Top 6 Types of Hearing Aids
To lead a better life, it is important that all of our five senses function perfectly well. As we age, one or more senses start to deteriorate. Hearing loss is prevalent among the elderly people. However, younger people may also get affected with it due to certain medical conditions or injury. Regardless of the cause, the person who experiences this condition would want the hearing restored to as close to normal as possible. Thankfully, hearing aids help your ability to hear a great extent depending upon the level of the loss. Usually, your audiologist recommends the hearing aid after conducting a hearing test. But, it would be worth your time to be aware of the different types of hearing aids so that you can make a more informed choice.
The Most Common Hearing Aids
There are various choices available when it comes to buying the hearing aids in terms of size, price, fitting, and other features. Here is a quick rundown of the most popularly used hearing aids.
- Completely in the canal (CIC): As the name suggests, this hearing aid is designed to fit inside the ear canal of the user. It is meant for improving mild-to-moderate level of hearing loss. This hearing aid is very small and inconspicuous. The batteries are small and thus have a shorter life, which could be quite inconvenient sometimes.
- In the canal (ITC): Again, meant for mild-to-moderate hearing loss, ITC usually comes with a custom design and only partly fits in the ear canal. Although not as unobtrusive as the CIC, it is still smaller than most of the other hearing aids. It comes integrated with certain features not possible to include in the CIC due to its small size.
- In the ear (ITE): ITE features two custom styles, one that fills the concha (the depression in the outer ear) completely and the other that fills only the lower part of the concha. Both these styles are meant for people who have moderate-to-severe hearing loss. It includes several features not available with the smaller sized hearing aids.
- Behind the ear (BTE): This type of hearing aid fits around the top of the ear and rests behind the auricle. An earpiece is fitted in the ear canal and is connected from the earmold to the hearing aid. BTE is suitable for all types of hearing losses from mild to severe. It is also meant for all age groups.
- Receiver in canal (RIC): Also called receiver in the ear (RITE), the RIC is pretty much similar to the BTE with the exception that instead of using the tubing, the RIC incorporates a small wire to connect the earpiece to the hearing aid. It is a lot little less visible than its BTE counterpart.
- Open Fit: This type of hearing aid is considered to be the variant of the BTE. It features a thin tube and keeps the canal open. The low-frequency sound is allowed to enter the ear naturally. On the other hand, the sounds with high frequency are amplified. This is why the open-fit hearing aid is a good choice for those with hearing loss at the mild or moderate level.
Once you have found an audiologist in your area, schedule an appointment to have your hearing tested. While your audiologist is the best person to help recommend a hearing aid for you, it’s good practice to familiarize yourself with the models and styles available.