Frequently Asked Questions

The term digital is used for most of today's current technology, from televisions to cell phones.  Hearing aids today are also digital, meaning incoming sound is converted into a series of numbers, which is then processed using mathematical equations. Digital processing enables very complex manipulation of sound, for example, to separate speech from noise.   Read More
Five thousand children are born profoundly deaf each year in the United States alone. Another 10 to 15 percent of newborns have a partial hearing handicap. Read More
Hearing loss occurs to most people as they age. Hearing loss can be due to the aging process, exposure to loud noise, certain medications, infections, head or ear trauma, congenital (birth or prenatal) or hereditary factors, diseases, as well as a number of other causes. In the year 2001, there are some 28 million people in the USA with hearing loss. Hearing loss is the single most common birth “defect” in America. Hearing loss in adults, particularly in seniors, is common. Read More
Results of the audiometric evaluation are plotted on a chart called an audiogram. Loudness is plotted from top to bottom. Frequency, from low to high, is plotted from left to right. Hearing loss (HL) is measured in decibels (dB) and is described in general categories. Hearing loss is not measured in percentages. The general hearing loss categories used by most hearing professionals are as follows:
  • Normal hearing (0 to 25 dB HL)
  • Mild hearing loss (26 to 40 dB HL)
  • Moderate hearing loss (41 to 70 dB HL)
  • Severe hearing loss (71 to 90 dB HL)
  • Profound hearing loss (greater than 91 dB HL)
  Read More
There are many types of hearing aids today and the type of hearing aid is dependent upon both the style chosen and technology chosen.

Styles of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are available in many different sizes and styles thanks to advancements in dgital technology, minaturization of digital electronic part and fresh focus on design among the hearing aid manufacturers. Many of today's hearing aids are considered sleek, compact and innovative - offerring solutions to a wide range of hearing aid wearers.
  • When selecting style the following is considered:
  • The degree of the hearing loss (power requirements)
  • Manual dexterity abilities
  • Patient budget
Read More
Tinnitus is an abnormal perception of a sound reported by a patient but is unrelated to an external source of stimulation. Tinnitus is a very common disorder affecting over 50 million people in the United States. It may be intermittent, constant or fluctuant, mild or severe, and may vary from a low roaring sensation to a high pitched type of sound. It may or may not be associated with a hearing loss. It is also classified further into subjective tinnitus (a noise perceived by the patient alone) or objective (a noise perceived by the patient as well as by another listener). Subjective tinnitus is common; however, objective tinnitus is relatively uncommon. The location of tinnitus may be in the ear(s) and/or in the head. Read More
Dizziness is a symptom not a disease. It may be defined as a sensation of unsteadiness, imbalance, or disorientation in relation to an individual’s surroundings. The symptom of dizziness may vary widely from person to person and be caused by many difference diseases. It varies from a mild unsteadiness to a severe whirling sensation known as vertigo. Read More
Tinnitus is the term for the perception of sound when no external sound is present. It is often referred to as "ringing in the ears," although some people hear hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping, or clicking. Tinnitus is not a disease but a symptom of another underlying condition – of the ear, the auditory nerve, or elsewhere. Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant, with single or multiple tones. Its perceived volume can range from very soft to extremely loud. 50 million Americans experience tinnitus to some degree. Of these, about 12 million have tinnitus which is severe enough to seek medical attention. Of those, about two million patients are so seriously debilitated by their tinnitus, that their day to day functioning is affected. The exact cause (or causes) of tinnitus is not known in every case. There are, however, several likely factors which may cause tinnitus or make existing tinnitus worse: noise-induced hearing loss, wax build-up in the ear canal, certain medications, ear or sinus infections, age-related hearing loss, ear diseases and disorders, jaw misalignment, cardiovascular disease, certain types of tumors, thyroid disorders, head and neck trauma and many others. Of these factors, exposure to loud noises and hearing loss are the most common causes of tinnitus. Treating a hearing loss, either by medical management, if indicated, or with hearing aids, may offer relief of tinnitus. Other new and effective tinnitus treatments are also available. If you have tinnitus, a comprehensive hearing evaluation by an audiologist, and a medical evaluation by an otologist is recommended.   Read More

Type of Hearing Aids

There are many types of hearing aids today and the type of hearing aid is dependent upon both the style chosen and technology chosen.

Styles of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are available in many different sizes and styles thanks to advancements in dgital technology, minaturization of digital electronic part and fresh focus on design among the hearing aid manufacturers. Many of today's hearing aids are considered sleek, compact and innovative - offerring solutions to a wide range of hearing aid wearers.

