How to choose a hearing aid for the elderly - advice from specialists
The ability to hear is extremely important for normal communication and orientation in everyday life. But in the world about 10% of people who do not hear well. Such a deviation causes quite a strong discomfort, causes bad health and jeopardizes the normal life activity of a person: study, career, communication, relationships, etc. Many get used to the idea of the irreversibility of this process, which is completely in vain. The achievements of modern technologies have enabled such people to optimize residual hearing with the help of hearing aids and significantly improve the quality of their lives. Let's consider what parameters should be paid attention when buying such devices.
- The best hearing instrument manufacturers
- The principle of operation and the device of hearing aids
- Types of hearing aids
- Parameters of the choice of hearing aid
- What hearing aid to choose
- How much does the hearing aid
? The best hearing instrument manufacturers - which firm to choose
? Everyone who collideswith the need to purchase a hearing aid, quickly realizes how difficult it is to select a device. It is necessary to determine the manufacturer, technical characteristics, cost and other parameters.
Among the leading companies for the manufacture of hearing aids are the following companies:
The hearing aids of these brands are very popular among users around the world. The main task of these companies is to improve the quality of life of people who do not hear well, so the production of devices is aimed at intensive scientific research, in which firms invest a significant part of their profits.
Combining the experience of highly qualified specialists in the field of hearing care, audiology, allowed the development of digital systems in terms of functionality close to the function of a healthy ear.
To find out which device models can significantly improve the quality of life of a hearing impaired person, read our rating of the best hearing aids.
Principle of operation and the device of hearing aids
Many people think that hearing aids are huge, inconvenient devices. Thanks to the latest advances in medicine and digital technologies, modern electroacoustic devices are so small that they are almost invisible to others.
The smallest appliances can be a bit more coffee beans and, despite these sizes, they are distinguished by the high quality of their work.
The hearing aid is a high-tech medical device that amplifies ambient sounds. The device is used for various hearing impairments to improve human communication, when other methods of treatment are ineffective.
Modern hearing aids consist of several parts:
1. Microphone. It catches the sound and converts it into electrical impulses.
2. Amplifier. Increases the strength of the latter.
3. Speaker. Converts pulses into sounds that are available to the person's ear.
As additional elements the chip( for programmable devices), volume, on and off controls are used.
The electroacoustic device is often worn in the ear canal or behind the ear. It does not restore normal hearing, but it brings unquestionable benefit to its user.
The main problem of these devices is background noise. But with the help of innovative developments in electronics, some models are able to automatically amplify speech and suppress unwanted noise.
Types of hearing aids
These electroacoustic devices are placed behind the person's ear. They are a case into which the apparatus itself, the earmold( holding the device behind the ear and conducting sound), and the connecting tube are accommodated.
These models compensate for all possible degrees of hearing loss. The volume level in such devices is changed without the participation of a person or manually with the help of a special regulator.
Some devices are equipped with a remote control, which allows you to choose a listening mode suitable for a particular situation, some devices choose the mode of operation independently.
- devices are simple and reliable in operation;
- can compensate for severe hearing impairment, up to 120 dB;
- there are inexpensive and efficient models;
- is suitable for people with chronic otitis media;
- do not need frequent battery replacement.
- is noticeable to others.
Such models are located in the auricle and auditory canal. The body of the electroacoustic device is made individually for each person.
Depending on the size, shape, placement, there are devices that compensate for hearing loss of varying degrees:
1. IIC( located deep in the ear canal, designed for use with a small hearing loss);
2. CIC( located in the external auditory canal, suitable even for severe disorders);
3. ITC( protrude into the auricle);
4. HS( even more protruding into the auricle);
5. FS( completely located in the auricle, they are used for severe hearing loss).
- are invisible to others;
- has virtually no problems with ambient noise;
- on efficiency many models are not inferior to BTE devices;
- is suitable for all age categories;
- are convenient for active physical activity of a person, becauseare hidden in the ear.
