Understanding the various types and styles of hearing aids helps in choosing one that fits the individual’s objectives and needs. Health professionals can recommend one or more types depending on lifestyle needs, level of hearing impairment and budget. The choice can also be made to suit aesthetic preferences. Hearing aids come in a variety of colors and finishes to fit individual hair color and skin tone. Common types and styles include:
Behind the ear (BTE)
BTE hearing aids have an ear mold that is placed inside the ear while the rest of it rests behind the ear. Some BTE types are open air fitting. They are built with a soft ear piece instead of the ear mold. The main advantage of open air fit hearing aids is that they are less noticeable. However, they can only be used for hearing impairment that is moderate or mild.
In the ear (ITE)
For the in the ear hearing aids, the entire device is fitted into the ear. They are usually small in size and require maintenance more frequently than the BTE hearing aids.
Completely in the canal (CIC)
They are small in size compared to the ITE hearing aids. Their very small sizes make it possible to get the device further into the ear. However the size makes them hard to handle when they are outside the ear. They are also less visible making them very suitable for those who are concerned with aesthetics. However, they are not suitable for patients who have frequent ear infections or severe hearing impairment.
Receiver in the ear hearing aids (RITE)
They are smaller than BTE hearing aids since a larger portion of the device is fitted inside the ear. RITE hearing aids are made in different types to suit the different levels of hearing loss.
Body worn hearing aids
Body worn hearing aids are like small boxes that you can put in your pockets or clip to your shirt. The small box is then connected to the earphone.
Assistive listening devices
Assistive listening devices are used by those who want to improve hearing in a specific listening situation. They are wired devices that focus on one signal.
Dispensed hearing aids
Dispensed hearing aids are amplifying devices that are built to amplify sounds. The patient undergoes a hearing test before the hearing aid is molded into the ear. Theses devices can only be issued by a licensed hearing dispenser.
Over the counter hearing aids
Over the counter hearing aids do not require hearing tests and custom fittings. They don’t require office visits and thus can be bought via the internet. Over the counter hearing aids are designed to fit most people. They also provide maximum amplification. Most come with a guarantee that ranges from thirty to ninety days.
Before buying your hearing aids, take time to understand the different types, their suitability, advantages and prices. Consult with health experts and hearing aid manufacturers if you need deeper understanding of the working of the different types and styles.
Value Hearing Care is here to help you make your important decision in finding the best hearing aid. Let our professionals guide you in finding the best hearing aids for your hearing needs as well as your budget.
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