Hearing aid technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Not only have hearing aid manufacturers been able to decrease the size of the instruments, digital hearing aid technology allows better sound quality and increased ability to hear in a multitude of environments.
Choosing the right hearing aid
There is a wide variety of styles and technology to choose from when deciding on hearing aids. There is no one "best" hearing aid. Hearing aids are chosen based on several main principles discussed between the client and audiologist including:
• Degree of hearing loss
• Lifestyle and listening needs
• Financial and insurance considerations
• Personal preference
The audiologist will review the hearing test and ask questions about each of these subjects to help determine which style and technology is best for each individual.
Hearing aid styles
The style of hearing aid selected is mainly dependent on the degree of hearing loss. The client's ability to handle small objects (dexterity) and cosmetics are also important considerations in style selection. All styles are available in all price points.
Open Technology Behind-The-Ear (BTE)
Is fast becoming the most popular style of hearing aid. It is very small, comfortable and virtually "invisible." The open technology will also allow you to hear naturally with the added bonus of amplification in the area you need. The audiologist will help determine if the individual is a candidate for this style.
Power Aids Behind-The-Ear (BTE)
The BTE is great for all types of hearing loss. For Moderate to Servere Loss -Power BTE instruments sit comfortably behind the ear and connect to an earmold that fits into the ear.
This hearing aid fills the entire "bowl" (concha) of the ear. It fits most hearing losses and is a great hearing aid for those who have a little more trouble handling small objects.
The ITC fits in the ear but is smaller than the ITE. This hearing aid can be more cosmetically appealing. The ITC can fit a mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
The CIC is the smallest custom hearing instrument which makes it cosmetically appealing. The CIC fits a mild to moderate hearing loss.