CRAIG T. BARTH, Audiologist
Though some Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers affiliate with or are controlled by one particular hearing aid manufacturer, we at Craig Barth Audiologist, LLC, have maintained our independence, and therefore only have to answer to our patients. This independence allows for unbiased recommendations. It also allows us to draw upon a wide repertoire of manufacturers, models and styles to obtain the best fit possible.
To review, one must consider the degree, pattern and origin of hearing loss, lifestyle, hearing needs and budget to develop the optimal recommendation. We see our role as that as professional advisor, with the decision as to the course of treatment being, ultimately, yours.
What's the best hearing aid?
This question may seem simple, but it doesn't have an easy answer. Hearing aid technology evolves so rapidly that one manufacturer may come out with a unique feature, and the following month, another manufacturer may come out with a different unique feature. This is a rapidly evolving and improving industry that takes an Audiologist, such as Craig T. Barth, M.A., CCC-A, FAAA, to follow on your behalf.
We have experience with all the major manufacturers. “The Big 6”, as they are known in the field, all produce trustworthy product and have been known to deliver a good patient experience. We also stay on top of new technology through continuing education as well as through trade shows. We always know what's available, and that expertise lets us decide what's best for you.
There's no easy answer to "what's the best hearing aid for me?". That's why trusting an Audiologist, such as Craig Barth, instead of an online purchase, can make such a difference. We have the expertise to analyze all the hearing aids on the market today to find the hearing aids for you.
Hearing Aid Models
All different designs have their strengths, and we like to say that "what's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander." It depends on your hearing loss and lifestyle, although cost is not affected by which style (outward appearance).
Some of the variables to consider are:
- Are you a very active person?
- Do you need to wear the hearing aids while playing tennis or golf?
- Do you want the most invisible hearing aids possible?
- What features are you willing to forgo for the sake of ultra-miniaturization?
- Do you have mild or severe hearing loss?
- What, if anything, have you worn before?
- What were its strengths and possible shortcomings?
Custom-fit hearing aids are especially subtle and can be custom-colored to match your skin tone. These hearing aids include invisible-in-canal (IIC), completely-in-canal (CIC), in-the-canal (ITC), and in-the-ear (ITE) styles.
Other hearing aids place the amplifier, microphones and battery behind your ear and direct the sound through a wire or tube to a miniature loudspeaker placed deep into the ear canal. These styles are commonly called include receiver-in-canal (RIC) and slim tube behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids.
Newer circuitry developments are coming out in the Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) style. They do not plug the ear and are conducive to active patients. They deliver a high degree of physical comfort and the natural acoustics.
Concerned about cosmetics? Not laughing at the punch line of a friend’s joke can be more obvious than having a little “amplifier” resting on top of your ear.
How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?
It depends on the person, their lifestyle and the design of device. With simple, ongoing maintenance and regular cleanings , aids can be expected to work for many years. The office of Craig Barth Audiologist, LLC has seen hearing aids function for over 10 years, when properly maintained.
However, with the rapid improvement of hearing aid technology, many patients will hear noticeable improvement, comparing what is available now, compared with what was state-of-the-art even five years ago.
Therefore, we recommend patients consider an upgrade around the 3-5 year range. Even if your older hearing aids continue functioning, you may want to take advantage of the recent technological advances. That older set of hearing aids be perfect for around the pool or during a game of tennis!
High-Tech Hearing Assistance
Current digital hearing aids are significantly improved over last generation’s analog devices. Digital technology allows for a precise customization of virtually every aspect of the sound amplification process. The more sophisticated current digital aids can “self-adapt” and provide you with the very best amplification profile for the specific environment you are in.
Not only are hearing aids now smaller, more reliable, and better at filtering out noise, they've also got some very exciting technological features. The most recent being a blossoming of Bluetooth connectivity. This will offer our tech-loving patients some updated improvements and features:
- Use your smartphone as a remote control for your hearing aids—discreetly turning up and down volume on each, changing programs, muting, even checking battery strength!
- Stream phone calls from your smartphone directly into your hearing aids.
- Stream music, podcasts, or even your television audio into your hearing aids.
- Make your smartphone be a remote microphone. Just put your smartphone down on a dinner table and the sound will be picked up by the smartphone and sent to the hearing aids.
- Did you misplace your hearing aids? Use the GPS in your smartphone to find when and where they were last in communication with your aids.
Bundled Service Package
When you purchase hearing aids from Craig Barth Audiologist, LLC, you're getting much more than just the devices themselves. As described above, you will receive complete access to our expertise. Every hearing aid we sell comes with a bundled service package that includes three years of hearing aid check-up and fine tuning visits. Some of the premium instruments come with a four year manufacturer’s extended warranty and a four year servicing package. Inquire about these!