Hearing aids are medical devices used to treat hearing loss. Learn about how hearing aids work, what to look out for when buying a hearing aid, types and styles of hearing aids and hearing aid technology.
Table of Contents
1. What is a Hearing Aid?
A hearing aid is a complex and intelligent communication device, which is designed to help you to distinguish sounds across every frequency and to participate fully in the world around you.
There are many different types of hearing aids, as there are many different types of hearing loss, but all work to amplify sounds within a particular hearing range, making sounds louder and clearer. No hearing aid can restore perfect hearing, but the way in which they work can help you to hear many different sounds more clearly and even to detect sounds you may not have heard for many years.
At Hidden Hearing we have a wide range of excellent digital hearing aids. Our national network includes over seventy-five branches and clinics, so we’re sure to have a location near you. Simply call us or pop in to make an appointment and let us help you to find the best hearing solution for you and your lifestyle.
A hearing aid has three basic parts: a microphone, an amplifier and a speaker.
1. Sound enters the hearing aid through a microphone.
A microphone, set within the small hearing aid that you wear in your ear, picks up sounds around you.
2. Sound is processed and amplified.
Sounds are then analysed via the processing chip in the hearing aid, and processed sounds are sent to the amplifier.
3. Sound is delivered to a receiver.
Amplified sounds are sent to the loudspeaker inside the hearing aid device, which then transmits sounds into the inner ear where they are transformed into electrical impulses.
The brain receives these electrical impulses and processes them to create audible sounds.
Hearing aids are designed to work with the specific hearing loss problems you are suffering, so they will vary in design and you will work with a hearing loss professional to find the best hearing aid for you.
What are the different styles of digital hearing aids?
Our hearing products range from a basic digital hearing aid to the most sophisticated hearing devices on the market.
The price of hearing aids should be determined by the type and number of hearing aids (one ear or two), your listening needs, lifestyle requirements and not by the severity of your hearing loss. Choose any of the following hearing aid styles below for more information and contact any one of our seventy five branches to talk to a fully qualified audiologist.
No matter what type of hearing aid you choose, our full range of hearing aids are covered by our Lifelong Guarantee.
Oticon Alta2 Pro
Oticon changed the hearing aid industry forever in 1996 by launching the world’s first fully digital hearing aid called ‘DigiFocus’. Now with the ultimate performance of Alta2, its next-generation BrainHearing™ technology gives your brain what it needs to make sense of sound for a more natural, effortless hearing experience. Alta2 provides premium sound processing with up to 20% improvement in understanding soft speech, so you'll be able to hear more of the subtle nuances of a conversation — even a whisper.
Oticon Opn™ is the best, most advanced hearing aid we have ever made. Book A Free Demo
Behind The Ear Devices
With award-winning design these are hearing aids that look great and are very easy to handle without push buttons. More Features
The miniRITE style is extremely popular because of its tiny size and many features. More Features
Slightly larger than the miniRITE, but still barely noticeable. More Features
The miniBTE style is more compact than BTE (Behind-The-Ear) instruments and offers supreme acoustic performance inside a discreet design. More Features
In The Ear Devices
IIC hearing aids fit far enough in your ear to be completely unnoticeable to everyone around you. More Features
These are so small that they are virtually invisible and are preferred by those with wider ear canals. (Not suitable for severe hearing loss). More Features
A compact solution that fits deeper in the ear compared to the ITE style. More Features
When you are looking to buy a hearing aid, it is easy to feel swamped by the sheer amount of information. There are so many different types of hearing aids available and unless you know exactly what your needs are, it can seem like an impossible task.
The supply of hearing aids involves more than just the instruments themselves. You need to know what is involved and then check exactly what is covered by the price quoted.
Initial hearing consultation/test: This is the test that identifies what you can hear and of course, what you cannot. Your hearing care professional will also discuss your lifestyle to understand the problems created by your hearing loss and the improvement needed.
Hearing instruments: Digital technology has revolutionised the quality of the sound you hear and hearing aids can now be worn in the ear or just behind the ear.
Aftercare appointments: The successful use of hearing aids is dependent on the commitment of the user and the quality of support provided by the hearing care professional. Best practice includes a programme of lifelong aftercare to ensure you enjoy the full benefit of your new hearing aids. You should check that future appointments are covered by the initial price you pay, as this is not always the case.
