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Buying a hearing aid is an important decision. After all, it can significantly improve your quality of life. Give yourself plenty of time and seek expert advice on the differences between the various models. Where does your journey out of hearing difficulties begin? What should you bear in mind when seeking advice? The most important tips and information can be found below.

Why don’t more people wear hearing aids?

Modern hearing aids are virtually invisible in the ear. They are miniature technological marvels, water and dust repellent, and can be connected wirelessly with a range of other electronic devices. Despite this, many people with hearing difficulties are still reluctant to wear a hearing aid. Why is that so? There are many reasons.

Some people don’t want to accept the fact that they have poor hearing, and a large proportion don’t even realize it. Since reduced hearing comes on slowly and almost imperceptibly, it’s not always easy to recognize. Many of those affected initially think that other people are mumbling. They set their TV volume a little louder. Sometimes they miss the phone ringing, but none of this seems a real problem.
Couple with daughter watching store window
The signs of hearing loss gradually increase. If you notice any signs of hearing difficulty in yourself or your partner, you should act quickly, as this offers the best chance of hearing well.
Many people think that you’re only affected by hearing loss as you get older. And of course, nobody wants to feel or look old. The risk of reduced hearing increases from the age of 40, and many people notice the first signs of hearing problems only when they reach this age. So it’s nothing to do with old age.

What are the most common prejudices against hearing aids?

‘Hearing aids don’t help’ – this is a stubborn prejudice to shift. But how did this misconception come about? Just a few years ago, hearing aids were clumsy, hook-shaped devices that were jammed behind the ear and only made a minimal improvement to a person’s hearing.

 
Even the misconception that you simply have to "train" your ears harder still persists. Many of those affected believe that by using a hearing aid, they’re ‘spoiling’ their sense of hearing, and their hearing will become dependent on technical support. However, hearing does not regenerate itself. Once hearing has been damaged, it is almost impossible to reverse. A hearing aid is often the only solution. While the individual is not cured, the technology means that they will find it far easier to live with hearing loss.

Do I need any special hearing aid accessories?

Ask your hearing care professional about useful accessories. Additional devices are available that can further enhance speech comprehension while watching TV, making phone calls, or in larger groups of people. The technology and performance vary between hearing aids, depending on the manufacturer, model, and price. As a rule of thumb, the more specific the information you give your clinician about your everyday hearing needs, the more effectively they can advise you on choosing the right hearing aid accessories.

Hearing aids do far more than merely amplify the volume of sound. They automatically detect various listening situations and adapt accordingly. This means that users are once again able to enjoy evenings out or theater performances. With additional hearing systems, the use of hearing aids can be expanded even further. During speeches and performances, at the movies or the theater, sound signals can be transmitted directly to the hearing aid. This is the most effective way to eliminate disruptive background noises that always occur when there are a lot of people around. Modern hearing aids are long lasting and reliable. Experience has shown that hearing aids allow customers with hearing difficulties to hear and understand speech significantly better.
 

The following systems are available:

Bluetooth transmission
Many modern hearing aids are equipped with Bluetooth receivers. This allows them to transfer signals from cellphones or audio devices directly to the hearing aid, and in turn, into the ear. The advantage of this is that you will be able to hear clearly on the phone, and enjoy music without distortion from your surroundings.
FM systems for wireless signal transfer
Frequency modulated radio signals are used in conference rooms or event venues. If there is loud background noise, or poor acoustics, speech can be transmitted selectively. To receive these signals directly into the ear via the hearing aid, two types of accessory are available: an electronic receiver that is connected to the behind-the-ear device, or an FM receiver that is also worn on the body.
Inductive hearing aids
If the hearing aid is also fitted with a 'telecoil', audio signals can be received directly in the ear without any interference. This is useful at the movies and in theaters, for example.
Infra-red hearing aids
These additional devices can transmit sound signals from audio devices or microphones. Infra-red light transfers the signals from a transmitter to a receiver, which converts the infra-red signal directly in the ear into sound waves.
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