If you’ve recently been diagnosed with hearing loss and you are looking for the right pair of hearing aids, it can feel overwhelming. There are so many styles and features, it can feel overwhelming choosing the right one for you. Fortunately, we are here to help. It’s our job to know the world of hearing aids in and out! We believe that a well-informed patient will be better equipped to explain what they want out of hearing treatment. Let’s go over some of the most common styles of hearing aids as well as features which may help support you best.
Understanding How Hearing Aids Work
These amazing devices help to amplify sound based on your individual hearing needs. It’s amazing how these tiny devices work to support your quality of life, your relationships, and helping your to stay active. All hearing aids have similar components no matter how archaic or advanced. A small microphone picks up ambient sound and sends it to a processor which runs the programs and settings that are calibrated to match your exact level of hearing loss and hearing needs. Next an amplifier, increases the volume of the sounds you need to hear calibrating certain sounds over others. Next, these electrical signals are converted back into sounds, and sent towards your eardrum so your brain can receive the sounds with added enhancement and quality.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are several types of hearing aids to choose from. The ones right for you depends on your specific hearing needs. During your hearing exam we also interview you around your hearing needs so we can best identify which styles and features may best suit your lifestyle.
Behind-the-Ear: Perhaps the most common hearing aid styles are the behind-the-ear (BTE) model. These sit behind the ear, with a small clear tube which connects the hearing aid to a small earmold worn just inside your ear canal. The popularity of this style is most likely due to its ease of use and large battery capabilities – providing power for a wide range of hearing impairments, from mild to severe.
In-the-Ear: This model of hearing aid rests in the outer ear and are custom fit precisely to fit inside your outer ear. They can handle the most advanced features and wide range of hearing losses- offering a large battery capacity.
In-the-Canal: An in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is custom molded to fit your ear and is more discrete than the formerly stated models. It offers a tinier and more discrete design but still is large enough to be easily inserted and removed, even with moderate dexterity issue.
Completely-in-the-Canal: The CIC model is the smallest and most discrete hearing aid on the market. Most people won’t even know it’s there. Still, it provides excellent amplification and sound quality for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Not ideal for those with dexterity issue or severe hearing loss, these modern marvels are constantly improving
Hearing Aid Features
Not only can hearing aids amplify the sounds you need to hear so you can communicate across a wide range of environments, but they can come with added features to enhance your listening experience. Which features you choose has a lot to do with your lifestyle. If you are active and enjoy the outdoors, water resistance can help you keep your hearing aids functioning your best in humid and wet environments. Other features include feedback reduction and reduced background noise for those commonly in crowded environments.
If you enjoy music and media, then you may benefit from Bluetooth connectivity, which can allow you to wirelessly connect to the media you love without interference. Others may enjoy machine learning capabilities with hearing aids which are endlessly analyzing the listening environment and automatically switching between setting and programs, based on your GPS location.
Choosing the Right Hearing Aids
Worried you might not pick the right hearing aid? Don’t panic. We are here and highly trained to help you find the best hearing aids for you and for your lifestyle. If you struggle with hearing and you haven’t scheduled a hearing exam yet, then the time is now. Contact us to set up a hearing exam today and enjoy life with better hearing!