What different types of hearing aids are there?
There’s a range of different types of hearing aids in the marketplace these days. They are designed for diverse lifestyles, personalities, and budgets. Each kind offers its own benefits and drawbacks. The different kinds are:
- Behind the ear (BTE) – open fit
- Behind the ear (BTE) – with earmold
- Completely in the canal (CIC)
- In the canal (ITC)
- In the ear (ITE)
Behind the Ear (BTE) – Open Fit
Behind the ear, open fit hearing aids are compact and somewhat hidden to other people. They usually contain a compact outer shell that rests behind the ear having a really thin wire or tube which goes into your ear canal. The wire is what sends sound into your ear canal. On the tip of the wire, there’s a compact silicone dome which fits comfortably inside the ear canal. The dome is properly vented which leads to a lower “barrel” or “hollow” sound effect you can experience with some other aid styles. Because of the venting, the ear does not feel stopped up. On the other hand, the characteristics of the open fit style lead to the greater chance of feedback. Additionally, it permits lower frequency sound impulses to leak from your ear canal which might restrict this style to a moderately severe high-frequency hearing loss.
Behind the Ear (BTE) – With Ear Mold
In distinction to the open fit behind the ear hearing aid, the BTE with earmold style does not have the dome fitted into the ear canal. It includes a customized formed earpiece that rests within the canal. The casing that’s set behind the ear is typically larger than the open fit version. But nevertheless, with developments in technology, they’re becoming more compact. BTE aids are generally the most powerful and therefore are ideal for just about any severity of hearing loss and age bracket. This design is great for kids since the ear mold may be swapped out as the child gets bigger. If the bigger overall size isn’t a problem for you this is an excellent choice for almost any person.
Completely in the Canal (CIC)
If a person’s objective is to be discrete the completely in the canal (CIC) style might be an alternative to think about. This particular aid is custom shaped to sit deep within the ear canal, which makes it extremely unnoticeable. A particular benefit over the BTE is decreased wind noise. Because it rests deep inside of your ear it’s naturally protected against wind noise by your ear. It is also simple to use with a phone. It’s quite natural and comfortable when using a phone.
Based on the seriousness of your hearing loss, the tiny overall size might not be an alternative in your case. CIC aids tend to be the best for mild to moderate hearing losses in adults. The small overall size demands smart fine motor skills to change batteries and hold the hearing aid. It can also be somewhat limited on options – usually no volume control or directional microphones. If you’re prepared to give up a couple of options for a smaller sized, discrete aid this is an excellent alternative.
In the Canal (ITC)
The in the canal hearing aid is somewhat bigger than the CIC style and may have options that won’t fit inside the CIC aid. So you may enjoy quite a bit of the same benefits. It will fit mostly inside of the ear canal. It is feasible you might have trouble manipulating a few of the options as a consequence of compact overall size. To deal with this problem manufacturers have created remote controls for a few aids. The ITC aids are suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing losses.
In the Ear (ITE)
The within the ear aids are larger than the CIC and ITC aids. They are going into the concave section of your outer ear. One advantage of this is often the capability to supply lots additional functions together with volume management. They’re less complicated to regulate and place into your ear. Because they’re more of an external fit they will detect more wind noise. They will also be much less discrete and much more noticeable. ITE aids are a choice for individuals with mild to severe hearing losses.