There are three main styles of hearing aids.
A hearing aid in the canal (ITC) fits your specific ear canal. On the hunt for a hearing aid? Finding the right type and style for you depends on your degree of hearing loss, your lifestyle preferences, and your aesthetic concerns. The following are common styles of hearing aids, starting with the smallest and least visible in the ear.
Hearing aid designers continue to make smaller hearing aids to meet the demand for hearing aids that are not very noticeable. However, smaller hearing aids may not have the power to give you the best hearing you expect. A hearing aid in the canal (ITC) is custom molded and partially fits in the ear canal. This style may improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid attaches to the top of the ear and sits behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an ear mold that fits into the ear canal. This type is suitable for people of all ages and people with almost any type of hearing loss. Receiver-in-ear (RIC) and receiver-in-ear (RITE) styles are similar to behind-the-ear hearing aids with the speaker or receiver located in the ear canal.
A tiny cable, instead of a tube, connects the behind-the-ear piece to the speaker or receiver. An open-fit hearing aid is a variation of the behind-the-ear hearing aid with a thin tube or the hearing aid with a receiver in the canal or receiver in the ear with an open dome in the ear. This style keeps the ear canal wide open, allowing low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally and high-frequency sounds to be amplified through the hearing aid. This makes the style a good choice for people with better low-frequency hearing and mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss.
Important decisions include whether the device will have rechargeable batteries or batteries that need to be replaced, and whether the hearing aid will be placed behind or inside the ear. The. gov means it's official, federal government websites often end in. gov or.
thousand. Before you share sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site. Hearing aids are sound amplifying devices designed to help people who have a hearing impairment. Most hearing aids share several similar electronic components, such as a microphone that picks up sound; an amplifier circuit that makes the sound louder; a miniature speaker (receiver) that sends amplified sound into the ear canal; and batteries that power the electronic components.
Some hearing aids also have molds or headphones to direct the flow of sound into the ear and improve sound quality. Hearing aid selection is based on the type and severity of hearing loss, hearing needs and lifestyle. Analog hearing aids make continuous sound waves louder. These hearing aids essentially amplify all sounds (e.g.
Some analog hearing aids are programmable. They have a microchip that allows the device to have programmed settings for different listening environments, such as in a quiet place, such as in a library, or in a noisy place such as in a restaurant, or in a large area such as a football field. Programmable analog hearing aids can store multiple programs for different environments. As the listening environment changes, you can change the settings of the hearing aid by pressing a button on the hearing aid.
Analog hearing aids are becoming less common. Digital hearing aids have all the features of analog programmable hearing aids, but they convert sound waves into digital signals and produce an exact duplication of sound. Computer chips in digital hearing aids analyze speech and other ambient sounds. Digital hearing aids allow for more complex sound processing during the amplification process, which can improve their performance in certain situations (e.g.
background noise and reduced whistling). They also have greater flexibility in programming the hearing aids so that the sound they transmit is adapted to the needs of a specific pattern of hearing loss. Digital hearing aids also provide multiple program memories. Currently, most people seeking hearing aid are offered the option of choosing only digital technology.
More complicated features may allow hearing aids to better adapt to your particular pattern of hearing loss. They can improve their performance in specific listening situations; however, these sophisticated electronic components can also significantly increase the cost of the hearing aid. The canal supports conform to the ear canal and are available in two styles. The in-the-canal hearing aid (ITC) is designed to fit the size and shape of a person's ear canal.
A fully in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aid is almost hidden in the ear canal. Both types are used for mild to moderately severe hearing loss. We manufacture six styles of hearing aids. Learn about each of them to find out what type of hearing aid is right for you.
With six styles of hearing aids available (and numerous types of each), knowing which one to choose can seem overwhelming. That's where a hearing care professional comes into play. They will recommend a style based on important factors such as your level of hearing loss, aesthetic preferences, lifestyle needs, budget and more. A BTE hearing aid houses the hearing components in a housing that rests behind the ear.
A clear plastic acoustic tube directs amplified sound into an earpiece or into a custom mold that is placed inside the ear canal. BTEs are the most common hearing aids in the world, they are usually the largest and are ideal for moderate to severe hearing loss. RIC style hearing aids are instruments in which the receiver or speaker is located inside the ear canal, which is then connected to the main device using a thin electrical cable. Because of this, RICs are usually smaller than BTE.
