The Ins and Outs of Hearing Aids

New Hearing Aid Technologies

A middle ear implant (MEI) is a small device attached to one of the bones of the middle ear. Rather than amplifying the sound traveling to the eardrum, an MEI actually moves these bones. This technique strengthens sound vibrations entering the inner ear so that they can be detected by individuals with sensorineural hearing loss.

A bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) is a small device that attaches to the bone behind the ear. The device transmits sound vibrations directly to the inner ear through the skull, bypassing the middle ear. BAHAs are generally used by individuals with middle ear problems or deafness in one ear.

Surgery is required to implant either of these devices, many hearing specialists feel that the benefits may not outweigh the risks.

You and your audiologist will select a hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle and will depend on the kind and severity of your hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss in both of your ears, two hearing aids are generally recommended to provide a more natural signal to the brain. Hearing in both ears will also help you understand speech and locate from where the sound is coming.

Price is also a key consideration and often a deterrent to selection because hearing aids range from hundreds to several thousand dollars, depending on style and features. However, don’t use price alone to determine the best hearing aid for you.

You will want to wear your hearing aid regularly, so select one that is convenient and easy for you to use.

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