Prescription Hearing Aids with Ongoing Professional Support

Dario Colleta, Doctor of Audiology Speaking with Patient at Port Credit Audiology

Today’s advanced technology hearing aids are smaller and lighter, use better batteries or are rechargeable, limit or eliminate background noise and are rarely subject to feedback (whistling) issues, thanks to the same micro digital technology that has transformed cell phones of the 90s into modern smartphones.

Now that there’s no need to avoid getting the help you need from hearing aids, you might be wondering, “Where can I buy advanced technology hearing aids near me?”

How Advanced Technology Hearing Aids Differ from Hearing Aids in the Past

From the beginning, the idea behind hearing aids has been relatively simple. They pick up sounds using microphones, amplify those sounds and then deliver the amplified sound into the ear canal.

Advanced technology hearing aids still perform these functions, but they utilize various improvements to components and digital technology to produce a far superior result in each of their three different functions:

Sound Reception

In addition to improvements in the quality and design of multidirectional microphones, many advanced technology hearing aids use multiple microphones in order to aid in the process of sorting out background noise from speech.

Sound Amplification

Before digital sound processing was possible, all sounds were amplified. With today’s hearing aids, sounds are sorted, identified and separated into background noise and conversation. Digital processing allows for the reduction or elimination of background noise while speech is amplified.

Sound Delivery

Because of occlusion (the complete blocking of the ear canal), older hearing aids were more prone to feedback (whistling) or delivering sound that was like you were inside a barrel. Today’s open-fit designs eliminate occlusion and the problems that accompany it to deliver more natural sound.

Rechargeable Batteries

For many years, hearing aids were powered by replaceable batteries which earned a reputation for being fiddly and sometimes difficult to replace. However, over the past decade, more and more hearing technology is becoming rechargeable where you can simply charge your hearing aids overnight, just like you do with your cell phone. With devices having up to 30 hours of battery life, this has been revolutionary for their users.

Three-Point Professional Hearing Aid Fitting and Support

An Elder Patient Undergoing a Hearing Assessment at Port Credit Audiology

Evaluating Your Needs

Hearing loss is a personal experience and is unique to you. There are many factors to consider when prescribing a hearing aid and a personalized treatment plan able to achieve your hearing care goals.

Once our hearing care team has established all of your needs, you will receive a prescription for the hearing aids that best accommodates your needs and preferences, including:

  • The necessary processing power required to address your hearing impairment
  • Your manual dexterity and visual capabilities
  • Your budget (including insurance)
  • Your wearing discretion and cosmetic concerns
  • Skin sensitivities
  • Anatomical and/or medical considerations

Hearing Aid Fitting

Once your hearing health provider walks you through the process of selecting your hearing aid, it generally takes three-to-ten business days to be made and delivered to Port Credit Audiology. When it arrives, we’ll begin the fitting process, which not only involves making certain that the device fits the shape and size of your ear but also so much more.

Each hearing aid will be properly programmed while on the ear using the real-ear measurement method. This involves your hearing care provider placing a small microphone inside your ear canal to measure how your hearing aids are working and verify that they are set correctly based on your hearing loss and the size and shape of your ear.

Some of the benefits of using the real ear measurement method include:

  • Verifying that hearing aids are set accurately to your prescription
  • Ensuring the proper function of hearing aids to effectively hear speech
  • Providing more successful hearing aid outcomes
  • Establishing immediate and tangible results
  • Creating a visual representation of how you are hearing and how adjustments to your hearing aids will impact your experience

Educating our patients is another aspect of the fitting process that we take seriously. In addition to teaching you how to properly insert and remove your hearing aids, your provider will educate you on how to change batteries or use your charger and how to clean and maintain your hearing aids day to day, as well as provide you with some basic troubleshooting tips.

Ongoing Follow-Up and Support

After your fitting, your hearing care provider will schedule follow-up appointments to ensure you are benefiting from your hearing aids and will make adjustments, if needed. Your trusted team will provide the technical support and encouragement you need to get the most out of your hearing aids.

Although all of our patients will be seen every six months for a follow up, you are encouraged to book an appointment at any time to review your hearing aid settings, and programs or for cleaning, maintenance and repair. It’s best to bring a loved one to the appointment with you so they can help provide feedback concerning your day-to-day communication and provide support during the appointment.

At Port Credit Audiology & Hearing Aid Clinic, we are here to support you every step of the way. By improving your hearing, you can continue participating in the activities you enjoy, minimizing the impact of hearing loss on you and your loved ones, and ultimately leading to a life that is richer, healthier, and more rewarding.

Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aid Styles

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) or in-the-Ear (RITE)

Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) hearing aid styleRIC and RITE models are similar to mini BTEs but include the speaker of the instrument in the eartip instead of in the main body of the instrument. Processed sound is sent to the speaker through small wires inside a protective tube. These instruments accommodate mild-to-severe hearing losses.

All our hearing aid devices have options to use either disposable or rechargeable batteries. More information can be found on our Hearing Aid Batteries page.

BTE with Earmold

BTE hearing aid with EarmoldUsed by individuals with mild through profound hearing losses, their processing unit has a longer shape that follows the contour behind the outer ear and houses many features. Processed sound passes through acoustical tubing to an earmold that is either custom formed to match the contours of the outer ear canal or a one-size-fits-most design.

All our hearing aid devices have options to use either disposable or rechargeable batteries. More information can be found on our Hearing Aid Batteries page.

