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What You Should Know About Digital Hearing Aids

There are digital hearing aids available without a doctor's prescription or testing.  Some of the aids you can buy that go in the ear canal are digi-ears, which range from $300 to $700 and have various additions.  They're versatile to fit either ear, so if you bought two of the same type, you wouldn't have to worry about which aid would fit each ear if you got confused.  

Many different digital hearing aids are available.  Some of them include a  two channel value aid, which is a low cost aid, a mid-level four channel aid that provides feedback reduction and a speech amplifier, and the best level (also a four channel aid), which offers echo suppression and layered noise reduction.  All of these aids come with a wax remover.  (Wax seems to be a problem for hearing aid wearers and must be kept to a minimum for the best reception.) 

You may want a carrying case for your digital hearing aid, to keep it safe by the bedside or in the nightstand while you sleep.  The carrying case can help protect it from insects or dust or even a naughty cat who likes to knock things off furniture!  Keeping your digital aid clean and dry is important for proper function and long-lasting use.

Digital aids use microprocessors to process sound for you to hear and should adjust volume according to sound levels.  There are different frequency levels an aid must allow for; each level will have its own amount of hearing loss.  This makes the correct purchase of an aid even more important.  An ill fit, improper adjustment, or neglect to the proper levels you will need help with are reasons you should be properly tested and should use a professional to help you choose the right aid for you.  Your lifestyle and budget are, of course, two other important factors to consider.  You'll want to work with a quality hearing aid supplier, purchase an aid made by a reputable company, and go through the proper medical channels to help you make the best decision.

Almost any company that sells hearing aids will now have digital aids available for purchase.  Digital aids can reduce or eliminate feedback while the person wears them.  They have gain processing, which reduces microphone noise and environmental sounds.  Speech recognition is more accurate with less annoying interruptions to filter through to hear what someone is saying.  If you've ever held a large seashell up to your ear, you should recall the loud whitenoise it makes.  Suppose you had to walk around every day with that noise in your ear, making it hard to decipher what anyone is trying to tell you at any time of the day or night.  Digital aids have been improved to overcome that type of obstacle.  They have been improved to help cut down on the equipment a person used to be burdened with when wearing a hearing aid.  Digital aids are more easily adjusted with more built-in capabilities than ever before.  They even include signal generators to increase accuracy with your fittings.

Where to Find Discount Digital Hearing Aids

Let's say you're in the market for a digital hearing aid.  Obviously, you want to find the best aids your can get at the best price.  It can take some doing, but you can find discount digital hearing aids.  

You probably won't find discount digital hearing aids by blindly following the recommendations of your ENT doctor.  Your audiologist most likely doesn't know the best deals either.  The place to find the best hearing aids at the least expensive cost is usually by searching the internet.  

Before you go too far on the internet, you will find sellers of discount digital hearing aids that offer you an FDA waiver.  These hearing aids are being sold to you with the understanding that you alone are responsible for making sure that you see a doctor to rule out medical reasons for your hearing loss.  The waiver states that you don't hold the hearing aid seller responsible and that it's up to you to do that.  

Once you sign this waiver, they are allowed to sell you a discount digital hearing aid that, by the way, your doctor may not approve of.  You will at least need an audiologist to do an audiogram, or hearing test, to define the parameters of your hearing loss and do any other preparatory work to get you ready to order your hearing aid.  However, audiologists sometimes work in clinics without ENT doctors.  So, you might not actually see a doctor.  

Several hearing aids fall into the category of very inexpensive.  One company offers a Build Your Own digital hearing aid at the small cost of $499.50.  The IHear digital hearing aid is the same price.  Lloyd's, a discount digital hearing aids seller, offers the Rexton Targa2 digital BTE hearing device for just $675.  (All prices are per ear.)  These hearing aids may not be the fanciest ones on the market, but they might be a starting point for someone who cannot afford a more expensive pair.  

There are some discount digital hearing aids that are just under $1000.  Some of these have impressive statistics.  The Rexton Calibra has 4 channels of frequencies.  It has 3 different memories of settings for different environments.  It also features good management of feedback.  With the help of a hearing professional it is easily fitted to the wearer.  This type of hearing aid is good for people who want a certain level of sophistication but can't afford to go all the way to the highest brands.  

Even the most advanced hearing aids can be found at a discounted price.  The Siemens Acuris CIC has programmable e2e technology; handles feedback well, has three memory settings, sorts by sound and noise and emphasizes sound, and has 16 channels.  Siemens sells them for $1999, but you can find them elsewhere for $1650.  

Some companies sell a variety of name brand hearing aids at reduced rates.  Genesis hearing aid labs claim to sell discount digital hearing aids for 60 percent off the standard price.  Another company promises 50 percent off the price of hearing aids if you will make your own adjustments at home.  

