Hearing Health Glossary

From audiogram to tinnitus, find all the terms commonly used for hearing loss and hearing aid technology.

Audiogram

The results of a hearing tests are displayed in the form of an audiogram - this is a graph that gives a detailed description of your hearing ability.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss is caused by damage to the nerves in the inner ear; it can only be treated with hearing aids. 

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition that causes ringing or buzzing in the ears. This condition can be treated or managed with hearing aids.

Hearing Aid

A hearing aid is a small digital device that sits in or behind the ear and aids an individual who has hearing loss. Hearing aids work by processing and amplifying sounds.

Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aid

This is the most traditional style. This hearing aid is small, curved with a case that fits behind the ear with a thin, transparent tube that runs into the ear canal. Newer models are far less visible than previous generation hearing aids. The BTE hearing aid is highly versatile, providing excellent treatment for most forms of hearing loss. 

Receiver-In-The-Canal (RIC) Hearing Aid

This is a discreet, comfortable design that is easy to fit. It sits behind the ear canal similar to the BTE. This hearing aid is a great choice for those with mild to moderate to severe hearing loss who are sensitive to sensations in their ears.

Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aid

A hearing aid style moulded to fit deep within the ear, CICs are nearly invisible and tend to pick up less external (e.g. wind) noise because they’re protected by the ear itself. Contact your local National Hearing Care clinic to determine if you’re a candidate for this style. Typically appropriate for mild to moderate hearing loss.

In-The-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aid

This small device is worn inside the outer ear and designed to match the wearer’s skin tone. It is discreet, yet offers many features and options that smaller hearing aids can’t. Best for people with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

In-The-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aid

Smaller than an ITE hearing aid style is very discreet, the ITC fits partly into the ear canal. Due to its small size, the ITC comes with the option of remote control accessories for easy adjustment. These are best suited to people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Decibel (dB)

A decibel is a unit used when measuring sound. The decibel (dB) scale is based on the sounds our ears can hear in increasing intensity. A decibel level of 0 is almost completely silent. Experts agree that any noise over 85 decibels can cause hearing loss.

Feedback Management

Feedback refers to the distracting whistling or high ringing sound that sometimes happens to hearing aid wearers. Feedback management means that a hearing aid is equipped with an advanced system to reduce occurrences of feedback. We recommend contacting your local clinic if you're experiencing feedback from your hearing aid. 

Made-For-Smartphone Hearing Aids

This simply means that you can control the amplification settings of your hearing aid based on the sounds in your environment from your smart device. The app associated with your hearing aid can also store those settings so that you can easily switch between environments such as work, home, and your favorite restaurant, for example, without having to readjust the settings each time. Furthermore, some hearing aids can even learn your preferred settings and switch between programs automatically as you change environments.

Induction Loop Compatibility

Many public settings, such as theaters, stadiums, and public transport stations, are equipped with induction loop systems. In these systems, microphones transmit sound to a permanently installed induction loop wire (usually located in the ceiling or under the carpet), thus generating a current and creating an electromagnetic signal. When used on a specific setting, hearing aids can pick up this signal directly and wearers can adjust the volume as desired: the effect is the same as having a sound transmitted directly to your ears by your hearing aid.

Meniere’s Disease

This is an inner ear disorder that causes episodes of vertigo (spinning).

Noise Reduction/Suppression

This technology helps to reduce and remove outside noises that may make hearing more difficult, such as: background talking, music, traffic and more. These things are programed to come secondary to the individual you are speaking to, or entertainment you are watching.

Wireless CROS/BiCROS

When unaidable hearing loss in present in one ear, the Wireless CROS and BiCROS solution is available in some hearing aids to allow you to hear sounds from both sides.