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Hearing Aids

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Topic Overview


What are the different types and styles of hearing aids? continued...

Special features can be added to your hearing aids to help you hear even better.

  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth technology allows you to connect your hearing aids to other electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers, and GPS devices.
  • Directional microphone: This feature can help you hear better in a noisy place. A directional microphone will make sound coming from one direction louder than other sounds. For example, a directional microphone will make a person's voice coming from in front of you louder than sounds coming from behind you. This can help you have a conversation in a noisy restaurant.
  • T-coil: A t-coil lets you switch between normal hearing aid settings and a telephone setting. This will help you hear better on a regular telephone.
  • Direct audio input: This feature lets you connect your hearing aid to a TV, radio, or CD player. You plug it directly into your hearing aid.
  • Feedback suppression: This feature will control the high-pitched sound some people get with hearing aids (feedback). Feedback happens most when a hearing aid gets close to a telephone or if your hearing aid is loose in your ear.

Disposable hearing aids that you use for a short period of time are also available. They last for 30 to 60 days. They may be an option for those who have mild to moderate hearing loss.

Will it be hard to adjust to hearing aids?

It may take from several weeks to months for you to get used to your hearing aids. You may find that:

  • Sounds seem strange. It's good to remember that hearing aids will not make you hear like you used to. And nothing will ever sound completely normal. If noises are so strange or shrill that they are distracting you, tell your hearing aid provider before you leave the office.
  • You hear things you haven't heard in a long time. For example, you may hear background noises (rustling papers, clinking silverware) much more clearly.
  • You are more aware of sounds close to you. Your footsteps, heartbeat, or car motor may be much more noticeable. With time, your brain will get better at ignoring these sounds.
  • Your hearing aids can be uncomfortable. But they should not be painful. Before you leave the hearing aid provider's office with your new hearing aids, make sure they fit. Your hearing aid should not hurt your ear or be loose in your ear.
  • Sometimes your hearing aids will make a buzzing noise when you use a cell phone. This noise can be annoying, and it can make it hard to hear the person on the phone. If you use a cell phone, make sure your hearing aid provider knows. He or she can suggest hearing aids that work better with cell phones. And when you buy a new cell phone, buy one that is compatible with hearing aids.

Here are some general tips to help you adjust to your new hearing aids.

  • Start by wearing your hearing aids when you are talking to only one person. These are the easiest conversations to understand. Slowly work up to conversations with more than one person.
  • Continue to pay attention to people's gestures, facial expressions, posture, and tone of voice. Your hearing aids won't help you catch every word that is said, especially in a loud place.
  • Wear your hearing aids. The more you wear them, especially at the beginning, the faster you will get used to them.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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