There are plenty of deals to be had in discount digital hearing aids.  It may be best to speak to a hearing specialist to determine what aid is right for you and which one he or she has the most experience in adjusting.  In any case, the main thing to remember when purchasing discount digital hearing aids is to know what you are getting.

Why Behind the Ear Hearing Aids Are the Most Common

There are plenty of choices for the hearing impaired person who wishes to use a hearing device.  There are aids that fit in the ear and those that fit completely in the ear canal.  For cosmetic reasons alone you would expect these to be very popular.  Yet the most commonly used hearing devices are behind the ear hearing aids.  

Behind the ear hearing aids are constructed of an ear mold that fits in the ear and a piece of tubing that goes from the ear mold to the hearing aid. This tubing is called the tone hook.  The hearing aid has an on and off control, a volume control, and a battery compartment.  There is a microphone on the top on the hearing aid.  The sounds are sent to the ear through the tubing and then the ear mold fitted into the ear.  

Children are generally fitted with behind the ear hearing aids.  This is partly because they are less delicate than some of the other types.  Also, the children don't need to have highly developed fine motor skills to put one in or operate one.  The controls are large enough for them to manage nicely.  

Children do have a few problems with behind the ear hearing aids, but they are mostly minor.  For one thing, as their ear canal change in size and shape with growth, they will have to be refitted about twice a year.  But, this is true of other types of hearing aids as well.  Behind the ear hearing aids are small enough that the child might have trouble keeping track of them when they aren't wearing them.  Again, this would be even truer of other types.  The one problem unique to behind the ear hearing aids for children is that the youngsters may not have large enough ears to hold the device.  Correct fitting helps this.  If that isn't enough, there is a device called a "Huggy" that can help fit the aid to the head as well.  

The nice thing about behind the ear hearing aids is that they are slightly larger than the devices that are worn mainly in the ear.  This allows for bigger batteries, which translates into more power, and more amplification.  They can be useful for anyone who uses a hearing aid, from those who have mild hearing loss to those whose deafness is more profound.  Behind the ear hearing aids are also good for people who have problems using their hands and fingers due to arthritis, for example, because of the larger controls.  Besides all this, their circuitry can be either analog or the more technologically advanced digital.

Behind the ear hearing aids are strong, powerful, and easy to use.  This type makes a good choice for a child for many reasons.  They even come in a variety of different styles and colors.  Add to this that digital sound is available and it is no wonder that behind the ear hearing aids are the most commonly used hearing aids of all. 
Why Seimens Artis Hearing Aids Are Popular

Seimens has no problem selling hearing aids.  In fact, they make about 20 percent of all hearing aids.  Seimens Artis hearing aids are some of the best they have available.  There are many reasons why Seimens Artis hearing aids are so popular.  

The Artis 2 is the newest model available.  It has several features that make it more desirable than other aids.  For example, these Seimens Artis hearing aids offer a technology called e2e wireless.  When you have this technology, your hearing aids will function as one unit even though you're wearing them in both ears.  You don't have to keep adjusting one and then the other to get the volume right.  It's all done with the touch of one button.  They each have microphones to take in sounds and circuitry to process it and send it to the ear.  The only difference is that they are linked in control and directionality.  To make this even easier, a device called an ePocket remote can be used to control the two aids simultaneously.  

These Seimens Artis hearing aids use a system of acquiring data about the volume and setting levels a person who wears them uses the most.  After a short while, these adjustments will become more automatic, something like tivo technology.  It is called DataLearning.  Also available on the Artis 2 is DataLogging, which keeps track of data that the audiologist will be able to put to good use in doing your next fitting.  

Seimens Artis hearing aids can emphasize speech sounds while putting background noises in the background where they belong, and they are very advanced in recognizing the difference.  They do this automatically with a dozen channels of frequency bands.  It makes using them a breeze.  

By the way, Seimens Artis hearing aids can reduce or eliminate the noise the wind usually makes when it whistles in and around your ears and hearing aids.  This is called the eWindscreen.  These aids also are good at controlling feedback, that squealing noise you hear when people put in or adjust their hearing aids.  A poorly made hearing aid will squeal at other times as well, but the Seimens Artis hearing aids will not have feedback in any of these situations.  

Autophone is featured, too.  This allows a person wearing a hearing aid to talk on the phone while wearing their aid.  It comes on automatically when you put the receiver up to your ear, and you will hear a small beep to let you know it has switched.  Then, it will switch back when you take the phone away from your ear again.  

Seimens Artis hearing aids also come in another version, which is the Seimens Artis Life.  It has many of the same features as the Artis 2, but it is a tiny BTE hearing aid that is both inconspicuous and comfortable.  If you've ever worn ear plugs all day, you will remember that clogged up feeling you got and how glad you were to take them out.  The Artis Life is designed in such a way as to eliminate that feeling, otherwise known as the occlusion effect.  

