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Hearing Aid Information

The Audiology Department of William Newton Hospital is pleased to offer several different manufacturer's such as Widex, Oticon,Rexton, Phonak Hearing Instruments,and Starkey. Each manufacturer's hearing instruments are available in technologies ranging from conventional analog systems to fully digital instruments. Prices of the hearing aid will depend on the technology you choose.

Hearing Aid Technology

Conventional Technology
Traditional analog hearing aids have fewer options than digital hearing aids. They are equipped with a variety of circuits (diagram below) to meet each individual's hearing needs. They may have one or two controls for internal adjustments and a volume wheel which the wearer may control. Analog hearing aids may perform well in quiet environments but are rarely satisfactory in the presence of noise.

1. The microphone picks up sounds and converts it to electrical signals.

2. The electrical signals are amplified by the pre-amplifier.

3. The tone control will shape the frequency response according to different circuit.

4.The shaped signals will be amplified again by the final amplifier.

5. The receiver changes the electrical signals back into acoustic signals, which will then send to the ear.

Digital Technology
Digital hearing aids are the most advanced technology available today. Digital Signal Processing (diagram below) is capable of extreme high fidelity and accurate sound reproduction. This results in clearer sound and many more programming options. These hearing aids provide the most accurate fitting due to multiple bands for adjustment and advanced computer software programs. Directional microphones available on most styles provide enhanced hearing in the presence of noise. We recommend these hearing aids for people with active lifestyles, varied listening requirements, and those who wish to benefit from the most current technological advances.

1. The microphone picks up sounds and converts it to electrical signals.

2. The analog-digital (A/D) converter changes these electrical signals to digital signals.

3. Digital signals are analyzed and manipulates by the microchip to perform precise, complex calculation to amplify sounds.

4.The digital-analog (D/A) converter changes the digital stream of numbers back into electrical signals.

5. The receiver changes the electrical signals back into acoustic signals, which are then sent to the ear.

Styles of Hearing Aids

The Audiology Department at William Newton Hospital dispenses many different styles of digital hearing aids including Open Fit, Canal Receiver Technology (CRT), Behind-the-Ear (BTE), In-the-Ear (ITE), In-the-Canal (ITC), and Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) hearing aids. The audiologist will make recommendation based on your hearing loss, lifestyle, dexterity, cost considerations, and personal preference.

Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

Behind-the-ear hearing aids are designed to fit behind the pinna, the visible portion of the ear. They may be used with custom ear mold or slim tube which is inserted in the ear canal. The size requires little circuit compromise, and the aids frequently come equipped with several program controls. BTE hearing aids are appropriate for most hearing losses ranging from mild to profound. They can easily be adapted for use with classroom amplification and so are frequently used for children.

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In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

In-the-ear hearing aids are self-contained packages that fit within the bowl and ear canal, with all of the components located in the concha section of the pinna. This positioning of the hearing aid is more comfortable for some persons, and takes advantage of the natural sound enhancements produced by the pinna and ear canal.

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In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids

In-the-canal hearing aids were conceived with further miniaturization of the microphone, receiver, and battery. They are self-contained and fit into a small section of the concha and the ear canal. This position in the ear takes advantage of natural high frequency resonance of the pinna, unblocked concha, and deep ear canal insertion. The smaller size limits the circuits and controls that can be built into the aid and may make them inappropriate for older clients and persons with disabilities who have dexterity or visual problems, as well as for individuals with significant hearing loss.

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Completely in the Canal(CIC) Hearing Aids

Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are the smallest in size. They are self-contained and fit completely within the external auditory canal. The aids are more cosmetically pleasing, because they are nearly invisible; however, the small size of these hearing aids makes them inappropriate for severe hearing loss.

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Hearing Aid Fitting & Follow-up

Payment in full is required at the time the hearing aid is ordered. Your payment includes the hearing aid, as well as all follow-up testing, fitting, and orientation services, and follow-up visits in this office as needed for the life of the hearing aid. It does not include further audiological evaluations or additional ear molds. We feel it is extremely important to use your new hearing aid on a trial basis for 30 days. You are the best judge of how much benefit your new aid is providing. If the hearing aid does not meet your reasonable expectations, and is returned during the trial period, you will receive a refund of the price of the hearing aid less a rental fee.

Most new digital hearing instruments are covered by a 2-year service warranty which includes loss and damage. Some entry-level digital hearing aids are covered by a 12-month service warranty which includes loss and damage coverage. Most accessories (remote control, Bluetooth, wireless connectivity, etc) are covered for 90 days for defects in materials and workmanship.

Minor Hearing Aid Repairs

Occasionally, minor problems can cause major headaches for the hearing aid user. We offer routine cleaning and maintenance at no charge on hearing instruments purchased in this Department. Charges of $20 and up may apply to hearing aids purchased from other sources. Routine cleaning and maintenance is available on Tuesdays. Because we can service no more than 12 hearing aids during the allotted time, we ask that you call at least 24 hours in advance to reserve your spot. Plan to drop the hearing aids off before 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday. They will be ready for pick-up by 1:00 p.m. the same day. If the aid requires factory repair service, you will be contacted by phone to discuss any applicable charges.