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Getting Used to Hearing Aids... /
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Getting Used to Hearing Aids ó Find the One Thatís Right for You
Beyond a television or radio
programmed for the loudest setting, the challenges of
caring for a person who has lost all or part of the
ability to hear are challenging. Talking on the phone
becomes difficult; communicating with others
face-to-face is frustrating.
My dad resisted hearing devices for a long time,
relieved and annoyed when we took him to the VA hospital
for an auditory exam. He left armed with headphones that
connected to a tiny clip-on device for his shirt or
belt, plus an extension wire.
ďI can hear better when itís right by the television,Ē
he told the doctor, who grinned. Mom reminded him his
ears are on his head, not on the other side of the room,
and yet he resisted. Try telling someone who thinks the
roar of a nearby train ďisnít too loudĒ that the volume
is uncomfortable for others in the same room.
Maybe Dad and others like him, including two of our
neighbors, have difficulty with hearing aids because it
takes time to adjust. There are various styles of
hearing aides, and two different ways for them to
process sounds, according to the U.S. Food and Drug
Most behind-the-ear (BTE) aids are contained in a small
plastic case that sits behind the personís ear and is
connected by clear tubing to an earpiece ó itís easy to
clean and use and is sturdy.
An ďon-the-earĒ device called mini BTE is smaller and
connects to the ear canal by a thin, almost invisible
tube. BTEs can have a smaller piece inserted into the
ear or the traditional ear mold, and are more
comfortable, are said to reduce feedback sounds and are
more cosmetically appealing.
My dad didnít like in-the-canal (ITC), and
completely-in-the-canal (CIC) are in tiny cases that fit
partly or completely into the ear canal. Theyíre the
smallest hearing aids, cosmetically appealing, and do
aid hearing; yet for some, their small size make them
difficult to handle and adjust, which Dad said was true
All components of in-the-ear (ITE) aids are contained in
a shell, which fills the outer part of the ear. Itís
larger than ITC and CIC aids, and some people find them
easier to handle than the smaller ones.
Some people adjust easily to new glasses while others
donít, and the same holds true for hearing aids. Given
the variety of styles, what is comfortable for one
person may not be suited for someone else.