Hearing Aids for Sale

Take an Audiologist’s Advice When Seeking Hearing Aids for Sale

While scientists and engineers had been seeking ways in which to assist those affected by auditory impairment for centuries, it was only with the ability to generate electricity and the invention of the telephone that the first, albeit marginally effective, hearing aids became available for sale during the early years of the 20th century. Since then, a whole new industry devoted to the supply of assisted hearing devices has emerged, and its members have made huge strides in the development of new technology, as well as in adapting and enhancing a number of existing technologies for this purpose.

Undoubtedly, the first major breakthrough came with the development of the transistor, when adopted by the industry during the late 1950s. The ability of these tiny components to perform the function of the more cumbersome valves used in earlier models made it possible to reduce the size of hearing aids substantially, thus providing compact units for sale that were far more discreet and therefore more acceptable.

Dramatic as this advance may have seemed, since then, the birth of the microprocessor in the ‘70s and their subsequent incorporation during the ’80s into the high-speed digital arrays used in minicomputers, made a quantum leap in assisted hearing technology possible, which led to an unprecedented increase in the capabilities and the performance of the new generation of advanced hearing aids now offered for sale in the 21st century.

The microprocessor has enabled the elimination of background sounds and the ability to discern the direction from which the more important sounds, such as speech, are emanating. Some models are designed to integrate with other digital devices, for example, making it possible for the wearer to participate in a mobile phone conversation, listen to music on an iPod, or enjoy the soundtrack of a movie without subjecting other family members to excessive volume levels. With the aid of a convenient remote, wearers can even switch seamlessly between these functions.

It is not only their features that distinguish the various hearing aids for sale, however. Even the manner in which they have been designed to be worn now differs between models. Where the more effective early models made use of a large processor concealed upon the body and connected by a wire to an ear-mounted transducer, the components of the more compact modern units have been combined to create units worn behind the ear (BTE). In addition, those BTE models have since been joined by even smaller models that are intended to be inserted into the outermost section of the ear (ITE), while an even tinier model allows the receiver to be positioned deep enough in the ear canal to render it all but invisible to an outside observer.

When considering the various hearing aids for sale today, it should come as no surprise that the smaller models tend to carry the biggest price tags. This, however, should not be the sole consideration when making one’s selection, as not all models will necessarily be able to manage a given wearer’s auditory impairment effectively. While the multichannel technology employed in all modern units allows them to be tuned to compensate for those frequencies seen in the audiogram to be impaired, the overall amplification available differs between the various styles. This means that although one may prefer the concept of a discreet receiver-in-canal model, this type may not be adequate for someone with a more severe level of impairment.

Today, hearing aids are offered for sale over the internet and by mail order, but any potential buyer would be well advised to proceed with caution. He or she will need to be fully aware that such a purchase cannot possibly guarantee the precise degree of correction required to match their unique auditory profile. This will have been determined by a trained audiologist at the time it was first confirmed that there was a problem, and the data obtained at that time acts as a vital guide both to the selection and to the subsequent adjustment of the most suitable assisted hearing solution for a given individual.

A reputable audiologist will also be anxious to provide products that are known for their quality of construction and reliability of performance. As South Africa’s leaders in audiology, our specialists at the many Ear Institute outlets located around South Africa never fail to recommend assisted hearing technology from Phonak when reviewing hearing aids for sale.
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