People need hearing aids for a variety of reasons. Perhaps your hearing is degenerating due to normal aging, or perhaps you have undergone a serious illness that resulted in moderate hearing loss. Whatever the reason, if you have mild to moderate hearing impairment, it is likely that a hearing aid can help to better your quality of life. Luckily, there have been a lot of recent advances in this technology, but they are just beginning to hit the family medicine sphere.
Conventional hearing aids are the analog variety and are non-programmable. This means that they have one setting that cannot be changed or altered. With these models, you may experience sensitivity to background noise without the option to filter. Though many believe that these models are better than no hearing aid at all, with today’s advanced technology, other options are available.
Programmable, or digital hearing aids are designed and programmed specifically for each individual. After you have had a hearing examination, your audiologist will determine the level of your hearing loss and what product best suits your needs. He or she can then program the device for your particular type of hearing loss. Some of these programmable devices offer the patient the option to change settings. You are able to control the volume as well as the input of loud and soft sounds. Generally, the models do not have volume controls; they are programmed to automatically adjust to changing conditions.
Programmable hearing aids use computer technology. Because of advanced digital computer technology, these aids are able to accommodate a wide range of needs. In the past, when a patient’s hearing worsened, they would have to order and purchase a whole new device. With today’s programmable hearing aids, the patient or audiologist can simply reset the hearing aid to function at the patient’s level of hearing loss.
Leaps in technological advancement have increased the quality of life for many people with hearing loss. From digital hearing aids capable of retrieving a greater range of sounds to programmable hearing aids, the world is rapidly become a friendlier place for the hearing impaired. Most consumers of programmable hearing aids sing the praises of this wonderful technology and cannot imagine going back to a world of non-programmable, analog hearing aids.