There have been a number of memorable changes in the production and manufacture of hearing aids, but none so dramatic as the introduction of digital technology.
First of all, there was the traditional ear trumpet. Then, the very first appropriate listening devices were presented, through the little box, which would sit around the neck or in a breast pocket. That was referred to as the ‘body used’ hearing aid.
Then the first behind the ear helps were made, which were big and cumbersome, however sat behind the ear, and had the microphone pointing in the direction that the ear pointed, which in itself was a huge advance.
Then analogue ‘in the ear’ hearing aids were produced, which were the first systems to pay heed to cosmetic requirements.
Listening devices that were analogue but programmable followed, and then soon after that was the advent of open ear listening devices These revolutionised the hearing profession, offering additional clarity, sound filters, dual microphones and a precise programs capability. When we look at original digital listening devices now, they appear as old as an analogue helps would have done when digital first appeared, however at the time they were groundbreaking.
Innovation in the hearing profession has actually moved at an amazing speed in the last five years approximately.
The biggest advancement for the hearing aid wearer is the open fit devices. The first of these was the Resound Listening devices called the Contact Air. This consisted of a small pod behind the ear utilizing size 10 hearing battery, a really thin tube to bring the noise into the ear, where it connected to a soft dome, which fitted snugly in the ear canal. These were amazingly popular and successful, and were responsible for a transformation in listening devices innovation. The Delta was the first Oticon hearing system to integrate an open fit and the Savia Art and Audeo are a few of the early open fit Phonak Hearing Aids. The Delta from Oticon (which has actually now been superseded by the Double Mini) introduced RITE (receiver in the ear) innovation, which removed the acoustic vagaries of thin tubing, as the tubing itself was changed by a wire which carried the sound digitally to the speaker, which was housed below the soft rubbery dome available from 20db hearing aid.
But exactly what makes them so special?
There are numerous reasons why an open fitting hearing aid will always be preferable.
1. Convenience. Due to the fact that there is no mould to seal the ear, the rubber dome sits comfortably in the ear canal, avoiding unnecessary sweating and allowing the ear to ‘breathe’ as it would if no hearing aid was used. I have often heard individuals say ‘I do not know I’m using them’ as they are so light and comfortable.
2. Quality of hearing. The basis of an open ear fitting is that it allows the user to use the portion of hearing she or he still has staying, however is given a boost (typically in mid and high pitch noise) to help clarity with the hearing of speech. This effect has actually provided us the nearest we can accomplish to normal hearing via hearing aids.
3. Cost. Open ear hearing aids are factory made and do not cost as much to make as a customized in the ear listening devices. For that reason, higher innovation specifications are available at lower cost ranges. The fact that they are factory manufactured likewise suggests the instruments are more reliable than in the ear listening devices.
4. Discretion. Due to the extremely thin wire and small ‘pod’ sitting behind the ear, open fit hearing aids tend to be really discrete and mostly undetectable.
OK, so how do I get one?
If you are interested in learning more about open ear hearing aids, or more about the latest digital listening devices.
the primary step is to contact your regional hearing aid merchant. It is a good idea to mention Phonak, Resound and Oticon hearing aids, as these are the market leaders in regards to technology.
When you have determined that your seller will deal with the above mentioned brands, the next step is to ask for a complimentary hearing test and a possible presentation of open ear hearing aids. When you have actually had your totally free hearing test, the hearing-aid audiologist will offer you a presentation of the listening devices suggested and go over hearing aid costs. You might also like to ask about the aftercare offered by the merchant, and the cost of hearing aid batteries. Some retailers like http://www.20dbhearing.com provide complimentary hearing aid batteries as part of their general aftercare bundle. This is a good reward!