The cause of hearing loss will determine the treatment advised by your doctor. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damaged hair cells in the part of the ear known as the cochlea and is a permanent condition. Impaired hearing, however, can be improved by some of the treatments and hearing aids.
Hearing aid is an electronic device, usually comprising a microphone, amplifier of the sounds, loudspeaker and also batteries. These devices will not cure the impairment of your hearing, but they will increase the volume of the sounds entering the ear and make your hearing better. Some people might not benefit these hearing devices, especially if their hearing is profoundly impaired. Because of that it is necessary to consult your doctor and hearing specialist (audiologist) to get some advice about suitable hearing aids.
There are several hearing devices available on the market. They could be analogue and digital, placed behind the ear or in the ear, worn on the body, bone conducting hearing aids or cochlear implants, as well as some disposable hearing devices. Most hearing devices available on the market are now digital, which means they contain a very small computer and can be programmed. Because of that, modern hearing aids are helpful in different surroundings and people can use them to hear some very quiet but also some very loud sounds without any problem.
Behind, in the Ear and Completely in Canal Hearing Aids
BTE, as these devices are usually shortened to, commonly have two parts. One is inside your ear and the other behind the outer part of the ear. Some of BTE devices can also have two microphones, to enable easier listening of sounds coming from different directions and proximity.
All parts of in the ear (ITE) hearing aids are placed in the patient’s ear.
Hearing aids located in the ear canal are usually less visible because of the smaller size than ITE, but these are not recommended for serious hearing impairment.
Hearing Aids Worn on the Body
Body worn or BW hearing aids comprise a small box with the microphone which can be clipped to the clothes or placed in the pocket. A patient also has an earphone, attached with the lead to the box, so the sound can be delivered to the ear.Bone Conduction Hearing Aids
These hearing aids are usually recommended to patients who cannot wear some conventional hearing devices or suffer from conductive hearing loss.
To have a cochlear implant, patients need to be surgically treated. During the procedure, a small hearing aid is fitted inside of the ear and this enables the hearing. However, these devices are limited to function only in people with normally functioning hearing nerves.
Patients suffering from unilateral hearing loss (in one ear) might be advised to wear CROS hearing devices. BiCROS aids are recommended for those who cannot hear on one ear while hearing on the other ear is also compromised. Disposable hearing devices are also something people with moderate hearing loss might use. These devices commonly last about 10 weeks and then have to be replaced.