So, we’ve learned that air molecules are bumping against each other and making sound.
Hearing aids have a tiny microphone. The microphone feels the molecules bumping against it. Some louder sounds barely brush against the mic, and louder sound air molecules hammer the mic. The molecules have a frequency, how fast do the waves repeat on the mic. The hearing aid takes all of this information and magically amplifies it. Older analog hearing aids would tack a certain amount of amplification onto the sound wave and which you could control with a dial. They may have a cut and it would bend up or down one side of the batch of frequencies coming in all at once. The control could cut the low frequencies up or down and on the other end, we could cut or add back in the high frequencies.
Now, with the advent of digital, we have the microphone capture the sound wave, and with an analog to digital converter takes that sound wave or waves and digitalitizes it. The wave is converted into a system of binary made up of a series of zero and ones. It becomes encoded. Now that code goes to the brain of the hearing aid which understands what it’s hearing and what you need to hear. Like many other things that confuse people today, it’s how smart the brain is that does a good job or better job for your hearing experience. The code is reassembled from the zeros and ones back into a sound wave. Wow! I still can’t believe it myself!
Hearing aids can now connect to wireless bluetooth devices.
Many can now connect to telephones, televisions, and iPads. You have your own headsets with extremely high fidelity sound, small, nearly invisible on your head. Furthermore, hearing aids will be able to monitor other body functions, such as your blood pressure. They’ll also be able to move along with your eyes using directional microphones, as you focus your eyes on something, so will your hearing be focused as well. Hearing aids have features that can tell if you are driving in a car and talking with someone on your right or connecting via mobile phone to your sister in Walla Walla, Washington! How cool is that!
The stigma surrounding hearing aids has just about gone away! Before, having a hearing aid in your ear meant that you had a problem, a dehumanizing problem, and nobody wanted that! Now, since your hearing aids can do so many cool things, times have changed! Now everybody wants to know how they work, what they can do for you, and if they need some!
So if hearing aids help you reconnect to your life and people and help your brain and overall well being, by reducing depression, confusion, anger, and loneliness, then yeah, I’d say these things are pretty cool!
We carry products from the six major hearing aid manufacturers of hearing aids. Many have subsidiaries or retail partners for their hearing aids, such as Signia (Siemens) has Rexton and Miracle Ear, or Starkey has Audibel. So we have choices. A few years back hearing aid companies made mostly the same products, but engineers have been building the “brains” of modern hearing aids that can perform functions from a wide breadth of rationales and capabilities. Hearing aid brains have gone from basic to genius! This determines cost, outcomes and performances. I like the Scandavian companies who’ve had scientists studying sound for a long time. In fact, a lot of wonderful testing equipment has come from Scandavian countries and is now available worldwide. Hearing aids from Scandinavia are excellent quality and are currently still being made there and not outsourced to other countries as others do today. Companies like Widex or Oticon offer phenomenal hearing aids. American companies like Starkey are also working hard to develop ingenious hearing aids too. Visit the links below and have a look for yourself.
Wearing hearing aids
While it’s easy to list the reasons why you should be wearing your hearing aids, it’s another thing to actually wear them. Many people feel frustrated when they’re told to wear their hearing aids more, and for good reason. Sounds that you have not heard for some time can be overwhelming, and pushing yourself past your limits can lead to headaches and exhaustion.
For this reason, knowing your limits and testing them gently is important. You can set your own pace and adjust to sounds at your own rate. While you shouldn’t neglect your hearing aids, your progress doesn’t have to happen extraordinarily quickly. Set reasonable goals for yourself and stick to a routine. You can also set yourself simple listening tasks like “I want to listen to birds today” or “today I will try out what reading the newspaper with my hearing aids on is like”. If you dedicate some time to wearing your hearing aids every day, increasing that time will become easier and easier.
Following up with your audiologist is also important. They can give you tips on how to use your hearing aids more effectively, and they will make sure that they’re working properly for you. If you need adjustments, they will help you find settings that work for you.
As you adjust to your hearing aids, you should pay attention to three things:
We accept most insurance carriers including: Individual Blue Cross Blue Shield, Maine State Employees (working and retired), Teachers (working and retired), Aetna Individual, and some others. Call to find out if we accept your insurance, (207) 564-3337.
Please contact us directly to find out if we take yours.
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