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Statistics on Hearing Aids

An estimated 8.46 million people in the U.S. wear hearing aids.

Less than 25% of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually have them.

Nearly 85% of hearing aid users wear them binaurally (in both ears).

People using hearing aids have been aware of their hearing loss an average of 6.7 years. Those who do not have been aware of their hearing loss an average of 12.4 years.

Audiologists fit 63% of hearing instruments in the U.S. - more than twice as much as hearing instrument dispensers or physicians.

The Veterans Administration (VA) fit 14.5% of hearing aids in the U.S. in 2008.

The leading reported reason for new hearing aid users to purchase is worsening hearing loss, followed by family encouragement, audiologist recommendation, and ENT physician recommendation.

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are a wonderful modern tool that make sound audible for people whose hearing loss has prevented access to soft or even moderate-level sounds. It is very important to realize that hearing aids alone are not a complete rehabilitation process, any more than receiving an artificial body part will instantly allow complete use of its function. Counseling, adjustments, and guidance of patients with hearing loss are as important as the hearing device that a patient may purchase. Without all those components, the chances of an individual becoming a successful user of a hearing aid are greatly decreased.

The goal of fitting a hearing aid is to help patients hear a wide variety of sounds in multiple listening environments. Without a combination of professional counseling, adjustments, and guidance, it is unlikely that a patient will achieve this goal. It is the skills of a highly trained audiologist that provide this opportunity to patients because of the additional training in these areas. Patients purchasing hearing aids through other sources (internet, from a relative of friend, hearing instrument dispenser) will decrease their chances of achieving the full potential of a hearing aid.

A Brief History and Description of Hearing Aids

The very first hearing aid is built into the human body - the hand! By cupping a hand behind your ear, you can actually "catch" additional sound energy and hear the increase in volume. This is crude, of course, but is the concept behind many early attempt to aid human hearing. In the 19th century, horns of various types were developed that would collect more sound and direct it into the ear, resulting in added volume - just like your hand only with a larger collector. This was before technology existed for electronic amplification and was better than nothing! In the mid-20th century, electronics allowed sound to be amplified by the energy added from a battery.

Advancements in digital technology have improved hearing aids tremendously, making this an exciting time for persons with hearing loss (and for Audiologists). There are now more choices than ever before in technology, features and styles for persons with all different degrees of hearing loss.

Which Hearing Aids Are Right for You?

Choosing a hearing aid can be an overwhelming task for some due to all the different options available and that is where the Audiologists at Innsbruck Hearing and Balance come in. It is important to work one-on-one with a caring, licensed and competent audiologist in order to find the hearing aids that are right for you. At Innsbruck Hearing we work with you to determine which hearing aids are best for you, your hearing loss, lifestyle and budget.

Hearing Aid Styles

Many persons with hearing loss put off treating their hearing loss because they don't want others to know they are wearing aids. Thanks to advancements in design and the miniaturization of digital parts, hearing aids are now available in a wide range of styles - including many that have high cosmetic appeal. Styles of hearing aids include custom in-the-ear, behind-the-ear and open-fit options. The style that is right for you depends on your hearing loss, physical shape of your ears and your lifestyle. An audiologist may help you determine which style might be appropriate for you.

Two Hearing Aids

Similar to how vision loss is corrected with eyeglasses for both eyes, it makes sense why binaural hearing loss should be treated with two hearing aids. Research indicates there are many clear advantages to wearing two hearing aids versus one, which include but are not limited to:
  • Better understanding of speech in quiet and noise
  • Better sound quality
  • Balanced hearing
  • Improved ability to tell direction of sound
  • Less strain while listening and
  • Improved satisfaction with hearing aids.

Take the Next Step

The first step is scheduling an appointment for a hearing evaluation. During that appointment, you will find out what your hearing is like and discuss the various options for treating hearing loss, if it is confirmed. Our focus is on YOU. You will never experience pressure or feel rushed in our clinic. Schedule an appointment today by calling 651.628.HEAR (651.628.4327) or visiting our online scheduling page. You will not regret taking this first step!

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