  • When selecting style the following is considered:
  • The degree of the hearing loss (power requirements)
  • Manual dexterity abilities
  • Patient budget

In-the-Ear Styles

Completely-In-the-Canal (CIC) - The smallest custom hearing aids made,  CICs sit deeply and entirely inside the ear canal. They usually require a “removal string” due to their small size and the fact that they fit so deeply into the canal. They fit mild to moderate hearing loss and offer high cosmetic appeal.

In-The-Canal (ITC) sit in the lower portion of the outer ear's bowl and are slightly larger than a CIC hearing aid. Because of their slightly larger size, the often have a longer battery life than CICs and come available with more options depending upon the size of ear. They fit mild to moderate hearing losses.

Half-Shell - The half shell model fills half of the bowl of the outer ear and like ITC hearing aids, the alow more options and longer battery life due to the larger size. This size is ideal for persons seeking a smaller hearing aid that may have potential dexterity concerns.

Full Shell or In-The-Ear (ITE) - The largest of the custom hearing aids made, full shell hearing aids fill up the entire bowl of the outer ear. This size of this style allows the maximum number of controls and features, and is able to fit mild to severe hearing losses.

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Styles

Mini-BTE with slim tubes - This type of BTE is often referred to as an  "open fit" hearing aid. The small miniature hearing aid sits behind the ear and transmits sound into the ear canal via a thin plastic tube. The tubing connects to a soft tip that sits in the ear canal but doesn’t occlude it. The result is a natural, open feeling as airf and sound enter the ear naturally around the tip, while amplified sound enters through the tip. This style of BTE is recommended for mild to moderate high frequency losses and offers cosmetic appeal to the small size of the hearing aid.

Receiver-in-the-Ear (RITE) - RITE hearing aids, also known as Receiver-in-canal (RIC) models, are similar to the mini BTE however instead the speaker of the hearing aid sits inside the ear canal versus the main body of the hearing aid behind the ear. Although it looks like a mini BTE when worn on the ear, the RITE style fits a higher degree of hearing loss (mild to severe), while still providing the "open" fitting.

BTE with custom earmold - BTEs with custom earmolds fit the widest range of hearing loss, from mild to profound. They are slightly longer in shape and are contoured to sit nicely behind the ear for a sleek, compact look.  This style of hearing aid typically offers a wide array of features and options, as well as more control and power than custom models.  BTEs are connected to the ear canal via custom-made plastic tubing and earmold. The earmold color and style, as well as the wearer's hairstyle will determine how this style looks on each person.

Hearing Aid Technology

A wide range of technology and a whole host of features are available in each hearing aid style. The cost of hearing aids generally depends on the technology and the number of features the instrument has, and not necessarily on the style selected.

Today's digital hearing aids are typically offered in various levels such as basic or entry-level to advanced or premium-level. WIthin each level, different technology and features are available.

Basic digital hearing aids generally require the wearer to make some manual adjustments in certain listening environments such as turning a volume control up or down, or pushing a button to change listening programs. In contrast, a premium or more advanced hearing aid responds automatically to changes in the listener's environment, making changes based on the signals being detected by the hearing aid. The hearing aid wearer is not required to make any manual changes.

As the level of the technology increases in hearing aids, so do the availability of advanced features. Examples of some of the advanced features found in today's digital hearing aids are shown below.

  • Directional Microphones - Applies preference to sounds in front of the wearer and reduced sound from behind the wearer. This technology has been proven in studies to improve speech understanding in background noise.
  • Noise Reduction -Determines if signal contains unwanted background noise and reduced level of background niose if present. Background noise is less annoying and hearing aid wearer's listening comfort is improved in noisy situations.
  • Feedback Management - Reduces or eliminates whistling that can often occur with hearing aid use. Hearing aid wearer's comfort is improved from annoying whistling.
  • Wind Noise Reduction - Reduces the noise created from wind blowing across the hearing aid's microphone(s). Designed to improve comfort for persons who spend a lot of time outdoors.
  • Data Logging/Learning - The ability of the hearing aid to track and learn the hearing aid wearer's preferences in various listening environments. This information can assist the hearing professional in making future programming adjustments and allows the hearing aid to adapt to the wearer's preferences.
  • Telecoil/Auto-telecoil - This feature picks up a signal from a compatible telephone and hearing aid wearers can listen to the telephone without whistling. Some hearing aids this requires a push of a button to activate, other manufactuers offer an auto-telecoil where the hearing aid switches automatically when a telephone signal is detected.
  • Bluetooth Interface - Establishes a wireless connection between hearing aids and Bluetooth compatible devices. Designed to improve wearer convenience and use with devices such as cell phones, Mp3 players, computers, etc.