Hearing Aids

At the most basic level, all hearing aids do the same thing: carry amplified and adjusted sound from the environment into your ear.

Hearing aids come in a variety of styles, which differ in size, features, and the way they’re placed in your ear. Some are small enough to fit inside your ear canal, making them almost invisible. Others fit partially in your ear canal. Generally, the smaller a hearing aid is, the less powerful it is, the shorter its battery life, and the more it will cost.

Digital hearing aids – Most hearing aid manufacturers now only produce digital hearing aids; analog hearing aids are being phased out. Why? Because with digital technology, a built-in computer chip can analyze and adjust the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs, and the level of sounds around you. The result is sound that’s more finely tuned to your personal hearing needs than is possible with analog hearing aids.

Digital hearing aids are available in all styles and price ranges.

Behind the ear with ear moldBehind the ear (BTE) – Housed in a curved case that fits neatly and comfortably behind or over your ear, with a custom ear mold made to the exact shape of your ear. The custom ear mold directs the sound from the hearing aid into your ear and keeps the hearing aid in place. With components housed outside of the ear, a BTE hearing aid is the most durable, needs less repair and has a longer life expectancy.

BTE hearing aids can be used by people with a wide range of hearing losses, from mild to severe.

 

In the earIn the ear (ITE) – Custom designed to fit directly into your ear, filling most of the visible portion of your ear. All of the components are in a single plastic shell, with no external wires or tubes. ITE hearing aids are very light in weight, and when properly made, fit comfortably and securely in the ear.

ITE hearing aid can be used by people who have mild to moderately severe hearing losses.

 

 

In the canal

 

In the canal (ITC) – Custom designed, smaller in size, and fitting more deeply into the ear canal than in-the-ear hearing aids, which makes them less visible.

Because of limitations due to their small size, ITC hearing aids can only be used by people who have mild to moderate hearing loss.

 

Completely in canalCompletely in the canal (CIC) – Custom designed to fit the deepest into the ear canal so they are the least visible. They may also reduce the problem of wind noise and feedback on the telephone. Their battery life is rather short because the battery is so small. Its small size can also make it difficult to manipulate, particularly if the wearer has trouble with finger and hand dexterity. It is more exposed to moisture and ear wax, so CIC hearing aids require more frequent repairs and have a shorter overall life expectancy than the other hearing aid styles.

CIC hearing aids can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

Open fit

 

 

Open fit – Housed in a miniature case that fits over or behind your ear plus an ultra thin tube with a soft rubber tip that fits in the ear. With the miniature BTE case and thin tubing, this hearing aid is very cosmetically appealing.

Open fit hearing aids are appropriate for people with normal to near normal hearing in the low pitches, and mild to moderately severe hearing loss in the high pitches.

 

Hearing Aid Brands

Starkey Oticon Resound
Phonak Widex Westone