Hearing Aids 101 - A Beginner’s Guide to Styles and Options

Hearing Aids 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Styles and Options

Suncoast AudiologyHearing Health, Hearing Loss

Do you or a loved one have difficulty hearing? You’re not alone. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 466 million people worldwide experience hearing loss, and this number is expected to grow. Fortunately, modern technology has made it possible to effectively treat hearing loss with hearing aids. If you’re considering getting hearing treatment, it’s important to understand the different types of hearing aids available to you. This guide will provide an overview of hearing aid styles and options to help you make an informed decision.

Styles of hearing aids

Hearing aids come in different shapes and sizes to suit different preferences and levels of hearing loss. Here are the four main styles of hearing aids:

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

As the name suggests, BTE hearing aids sit behind the ear and have a tube that connects to an earmold or a dome in the ear canal. This type of hearing aid is suitable for all levels of hearing loss and is the most versatile and durable option.

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

ITE hearing aids sit in the ear and are less visible than BTE hearing aids. They are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss and are available in different sizes to fit the shape of your ear.

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

ITC hearing aids sit in the ear canal and are less visible than both BTE and ITE hearing aids. They are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss and offer some customization options for a better fit.

Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids

CIC hearing aids sit deep in the ear canal and are the least visible type of hearing aid. They are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss and offer a more natural sound quality than other types of hearing aids.

Features of hearing aids

Modern hearing aids come with various features to enhance sound quality and make it easier to hear in different environments. Here are some common features of hearing aids:

Directional microphones

Directional microphones help you hear better in noisy environments by focusing on sounds in front of you and reducing background noise.

Noise reduction

Noise reduction technology reduces background noise to help you hear speech more clearly in noisy environments.

Telecoils

Telecoils help you hear better on the phone or in public places with hearing loops by picking up the magnetic signal and reducing background noise.

Bluetooth connectivity

Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect your hearing aids to your smartphone, TV, or other devices to stream audio directly to your ears.

Considerations when choosing a hearing aid

Choosing a hearing aid can be overwhelming, but there are some key factors to consider when making your decision. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Type and severity of hearing loss

The type and severity of your hearing loss will determine which type of hearing aid is most suitable for you. Your hearing healthcare professional can help you determine the level of hearing loss you have and recommend appropriate hearing aids.

Lifestyle and activities

Consider your lifestyle and the activities you participate in when choosing a hearing aid. If you are active and spend a lot of time outdoors, you may prefer a durable, behind-the-ear hearing aid. If you prefer a more discreet option, an in-the-ear or completely-in-the-canal hearing aid may be a better choice.

Budget and insurance coverage

Hearing aids can be a significant investment, so it’s important to consider your budget and insurance coverage when choosing a hearing aid. Your hearing healthcare professional can help you find a hearing aid that fits your budget and is covered by your insurance.

Personal preferences

Finally, personal preferences are an important factor in choosing a hearing aid. Do you prefer a certain color or design? Do you have any specific features or functionality that you would like in a hearing aid? Communicating your preferences with your hearing healthcare professional can help them recommend the right hearing aid for you.

If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, don’t hesitate to seek help. Hearing aids can greatly improve your quality of life and allow you to participate in conversations and activities that you may have been missing out on. Understanding the different styles and options available can help you make an informed decision and find the hearing aid that’s right for you. At our hearing practice, we are dedicated to providing personalized hearing healthcare solutions to our patients. Contact us today to schedule a hearing evaluation and take the first step towards better hearing.