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Understanding hearing aid techv2
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Understanding hearing aid techv2


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  • 1. Understanding Hearing Aid Technology and other Assistive Listening Devices University Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists Center for Audiology and Hearing Aids Eye and Ear Institute
  • 2. Choose your hearing health care provider carefully  Audiologist – 2-4 years post-graduate work – Masters or AuD (clinical doctorate) – Licensed by the state – Required continuing education  Hearing Aid Dealer – High school education – No criminal record – Registered by the state
  • 3. State Laws regulating hearing aid provision  30 day adjustment period  Ability to return the devices with your money returned (minus $150.00 per device)  State form to be signed at the time the hearing aids are ordered and when they are delivered  No money is to be collected until the hearing aids are delivered
  • 4. Process  Full, diagnostic hearing evaluation (you need an order or script from your PCP for this to be covered by your insurance) – including ability to hear in noise  Medical referral if needed
  • 5.  Hearing Aid Discussion – Discuss test results – Examination of the size and shape of ear canal – Communication needs assessment and expectations – Matching style and technology to hearing loss, communication needs, environment, ear size, and financial considerations – Earmold impression
  • 6.  Hearing Aid Fitting – Physical Fit – Programming/Adjusting the hearing aid response based on measures of the output of the hearing aid in the ear canal (the hearing aid is connected to the computer and there is a small, soft microphone placed in your earcanal with the hearing aid) – Soft, moderate, and loud sounds are mapped against your hearing thresholds to return correct loudness (it will not sound correct on the first day) – Test of tolerance for loud sounds
  • 7.  Hearing Aid Orientation – Insertion and removal of the hearing aids – Insertion and removal of the batteries – Manipulation of the controls – Care and cleaning of the hearing aids – Use with the telephone – Warranty information (1 year loss/damage/repair at a minimum) – Wearing schedule to get used to fit and new sounds
  • 8.  If the hearing aid if tuned correctly, you will not like it for the first week or so…  We know that the brain must adapt to the new input and the only way to adapt is to be exposed to the sound  The brain is not good at trying to hear two different ways. Individuals who try to wear hearing aids part time are not successful (they continually have difficulty in noise and other more difficult listening situations).
  • 9.  Follow-up (3 weeks) – Fine-tuning based on patient perceptions after full time use for at least 2 weeks – Discussion of residual difficulties, identifying other solutions if needed  Future appointments – Based on patient need – Change in hearing – Prior to end of warranty (insurance)
  • 10. Price of Hearing Aids  Bundled price includes the device and all services for a year.  The device is useless without an expert to program it for your hearing loss and communication needs.  Hearing aids range from approximately $900 to $3000 per aid depending on technology and style
  • 11. Insurance  Many insurances do not cover hearing aids  Security Blue (a few other High Mark products as well)  UPMC for Life
  • 12. Programs for free hearing aids  Lion’s Foundation  HEAR NOW
  • 13. Hearing Aid Considerations  One ear vs. two ears  Need to choose a style  Need to then choose what technology will be inside the hearing aid
  • 14. Before you choose a style  Degree of hearing loss  Special features needed  Ear size  Lifestyle needs  Manual dexterity  Cosmetic preferences  Daily care  Telephone needs  Cost
  • 15. Hearing Aid Styles  Behind the ear  In the ear  In the canal  Completely in the ear
  • 16. Behind the ear style  Fits snugly behind your ear  Can fit any degree of hearing loss  Attached to a custom earmold  Fewest repairs due to wax  May be connected to assistive devices via telephone switch
  • 17. Hearing Aid Types
  • 18. New…  Slim tube  Open canal  Mini BTE
  • 19. In the ear style  One-piece instruments custom designed to fit within the bowl of outer ear  Fits mild to moderate degrees of hearing loss  Some repairs due to wax  Can also be connected to assistive devices via telephone switch
  • 20. In the canal style  Custom instrument that fit almost entirely in the canal of the ear.  Fits mild to mildly-moderate degrees of hearing loss  Many more repairs due to wax  Cannot be connected to assistive devices due to size limitations
  • 21. In-the-Canal  More discrete  Often cannot fit a telecoil  Requires finger/hand dexterity
  • 22. Completely in the canal style  The smallest, most cosmetically appealing hearing instrument  Fits mild to moderate hearing degrees of loss, especially for high-frequency losses  Greatest number of repairs due to wax  Works well with phone due to deep insertion, no need for T-coil
  • 23. Completely in the Canal (CIC)  Currently very popular  virtually invisible  can’t have T coil  use on phone normally  high maintenance  takes advantage of natural gain from auricle and EAM
  • 24. Hearing Aid Technologies  All Hearing Aids now use Digital Technology
  • 25.  Advanced feedback solutions – Feedback is when amplified sound can leak out of the ear canal and reach the hearing aid microphone  Processes speech and noise differently (helps with comfort, not understanding in noise) Fully Digital Technology
  • 26. Do you want to hear in noise? Solution:  Wear your hearing aids full time  Wear 2 hearing aids  Multiple microphones (Directional Mics)  Assistive Listening Devices (ALD’s) – Put the microphone near the thing you want to hear, the signal is sent to a receiver attached to your hearing aids
  • 27. Matching the technology to your needs  You do not want to over purchase  The clinic should be using evidence based practice and therefore be able to explain the technology level choice based on your test results
  • 28. We hear for…  Communication  Safety  Enjoyment
  • 29. If a family member cannot use hearing aids…  Cannot manage them  Confined to bed
  • 30. Safety/Alerting Devices  Telephone ring  Door bell/door knock  Hearing a dependent individual calling  Alarm Clock  Smoke detector
  • 31. Telephone Solutions  Hearing aid should have a telecoil program that allows the hearing aid to pick up the electromagnetic signal from a hearing aid compatible telephone  Individuals with hearing loss need to purchase good phones (phones should be “hearing aid compatible”)  Make sure you can hear on a land line phone and on your cell phone before you leave the clinic  Consider using the speaker phone in some situations
  • 32. Other helpful solutions  Moisture problems  Retention problems  Insertion challenges  Cleaning products
  • 33. Remember  You need to wear the new hearing aids for two full weeks, full time  You need to be a full time user of amplification; part-time users are rarely successful