Understanding the Different Hearing Aid Styles
Today, there are a multitude of different hearing aid styles on the market, and to many the options on the table can be bewildering, to say the least. With this in mind, we thought we would take you through some of the most popular and most common styles of hearing aid and explain what you can expect from each one. Read on to find out more on finding the perfect hearing aid for you.
Behind the ear (BTE)
BTE hearing aids are the hearing aids most people will recognize - they have been available for many years. The part that sits behind the ear houses the hearing aid technology, while the in-ear part is an earbud, molded to fit your ear that amplifies noises so you can hear them. While noticeable, these devices are exceptionally powerful and BTE hearing aids are usually given to people with moderate to severe hearing problems.
In the ear (ITE)
ITE hearing aids are fairly large devices, and again, are usually used by people with moderate to severe hearing issues in a similar way to BTE devices. While taking up much of the space in the outer part your ear, they do have a powerful ability to amplify noise extremely well. Yes, they can be a little on the obtrusive side, but ultimately, they do come in different skin tones which reduces the visual impact.
In the canal (ITC)
ITC hearing aids are entirely custom built to ensure a perfect fit in your ear. They are designed to fit completely in the lower third of your ear, directly covering the entrance to the ear canal. They are smaller than ITE devices, available in different skin tones, and available for people suffering any type of hearing loss. However, they mostly benefit people with severe hearing problems that feel ITE alternatives are too obtrusive and bulky for their liking.
Choosing your hearing aid
There are other different hearing aid styles available, such as Invisible in Canal, Completely in Canal, Mini in Canal and MIH (Microphone in Helix). However, before you decide on your hearing aid of choice, it is imperative to pay your audiologist a visit for a variety of reasons. Firstly, not every device will be suitable for your needs - it all depends on the severity of your hearing loss. You also need to remember that hearing aids for people with severe hearing loss tend to be more powerful by necessity, but they are also more visible. More discrete aids are available, but as a rule you can expect these to be a little more expensive. Your audiologist can give you more details, and after a few tests and a fitting, you should be able to get the perfect hearing aid for your circumstances.
No matter what type of hearing aid you think you might need - or want - a visit to your audiologist will outline your options more accurately. As discussed above, not every device will be suitable, and the most important thing to remember is that your hearing aid will give you the freedom, independence and confidence to lead a long and fulfilling life, no matter what it looks like.