Hearing Aids FAQ
Hearing Aids FAQ was prepared by HK Hearing & Speech Centre (HKHearingSpeech.com) to try to answer some frequently-asked-questions of hearing aid selection. For professional hearing counseling services (including hearing test evaluation, hearing aid consultation, recommendation and fitting, hearing rehabilitation, hearing aid products & hearing aid accessories, custom earmolds, etc), please contact us for further assistance.
- How do I know if I have a hearing problem?
- What are the different types of hearing loss?
- What is the cause of hearing loss?
- How can hearing aids help to improve hearing?
- What are the different types of hearing aids?
- What is a disposable hearing aid?
- What is a digital hearing aid?
- What are the advantages of hearing aids?
- Will hearing aids completely restore my hearing?
- Will wearing hearing aids make me look old or infirm?
- Should I wear one or two hearing aids?
- What should I consider when buying a hearing aid?
- How much do hearing aids cost?
1. How do I know if I have a hearing problem?
Ans: To determine whether you suffer from hearing loss or a symptom of another ailment or disease, it is best to consult an ENT specialist or audiologist to assess your hearing ability and be treated properly. Since hearing loss begins gradually that it goes unnoticed, you should note if some of the following warning signs are present:
- You often find speech or conversation more difficult to follow
- People often complains about how loud you listen to the television or stereo
- You are hard to hear in crowded places
- You are hard to hear people with higher-pitched voices
2. What are the different types of hearing loss?
Ans: Conductive hearing loss is caused by interference with sound or transmission through the outer and/or middle ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is often called nerve loss which is caused by disorders of the inner ear or auditory nerve itself. People can also suffer from mixed hearing loss which involves both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. For proper evaluation and treatment, it is best to consult a licensed ENT specialist or audiologist.
3. What is the cause of hearing loss?
Ans: Most hearing loss results from exposure to loud noise or the aging process. This type of hearing loss is rarely reversible but hearing aids can usually improve hearing. Some other causes of hearing loss are not permanent and may be treated medically, e.g. excessive earwax, infections of the middle ear, and malfunctions of the middle ear bones, etc. A complete diagnostic hearing test can identify the type of hearing loss and proper treatment.
4. How can hearing aids help to improve hearing?
Ans: Hearing aids are electronic devices that pick up and amplify sound so you hear them better. Most modern hearing aids provide many features much more than amplifying sound. You may select based on your lifestyle and hearing needs.
5. What are the different types of hearing aids?
Ans: There are many different types of hearing aids to be selected. They include:
- In-the-ear hearing aids (ITE): These include a microphone, a receiver, and an amplifier in a housing that is worn inside the ear. ITE instruments are available in different sizes and shapes. The size of the instrument depends on the performance and functions required:
- CIC (Completely in the canal) :the smallest of all hearing aids, these hide completely in your ear and are virtually invisible when worn.
- CS (Mini canal):Almost as small as a CIC but may feature selected control functions, e.g. program switch or volume control.
- CT (Canal):When a smaller model is not recommended for everyday use.
- IT (Concha):This model enables integration of the full range of supplemental functions available, e.g. telecoil or directional microphone. The advantages of ITE instruments are natural spatial hearing virtually, invisible and comfortable. It is ideal for sport activities and work. Besides, it is also cost-effective because of lower battery power required as the loudspeaker is closer to the eardrum.
- Behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE): These include a microphone, a receiver, and an amplifier in a housing that is worn behind the ear. Sound travels from the receiver via the ear hook (soft plastic tubing) and the ear mould, into the ear canal. BTE instruments are available in three sizes Mini, Power, and SuperPower, and a wide range of colours. Colourful hearing instruments or the mouse design are especially suited to children. The ear adapter can be coloured or adorned with jewellery items. The advantages of BTE hearing aids are versatile, easy to operate, and comfortable.
- There are also disposable hearing aids and digital hearing aids.
6. What is a disposable hearing aid?
Ans: The disposable hearing aid is a hearing aid with a built-in battery. The hearing aid user may replace the entire aid after the allotted time of usage.
7. What is a digital hearing aid?
Ans: Old generation hearing aids amplified sound, including unwanted noise, which made them annoying to users, discouraging them from retain living quality through a better hearing. The introduction of digital hearing aids improve it. Digital hearing aid converts sound to electrical impulses, analyzes instantly, and allows only selective frequency segments as per degree of hearing loss of a user to be converted to amplified sound waves. It provides superior listening comfort, speech clarity, user control, and programmable to individual requirements.
8. What are the advantages of hearing aids?
Ans: Hearing involves successful communication and hence use of hearing aids can improve your personal relationships and job performance if you have hearing problem. Most important, you will not miss hearing an oncoming car when you are walking.
9. Will hearing aids completely restore my hearing?
Ans: No hearing aid can restore your hearing to the exact same level as before you experienced hearing loss. However, hearing aids can let you hear sounds that you couldn't before.
10. Will wearing hearing aids make me look old or infirm?
Ans: No. Today’s hearing aids are smaller, more discreet models that are nearly undetectable or completely invisible. Many in-the-ear and behind-the-ear models are available in fashionable colors and styles.
11. Should I wear one or two hearing aids?
Ans: It is hard to answer because every person has a different extent of hearing loss and different hearing needs. Most people who have hearing loss due to damage of the inner ear will have about the same degree of loss in both ears and will need to wear two hearing aids. If you only have a hearing loss in one ear, you might only need to wear a hearing aid in your bad ear, but wearing two hearing aids has been proven to improve speech understanding in noise, ability to find the source of sounds, and overall sound quality when compared to wearing only one hearing aid. Therefore, a licensed audiologist will best be able to recommend whether one or two aids will work best for you.
12. What should I consider when buying a hearing aid?
Ans: The type of hearing aids recommended for users will greatly depend on the nature and extent of hearing loss, the size and shape of the outer ear and canal as some conditions (e.g ear drainage) may prevent a person from wearing hearing aids that block the ear or canal. Aesthetic considerations play a large role for some wearers who may prefer wearing nearly invisible hearing aids. For small hearing aids with tiny batteries, some wearers with sight problems may find difficult to operate. Moreover, assistive listening devices are compatible with certain aids, and hence it is better to carefully consider the hearing aid’s capabilities that will suit the user both now and in the future.
13. How much do hearing aids cost?
Ans: There are many factors that need to be considered when estimating the price of the hearing aid. They includes:
- What type of hearing aid?
- What are the capabilities and features of the hearing aid?
- Is it digital or analogue hearing aid?
- Is it programmable?
- What hearing aid accessories does it have?
- Do I get my hearing consultation and other services with the hearing aid?
For more details：
What is a Hearing Aid?
Hearing Aids Prescription
Hearing Aid Accessories
Hearing Aids Styles
Hearing Aids Types
Hearing Test and Assessmente
Hearing Aids FAQ
Hearing Aids Glossary
Other Hearing and Speech Services
HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556