Modern Hearing Aids
Modern Hearing Aid Styles
Below are some current styles that veer away from the more traditional hearing aid styles
Why Toronto Hearing Consultants?
Toronto Hearing Consultants was founded in 2022 by audiologist and owner, Natasha Manji, in order to bring independent and local hearing services to the Bloor West Village and surrounding areas.
Natasha comes to the clinic with 10 years of experience as an audiologist, having first worked for a corporate chain and then as an owner of clinics in the Oshawa region.
With a commitment to preserving hearing, our most vital sense, we offer comprehensive services for patients 4 and up. Every person’s hearing loss journey is unique and Toronto Hearing Consultants ensures a bespoke experience for every patient seen at our clinic. We are not linked to a hearing aid manufacturer, ensuring no bias in our hearing aid prescriptions and hearing loss treatment plans.
In addition to hearing tests and hearing aid fittings, we also offer ear wax removal, central auditory processing disorder testing, and custom ear plugs.
Our promise to you:
- To Listen
- To empathize
- To provide objective advice
- To provide a high degree of clinical competence
- To provide exceptional aftercare
Frequently Answered Questions
Hearing aids are broken down into several different styles. Please refer to our Traditional Hearing aids page, and Modern Hearing Aids page for a more detailed description of different hearing aid styles, and what they look like.
Essentially, there are 2 main cosmetic styles: hearing aids that go behind the ear, and hearing aids that go in the ear. During the hearing aid selection process with the audiologist, degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, cosmetic preferences, and manual dexterity are all taken into consideration in order to ensure the correct hearing aid is prescribed.
Hearing aid manufacturers are constantly releasing new models of hearing aids, with improvements to the computer chip inside. Each manufacturer has divided their hearing aids into three different technology levels: entry level technology, mid-level technology, and premium level technology. The hearing that will best perform in challenging listening situations, such as restaurants and social gatherings, will always be the premium hearing aid as it has the fastest and most advanced digital chip.
Despite this, it is important to remember that every patient’s hearing loss profile and communication needs are unique, and every patient experiences a different journey with their hearing aids. As a result, the “best” hearing aid will differ from patient to patient. At the hearing test appointment, the audiologist will take a comprehensive case history and complete a thorough hearing test, and discuss which hearing aid will be best suited to treat the hearing loss. We are a fully independent clinic, meaning we are not associated with one manufacturer. We prescribe from all manufacturers of hearing aids and will select the best hearing aid for the patient’s unique hearing profile.
This is a question we receive a lot. Hearing aids are available from various manufacturers, and each manufacturer has a wide array of products available. The cost of the hearing aids themselves depends on the technology level or computer chip inside the hearing aid. For example, there are entry level hearing aids, mid-range hearing aids and premium level hearing aids.
Every manufacturer carries their own entry level, mid-level and premium level hearing aid, with slightly different price points. The cost increases as the technology level goes up; but, the functionality also improves. The decision on which level to proceed with is determined at the hearing aid consultation, where the audiologist discusses the needs and goals of the patient. A dispensing fee is added to the cost of the hearing aid, which covers the audiologist’s professional services and aftercare for the duration of the warranty of the hearing aid.
While hearing aids may seem expensive upfront, they are an investment into your health. Please refer to our medical conditions and hearing loss page to read more about the associations between untreated hearing loss and some medical conditions. It is important to note that hearing aids are not like glasses ,and each pair lasts around 5 years or longer. The cost of a hearing aid can be as low as a dollar a day.
The hearing aid selection stage is an integral part of the hearing aid fitting. Please read about our entire hearing aid fitting process. Hearing aid selection is the stage in the process where the physical and electroacoustic requirements of the hearing aid are identified. This is based on patients’ cosmetic preferences, dexterity issues, family input if they are involved in the care process. and most importantly: listening challenges and goals identified during the needs assessment of the hearing test appointment.
No two patients have a similar hearing journey, and at Toronto Hearing Consultants, we ensure a bespoke hearing aid fitting and will recommend the brand, model and technology level most suitable for the patient’s success. Together with the patient, we ensure the most appropriate hearing aid is chosen.
Unless there is hearing loss in only one ear, two hearing aids is always better than one. Two hearing aids offers advantages in localization (being able to locate where sounds are coming from), ensuring both ears stay active, and better understanding in harder listening environments. If there is hearing loss in both ears, hearing aids are recommended for both ears. Please read more about the benefits of two hearing aids.
The impact of not wearing a hearing aid can have severe consequences for the patient over time. Untreated hearing loss can lead to a reduction in speech discrimination (the ability to recognize and hear words) and the ability to process and filter sounds. Patients who experience success with hearing aids have good to excellent word discrimination scores on the hearing test; a good score tells us that with increased volume, the patient can hear the word and repeat it back. Over time, with untreated hearing loss, the word discrimination score decreases even when the patient is given more volume: words sound distorted and not clear. Once this happens, success with hearing aids is lower. The earlier the hearing loss is treated, the more success the patient will have with hearing aids.
Over the long term, untreated hearing loss can lead to auditory deprivation as well. The brain becomes deprived of sound for so many years and it becomes extremely challenging for the patient to adapt to hearing aids. It cannot be stressed enough that early intervention is essential with treating hearing loss and ensuring a successful outcome with hearing aids.
Severe losses usually require more powerful hearing aids. Traditionally, a behind-the-ear power hearing aid is prescribed with an earmold and tubing. With advancements in hearing aid technology, there are other hearing aid styles and technology levels that can fit severe hearing losses. Once the hearing test is complete, and the degree of hearing loss identified, the audiologist can discuss which hearing aid options are available.
Absolutely! The clinic offers hearing aid trials and demonstrations for the patient to experience first hand the benefit of hearing aids. Hearing loss occurs gradually over time, and often, the patient is not aware and they adapt to hearing at lower levels and compensating through reading lip unconsciously. Sometimes, the only way for the patient to truly experience the sounds they have been missing is by trialing the hearing aids first in situations they find most challenging. In addition to the option to trial them before purchasing, hearing aids also come with a return period after purchase.