a non-custom earmold dome for a less noticeable feeling in their ear canal. The BTE is currently the most popular hearing aid style on the market today due to its flexibility and wide range of options. It can successfully fit most hearing losses, ranging from mild to profound.

Custom Hearing Aids

This style of hearing instrument is built custom for your ear and your hearing loss. Our Audiologist will create an impression of your ear which will be sent to our manufacturers to build a hearing aid made to fit the contours of your unique ears.

Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC)

This is currently the smallest custom made hearing instrument. The shell is designed to fit deep inside of your ear canal and be practically invisible. Due to the limited size of the instrument, it is often limited in features and options. These instruments are most appropriate for mild to moderate hearing losses.

In-the-Ear (ITE)

This style is the largest of the custom made products and fills most of your outer ear. A full shell provides access to telecoil use and multiple listening programs. It is typically for hearing losses ranging from mild to moderately-severe.


Binaural Hearing: Two Hearing Aids?

If you have two ears with hearing loss, your Audiologist will generally recommend two hearing aids, as long as both can benefit from amplification. You will generally do much better with two hearing instruments. We need both ears to hear and even the best hearing aid can sound “flat” or “dull” when worn only in one ear.

There are many advantages associated with binaural (two ear) listening and importantly, there are problems associated with wearing only one hearing aid.

  • Localization – (determining where a sound comes from) is only possible with two ears and is just about impossible with one. Localization can be a safety issue as it is important to know where warning and safety sounds (sirens, babies crying, etc.) are coming from.
  • Hearing in Noise – Binaural hearing impacts how well you hear in noise. Using two ears allows your brain to selectively listen to the desired signal (speaker or talker) while paying less attention to undesired sounds (background noise).
  • Binaural hearing allows a quality of “spaciousness” or “high fidelity” to sounds, which cannot occur with monaural (only one ear) listening. Understanding speech clearly, particularly in challenging and noisy situations is much easier while using both ears. Listening becomes less stressful, and you can enjoy more natural sound quality. Additionally, using two hearing aids allows people to speak to you from either side of your head – not just your “good” side.

Physical Fit and Comfort

One concern for every hearing aid wearer is the physical fit of the instrument. It is important that hearing aids fit comfortably in or behind the ear. Hearing aids should not fit so loosely that they fall off, nor should they feel tight or cause soreness to your ear. If your hearing instruments are causing any physical discomfort to your ear, call our Audiology Department at 281-897-6066 to schedule an appointment with one of our audiologists. We want to insure your comfort and success with your hearing aids.


Background Noise

Almost all patients who have some degree of hearing loss complain of difficulty hearing in the presence of background noise at one time or another. Unfortunately there is no way to completely eliminate background noise, but our newer hearing instruments have advanced noise reduction systems that work better than ever at reducing the impact of unwanted background noise.


Maintenance

Most hearing aid repairs occur due to moisture and the accumulation of earwax. Our especially hot and humid climate in the Houston area can increase your hearing instruments’ susceptibility to moisture related problems. It is important to perform preventive maintenance on a daily basis to avoid these problems. It is recommended that you get into the habit of wiping your hearing instruments off after each use. Hearing aids should be placed in a Dri-Aid kit every night which will absorb moisture that has built up inside of your hearing aid. A well maintained hearing instrument can easily last 3 to 5 years, maybe longer.

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