Essential Hearing Products for Elderly in 2021

Estimates suggest that around 28.8 million seniors in the U.S. get benefits by using hearing devices for elderly.

Elders who struggle with hearing impairments can benefit from these essential hearing products. 

However, these devices can only work on those patients who suffer from mild or moderate hearing loss. Permanent deafness cannot be helped by these technologies. 

Therefore, in this article, we’ll look at how essential hearing devices can be for the elderly. We will also guide you on choosing the best kind of hearing device. 

Read on to know more about it. 

The Different Types of Essential Hearing Aids Styles for the Elderly

There are many kinds of hearing device styles that older people can choose according to their wants and needs. 

Three types of hearing devices for elderly

It is always a good idea to get advice from an expert regarding which type of hearing aids will suit you.

Below are the styles of hearing devices that older people can choose from: 

1. BTE (Behind-the-Ear)

These hearing devices are made of a hard plastic case worn right behind your ear. They are attached to a plastic earmold that fits inside the outer ear. 

All the delicate electronic parts are held right inside the case of this device. This will make sure all sounds travel right from your device through the earmold and into your ear. 

This kind of device is used by people of all ages. It can help people suffering from mild to moderate hearing impairment. 

Another new kind of BTE device is the open-fit hearing device. This device has a small open-fit and is fitted behind your ear. 

It also has a narrow tube that is inserted into the canal. This allows the canal to stay open. 

This is one of the crucial reasons why open-fit hearing devices can be an ideal choice for those who suffer from earwax buildup. There are fewer chances for such devices to get damaged from these issues. 

Another reason that makes this device so popular among users is that the sound of the user’s voice doesn’t sound like it’s  “plugged up.”

2. ITE (In-the-Ear)

These hearing aids will perfectly fit inside your outer ear. These are mainly used by those who suffer from mild to even severe hearing impairment. 

The case where all the electronic components are fitted consists of hard plastic. This means there are fewer chances for the device to get damaged.

Some ITE hearing devices come with additional specifications and features installed, like a telecoil. 

This is a tiny magnetic coil that allows users to receive noises and sounds directly through the device’s circuitry rather than its microphone. This is just like any other hearing device. 

This makes it easy for the users to hear the surrounding sounds and conversations. 

This style of hearing device is not suitable for children. The casing of this device might need to be replaced quite a few times due to the child’s growth. 

However, these hearing devices are very well suited for older adults.  

3. ITC (In-The-Canal) 

These hearing devices fit right inside the ear canals and are even available in two different styles. 

The ITC (In-the-canal) hearing devices are specially designed to easily fit the shape and size of the user’s ear canal. 

On the other hand, CIC (Completely-in-canal) hearing devices are almost hidden in the user’s ear canal. This particular style of hearing device is very popular among older people. This is because the devices are not that visible to other people. 

This is why older people feel very comfortable wearing them in public. However, both of these hearing devices are used extensively for mild and moderate hearing impairment.

Although elders might face trouble adjusting these devices since they are minimal and delicate otherwise, they are indeed one of the best-styled hearing devices elders can use.

How Do These Hearing Devices Help the Elderly?

Hearing devices help in improving the speech and hearing of hearing impaired seniors and adults. This damage usually occurs to the small sensory cells in their ears, also known as the hair cells.

This type of hearing impairment is known as sensorineural hearing impairment. In most cases, these hearing issues can come about due to some disease, exposure to loud noises, or even certain medications. It can even be down to the process of aging. 

Hearing aid devices magnify the sounds your ears receive. The hair cells in your ears detect vibrations and then convert the sounds into neural signals. These signals can move along the brain in an effective manner.

The more hair cells are damaged, the more extreme the hearing loss will be. This will mean more powerful hearing amplification is needed.

There are, however, a few limitations of this type of hearing device. For instance, if the hair cells of the inner ears are damaged, then certain vibrations can not be converted into any kind of neural signal. 

In such cases of severe hearing impairment for elderly, a hearing device will not suffice.

As long as the damage to the inner ear is not too profound, the hearing devices will be able to help you hear. 

Advantages Elderly People Can Get from Today’s Hearing Devices

The technology available in hearing devices these days can help older people. 

With the advancement of technology, these hearing devices are able to offer proper clarity and less strained hearing. 

These new advanced devices might provide the following benefits:

1. Improved listening even in noisy surroundings

The moment you put on your new hearing devices, the sounds of the refrigerator, footsteps, ticking of the clocks, and even computer noises will seem extremely loud. 

It’s pretty normal to experience such clear and loud noises when you first start wearing these advanced hearing devices.  

Also, as you keep listening to these new loud noises, your brain would slowly adjust to them and tune these sounds to make them more absorbable for you. 

2. Dual microphones mean less interference with background noises.

Background noises can create a lot of problems with hearing. This is why advanced hearing devices have dual microphones to solve these problems. 

3. Comfortably fitted earmolds

It is not uncommon for people to hear their own voices loudly for the first time when they start using hearing devices.

Hearing devices can provide real help during communication. However, it is important to point out that the entire process takes some time to get used to. 

One thing you can be sure of is that you will not feel any kind of pain when you get yourself these hearing devices. You will also get adjusted to the entire amplifying system of these devices in due time. 

Things Elders Should Always Consider Before Purchasing a Hearing Device

Getting a hearing aid can be a challenge for many older adults. It can also be very confusing at the same time. 

So, this section will focus on the key things that you should consider before purchasing a hearing device for yourself. 

  1. Always know the features your hearing device has to offer. Cross-check whether those features are useful for your particular needs. 
  2. Check the price of your hearing aids. Take a look at whether they are higher in price than those with advanced technology installed. 
  3. See if the sellers tell you anything about return or refund policies. 
  4. Check for the warranty duration and whether it covers the repair and/or maintenance. 
  5. Look into whether the audiologist is going to make any major adjustments or any kind of repairs. 
  6. Check whether or not the audiologist provides any guidelines regarding the proper use of your device. 

These are the most important inquiries that you have to make before purchasing any hearing products.

Bottom Line

The life of the elderly is not easy with hearing loss experience, often rendering a very tough time with their healthcare needs and treatment. Many opt for homecare products or hearing implants that can help them with their mobility. But most of these devices may not be fit for daily use. If you are looking for hearing aids that can be easily fit in your ears, which helps in preventing sudden falls and keeping a track of your daily activities, these essential hearing products for elderly surely deserve consideration. Make sure you get in touch with a professional audiologist and purchase from suggested stores only.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What helps an older person hear better?

Ans: Some people with hearing loss can benefit from assistive listening equipment, mobile apps, alerting devices, and cochlear implants. People with severe hearing loss can benefit from cochlear implants, which are electronic devices.

Q: At what age do you lose hearing?

Ans: We all begin to lose our hearing around our 40s, according to statistics. Hearing loss affects one out of every five adults and more than half of all people over 80. More than half of the hearing-impaired population, however, is of working age.


Resources:

Nano Hearing Aids has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial privacy policy.

Mitchell RE, Karchmer MA. Chasing the mythical ten percent: Parental hearing status of deaf and hard of hearing students in the United States. (PDF) Sign Language Studies. 2004;4(2):138-163.
https://research.gallaudet.edu/Demographics/SLS_Paper.pdf

Lin FR, Niparko JK, Ferrucci L. Hearing loss prevalence in the United States. [Letter] Arch Intern Med. 2011 Nov 14; 171(20): 1851-1852.
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1106004

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