Hearing Aids and
Cochlear Implants

HEARING AIDS

At the time your hearing is tested a determination will be made as to your need for a hearing aid. You will be given a recommendation for a specific hearing aid, or a choice based on your tests. Don't be timid about asking questions and choices of features and cost differences.

Hearing aids are expensive you'll want to gather information before you decide on your final purchase.


There are many types of hearing instruments available. Some aids fit into the outer ear, some behind the ear, others in the ear. There are hearing aids designed for those for people with single sided hearing loss, people with middle ear involvement, implantable aids, there is even a hearing aid, which uses the persons teeth as part of the hearing aid system.
It's important to know a hearing aid will not correct your hearing the way glasses correct vision.

It may be disappointing but setting your expectations at a reasonable level will help you in the long run. 

Remember, there is no such thing as "the best" hearing aid. The best is what works for you, not necessarily the most expensive, the most powerful or the one with all the bells and whistles. Keep in mind that audiologist/hearing dispensers can't carry all makes and models of hearing instruments. Occasionally someone may have to go to another source to find a good match.

Be sure to ask your audiologist or contact our HLAA Chapter to find out information about telecoils...a relatively inexpensive hearing aid option that is extremely useful.

Put the ability to hear well not the size of the hearing aid, as your priority. ​
Small hearing aids have limitations.  Certain features such as additional microphones or a telecoil may not be able to be accommodated. In residential settings they may get lost more easily and are more difficult for assistants to handle. Small aids may be difficult to manage for people with arthritis or who have other physical limitations. Remember, Small aids may be difficult to manage for people with arthritis or who have other physical limitations. Small aids will have smaller batteries,  dealing with the battery compartment door may be difficult for some. 

While very small aids may be less visible and be the perfect choice for a number of people they aren't for everyone. It's good to remember that vanity may decrease functionality.  One benefit of larger or more visible hearing aids is that others will understand you're not rude or ignorant but that you may not be responding because you didn't hear them, or perhaps you misunderstood what they said. Technology has come a long way. In general hearing aids are overall less bulky, weigh less than earlier models while accomodating many features.

COCHLEAR IMPLANTS

Cochlear Implants or CIs: Some people may lose so much hearing that hearing aids no longer help. Many people can be helped by a surgically implanted device that sends sound signals via electrodes, to stimulate auditory nerve to the brain. What used to be termed "nerve deafness" is more accurately called sensorineural hearing loss. Cochlear Implants help many people with sensorineural hearing loss.

The implant does not correct the user's deafness but allows sound to reach the brain. With time and practice the person learns to hear with the implant. Our Chapter has many members with cochlear implants.
 They have formed a small sub group which meets periodically to discuss issues of interest and concern.
As with hearing aids the implant does not correct the user's deafness, but allows sound to reach the brain. With time and practice the person learns to hear with the implant. Our Chapter has many members with cochlear implants.
 They have formed a small sub group that meets periodically to discuss issues of interest and concern to those with Implants or considering the procedure.


 Contact us for more information.

Comments From Chapter Members About Their CI Experience

 From Chapter Member, John Eckhardt

"When my CI was activated virtually all sounds sounded like static. I had a very difficult time recognizing what the sounds were and their location. All voices sounded similar and had a cartoonish quality. Improvement began rapidly and within a few weeks the results were stunning. I continued to improve for the next 12-18 months. I practiced hearing using the radio, tapes and discs and within a few months was able to function at a much higher level than I had at anytime using hearing aids."

"For me, the CI has been a great leap forward from hearing aids. With it, I function very much as I did prior to experiencing hearing loss. I’m completely confident in almost any situation."
 "People who know me, family and friends etc. don’t hesitate to engage me in almost any situation. Previously, when I used hearing aids, they often avoided interacting with me because they knew how difficult it was for me[and them].​​"​​