When it comes to hearing aids, it is not always easy to make a choice. What options are available to patients? How to choose your device? And what are the prices?
In principle, a hearing aid amplifiers is not complicated. These are microphones that pick up the external sound, transform it to make it more comprehensible, and then retransmit it inside the ear of the patient who no longer hears well.
Today almost all models sold are digital and called non-linear, the sound collected is manipulated before being transmitted to the person, to eliminate strong variations in sound. But the reality is much more complicated.
Omnidirectional microphone or directional microphones?
The omnidirectional microphones are content to take all the ambient sounds to amplify and transmit more directly to the eardrum.
Most hearing aids, and all those who are high-end, offer several directional microphones. They will make the difference between the ambient sounds and those that come from just in front of the paired person. It becomes much easier to have a conversation in a noisy environment.
Omnidirectional microphones are being used less and less, but they may be enough for people who are almost always in a low-noise environment – an elderly person living in a home, for example.
What level of programming is possible?
Some hearing aids can be programmed to adapt the help to the situation, in the car, in a restaurant, during a meeting. These solutions are very effective, but not within the reach of everyone – their price is of course an obstacle, but the complexity of their use too.
Interact with the environment
Some hearing aids are equipped with receivers that allow them to interact with devices that broadcast sound, especially mobile phones. Thus you will hear what your interlocutor says directly, which offers a very important listening comfort. The same approach is applied to the sound of a computer, some televisions, or even an MP3 player.
Again, we are talking about sophisticated devices, which must also be adapted to the devices that exist in the person equipped.
The right model is personal
It is therefore important to choose the right model for the right situation.
And it’s not just a question of price, indeed many patients are equipped, but do not use their device because it is not adapted to their situation, or not comfortable enough.