Hearing is one of our most vital senses. Hearing aids allow our patients to restore their hearing and keep their ears active to prevent further loss. They’re the aural equivalent of wearing glasses, a corrective technology that allows patients to experience the full capacity of their senses again.

As an independently-owned audiology clinic providing hearing aids in Toronto, we’re often asked how hearing aids work. We’ve put together this guide so that you know everything there is about such a critical medical device.

What Does a Hearing Aid Do?

A hearing aid is an electronic device that gets placed in or behind your ear. There are several different types of hearing aids available, but all of them help improve your hearing and speech comprehension.

Anyone who has experienced hearing loss can benefit from a hearing aid. Hearing loss can be the result of exposure to loud noises, hereditary disorders, medical conditions, trauma such as perforated ear drums. Most often, it is age-related.  Temporary hearing loss can also be caused by wax, foreign objects, and ear infections. These issues can usually be identified when you get your hearing test, but they can also be resolved without a hearing aid.

How Do Hearing Aids Work?

Hearing aids work by receiving sound and converting it into a digital signal. An amplifier is used to strengthen the digital signal, and a speaker reproduces the sound directly into the wearer’s ear. It essentially reproduces and amplifies sound so that the user can hear it more clearly. This is not to be confused with amplifiers that can be purchased online for a few hundred dollars. In addition to amplifying sound, hearing aids have sophisticated noise management techniques that help reduce background noise and enhance the speech signals important to the patient.

When you book a hearing aid fitting procedure with us, an audiologist will help you select the right hearing aid for you and program the hearing aid to fit your precise needs. An audiologist will program the hearing aid on the computer with the information learned from your hearing test. The device is programmed to match the degree and pattern of hearing loss that we’ve identified during the test.

An audiologist can also include additional listening programs to fit your needs. For example, a patient who works as a musician may have more complicated hearing needs and require additional programs to make sure that their hearing aid can reproduce music in a way that sounds natural.

How Do You Get a Hearing Aid?

If you’re concerned that you may be experiencing hearing loss, the first step is to schedule a hearing test in Toronto. A hearing test uses several different methods to identify where your hearing loss is located, as it can be an issue in the outer, inner, or middle ear. It will also assess your hearing needs and your desired outcome. An audiologist in Toronto will walk you through appropriate treatment options and help you learn what to expect from a hearing aid.

Once you’ve had your hearing tested and been fitted for a hearing aid, you can also get an in-office demo to see right away what a hearing aid can do for you.

A man wearing a small, discreet hearing aid

Frequently Asked Questions About Hearing Aids

How to turn on a hearing aid?

How you turn a hearing aid on may change with the brand and manufacturer, but often, it is as simple as popping the aid into the charger, and removing it.

How do you get fitted for a hearing aid?

Toronto Hearing Consultants can help you with every step of the process of getting a hearing aid. We can help you select the right hearing aid based on your cosmetic preferences and your physical and electroacoustic requirements. As an independent audiology clinic, we are not linked to any manufacturer.

Should you wear two hearing aids?

We’re often asked if wearing two hearing aids is better than one. That depends on where the hearing loss is located. Hearing loss can be located in one ear but not the other. If hearing loss is present in both ears, wearing two hearing aids comes with several benefits:

  • Localization, i.e., being able to identify the source of a sound is the result of two ears working in conjunction.
  • Improved ability to hear in noisy environments.
  • Both of your ears stay active, helping to prevent the progressive loss of hearing in your other ear.

What’s the difference between modern and traditional hearing aid styles?

Traditional hearing aids come in either behind-the-ear or in-the-ear formats. Modern hearing aids now come in sleeker, more fashionable styles that veer away from traditional looks, and some have become so subtle that they’re barely noticed. You have more choices than ever when it comes to choosing a hearing aid style.

How do you take care of hearing aids?

Good hearing aid maintenance will help you extend the longevity of your device and make sure that it’s always working effectively. Daily cleaning involves gently wiping the hearing aid with a dry, soft cloth to remove any surface dust or dirt. Pay close attention to the microphone port and vents, as these can easily accumulate debris. You will also want to get a specialized tool for cleaning out wax buildup. Avoid using water or cleaning agents.

Weekly maintenance takes a few extra steps, but these are pivotal to maintaining the function and durability of your device. Carefully  wipe the  domes (silicone tips at the end of your hearing aid) and change the wax filters. This is all explained at the fitting appointment with the audiologist. Brushing the microphones is also important.

Do you need hearing aid accessories?

There are a number of hearing aid accessories that can improve your quality of life and how well your hearing aid works for you. Some of the most popular accessories include Bluetooth TV streaming that will send an audio stream directly to the patient’s hearing aid, remote controls that allow you to adjust the volume on your hearing aid, and remote microphones that can be worn by a family member or friend to make themselves better understood by the hearing aid’s wearer.

Book your hearing aid fitting, hearing aid repair, or hearing test with Toronto Hearing Consultants. We’ll answer all of your questions, explain everything you need to know about hearing aids and find the perfect fit for your needs.

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