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Are you experiencing any difficulty hearing the things you've always heard so easily? Do you need hearing aids? What are your options? Read these questions, get answers, then contact our Plainwell or Kaskaska office for an appointment.
It's a small electronic device you wear either in or behind your ear. It makes some sounds louder, so people with hearing loss can communicate and participate more regularly with daily activities. It helps people hear better in either quiet or noisy places. Only about 20% of people who need a hearing aid actually use one.
A hearing aid consists of a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. Sound is received through a microphone and is converted to electrical signals sent to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the signals and then sends them through a speaker.
If you think you might suffer from hearing loss and could use a hearing aid, visit Bell Hearing Center in either Plainwell or Kaskaska, MI. We are hearing specialists who can identify and measure hearing loss, then perform a hearing test to assess the type and degree of loss.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids have a hard plastic case worn behind the ear and connected to an ear mold that fits inside the outer ear. The electronic parts are located in the case behind the ear. Sound travels from the hearing aid through the ear mold and into the ear. BTE aids are used for mild to profound hearing loss.
There is also a BTE aid known as "open-fit." Small, open-fit aids fit behind the ear with only a narrow tube inserted into the ear canal. It enables the canal to remain open and may be a good choice for those with an earwax buildup. This this type is not usually damaged by such earwax. Also, some people prefer the open-fit hearing aid because the sound of their own voice sounds less “plugged up.”
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fit completely inside the outer ear and are better for mild to severe hearing loss. A hard plastic case holds the electronic components. Some ITE aids have certain extra features installed, such as a telecoil - a small, magnetic coil that allows sound reception through the circuitry of the hearing aid instead of a microphone. This makes telephone conversations easier to hear. A telecoil helps people hear in public places that have installed special sound systems called induction loop systems. These can often be found in churches, schools, airports, and auditoriums. ITE aids are not usually worn by young children because the casings need to be replaced as the child's ear grows.
That depends on the type and degree of your hearing loss. If both of your ears are affected, two hearing aids are usually recommended to provide a more natural signal to the brain. Both ears also help you understand speech and determine where the sound is coming from.
You and your specialist should select a hearing aid that suits your needs and lifestyle. Price is often a consideration because hearing aids can go from hundreds to several thousand dollars because style and features affect cost. Don’t use price alone to determine the type for you. A more expensive hearing aid does not automatically mean it will perform better for you.
Hearing aids do not restore normal hearing. Over time, a hearing aid will increase your awareness of sounds and their sources. You should wear your hearing aid regularly, so be sure to select one convenient and easy to use. Other features to think about are which parts or services are covered by the warranty, the approximate repair schedule and costs, options and upgrades, and the company’s reputation for quality and customer service.
Before you buy a hearing aid, ask your specialist these important questions:
What features might be most useful to me?
What is the total cost?
Will the benefits of new technology outweigh the higher costs?
Is there a trial period to test the hearing aids? (Most manufacturers allow a 30- to 60-day trial period that allows you to return them for a refund.)
What fees are nonrefundable if the aids are returned after the trial period?
How long is the warranty?
Can it be extended?
Does the warranty cover maintenance and repairs?
Can the specialist make adjustments and repairs?
Can I get loaner aids when repairs are needed?
What instructions will the specialist provide?
Contact us with more questions or to make an appointment with our specialist.
Bell Hearing Center has offices in Allegan and Kalkaska counties for your convenience. Find the location nearest to you and schedule your appointment with a hearing specialist!