- devices run on small batteries that have a fairly small capacity and need to be changed frequently;
- more often such devices are automatic, becausebecause of the size there is no room for additional functions( for example, volume control);
- periodically need to change the microphone and phone filters;
- a shorter service life than the BTE models;
- has contraindications: perforation of the tympanic membrane, chronic otitis media of the middle ear, peculiarities of the structure of the auricle.
Such models are quite outdated. The device is a case that is located in a pocket or in another place and a speaker that fits in the ear. These elements are connected by a long cord.
1. Digital models process sounds at different frequencies, loud ones decrease, quiet ones - on the contrary amplify, which provides maximum comfort for the user.
2. Analogs equally amplify all sounds coming into the microphone, as a result, many are not audible enough, while others are excessively amplified. Advantages:
- simplicity in management: large controls that are convenient for the elderly, for people with impaired motor skills or coordination of movement;
- reliability, resistance to damage;
- the lowest cost.
- is noticeable to others;
- larger sizes.
Hearing aid selection parameters
Selecting the type of audio signal processing
1. Digital devices convert the signal into a digital code, so you can get high-quality sound, a wide potential for personalization of each model, the use of additional accessories.
2. Analog models provide low sound quality.
Each type( behind-the-ear, in-the-ear, pocket) has its pluses and minuses, features and limitations to use, so you should consider both the appearance of the device and its visibility to others, as well as indications for its use and technical features of a particular product.
A person should not experience discomfort when wearing a BTE.Correctly selected earmould reduces the probability of whistling and ensures high quality of sound.
In BTE models, the connecting tube connects the device itself and the earmould, so it must be flexible, of an optimal length.
1. If it is very short, this will prevent the optimal placement of the liner in the ear canal, which can cause a whistle electroacoustic device.
2. If it is too long, the unit will not hold properly to the ear.
This parameter defines several basic characteristics of hearing aids:
1. compression - amplification of sounds of different intensity( modern models leave the amplified signal within comfortable perception for the user).
2. frequency range of the device( the wider the frequency band, the higher the intelligibility of speech);
3. availability of locator( directional microphone system, amplifying speech);
4. number of channels( the range of frequencies in which you can adjust the gain);
5. power( power should not only be enough for good sound reproduction, it should be in reserve, which will compensate for hearing impairment in case of complications);
6. noise removal, feedback, anti-aliasing, etc.
The size of the external ear canal
With a narrow passage - even the smallest device can be noticeable to others. In addition, if it is necessary to compensate for severe hearing loss, miniature devices are not always capable of providing high quality of sound.
The price of the device directly depends on its power, the complexity of the computer chip and other technical features of a particular device.
When buying, it is necessary to clarify whether there is a possibility of repair in the event of a breakdown of the device. Many well-known manufacturers provide a 2-year warranty on their products.
Additional functions of the
Some devices allow you to independently switch modes of operation, adjust the volume and other features to adapt to the environment as much as possible. Control can be performed using the remote control or the switches on the housing.
Which hearing instrument to choose
1. When choosing the type of hearing aid, you should choose the digital models, becausethey produce a better sound, compared to analog.
2. As for appearance, the in-the-ear models are perfect for people who want to hide the hearing aid as much as possible. In addition to the requirements for the appearance of the device, the choice should be based on the degree of hearing impairment. Unfortunately, the in-the-ear devices are not able to compensate for very severe hearing impairments, so you should take a closer look at the BTE devices.
3. If the issue of appearance is not basic, you can purchase a BTE device. In addition, this model does not require constant care, so it is also recommended for the elderly.
How much does the hearing aid
1. The cost of models with a minimum of functionality that meet the basic human needs: 6000-17000 p.
2. The cost of the most popular models with enhanced functionality( noise cancellation, locator, 4-6 channels of compression): 17000-29000 р.
3. The cost of automatic devices, which independently change the parameters of work depending on the sound situation: 29000-52000 p.
4. Cost of devices with the maximum set of functions, with a high sound quality: up to 120000 r.