Which Type Of Hearing Aids Work For You?
Good news! Hearing aid technology is rapidly advancing.
There are many types of hearing aids available–from completely invisible aids that rest in the ear canal, to hearing devices custom-molded to fit in your ear, to the familiar behind-the-ear hearing devices. There are even hearing aids that stream phone calls and music wirelessly from your iPhone and assistive devices for special hearing needs.
Hearing aids can’t restore your hearing. But they can amplify sounds to help improve your hearing. Most hearing aids are digital. With small microphones, digital hearing aids collect sounds from the environment. They also contain a tiny computer chip with an amplifier that has a big job to do: convert sound into digital code.
The chip also analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers.
Hearing aids vary by price, size and special features. The right choice for you also depends on your hearing needs and your lifestyle. The best way to select the right one is to get guidance from your local hearing experts. Call us today, and let’s talk.
Why Wireless Hearing Aids Are So Popular
Paired with a handheld device like your smartphone, this type of hearing aid connects you directly and wirelessly to the sound sources you need to hear, such as your TV.
This technology picks up the sound you want to hear while dampening other distracting noises. No more cranking up the volume on the television; no more screaming into your cell phone and no more missing out on the things you enjoy most.
Imagine you’re watching TV from your favorite armchair. Your hearing aid is working fine until the kids sit down in front of you and start a conversation, dishes clatter in the kitchen and the neighbor’s basset hound begins to bark. With wireless hearing aid technology you can cut through this kind of noise clutter and just tune into the TV.
Each person is different, in a good way, which means the hearing aids you buy need to be selected, fitted and programmed to your needs. Our practice can do that, and help you live better with the right hearing aid.
Which Type Of Hearing Aid Is Right For You?
Hearing aids come in a range of styles. Here’s an overview of the primary styles along with our recommendations.
RIC / Receiver in Canal or Receiver in the Ear (RITE) Hearing Aids
Recommended for: mild to severe hearing loss.
Our RIC or RITE hearing aids are perfect for active adults. The directional microphone technology makes it easier to understand conversations in crowded environments by detecting and amplifying the target speech signal and decreasing the background noise. Visibility isn’t a problem. You can attend business meetings, parties and other social events without anyone even knowing you’re wearing hearing aids. You can hide the small hard plastic casing on this device behind your ear or underneath your hair. The ultra-thin wire picks up sound and carries it directly into a speaker that fits invisibly into the ear canal or in the ear. The RIC hearing aid can come with programming features including telecoil, automatic programming, volume or programming controls and alert signals. It can also include accessories that activate the bluetooth compatibility. With bluetooth, you can easily connect your RIC hearing aids to your phone, your iPad or even your car.
BTE / Behind the Ear Hearing Aids
Recommended for: people of all ages and degrees of hearing loss.
BTE hearing aids are designed to give your ears an incredible boost in power. The hard plastic casing fits directly behind the top of your ear where it’s easily hidden by your hair. The custom earmold is shaped to match the exact contours of your ear canal. It comes in a variety of colors including clear, pink and tan to decrease visibility even more. The BTE hearing aid has a wide variety of programming features and options that may be customized to meet your hearing needs.
ITE / In the Ear Hearing Aids
Recommended for: people with disabilities or dexterity challenges who have mild to severe hearing loss.
ITE hearing aids are true custom-designed hearing aids. The entire hearing aid is molded to match the contours of your outer ear. The hard plastic casing forms to the exact shape of your ear making to fit snugly. There’s also an ITE style available that only fills the lower part. ITEs do a great job of amplifying sound.
You can add features to an ITE hearing aid to make it hassle free including telecoil (a feature that makes it easier to hear when you’re talking on the phone), ear to ear communication and automatic programming. ITE hearing aids come in a variety of colors to match your skin tone including pink, beige, cocoa and brown.
ITC / In the Canal Hearing Aids and CIC / Completely in the Canal Hearing Aids
Recommended for: mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
Our ITC and CIC hearing aids are small, and almost invisible custom hearing aid products. These amplification devices fit completely or partly in your ear canal. The ITC hard plastic casing is tiny, ranging anywhere between 1 to 3 cm long. It’s that small! CICs are designed to fit even deeper into the ear canal resulting in a really invisible fit closer to the ear drum. CICs come with standard features and may have wireless capability.
Recommended for: mild to moderate hearing loss.
Invisible hearing aids inside the ear are custom-made to fit the shape of your ear. A custom hearing device is created using an earmold, which your hearing care professional will make from your ear. There are a variety of in-the-ear invisible hearing aids. Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) is the smallest, custom product available. IIC invisible hearing aids sit deep inside the ear canal, so it’s practically undetectable to everyone around you. IIC invisible hearing aids are the perfect solution for those who want a discreet hearing aid and have mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
If you have severe hearing loss, there are still many options to get a discreet hearing solution. By examining your unique requirements, you and your hearing care professional can determine the best fit for your needs. There’s a hearing aid out there for everyone.