Pure Tone Hearing Aid
This is a British manufactured hearing aid that comes in different forms like every other type.
I started using hearing aid after I loss my hearing to a slap at the age of 13; a boy in my neighborhood who was asking me out for a relationship was offended by my refusal and decides to attack me.
The very first device I used was like a small radio box but due to continued difficulties in hearing I replaced it with a (Canal) with the hope that it will improve my hearing more than the first, but to no avail.
Despite the huge cost of that audio aid, i still cannot listen to music or news; i cannot make phone call, neither can I participate in group conversation. I have bilateral hearing loss and it is profound.
After about 5years, with my canals I got a replacement, (Behind the Ear, popularly known as BTE), my first hearing aid was analogue while the second and last were digital.
Back to my review, the pure tone canal audio aid, is a small hard shell made up of a microphone, amplifier, battery compartment, customized ear mould or bud together with volume adjustment button and the on and off button. Some devices have additional Bluetooth button and some others are charged with electricity instead of dry battery cell.
Canals are referred to as mould because they are usually molded to fit the shape of the ear canal as such, they are customized. This also earns it the CUSTOME HEARING AIDS name.
To get a hearing aid device the necessary audio evaluation must be done.
The patient visits the audiologist for checkup; he or she is usually asked several questions in other to determine the cause of the problem, depending on the hospital setting, the doctor examines the ear using a battery operated and handheld or a mounted and electric otoscope to determine the internal condition of the ears, then a pneumatic otoscope may be used to blow air into the ear drum to find out if is infected or not, if it is damaged or not and the problem is severe/profound or mild, and whether it is the middle or inner ear that s affected.
If it is an infection, the doctor may prescribe drugs, but if your condition requires aids, the doctor will ask you to choose base on cost and visibility on the ear when you wear it. Sometimes implants are required. Not everyone wants people to know about their plight as such they request for mini hearing aid or implants which are completely invisible, these types are usually more expensive but I do not know about their effectiveness.
For you to get a hearing aid device, the doctor will ask you to do hearing assessment test called audiogram test, an audiometer will be used to determine the extent of your hearing loss, this test will determine your sensitivity and response to sounds of different frequencies, this is then plotted on a graph and the mean is used to determine the frequency you hear, this is then used to program your hearing aid.
After several years of being confined to different types of hearing aids, I can categorically state that the result is never satisfactory, this is to say that hearing aid dose not restore hearing loss back to normal but will help you hear better must times, a well programmed hearing aid can restore your lost voice which come with hearing loss, it will make you voice out sounds better and prevent obstructions in your speeches.
I did like to say that hearing aids worn behind the ears (BTE) are better than those worn inside the ear, their large nature and position of wearing allows them to receive more sounds from the environment. Also, their soft ear mould does not cause wound in the ears like the customized fits worn inside the canal or ear.
As an ENT patients, you must keep in touch with your doctors, usually, patients see their doctors every three months for complaint and for servicing of the hearing aid. I do not know the processes involve in the maintenance but I do know that the aids are cleaned and the parts, like the battery compartment checked to see if it wearing out or not, the aid is inspected to see if it is still working properly or not, the entire process prolongs the life span of your hearing aid by protecting it from damage. It usually cost more to fix any damage part hence the servicing is compulsory, it is also cheaper.
Your first week with your hearing aid maybe some of your worse night mare, you will find out that you can barely hear a word with it, you get that feeling of confusion that comes with the ears being obstructed from sound and air, this comes with anger, resentment and depression, you will notice that your hearing condition become worse whenever you are wearing the device, it is important to be very careful at this stage, however, with continuous use your hearing begin to improve and you feel lighter in your head when you wear it, you get use to it.
You have to always be on your hearing aid except when you are bathing or sleeping, this is to maintain the little progress in your hearing level, your hearing level begin to drop with infrequent use of the aid, this also affects the your voice.
Finally, you have to mind the way you wear your haring aid, this is very important because it affects sound transmission, when not properly fitted in the ears, there will be sound obstruction and consequently hearing will be very hard.
Other types of aid includes
RIC – Receiver in the canal
ITE – In the ear
CIC – completely in the ear
IIC – Invisible in the ear