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Understanding the Different Types of Hearing Aids

by MBMoro on March 17, 2011

Hearing aids are not equal and there are different types available for people that suffer from hearing loss. Although the most important factor is to first see whether or not the type you choose is suitable for your personal loss scenario by consulting an audiologist, most of them can be used for more cases. The professional is going to recommend different types of hearing aids that you should purchase. In order to make an accurate choice you will want to consider the type when buying hearing aids.

Completely in the Canal Hearing Aids

Completely in the Canal hearing aids (CIC) show a mechanism that is placed in one small plastic case, which is put inside our ear canal. Such a device is really small but you will also notice that the features that are available will be limited. On the other hand, this does mean that it is almost invisible for those that do not know you are wearing one. The downside is that the battery will not last long and the gadgets are really expensive. People that suffer from moderate to mild hearing loss can benefit from CIC hearing aids.

In the Canal Hearing Aids

These devices are known as ITC hearing aids and they are really similar to CIC hearing aids. The difference stands in the fact that the device will not be placed completely inside the wearer’s ear canal. Just like with CIC hearing aids, they are expensive and really small. The good news is that they can include different extra features that patients might enjoy.

In the Ear Hearing Aids (ITE Hearing Aids)

These are devices that will sit in the helix and concha of our ear. We are talking about that part of the ear that has the shape of a bowl. ITE hearing aids are bigger than ITCs and CICs and will fill up most of the bowl. Doctors are going to usually recommend them in case the patients suffer from severe to mild hearing loss. The biggest drawback in using them stands in the fact that they will sometimes end up picking up wind and feedback noise. The good news is that this also depends on the model’s quality and how correctly it is placed inside our ear. In the event that you hear feedback or wind then you can usually adjust it or go to a specialist to do it for you and the problems disappear. Also, they are large and will usually include different add-on features, thus being more flexible when compared to ITCs and CICs.

Behind the Ear Hearing Aids

Most commonly referred to as BTE hearing aids, these gadgets were the first type that was invented. We are faced with a small plastic case that will sit behind your ear. It is directly connected with plastic tubing to an earmold. BTE hearing aids are really flexible and effective for all hearing loss levels. The problem is that they are the most visible and even the small models are going to be noticed by those around you. The good news is that they are really easy to customize and can include numerous extra features.

Extra Features

Hearing aids are very complex nowadays and can include many features that you might want to use. We recommend that you always consider buying a device that offers you adjustable settings. In most situations a switch will allow you to change between the settings. This is highly useful as it allows you to easily adapt to any new environment.

There are some aids that will include directional microphones. This is a feature that allows the wearer to easily focus on where the sound is coming from and can eliminate background noise more accurately. We can even take advantage of devices that offer us telephone connectivity. This can be done through telecoil or even through Bluetooth hearing aid connectivity.

On the whole we can say that the most important thing that one needs to consider is the recommendation of the doctor. The good news is that the audiologist always recommends different types of hearing aids that a patient can use. Always make sure that you take his advice because some of the devices are not proper for some degrees of hearing aids. Also, you will need to be careful when choosing between digital hearing aids and analog hearing aids. The digital ones have more features and include more advanced technology but are also more expensive. Analog hearing aids are very good nowadays and also include a lot more technology than in the past. The bottom line is that you have to properly research the market and the models before you make a choice. This will guarantee that you always choose the best hearing aid possible, the one that fits your personal hearing loss needs.

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