A hearing aid is a battery operated, electronic device that amplifies and alters sound to allow for improved hearing. Sounds are received through a microphone which converts the sound waves to an electrical signal. An amplifier increases the volume of the signal and transmits the sound through a speaker in the ear canal.
Digital devices are the most advanced solution on the market today. They are programmed using a computer. Digital instruments offer the greatest flexibility for matching individual hearing requirements and filtering out unwanted sounds. Performance of these devices can change with listening needs. For example, they can analyze surrounding sounds to maximize soft speech while minimizing background noises like traffic.
Types of Hearing Aids
BTE RIC - Receiver in the Canal
Receiver in the canal digital hearing aids are the latest technology. A variation of the 'Open fit Concept', they are discreet and comfortable. Sophisticated technology that delivers clear, distinct speech in noisy backgrounds. Use 312 or 10 battery. Recommended for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Over the Ear Hearing Aid
These are standard digital hearing aids. They use a size 312 battery with an optional volume control and program button. Recommended for a wide range of hearing losses. Excellent choice for any wax issues since a mold is in the canal and receives any wax that is present
BTE Mini Hearing Aid
A digital hearing aid smaller in size. Size 312 battery, no volume control and a program button. Recommended for mild to moderate hearing losses.
BTE - Behind The Ear Hearing Aid
These are standard digital hearing aids. They use a size 13 battery with an optional volume control and program button. Recommended for a wide range of hearing loss. Excellent choice for any wax issues since a mold is in the canal and receives any wax that is present.
In the Ear Hearing Aid
In the ear aids house components in a custom formed shell that fits within the outer portion of the ear. Its size and easy to use controls make this design suitable for those with limited manual dexterity. This type of device is suitable for mild to severe hearing loss. Uses 13 or 312 battery size.
In the Canal Hearing Aid
In the canal aids are smaller still with a custom shell that fits in the ear canal. A smaller portion faces out into the outer ear. These aids are discreet yet they still are visible within the outer ear. This type of device is suitable for mild or moderately severe hearing loss. Uses 312 battery size.
Completely in the Canal Hearing Aid
The newest design of hearing aids are those that fit completely in the ear canal. These aids are barely visible. The only indication of their existence is the tiny head of a plastic line which is used to insert and remove the aid. Individuals with a narrow ear canal may not be able to use this type of device. This type of device is suitable for mild or moderately severe hearing loss. Uses 10 battery size.
Which One is Best For Me?
There are several criteria that you should consider when choosing a hearing instrument:
degree of hearing loss
ear shape and size
ability to handle instrument and controls
Consider these criteria, consider what your needs are, your expectations and desires and what device best fits your price range. These topics should be discussed with the hearing aid practitioner before your selection is completed. Have them explain why they feel this is the best hearing instrument for you or the user. Foremost, remember that it is your hearing.