Batteries: All modern aids are powered by tiny batteries. How long a battery lasts depends on the amount of time it is used. You normally have to buy batteries, but it is possible that the price of your hearing aids includes batteries. Hidden Hearing offer free batteries for life.
Guarantee: All hearing aids carry a manufacturer’s guarantee but the period of that cover can vary. Sometimes you will find your hearing aids can be guaranteed for 2, 3 or even 4 years. You need to know if you have a good guarantee. Hidden Hearing offer a 4 year guarantee on all its hearing aids.
If you have hearing loss in both ears (bilateral hearing loss), then you are most likely a candidate for two hearing aids, which is called binaural hearing aids. While a hearing healthcare professional can best determine if you are a candidate for two hearing aids, the ultimate decision-maker is the person who will wear them.
Advantages of Binaural Hearing
When a person hears with only one ear, the difficulty locating sound can be dangerous, especially in traffic.
- Wider Hearing Range
A voice barely heard at three metres with one ear, can be heard at ten metres with both ears.
- Both Ears Stay Active
When a bilateral hearing impaired person wears a hearing aid on only one ear, the unused ear tends to lose its ability to hear and understand.
- Better Sound Identification
Many voices, which sound almost exactly alike when heard with one ear, can be identified easily when heard with two ears.
- Hearing from both sides
As nature intended, hearing with two ears allows you to enjoy a more normal social life.
- Improved Understanding
Binaural hearing helps you sort out and understand individual voices.
- Restful Listening
Listening with only one ear is physically tiring and stressful. This may lead to an impaired immune system.
- Cushions Loud Sounds
Sudden loud sounds lose much of their jarring effect when divided between two ears.
- Smoother Tone Quality
Binaural hearing generally requires less volume, giving a natural sound to voices and music.
- Hear with Less Power
Hear more with less background interference.
Oticon hearing instruments with BrainHearing™ technology are designed for your brain, supporting the hard work it does. BrainHearing™ helps you hear better, with less effort so you can participate more actively in life.
There are two types of sound processing technology that may be used in hearing aids: analogue and digital technology. In all hearing aids, sounds are detected by a microphone, processed and amplified, and delivered to a loudspeaker or receiver.
Amplified sound output is sent directly to your ear canal, either through tubing to an ear mould and then into the ear canal, or through a thin wire to a receiver, which is worn inside the ear.
Analogue Hearing Aids
Sounds are processed as electrical signals by a microphone within an analogue hearing aid device. The sound is registered and you receive an impression, or picture of it. The original sound is copied by the processor, which means that the sound can deteriorate as it is processed and it is only possible to improve sounds to a certain extent.
Digital Hearing Aids
Digital hearing aids convert the acoustic signal into digits and process these, before converting them back into analogue acoustic signals for the listener. A digital signal does not deteriorate or wear out, so can be duplicated endlessly without any negative effect on the quality of the sound.
The newest technology uses wireless communication to process sounds and produce clearer speech and sound quality, while also allowing you to listen more easily and to connect to mobile phones and MP3 players.
What Can Hearing Aid Technology Do For You?
Hidden Hearing will work with you to find the best system to suit you and your lifestyle, but you can be assured that the best hearing aid technology available to you will allow you to:
- Hear speech more clearly, even in noisy surroundings
- Locate the sources of sound so you know where to focus your attention
- Focus on the most important sounds more easily
- Organise sounds you hear and feel more comfortable in your environment
The Unique Benefits of Purchasing Hearing Aids from Hidden Hearing
- 90 day money back guarantee
- Complimentary aftercare
- Free Batteries for the Life of your hearing aid.
- 4 Year Warranty
- 6 Month Check Up for the life of the hearing aid
- 0% finance on hearing aids
- Hearing aids cleaned free of charge
Find out more about our Lifelong Aftercare
8. Government Grants
ACT NOW to avoid the risk of missing this special initiative and take advantage of the Government’s PRSI scheme before it’s too late.. Learn More
9. Request a Free Hearing Test
The best way to assess your hearing aids needs is by taking a complimentary hearing test in one of 75 clinics and branches nationwide.