The Most Frequently Asked Questions in audiology
There are some questions that frequently arise in clinic-here is a breakdown of some common audiology questions.
The more you wear your hearing aids, the more natural they become. There is usually an acclimatisation period when you first get hearing aids. This is the time that it takes for you and your brain to adjust to using the hearing aids and for some people, it helps to build up use of their hearing aids in order to get used to them at the beginning.
Hearing aids channel sound towards your eardrum and on to your brain to be processed. This means blocking your ear to different degrees according to your hearing loss. This is called the occlusion effect. It may be possible to reduce some of this occlusion by adding a vent or adjusting some settings in your hearing aids. However, this can increase the risk of whistling from your hearing aids.
Hearing aids work with how much hearing you have left and therefore cannot replace your natural hearing. It takes time to get used to wearing hearing aids. This is called the acclimatisation period.
The way a hearing aid functions depends on several factors, including your degree of hearing loss, how they have been fitted and how much you understand about how they will work. NHS departments usually have contracts with a single manufacturer, this means less choice for you in terms of technical ability and hearing aid style. You will have more access to different hearing aid types including rechargeable hearing aids by purchasing hearing aids privately.
Wearing a hearing aid in both ears allows them to mimic the way our ears work together and helps with the localisation of sound. Wearing two hearing aids can also help with speech in a background noise situation.
If your hearing aid is Bluetooth friendly it means that it can connect to devices like your smartphone. This allows you to stream e.g. from your iPhone directly to your hearing aid and also allows you to use hearing aid apps to control your hearing aid settings.
There are six main hearing aid brands; Phonak, Starkey, Oticon, GN ReSound, Widex and Signia. Each manufacturer has a catalogue of different hearing aid products and these vary in technical ability and styles. Hearing aids can be custom made to fit the shape of your ear or rest over the ear. Prices vary according to the technical ability of the hearing aid. The ‘smarter’ the hearing aid, the more expensive the hearing aids are.
There are different types of earplugs for sleeping. Foam disposable earplugs are commonly used and cheap to buy. An environmentally friendly and more comfortable alternative would be custom made earplugs for sleeping that can be cleaned well, dampen noise and last longer. Learn more.