Types of Hearing Aids

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Hearing aids cannot restore normal hearing, but they can make soft sounds easier to hear. Your audiologist can assist in getting used to amplified sounds in different listening environments and work closely with you during therapy sessions for perfect hearing care.

Hearing aids include microphones to pick up sound, amplifier circuitry to amplify it and speakers that deliver it directly into your ear canal. They come in all different sizes and prices with special features available as options.

In-the-ear (ITE)

This style of hearing aid is suitable for most individuals with mild to moderate loss, being the largest style and custom-fitted to each ear. Due to their larger size, they can accommodate more advanced technology like telecoils and multiple microphones for better hearing performance.

Full shell ITEs fit over your outer ear in a bowl-shaped area while half shells only cover part of the ear canal and have built-in microphones to improve hearing in noisy situations. Additionally, some styles offer directional microphones which help improve your ability to hear.

ITE hearing aids may be difficult for those with limited dexterity or vision to use, making them unsuitable for active lifestyles. Consult an audiologist about other solutions which would better fit your lifestyle and needs.

Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC)

IIC hearing aids are among the smallest available, custom-fit to sit deep within your ear canal for almost undetectability and can assist with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Since IIC devices are so compact, they lack space for powerful speakers to produce maximum volume. Furthermore, these small hearing aids may cause more occlusion issues – the occasional sound of your own voice or chewing that you might hear when wearing your hearing aids.

Your hearing professional can guide you towards discreet solutions tailored to meet your specific needs, taking into account factors like type of hearing loss and personal preferences. Locate a clinic today to book an appointment! Your hearing health is worth it.

Behind-the-ear (BTE)

BTE hearing aids sit behind your outer ear with tubing extending down into your ear canal through a custom-fitted earmold and into its contents. Although BTE models may be slightly larger than IIC or CIC styles, they offer access to advanced technologies like directional microphones and manual volume wheels that enhance hearing aid functionality.

These models are perfect for people with dexterity issues as they’re easier to manage, often featuring detachable ear hooks which allow caretakers to remove and reinsert more efficiently – or you if you prefer doing it on your own!

As with any device, practicing hearing aid usage with your audiologist is key to becoming comfortable using and wearing one. Work together to familiarize yourself with how to insert and remove it, manage its ear hook and make changes to settings as you learn the ropes.

Receiver-in-canal (RIC)

Hearing aids have two parts, with the body sitting behind your ear while a thin wire connects it to a small earpiece that fits inside your ear canal. These devices, known as open-fit models, allow air and sound to naturally enter through the canal without blocking its path – thus minimizing feedback, occlusion and providing the most natural sounding result of all types of hearing aids.

RIC hearing aids’ only drawback is their receiver can become susceptible to damage and wear issues due to being in direct contact with moisture and natural ear wax, necessitating regular care and maintenance in order to remain functioning correctly. Because of this risk, RIC hearing aids should not be recommended for people who produce excessive earwax production or suffer from perforations in their ears.

Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE)

RITE hearing aids are more discrete than BTEs due to a nearly invisible tube connecting their casing with their receiver located inside your ear canal. This increases the distance between microphone and speaker devices and prevents feedback, or whistling sounds that might otherwise occur due to proximity between devices.

Like ITEs, RITEs can be fitted with instant fit domes or custom earmolds that increase fitting flexibility and can be worn comfortably by virtually all with mild to severe hearing loss.

These hearing aids may not be an ideal choice for people who suffer from perforations in their ears or produce excessive earwax production, as moisture buildup could potentially compromise the receiver. Regular maintenance such as wiping them down with a soft cloth before bed or placing them in a dehumidifier may help alleviate this issue.