Mini BTE with Slim Tube and Tip

Mini BTE hearing aid with Slim Tube and TipThe smaller processing unit of Mini BTEs hides behind the outer ear and uses ultra-thin tubing to discreetly route sound into the ear. This tubing connects to a soft tip that sits in the ear canal but doesn't occlude it. “Open fitting” allows for airflow and sound to enter the ear naturally around the tip, while processed sound enters through the tip.

All our hearing aid devices have options to use either disposable or rechargeable batteries. More information can be found on our Hearing Aid Batteries page.

Custom Hearing Aid Styles

Full Shell ITE

Full Shell ITE hearing aid styleFull shell models sit flush within the outer ear bowl. Because they are larger, they allow for additional controls and features that require more space on the outer portion of the instrument. They use a larger battery size, and the larger receiver provides more processing power for more severe types of hearing loss.

All our hearing aid devices have options to use either disposable or rechargeable batteries. More information can be found on our Hearing Aid Batteries page.

In-the-Canal (ITC)

In-the-Canal hearing aid styleITC instruments rest inside the lower portion of the outer ear bowl. Because they're slightly larger than CIC models, they have a longer battery life and can host additional features, such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments, more controls and a more comfortable and secure fit for those who enjoy an active lifestyle.

All our hearing aid devices have options to use either disposable or rechargeable batteries. More information can be found on our Hearing Aid Batteries page.

Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC)

Completely-In-The-Canal hearing aid styleAble to accommodate individuals with a mild to moderate hearing loss, CIC hearing aids fit deeply and entirely within the ear canal. They offer greater cosmetic appeal, as they're nearly invisible when worn but lack the manual adjustments and use smaller batteries with a shorter service life.

All our hearing aid devices have options to use either disposable or rechargeable batteries. More information can be found on our Hearing Aid Batteries page.

Invisible-In-the-Canal (IIC)

Invisible-In-the-Canal hearing aidThe smallest custom style, IIC instruments, sit past the second bend of the ear canal, making them completely invisible. The devices are designed to address cosmetic concerns for those with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss but require fine dexterity for insertion and removal as well as when changing batteries.

All our hearing aid devices have options to use either disposable or rechargeable batteries. More information can be found on our Hearing Aid Batteries page.

FAQs About Hearing Aids

How do I know if hearing aids are right for me?

Are you often told to “get your ears checked”? Is communication a struggle, making it more challenging to keep up with your active and independent lifestyle, or has it become more difficult to enjoy conversations in a noisy restaurant or at a social event?

The use of hearing aids can help limit how these and other signs of hearing loss, such as depression and anxiety, cognitive decline or balance disorders, impact your quality of life and lifestyle.

Will hearing aids cure my hearing loss?

No. Hearing aids assist the natural function of your ears through sound processing, which is able to help clarify and amplify, but they do not restore the natural function of your ears. For those experiencing a hearing loss, hearing aids not only slow the progression of hearing deterioration but can also limit cognitive decline, alleviate tinnitus symptoms and help correct balance and vertigo issues.

How long does a hearing aid last?

Generally speaking, hearing aids will last about five years when properly taken care of (daily cleaning, regular scheduled maintenance, tune-ups and repairs), and we recommend upgrading them every four or five years in order to take advantage of the newest technologies in a rapidly developing industry.

Do you need special batteries for hearing aids?

Yes. Most of today’s hearing aids use zinc-air batteries specifically designed for use in hearing aids. At Port Credit Audiology, we keep all sizes and types of batteries in stock and readily available.

How long can I expect my hearing aid batteries to last?

Smaller batteries may need to be changed weekly, but larger batteries might last two or three weeks before losing their charge. However, longevity can also be affected by the size, type and quality of battery, how many hours per day you wear your hearing aids, and whether they are exposed to a lot of moisture.

Does it take a long time to get used to hearing aids?

With untreated hearing loss your brain becomes accustomed to not hearing everything. When processed amplified sounds from your hearing aids arrive in your brain's central auditory system it can take some time for your brain to adjust to hearing these sounds again. We call this period, in which the brain acclimates, the adjustment period. This period is unique to each individual and the amount of time it takes to "settle in" can vary from one person to the next.

Most manufacturers allow a 60-day trial period, which is typically sufficient for most people to adjust to their hearing aids and evaluate their benefits.

Do hearing aids have accessories?

Yes, hearing aids often have accessories available that can enhance their functionality or provide additional features for the user. Some common hearing aid accessories include:

  • Remote controls: These allow the user to adjust the settings on their hearing aids without having to touch the devices directly
  • Bluetooth streamers: These accessories allow the user to stream audio from their phone, TV, or other devices directly to their hearing aids
  • Drying and cleaning kits: These accessories help keep the hearing aids clean and dry, which can prolong their lifespan and improve their performance
  • Batteries and chargers: Hearing aids require power to function, so accessories like extra batteries or charging units can be helpful
  • Dehumidifiers: These accessories can help remove moisture from hearing aids, which can improve their performance and prevent damage

There are many other types of hearing aid accessories available, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

Schedule an Appointment

As it becomes more common for individuals to purchase hearing aids online or from OTC hearing aid dispensers, the risk of worsening the damage to your hearing by using the wrong or poorly programmed device is much greater.

Your safer option is to get your hearing aids from a licensed hearing healthcare provider like those at Port Credit Audiology & Hearing Aid Clinic, who will conduct a professional comprehensive hearing assessment, select the right device, ensure proper fitting and programming and provide ongoing support.

If you are looking for a solution to your hearing challenges, submit the adjacent form and start a hearing care partnership with our hearing care team.

Don’t want to wait? Call us at: (905) 990-3755.

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