What Are Hearing Aids?Hearing
Hearing aids are small battery-powered devices worn in or behind the ear to make sounds louder and clearer. This allows the person wearing a hearing aid to more fully hear words and other sounds, so they are better able to communicate and participate fully in activities.
Alice Jones had pretty much given up on her social life.
“It was very irritating not to be able to hear a speaker. In church I had to sit in the front row or I couldn’t hear anything. There was no use to go to church if I couldn’t hear what they were saying, so I stopped going.” Alice Jones
Fortunately, Alice was referred to LSH through the local Lions Club in Ridgecrest. With our help, she was able to afford two new hearing aids, and now she’s back to the activities she loves.
Unfortunately, out of all the people who could benefit from hearing aids, only one in 5 uses them. There are many ways hearing can be damaged, including disease, aging, medications, and injury from loud noises. All these things can lead to damage of the small sensory cells in the inner ear. A hearing aid helps the remaining healthy cells to detect sounds due to the amplified vibrations, which are then converted into signals sent to the brain.
Hearing aids have three primary parts:
- Microphone – to pick up the sounds and voices around you
- Amplifier – this is what makes the sounds louder
- Receiver – sends the louder sounds into your ear
There are more than one type of hearing aid. Analog hearing aids work by converting sound into electrical signals and then making the sound louder. A digital hearing aid is both more effective and more expensive. These work differently. Digital hearing aids change sound waves into numerical codes, and then make these louder. The code (which is like a computer code) includes more information such as the direction a sound came from.
Different hearing aids are worn differently. Some fit inside the ear canal, partially or fully. There are hearing aids that go inside the outer ear, and behind the ear. Even though hearing aids can take some getting used to, it’s important to be patient with the process because being able to hear your loved ones and the world around you again is a precious gift.
Need Hearing Aids and Can’t Afford it?
If you cannot afford hearing aids, and you qualify for our help, LSH may be able to help with the cost (including co-pays and non covered hearing support).
To find out if you qualify go to How Do I Qualify or call us at 800-647-6638.
Note: For those who have difficulty using the phone, a helpful resource can be found at http://ddtp.cpuc.ca.gov/homepage.aspx.