Once you’ve had your hearing loss diagnosed your audiologist will likely recommend hearing aids as a treatment. When it comes to hearing aids, there are several types, features and technologies available to suit your hearing loss and lifestyle needs.
This hearing aids overview will cover a lot of the basic things with your new equipment. While it can seem overwhelming to sort through all of your options, it’s important to learn a little about what devices are on the market. Even if you consider yourself an intermediate user of the products, there is always something new to learn in this innovative industry. Hearing aids continue to develop into small devices that can barely be seen. While they push the boundaries of the hardware, the original concept of making your hearing better is still intact.
Hearing aid styles
There are advantages and disadvantages to each style, so this will be an important decision you should make with your audiologist. There are currently three “styles” of hearing aids on the market, with many variances available within each group. Curious what might be the right device for you? Check out this hearing aid style overview to help narrow down your choices:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids: BTE devices consist of a hard, plastic shell that rests behind your ear, and tubing that helps connect the receiver and send sound to the inside of your ear. While these devices are slightly larger in size than other options, they provide an extensive amount of power and are desirable for individuals with dexterity issues. BTE hearing aids are recommended for mild-to-profound hearing loss.
- In-the-ear (ITE) devices: ITE hearing aids are a more discreet option and rest in the outer bowl of the ear. They are usually offered in skin-tone colors and provide an impressive amount of power in a smaller-sized device. ITE hearing aids are usually advised for individuals with mild-to-mildly severe hearing loss.
- In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids: ITC devices are the most invisible devices available on the market. Designed to sit either partially or completely in the canal depending on which type you select, these devices provide a natural listening experience while remaining incredibly discreet. Because of their smaller size, they are recommended for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and those without dexterity issues.
Selecting a hearing aid
Some styles may be unavailable to you depending on the severity of your hearing loss. What’s most important is that there are still plenty of options, and they will all be discussed with you before making a final decision. Hearing aids are designed to come in a variety of styles to meet not only your hearing loss needs, but your aesthetic desires, as well as your lifestyle. Once you have settled on the right hearing aid style for you, it’s important to consider what features you want and need.
Hearing aid features
When it comes to hearing aid features, there are as many technology levels as there are device styles. While a hearing aid with all the works can seem like a tempting idea, work with your audiologist to consider what features are best and most appropriate for your needs.
- Noise cancellation works in unison with other devices with the feature
- Rechargeable batteries don’t need to be removed from the device
- Both the left and right earpiece can be synced to the same settings
- Bluetooth hearing aids are now a reality in a compatible wireless setting
- Programmable settings allow for a range of different listening scenarios
Talk with your audiologist
Once you’ve researched and noted some hearing aid options that are appealing to you, talk with your audiologist about which will be the most compatible for your hearing loss and your lifestyle. Your audiologist will be your partner in the upcoming journey to better hearing, so start the conversation as soon as possible.