Hearing Aids

If you’re struggling to hear and understand people in conversations, it might be time to talk to a Mercy hearing specialist about whether hearing aids are right for you.

At Mercy, we know that the thought of wearing a hearing aid can be unsettling. But we also know that hearing the people and world around you with greater ease and clarity can be life-changing.

Mercy ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists and audiologists are ready to help you select the hearing aid best suited to your level of hearing loss and your lifestyle.

Types of Hearing Aids

When selecting your hearing aids, there are a few things to consider – appearance, size and where they are placed in your ear. Styles include:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE): Most parts of BTE hearing aids are in a case that sits behind your ear. A clear tube connects the case to a plastic ear mold. BTE hearing aids have the option of special features like a telecoil that can help during phone calls and a directional microphone to distinguish individual voices in a noisy room.
  • "Mini" BTE (or on-the-ear): The parts are still in a case behind your ear, but it’s smaller, and you can barely see the tube connecting the case to the earpiece.
  • In-the-ear (ITE): The parts are in a case that fits in the outer part of your ear. ITE hearing aids can be made with the same special features as BTE hearing aids.
  • In-the-canal (ITC) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC): The parts are in a customized case that fits partly or completely into the ear canal. These hearing aids are used by people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
  • Implantable: If you have moderate to severe hearing loss and cannot wear an external hearing aid, an implantable hearing aid may be an option. Some devices are implanted surgically and others are not. Some people say they hear better with implantable devices because there is nothing blocking their ears. Another advantage is a long battery life.

What to Expect at Your Hearing Aid Fitting

Before your fitting, your Mercy hearing specialist will do an evaluation which involves hearing tests to measure what sounds you can hear at different pitches and volumes. You’ll discuss the available features and pricing, and then select the hearing aids you want to order.

To get a custom fit, it may be necessary to make a mold impression of your ear. About two weeks after your evaluation, you’ll come back for a fitting.

During that appointment, your hearing aids will be programmed using special software, and you’ll do a sound test to make sure the device is working properly. A thin tube will be placed in your ear near your eardrum to measure the impact of loud and soft sounds on your eardrum. Then the hearing aid is placed in your ear canal by the tube while your doctor balances the hearing aid amplification. This process usually takes about an hour.

Millions of people are living with hearing loss. However, only about one out of five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one. Don't let the joy of hearing slip away. Make an appointment today to talk with a Mercy hearing specialist.


Video: Hearing Aid Troubleshooting

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