Features and benefits of hearing aids sold in the Tampa Bay area

Today’s modern hearing aids come in different levels of technology to suit different lifestyles. The lifestyles of people who live in Tampa Bay can range from relatively quiet/sedentary to very active and robust. The features and their benefits are important to consider when deciding on which technology level and options to fit your needs. Most all hearing aids stores and audiology centers have access to these features. At Gardner Audiology our goal is to match the features of hearing aids according to personal need and preference.

Telecoil- This component is standard on may hearing aids. When activated, it allows the user to focus on the phone call and less on ambient surrounding sound. It eliminates the possibility of feedback as long as the microphone is no on at the same time. Many manufacturers incorporate what is referred to as an autocoil. This allows the hearing aid to switch to the telecoil feature by placing the phone’s ear piece over the hearing aid. It is activated by the magnet in the phone’s earpiece. Not all phones, cell phones in particular, have a strong enough magnet to activate the telecoil.

Directional microphone- This technology is intended to help the hearing aid focus on sounds in front of the wearer; providing more amplifications for those sounds than for sounds from the sides or from behind. The goal is to make listening less of an effort in noisy situations. The directional microphone is available in most hearing aids; space permitting.

Moisture resistance- This can be a coating, gasket, tightness of construction or a combination of these to repel and prevent moisture intrusion. In areas of heat and high humidity, this feature can reduce the frequency of moisture related malfunction.

Multifunction switch/button- This allows the user to adjust the loudness and set a hearing aid up for listening in different environments. Examples of different environments include, but are not limited to: quiet, restaurant, crowd, and music.

Wireless- this feature allows the hearing aids to communicate with each other to optimize processing in different environments. This feature also allows programming without cables and both hearing aids can be controlled with the multifunction switch/button from one side. There are accessories that can be used with wireless technology. Remote controls can be used to make changes to loudness and memories. Streamers allow the connection to cell phones, TV, and mp3 players.

Blue tooth technology- This allows the hearing aids to connect and communicate with other devices such as compatible cell phones, mp3 players, and computers.

Speech enhancement- This helps to optimize speech sounds over noise. The effectiveness varies, depending on which overall level of technology is used.

Noise reduction- Helps reduce undesirable non speech sounds. The effectiveness varies, depending on which overall level of technology is used.

Direct audio input- This technology allows the connection of hearing aids to other devices such as TV, radio, and mp3 player via cables.

Wind noise reduction- The goal is to reduce the amount of annoyance experienced when wind is present. The effectiveness varies, depending on which overall level of technology is used.

Feedback cancellation- This feature identifies and stops feedback; the annoying whistling sometimes heard with hearing aids. It does so by identifying the feedback and which frequency or frequencies it is occurring in. It then removes the feedback from the signal and stops the whistling. Feedback can be a result of excessive ear wax in the canal, a loose fitting hearing aid, and volume turned up high. These issues need to be corrected for optimal reduction of feedback. Feedback can be expected if something is placed near the hearing aid, such as a hand or phone. However the feedback cancellation can overcome the whistling if the position of the phone is maintained while in use. The effectiveness varies, depending on which overall level of technology is used.

More questions about hearing aids. Call Gardner Audiology at 800-277-1182 or text 813-265-2255

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