The client must choose which hearing aid they need based on the advice of the hearing practitioner and their own decisions after weighing the pros and cons. Body level hearing aids are considerable, less expensive to buy and maintain. If ear models are not good, they also have less problem of feedback squeal. Disadvantages are that
- The microphone is mounted on the chest and does not provide ear level hearing.
- Difficult to eliminate the effects of cloth rubbing noise and body shadow (the body may prevent some sounds from reaching the microphone).
- There is difficulty in providing the benefits of localization such as binaural hearing.
BTE hearing aids are more expensive to buy and maintain. They are small and thus easy to wear in children. They provide more flexibility regarding adjustments to the output signal. BTEs provide the benefit of binaural listening as sounds are received at the level of the normal ear. Localization of sounds is easier compared to 2 pocket model hearing aids.
Ear and canal also provide benefits of binaural amplification in hearing aids. They are expensive and not worthwhile for children as the entire hearing aid will have to be reused when the shape and size of the ear changes. In BTE and pocket model aids, only earmould have to be replaced. ITEs are also not useful for profound hearing loss. The canals fit into the ear canal in the hearing aid and use the natural resonant properties of the outer ear.
It is important to remember which price and style of hearing aid is chosen (BTE or pocket level) requires hearing training because this is what determines the progress of the child.
Some hearing aid optional features improve your hearing in specific situations:
1. Noise reduction :- There is a small amount of noise reduction available in all hearing aids. The amount of noise reduction varies.
2. Directional microphone :- These are aligned on the hearing aid for better selection of sounds coming from the front of you, so that there may be some reduction in sounds coming from behind or with you. Some hearing aids are capable of focusing in one direction. When you are in an environment with too much background noise, directional microphones can improve your hearing.
3. Rechargeable batteries :- Some hearing aids have a rechargeable battery. This can make maintenance easier for you by eliminating the need to replace batteries regularly.
4. Telecoils :- It is easy to listen to telescopes when talking on a telecoil-compatible telephone. Telecoil eliminates sounds from your environment and only extracts sounds from the telephone.
Telecoils also carry signals from public induction loop systems that can be found in some churches or theaters, allowing you to better listen to a speaker, play, or movie.
5. Wireless connectivity :- Increasingly, hearing aids can wirelessly interface with some Bluetooth-compatible devices, such as cell phones, music players, and TVs. You may need to use an intermediary device to pick up the phone or other signal and send it for listening assistance.
6. Remote controls :- Some hearing aids come with a remote control, so you can adjust the features without having to touch the hearing aid.
7. Direct audio input :- This feature allows you to plug in audio from a television, computer, or music device with a cord.
8. Variable Programming :- Some hearing aids can store multiple pre programmed settings for different listening needs and environments.
9. Environmental noise control :- Some hearing aids offer noise cancellation, which helps prevent background noise. Some also offer a reduction in wind noise.
10. Synchronization :- For a person with two hearing aids, the aids can be programmed to work simultaneously so that adjustments made to the hearing aid (volume control or program change) on one ear also allow for simpler control over the other aid.
Care and maintenance of hearing aids
- Stop it from falling
- Keeping the fluids spread on the hearing aid
- Hearing aids should be fitted well – a horse with suitable molds and retainers and pocket model assistance in BTE if necessary.
- Cords should not be twisted or knotted.
- Protect it from dust, dirt and heat.
- Remove the battery from the hearing aid when it is not in use.
- Remember to separate the ear mold from the receiver before washing the mold. The receiver should not be exposed to water.