If you do not want to be locked into a certain brand of hearing aids, and you want to be sure that you are working with a professional who will listen to what you want and need as an individual patient, Colonna Audiology is the right choice for you. We are an independent audiology practice, so we do not have any allegiance to any brand. Instead, we look through a wide range of manufacturers and styles to find the hearing aids that will suit you individually.
You never have to worry about being pressured into buying hearing aids. Our primary goal is to listen to you and help you hear your best, not to make sales. We will do our best to find a solution for your personal hearing needs.
We carry hearing aids from all major brands and are happy to help patients regardless of what brand they wear. If you wish to continue using a particular brand that you have worn in the past, we have the expertise to support you and fit you with the hearing aids you prefer.
Although every manufacturer has its own strengths and specialties, we do tend to favor certain brands over others because our patients have the most success with them. We find Oticon to be an excellent choice, especially for first-time patients who have never worn hearing aids before, although they also work well for experienced users. Oticon has some of the most advanced technology on the market today.
Oticon's Opn line delivers excellent sound quality that many of our patients love. For children and people with profound hearing loss, Phonak is by far the best choice with products that specifically address those needs. Widex is a great fit for experienced wearers who want a little more volume and power. The fitting philosophy for each of these brands is different, so we make sure we understand a patient's comfort and preferences before we can recommend a particular hearing aid.
Regardless of brand, you have to wear your hearing aids every day to see a full benefit from them. They’re not a part-time fix like reading glasses. Most people who try hearing aids find them so helpful that they don’t want to be without.
Fitting you with the right hearing aid depends on your hearing loss and your lifestyle. Hearing aids come in an assortment of sizes and styles, each with its own benefits. We will talk to you about what you want out of a hearing aid and find a style that will accommodate your personal preferences as well as what your hearing aid requires.
For example, some hearing loss requires more power and is therefore more suited for hearing aids that can accommodate a more powerful battery; some patients lead very active lifestyles and need a hearing aid that will stay put even on a busy day. Cost is determined not by style but by the level of technology you choose, so it should not be a factor in choosing a style for your hearing aids.
In size order, starting with the smallest, the standard hearing aid styles are invisible-in-canal (IIC), completely-in-canal (CIC), in-the-canal (ITC), in-the-ear (ITE), receiver-in-canal (RIC), and behind-the-ear (BTE).
Receiver-in-canal (RIC) is definitely the most popular style today. Cosmetically, they are very appealing; they fit snugly behind the ear and are almost unseen even if you are in close conversation with someone. In addition to that, they are an excellent acoustic solution for the typical hearing loss that occurs due to aging. Most people who become hearing impaired due to aging have a sloping high-frequency hearing loss that is normal on the low end but becomes greater as frequencies increase.
The RIC effectively treats high-frequency hearing loss because it does not over-amplify the lows where the hearing is normal, and it gives patients more high-frequency emphasis than a custom product can. The end result is that patients have improved clarity and understanding, not just volume.
Some people really do not want the experience of anything behind their ears, especially if they have had custom-fit hearing aids in the past. While many patients do wear behind-the-ear hearing aids with glasses, we have had patients who find the combination uncomfortable, so custom-fit hearing aids in the ear are a good solution.
Additionally, custom hearing aids can be better for patients with moderately severe to severe hearing loss that could require an additionally bulky power receiver if patients had been fitted with an RIC. These patients sometimes prefer to keep the whole hearing aid situated in their ear.
Our more technologically savvy patients love that their new hearing aids offer connectivity with smartphones, especially iPhones. Patients can pick up their calls directly through their hearing aids, which allows them to hear on the phone more clearly than many have heard in years. They can also stream podcasts or music from their phone to their hearing aids, and some hearing aids are even able to stream the audio from your television so that you can hear it at exactly the volume you like, even when watching TV with friends or family.