Moving from analogue to digital hearing aids
Analogue and digital hearing aids are completely different beasts. Up until now I have worn only analogue aids and I’m in the process of getting some digital ones so I thought I’d write about a few things I’ve noticed during the switch.
Didn’t that used to be louder?
Analogue hearing aids amplify all sounds at the same level – this can make it difficult for wearers to hear conversation when there is a lot of background noise. Digital hearing aids are much cleverer in that they are able reduce the level of the background noise and make conversation easier to hear.
Due to their background-reducing capabilities you will find that when you first wear digital aids a lot of noise that was once loud to you is now quiet – this will more than likely make you think that the aids aren’t working correctly or that they haven’t been set at a high enough volume. Don’t worry. Listen to someone talking in a noisy situation and you should find that you are able to hear them much more clearly than when you wore analogue aids.
Things won’t sound the same
When you switch from analogue to digital, be prepared for things to sound differently. This will be particularly true if you are wearing an older pair of analogues. I found that people’s voices sounded differently through digital aids, especially my own – they were higher-pitched and easier to understand but the difference from what I was used to hearing before took some time to adjust to.
When your hearing aid vendor receives your new digital hearing aids from the manufacturer they will come setup for your audiogram. Even though this is the case and they should be ready to use, I’ve found that I have had to make quite a few trips back to the vendor to get the aids re-programmed slightly. This may be just bad luck but it’s worth keep in mind that you might need to make extra trips back to the vendor to tweak your aids’ settings until you are happy with them – this may be particularly important if your vendor is charging per visit! You can take a look at all of the available types of hearing aids here. You can also take a look at the big hearing aid brands here.