Types of Hearing Aids

Choosing the Best For You

 Hearing aids come in all shapes and sizes. Thanks to our audiologists, hearing aids can be tailored to your particular needs.

Hearing loss can be frustrating. It makes it hard to hear people talking, and sometimes you feel like the world is moving too fast for you. Hearing aids are a great solution for those who have trouble hearing, but they’re not a one-size-fits-all device.   Hearing aids vary greatly when it comes to features, design, rechargeability, power, etc. It’s important to understand all of your options to help you make a choice with your Audiologist.  In this article, we’ll explain each type and help you choose which is best for you.

How Hearing Aids Work

All hearing aids have the same basic parts to transmit sound and speech from the environment into your ear and make them louder and clearer. The microphones pick up sounds around you, convert them to an electrical signal which goes through an amplifier, then it is is converted back to sound and is delivered into your ear canal through a very small speaker. 

All hearing aids are digital, they literally have a very powerful small computer chip that allows for very precise customization to compensate for your specific hearing loss. All hearing aids run on a battery,  most people prefer rechargeable batteries,  you can still get hearing aids that use a disposable battery that must be replaced on a regular basis.

Hearing Aid Options

Hearing loss can be frustrating.  We understand. 

It makes it hard to hear people talking, and sometimes you feel like the world is moving too fast for you. Hearing aids are a great solution for those who have trouble hearing, but they’re not a one-size-fits-all device. 

Hearing aids vary greatly when it comes to features, design, rechargeability, power, etc. It’s important to understand all of your options to help you make a choice with your Audiologist.

The audiologists at Atlantic Hearing Care are here explain each type and help you choose which is best for you.

Types of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids come in several different styles with a variety of features. Thanks to hearing specialists, hearing aids can be tailored to your particular needs. The price of hearing aids varies depending on the level of technology, or listening support it can give you, as well as the features.   There is a wide range of prices due to varying sizes, styles and what type of special features you need for everyday use or situational purposes (i.e., going out with friends). 

If you’re looking at getting fitted for new ones in order to hear better, a visit to a hearing clinic would be the best thing to do. If you happen to be in Massachusetts and need to go to a reliable hearing clinic, visit us at Atlantic Hearing Care.  Hearing aid designers are always coming up with new ways to improve the effectiveness of hearing aids. When they make them smaller, it can be difficult for people to notice that you have one on. 

Whether you choose a big or small hearing aid, the important thing to consider is that the device is aimed to address your hearing loss – not just for aesthetics.

Completely in the Canal (CIC) or mini CIC

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid, also known as a mini Canal or CIC, is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It is the smallest and least visible type of hearing device available on the market today and it matches well with customers that don’t want a large device.

 

These types of devices are ideal for those who have mild levels of loss because they provide more speech understanding than any other protection style. With frequent exposure to loud sounds there can be some sound distortion, but generally this size has lower background noise so that you can hear clearer in both quiet and noisy environments.

In the canal (ITC)

An in-the-canal hearing aid is custom molded to the shape of your ear canal and designed to fit partly inside the canal. This style of hearing aid may be better for mild to moderate hearing loss.

 

it is less visible on the outside and won’t block out background noise. ITC hearing aids may have a lot of features that may be difficult to adjust due to its small size. The ITC canals are also susceptible to clogging from earwax, so proper care must be taken to avoid reduced sound quality.

Behind the ear (BTE)

A behind the ear hearing aid is a type of device that hooks over the top of your ear and rests on the backside. The BTE is held in this position by its tube, which connects to an earpiece called an ear mold that fits down into your ears canal. 

 

BTE hearing aids offer a whole world of possibilities for people with different priorities. For instance, people who care about sound quality may prefer open fit models with extra ventilation and high fidelity speakers, while those more interested in convenience might opt for fully-invisible aids or wireless models.

In the ear (ITE)

In the ear hearing aids come with two styles: one for people with mild to moderate hearing loss (half shell) and one for severe hearing loss (full shell). Both options feature directional microphones, making them a good choice for those who experience different levels of noise in different ears.

Open fit types of hearing aids

With an open fit hearing aid, you will experience a natural sound because the ear canal remains very open. High-frequency sounds are then amplified through the device to ensure that all sounds can be heard.

 

The open style hearing aids are often visible and may not block the ear canal, which can make your own voice sound better to you. The dome is not custom so it may be challenging for some people to insert into the ear comfortably. 

Receiver in Canal or Receiver in the Ear

The receiver-in-canal (RIC) and receiver in the ear (RITE) styles are similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid.

 

A receiver-in-canal hearing aid typically has directional microphones, manual control options and has a less visible behind the ear portion. RIC hearing aids may be available with rechargeable battery or an analogue option (possibly subject to availability).

Invisible hearing aids

People won’t know you’re wearing them thanks to their ultra tiny size and the earmold material blends seamlessly with your skin. Invisible hearing aids are most beneficial for individuals with mild or moderate hearing loss. However, because they’re so small, there might not be enough room on the aid for more advanced technology like powerful speakers and stronger processing power.

What is best for me?

When looking for a hearing aid, explore your options so that you know what type will work best for you.

It is important to ask whether the hearing aid you have chosen can be adjusted in power so that it will still be useful if your hearing loss gets worse.

Success with hearing aids depends on a few factors.  An audiologist will assess your hearing and help you choose the best hearing aid based on your hearing loss.  By finding devices that fit well and help you hear better, you’ll be able to live your life the way you want to.

Before you Buy

The first step needs to be really understanding how severe your hearing impairment is before deciding if it’s worth investing in one or not. Once you do decide to buy, make sure to take an audiologist’s advice on which model best suits your needs before making the purchase.

If you don’t know a good audiologist in the area, ask your doctor for a referral.  An audiologist can help you find the perfect device for you, and will also adjust the device to meet your needs. If they find that you have hearing loss in both ears, it’s best to get two separate devices for better results.

Types of hearing aids in Massachusetts

If you’re in Massachusetts and need the help of hearing aid experts in choosing the best type of hearing aid for you, schedule an appointment at Atlantic Hearing Care with branches in Swampscott and Peabody.

 

The first step towards better hearing health is an appointment with our expert staff. Contact us today:

Make an Appointment

Two Convenient Locations

 

990 Paradise Rd, Suite 3A
Swampscott, MA 01907

 

2 First Ave, Suite 127-1
Peabody, MA 01960

 

Call 781-581-1500

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