Having experienced hearing loss that will require acquiring hearing aids may be overwhelming especially for the first time. Expect a long process when it comes to getting the perfect device that will fit your budget and hearing needs. A wise thing to do is to stock up on knowledge on all that you need to know before the final hearing aid fitting. You will find out that you there are different kinds of hearing aid options that come in different shapes and sizes depending on the levels of hearing loss.
Here are some of the hearing aid options to help you choose the right one that will fit your hearing needs.
- Behind-the-ear hearing aids
The most common types of hearing aids used are behind-the-ear hearing aids. These small devices rest behind the ear and send sound into the ear in three different ways.
The first one is through a clear and flexible tubing that is connected to an ear mold that is fitted into the ear.
The second one also called as an “open-air fitting” is characterized by another clear tubing but thinner than the first type. It connects to a small and soft dome-like tip that sits inside the ear canal. It looks sleeker than the first one because of the absence of the earmold and it gives a more natural sound as well. However, it is only suitable for mild or moderate hearing loss. It is not recommended for people with frequent ear infections.
Finally, the third type delivers sound through a wire that runs from the hearing aid to a tiny loudspeaker which is fitted in the ear by a soft tip. Other names for this type of aid are “loudspeaker in the ear” and “receiver in the ear or canal”. Similar to the latter type, it is not suitable for people with frequent ear infections and who find fiddly tasks awkward.
- In-the-ear and in-the-canal hearing aids
This type of hearing aids has its working parts in the ear mold, which fits the whole device into the ear mold. It is visible from the side of the ear and it comes in different shapes and sizes depending on the level of hearing loss. Other models of this type come with remote controls made for people that experience trouble with very small controls.
- Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids
This type fits further into the ear than the ITC aids so they are less visible. Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are relatively smaller, so they have lesser features than the Behind-the-ear and ITC aids. This device is only suitable for people with mild hearing loss as it does not come with the hearing loop setting feature because they are too small.
- Invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids
The latest in the hearing aid market, this type of device is fitted very deeply in the ear canal making it appear invisible. The new technology is fitted by an audiologist and will stay at the ear for months at a time. Regular maintenance for this type of hearing aid will include cleaning and tuning, and for most models, only an audiologist can remove the device from the ear. However, there are some models of IIC aids that do not require an audiologist when the user wants to take them out. Just like the previous hearing aids that can be fitted in the ear canal, this type is only suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss because they have limited features for their size. Unfortunately, only a few clinics carry this type of device so if you think it might be the right hearing aid for you, find out in advance which clinics carry this type of hearing aid.