Sound Advice on Which to Buy
While getting a diagnosis of hearing loss can be intimidating, it’s reassuring to know there’s technology out there to help. Today’s hearing aids are comfortable, powerful and designed so small that most people won’t even know you’re wearing one!
We are here to help you find the best hearing aids for your particular listening needs. There are different types of hearing aids available including styles and sizes. We make recommendations based on the level and type of hearing loss combined with your preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Not all hearing aids are visible and many have advanced features and will continue to advance with technology throughout the life of your hearing aid.
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Factors to Consider
Technology alone is not the key to improving your hearing. There are a number of other factors that you and your hearing healthcare professional should consider when selecting your device:
- Anatomy – the shape and size of the outer ear and ear canal may determine which type of hearing instrument you can wear.
- Your manual dexterity – some styles are easier to handle, insert and clean than others.
- Type and degree of hearing loss – individual variations in hearing loss can pose unique challenges and require different types of amplification.
- Your lifestyle – it's important to consider your favorite activities and the environment you spend most of your time in.
In general the larger the aid is the more power and features it will have, the easier it will be to insert and clean, and the longer its battery will last. Your hearing healthcare professional will work with you to find the style that best fits your lifestyle, budget and degree of hearing loss.
Types of Hearing Aids
Invisible in the Canal (IIC)
This is a custom build style that fits inside your ear canal and remains almost completely invisible. Insertion and removal of these types of hearing aids are very easy. Wind and other similar types of outside noises are not a factor since they are inside the canal.
Behind the Ear (BTE)
Even though this may seem like it is an “old-fashioned” style hearing aid, modern technology and advances in electronics have made these smaller in size than you may remember your parents or grandparents wearing. The inner piece is custom molded to fit your ear and a thin, clear plastic tube connects the device behind your ear to the hearing device inside the ear canal. Most BTE hearing devices offer features like advanced directional microphones which allow you to hear conversations better in noisy situations.
In the Ear (ITE)
In the ear hearing aids are not completely hidden, but they are still not easily seen. We recommend them for most types of hearing loss. The lightweight plastic shell makes this type of hearing aid comfortable and simple to put in and take out. Since they are slightly larger in size, they have more features available including controls that allow your hearing aid to adjust to the listening environment you are in.
Receiver in the Ear (RITE)
RITE hearing aids are the most common types of hearing aids worn today. These have the receiver inside the ear canal rather than behind the ear so the part behind the ear is much smaller. The receiver is like a tiny speaker so it allows for crisp, clear sound directly in the ear canal. The device behind the ear is connected to the receiver in the ear by a thin, clear wire. It is almost invisible, which is why it is so popular.
In the Canal (ITC)
This type of hearing aid is completely camouflaged in the ear with a small plastic retrieval line to help you take it out. It sits in the concha, which is also known as the bowl of the ear. We recommend this type of hearing aid for all levels of hearing loss except for those with the most profound hearing loss. Since they are hidden in the ear canal, wind noise is almost completely eliminated. It has a feature that allows it to automatically adjust for different volumes and different environments.
Completely in the Canal (CIC)
This type of hearing aid is completely hidden in the ear canal so it is almost completely undetectable. It is most often used for treating mild to moderate levels of hearing loss. This type of hearing aid also prevents distracting wind noise and other environmental sounds.