About 14% of adults in America develop hearing loss. Of those whose condition would benefit from a hearing aid, fewer than one-third have ever used one. Wade Han, MD, FACS, Megha Parekh, PA-C, and the audiologist team at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery provide comprehensive hearing evaluations and several types of hearing aids, choosing the style that works best for improving your ability to hear and communicate. To learn more about hearing aids, call one of the offices in Orlando or Kissimmee, Florida, or schedule an appointment online.
The team may recommend a hearing aid for two types of hearing loss:
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is caused by problems with your inner ear or the auditory nerve, which connects the inner ear to your brain. In adults, SNHL may develop due to:
While aging is the most common cause, many people develop SNHL from exposure to loud noises.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves don’t reach your inner ear. This problem often develops due to a blocked ear canal, a damaged eardrum, problems with small bones in your ear, or a buildup of fluid.
Hearing aids are tiny electronic devices that amplify sounds. Each hearing aid has a microphone that picks up sound, an amplifier that intensifies the signals, and a speaker that allows you to hear the sounds.
This type of hearing aid converts sound waves into electrical signals, amplifying all sounds equally. Some analog hearing aids can be programmed to accommodate different environments, such as a quiet library versus a noisy restaurant.
Digital hearing aids convert sound waves into digital signals. They can be programmed to block out certain noises or amplify specific sounds.
There are three basic styles of hearing aids:
In a BTE aid, the component parts are in a case that rests behind your ear. The case is attached to a tube that Dr. Han places into the ear canal. This type of device keeps the canal open and protects it from wax buildup.
If you get an ITE hearing aid, all the parts are in a shell that fits in the outer part of your ear. ITE aids can be used for mild-to-severe hearing loss, but they’re not recommended for children because they’ll be outgrown.
ITC aids are the smallest of all hearing aids because they’re designed to fit partially or completely in the ear canal. They’re less visible than other hearing aids, but they have limited space for batteries and programmable chips.
To schedule a hearing test with the audiologist team or to learn more about hearing aids, call Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery or book an appointment online.