According to statistics, permanent hearing loss has become a common health condition in the United States. About 48 million Americans are suffering from decreased hearing power. That means every seventh American has some kind of issues with their hearing capacity.
Due to a large demand, there is a wide range of hearing aid devices that are now available, so if you are having a difficult time deciding which device to choose from, here is a simple guide to help you navigate through and pick the hearing device that is right for you.
Hearing aid styles
Before we advise a device that’s compatible with your needs, let’s have a look at the different styles available to you.
There are two main styles of hearing aids available:
- In the ear (ITE) styles
- Behind the ear (BTE) styles
1. In the ear style
ITE hearing aids are the devices which are worn inside the ear and are usually custom fitted. Your audiologist will take an impression of your ear during the hearing consultation and send it off so the ITE device can be made. These devices come in a variety of colors to match the skin tone of the outer ear.
· Different styles of ITE
ITE hearing aids come in different size and can have different features, controls, and battery capacity. Following are some of the common types of in the ear hearing aids:
- IIC or CIC: These are the most compact styled hearing aid which goes and is completely unnoticeable while worn. They fit deep inside the ear canal and are best suited for mild hearing loss.
- ITC: In the canal hearing aids fit inside the outer bowl of the ear. They are comfortable and easier to wear. These hearing devices tend to have more options and battery power than ICC and CIC.
- Low profile: These come in half shell and full design that fill half or all of the outer bowl of the ear. These hearing aids are equipped with additional features like directional microphones and other manual controls.
2. Behind the air style
Behind the air hearing aid style, as the name suggests, fits either behind or on the top of the ear with a tube that goes down deep in the ear canal to aid hearing loss.
· Different styles of BTE
Some of the common hearing aids which use a BTE design are mentioned below.
- Mini BTE: Designed to hide behind the ear, mini BTE hearing aid have an extremely thin tube generally goes unnoticed. These aids provide natural sound and are most helpful for mild hearing loss.
- RIC: Receiver in the canal is a hearing aid that has a built-in speaker. The speaker is placed at the tip of the earpiece rather than the main body. The processor and microphone are placed behind the ear which is connected to the speaker by a thin wire.
- BTE with ear mold: These hearing aids are beneficial in every case. Due to their size, they have more features as compared to the other BTE style hearing aids.
What is the best hearing aid for you?
Hearing aid devices come in a large variety having different sizes, colors, features, designs, and control options. Choosing a suitable hearing aid depends on the following factors:
- If you want to have a hearing aid with more options then go for larger options like a low profile or BTE with an ear mold.
- If you want a compact option then choose from CIC, IIC or mini BTE.
- If you are suffering from mild hearing loss, then small hearing aid options like IIC, mini BTE, CIC are perfect for you.
- In case of a more severe hearing damage low profile, RIC, and BTE with an ear mold will benefit you the most.
Eldorado Audiology and Hearing Center not only provides you with every type of hearing aid out on the market but its professional medical staff will also help you select which hearing aid best suits your needs.