Hearing Aids 101Marc Brennan, Ph.D., CCC-AAudiologist, Director of Amplification and Perception Lab
Hearing aids, all of them are basically the same; they amplify sounds to make them louder so that the person with hearing loss can hear the sounds.
All hearing aids have a microphone, an amplifier, which is what makes the sounds louder, and all of them have a computer chip. This just allows for more complex processing then what we used to be able to do.
Then all hearing aids have a speaker that presents a sound.
What are the different types of hearing aids?
Sizes differ across hearing aids. We’ve got some that rest up on top of the ear and for those, there is something that goes down into the ear so you can route the sound into the ear.
We also have smaller ones that go actually into the ear canal.
The main difference is cosmetics. The smaller ones are more cosmetically appealing, also, power differences. We can get greater power with a larger hearing aid, which is really important if you have a more severe hearing loss.
What determines the selection of a specific hearing aid?
Your age, so, if you’re a child, you would want the kind that goes on top of your ear. The reason for that is it’s going to work best with some of the devices that schools use so that you can hear the teacher better.
Then the other consideration is how severe is your hearing loss. The more severe it is, the bigger the hearing aid you will need.
I think the most important thing is making sure the hearing aid is going to amplify the sound enough for your hearing loss.
We always work with the patient and try to figure out what is going to best fit their needs.
Hearing aids are small, electronic devices that amplify sound. Marc Brennan, Ph.D., CCC-A., audiologist with Boys Town National Research Hospital, explains the different types of hearing aids and what is considered when selecting a specific hearing aid for a patient.