Style That Is Appealing
Products with very natural sound and because of the venting present in the dome earpiece, the occlusion effect (echoes and head in a barrel effect) is usually minimal.
Better sound and performance, and fairly small which makes this product barely seen and very appealing. In recent years, this style accounts for about 70-80% of the market.
Smaller than previous products, this style is easier to handle for some seniors and also uses a larger battery size, which usually lasts longer. Also a better choice for patients with severe hearing loss because of more gain available and used with an Ear Mold for a tighter fit – reducing feedback issues.
This style is also available with a slim tube fitting instead of using an Ear Mold, designed specifically for patients with a High Freqency hearing loss – usually men with noise induced hearing loss.
The Audiologist will take an impression of the ears to be fitted and send these impressions to the manufacturer for production. In turn, the manufacturer builds a shell, inserts the electronic components into the shell, and then attaches a cover plate to complete the process. Each of these aids are built specifically for the users shape and size of ear, so they should fit comfortably for them. Battery size is very small and they do not last as long, especially if the instruments are worn most of the day. This style is often times are a little more difficult for seniors with manual dexterity problems to manage and place properly in their ears.
Technology that is Appropriate
Technology has become so sophisticated, especially in the last few years, hearing instruments have become mini-computers that apply millions of calculations per second to incoming sounds. By analyzing these sounds at amazing speeds, the instruments determine which sounds to amplify and which sounds to suppress. And with these improvements in the last several years, the national average for satisfaction with hearing instruments since 2008 is around 85%.
For example, some of the features available in Advance and Premium technology level instruments are:
- High Fidelity Sound Resolution – precise programming to meet each client's specific amplification needs
- Automatic response to different listening environments - changing the response of the instruments according to the types of sounds and noise present in each situation
- Noise Suppression – automatic suppression of unwanted noise levels
- Directional Microphones – allows the instruments to focus on the speech source and zoom in on appropriate speech sounds. Often described by terms such as Speech Zoom, Speech Focus, or Speech Enhancement.
- Anti-Shock – instantly reduces extremely loud noises to less harmful levels
- Automatic Adaptation Manager – with first time users, the instruments gradually adjust automatically to full-on, allowing each client to become comfortable with wearing and using these devices, over a period of time.
Costs that are Affordable
I try to keep my overhead expenses low, and then I can offer patients a better value when compared to other providers in the area. The technology level of the Instrument is directly related to the purchase price, so when we discuss each client's social activity and lifestyle, it is important to help them make a decision on technology levels that is appropriate for them. Costs are always part of the process, so I will absolutely try to help each patient make a decision that they feel is in their best interests.
As always, our goal when fitting Hearing Instruments is choosing the products that are appealing to them, technology that is appropriate for their lifestyle, and costs that fit within their budget. And then, do our best to be sure each patient is happy and satisfied with their Hearing Instruments with exceptional customer service and care.
Ear Molds and Hearing Protection
Ear molds for patients with BTE style Hearing Instruments are availabe at a very reasonable cost. Several materials are used for ear molds, with acrylic (clear and hard material) and silicone (softer, many colors, and non-allergenic) are the most common materials in use at this time.
Hearing protection is for individuals who are exposed to loud noise levels on a regular basis – noise levels above 85 dB can be harmfull to the inner ear and if exposed to these levels over a period of time, can be very damaging to hearing ability. Many different styles of hearing protection are available, with Custom Fitted Ear Plugs being the best products for someone involved with noise consistently. For example, individuals who are involved with trap, skeet, or target shooting can benefit significantly with the use of these products. An ear impression is taken for each ear, and then sent to the manufacturer for producing custom-fitted ear protection, usually made of silicone for a softer, yet firm feel. These fitted plugs will last for several years and are very good products, especially for hunters and shooters.