These hearing aids make hearing comfortable, easily managed, and accurate.  They are the best that the company offers at this time.  With all the features they offer, it is clear that there is good reason that Seimens Artis hearing aids are so popular.  

Why Use Hearing Aids for Dogs?

You want to be able to hear what's going on around you.  You expect it.  Sometimes you even need to hear to be alerted to danger.  Dogs have the same needs, but we expect them to adapt to life without their hearing.  Some dogs can, so why use hearing aids for dogs at all?  

It is amazing how many dogs live well up into their teens these days.  It isn't surprising with all the fine veterinarians and their modern techniques.  As in humans, the older the population gets, the more certain conditions will be prevalent.  Hearing loss is one of these conditions.  

It should be easy to tell if your dog has a hearing problem.  You can call him and call him and he won't respond.  Or maybe he will, but only if he's looking right at you.  He might even look the wrong way to find you when you call him.  You might notice that he seems to be sleeping all the time, and when you try to wake him up, you can't without touching him.  And, just like a child with hearing problems, he might be fussing with his ears or shaking his head around.  Hearing aids for dogs can help with these problems.  

One clinic in Texas offers a hearing test to dogs that come in with suspected hearing loss.  When the test is completed, the owner will know what kind of hearing loss the animal suffers from and if anything can be done about it.  The center uses hearing aids for dogs in a plan that involves getting the dog used to the aid.  This takes about a month during which the volume is slowly raised until it is at the best level.  The aids cost about $250 each.  These programs for hearing aids for dogs allow the dogs to get settled in to using them without too much discomfort.  

One type of hearing aids for dogs is a contraption that is mounted on a dog collar.  The container with the aid goes on the collar and tubes go from that to a foam plug that is situated in the ear of the dog.  It is similar to a BTE, behind the ear, hearing aid in structure.  Smaller dogs seem to take to these devices pretty well, but the larger breeds don't seem to like them as much.  

Some companies offer ITE, or in the ear, hearing aids for dogs.  For these, the doctor takes a mold of the dog's ear canal.  This is sent in to the laboratory and a human ITE is built into it.  Whether or not a dog will take to the testing and fitting and finally the hearing aids' being put in his ears is questionable.  Some will and some won't.  Many owners feel that it is worth the expense and the trouble to try.  In fact, there are some pet veterinary insurance companies that pay the cost for them.  

Nothing is quite the same to a dog as the sound of his owner's voice.  He will be safer because he is better able to sense danger.  He will be happier because he won't be confused about unnatural changes in his world that hearing loss brings.  Hearing aids for dogs can make their lives so much better.  To many owners, that's reason enough.  

Would You Take a Chance on a Cheap Hearing Aid?

One of the most frustrating things for a hearing impaired person to deal with is a cheap hearing aid.  To have a hearing problem can be frustrating in itself, but to have to continually fight with a malfunctioning or low quality hearing aid is adding insult to injury.  Poor workmanship or cheap parts make hearing a nightmare for the hearing impaired.  It is understandable that some people just can't afford a good quality aid; and insurance companies have long been ornery about helping the hearing impaired.  But buying a better quality aid is better in the long run than wasting hard-earned money on several cheap aids that just don't last!

Hearing your car make a noise when starting up or traveling may be crucial to your engine being repaired properly and may keep you from having an accident.  Hearing a vehicle approach may save your life or the life of a small child who is with you.  Hearing your child scream for help may be what keeps them from being injured further or kidnapped by a stranger.  Hearing the phone ring, hearing a baby cry, hearing a warning to keep you out of danger or hearing an animal approach could all be important life happenings that you'd miss should you choose to buy a cheap hearing aid.  Suppose you were at an important event and your child or grandchild was counting on you to hear them sing or to hear their important part in a play?  If your cheap aid is inhibiting your lifestyle, maybe it would be well worth the investment to treat yourself (and your family) to a quality hearing aid.

Unfortunately, not all dealers of hearing aids will have your best interests at heart when trying to sell you a hearing aid.  Should you have the little voice inside trying to warn you about a shady deal, it pays to listen to it.  The hearing aid should be an important step to changing your life for the better.  Research the company, ask people who already have hearing aids, and check out the different brands and prices available before deciding to purchase.  In other words, shop around, not only for the best aid, but for the best person to help you make your purchase.   Ask an audiologist for references.  Make sure the person you purchase your aid from is easily available for any future questions, or can tell you the steps you need to take should any problems occur.  You should be satisfied that you are getting your questions answered clearly.  Ask about warranties and availability of any service or parts and any costs that may be involved.  Don't just assume that paying for the aid itself is all the cost you would have to incur.

Technology has made leaps and bounds when it comes to developing better hearing aids over the years.  The hearing aids of today make the older ones from years ago seem like cheap hearing aids.  Aids today allow even for whispers in some cases.  Cheap aids may lack the proper control over volume adjustment, noise filtering, whistling, and clarity of sound.

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