RIC hearing aids are sleek and sleek, usually packed with features, and are great options for mild to moderate hearing loss. ITE hearing aids are the largest of custom-fit styles. Each ITE is machine-made from an ear mold with all the components that fit into a plastic shell that then fits smoothly inside the outside of the ear. ITEs are one of two custom styles large enough to accommodate manual controls and are used for mild to severe hearing loss.
ITC hearing aids are also custom-made based on a mold of your ear. They are smaller than ITEs, with only a small part of the hearing aid covering in the outer ear. ITC's come in a variety of faceplate covers, may include manual controls for volume and memory, and are a good custom fit option for mild to mildly severe hearing loss. The CIC hearing aids are custom-made to fully fit the ear canal.
Only the tip of a small plastic “handle” is seen outside the canal, which is used to insert and remove the instrument. Small size can pose dexterity challenges. CIC hearing aids are used to help with mild to moderate hearing loss. IIC hearing aids are the smallest, most discreet hearing aids ever made.
This custom fit style inserts into the second bend of the ear canal, making it completely invisible* when worn. A small plastic handle allows you to remove them daily to promote good hearing health. Their deep placement in the ear means IICs cannot be used by everyone, and are only used for mild to moderate hearing loss. In-the-Channel (ITC) is a lightweight plastic housing that sits inside the canal.
They are known to be comfortable and easy to use. In addition, they are made to fit the size and shape of the ear. However, because they are small, some people find it more difficult to use them. In-ear (ITE) hearing aids are slightly larger than ITC hearing aids, but they are easy to handle.
The parts are contained in a shell that fills the outer part of the ear. Receiver-in-canal (RIC) style moves the receiver into the ear canal. The tube is almost invisible and the receiver is very small. They are usually smaller than a BTE and are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Hearing aids work differently depending on the type of electronics used: analog or digital. Both convert sound waves, but they do it their way. Here are some key differences between analog and digital hearing aids. With an analog hearing aid, the device converts sound waves into electrical signals.
In general, they are less expensive than digital hearing aids, but they are also not as common as digital hearing aids, according to the FDA. According to the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), the best hearing aids for children are behind-the-ear (BTE), as they can adhere to different types of ear molds. BTE's are also easy to replace, safe for small ears and easy to handle and clean. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid may help people with mild to profound hearing loss.
BTE hearing aids contain all components, a compartment for the battery, microphone and controls, for example, in a plastic case that fits behind the ear. The case is connected to a disposable plastic earphone or to a custom mold that emits sound through a transparent tube. Because the code also includes information about the pitch or volume of a sound, the aid can be specially programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others. They are generally not recommended for young children or people with severe to profound hearing loss because their small size limits their power and volume.
However, if your hearing loss mainly occurs in the high frequencies that most people have, especially if they have age-related hearing loss, open RITE styles are the most comfortable because they let in the natural low frequency sounds you are still able to hear, while amplifying the high frequencies. A telecoil also helps people hear in public facilities that have special sound systems installed, called induction loop systems. These options can also be equipped with advanced features to allow the hearing aids to filter speech noise, adapt to different environments, suppress feedback, and connect wirelessly to mobile phones, a personal microphone system or other public hearing assistance devices. The hearing aids have optional features that can be incorporated to help in different communication situations.
Scientists are using the structure of the fly's ear as a model to design miniature directional microphones for hearing aids. Mini BTE hearing aids are useful if a person still wants the device to be placed behind the ear, but doesn't want the entire ear to be covered by a mold. Some nonprofit organizations provide financial assistance for hearing aids, while others can help provide used or refurbished hearing aids. You may end up with a higher price for a hearing aid that comes with ongoing support, but peace of mind is often worth it.
Digital hearing aids convert sound waves into digital signals and produce an exact duplication of sound. Hearing aids vary greatly in price, size, special features and the way they are placed in the ear. Analyzes and adjusts sound based on your hearing loss, your hearing needs and the level of sounds around you. Small, open aids fit completely behind the ear, with only a narrow tube inserted into the ear canal, allowing the canal to remain open.
While they can't restore normal hearing, hearing aids can improve your ability to hear and can also play an important role in improving your overall quality of life. . .