The prescription of hearing aids is a regulated act that can only be performed by qualified audiologists, as per the new Ontario health regulations, effective as of January 29th, 2024. Being one of the few remaining independent and local hearing clinics, Ottawa Hears, led by Genia Kanne-Shmigol, Doctor of Audiology, audiologist, upholds the highest standards in hearing care. We carry over a dozen top global brands, understanding that limiting brand choices can diminish the potential for fully optimizing an individual's hearing and enhancing their quality of life. Our commitment to offering a diverse range of brands and personalized care is essential, recognizing that one size does not fit all in hearing aids. This approach, crucial for individualized treatment, is supported by recent studies.
Affordable Hearing Aid Options: Committed to making hearing care accessible to everyone, Ottawa Hears offers a range of affordable hearing aid options. We believe that cost should not be a barrier to quality hearing care. Our selection includes various models and price points to suit different budgets and needs. Our Doctor of Audiology is dedicated to helping you find the best hearing solution that aligns with your financial considerations.
Let's dive in to understand how these devices work and explore the different styles of hearing aids available today including rechargeable, Bluetooth and waterproof and dust resistant.
How Do Hearing Aids Work?
Despite their compact size, hearing aids are sophisticated devices that perform several complex functions. Their fundamental mechanism comprises four essential components: a microphone, an amplifier, a speaker (a receiver), and a power source (battery).
- Microphone: The sound begins in the hearing aid with the microphone. It picks up acoustic sounds from the environment and converts them into electrical signals.
- Amplifier: The electrical signals are then sent to the amplifier. As the name suggests, the amplifier's role is to boost these signals based on the user's hearing loss profile, a process known as digital signal processing.
- Speaker (Receiver): The amplified signals are converted back into acoustic sounds by the speaker, which is then directed into the ear.
- Battery: The entire system is powered by a battery, which can be rechargeable or replaceable depending on the hearing aid model.
Modern hearing aids also include a microprocessor that can analyze sounds in the environment and adjust the hearing aid's performance accordingly. This makes it easier for the wearer to hear in situations like quiet conversations at home or noisy environments like restaurants or public events.
Different Styles of Hearing Aids
There are several styles of hearing aids, each designed to fit individual needs and lifestyles.
- Behind-The-Ear (BTE): These are the most common style of hearing aids. As the name suggests, BTEs are worn behind the ear with a tube connecting the device to an earmold that fits in your ear canal. They are robust, often offering more features like directional microphones and telecoil. BTEs can be used by people with mild to profound hearing loss.
- In-The-Ear (ITE): These hearing aids fill the outer part of the ear. They are larger than some other styles and can include features like volume control. ITEs are suitable for people with mild to severe hearing loss.
- In-The-Canal (ITC): These are custom-made to fit the size and shape of a person's ear canal. They are less visible than BTE and ITE styles, providing cosmetic appeal for users.
- Completely-In-Canal (CIC) and Invisible-In-Canal (IIC): These are the smallest hearing aids and are almost invisible as they sit deep in the ear canal. They are suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Receiver-In-Canal (RIC): These are similar to BTEs, but the speaker is in the earmold in the ear canal, making them smaller and less visible. They are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss.
While each style has advantages and drawbacks, selecting a hearing aid must always be based on an individual's hearing needs, lifestyle, and comfort. An Doctor of Audiology at Ottawa Hears, can guide you to ensure the hearing aid chosen optimally addresses your hearing loss.
In conclusion, hearing aids are integral tools that have restored the gift of hearing to millions worldwide. With the ongoing technological advancements, the future is promising for people with hearing impairments.
At Ottawa Hears Audiology, we provide top-quality audiological care with comprehensive hearing assessments, including advanced Speech-In-Noise testing, Speech Mapping and Real-Ear-Measurement to ensure the best hearing health outcomes for our patients.
🌐 Online: For more information or to book an appointment, please visit www.ottawahears.com. Our user-friendly online form is designed for your convenience.
📞 Phone: Prefer speaking to a person? Call us at 343-800-5909. Our friendly team is ready to assist you and answer any queries you may have.
Note: No medical referral is required to see our knowledgeable, experienced, certified, and regulated Audiologist. Additionally, many of our services are eligible for partial or full coverage by insurance or third-party payers.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Hearing Aids. ASHA. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Hearing-Aids/
Bannon, L., Picou, E. M., Bailey, A., & Manchaiah, V. (2023). Consumer Survey on Hearing Aid Benefit and Satisfaction. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 66(4), 1410-1427.
Johnson, E. E., Mueller, H. G., & Ricketts, T. A. (2009). Statistically derived factors of varied importance to audiologists when making a hearing aid brand preference decision. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 20(1), 40-48.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2022, February). Hearing Aids. NIDCD. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-aids
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