Types of Hearing Aids Available
With the advancement in the medical world, the treatments available for any particular condition have increased. When it comes to hearing loss, individuals have several types of hearing aids available to treat their condition!
While all hearing aids serve the same function and help those with a hearing deficiency hear better, different hearing aids come with different functions. Apart from differences in shapes and sizes, hearing aids also differ in aspects such as strength, clarity, and so on. In the end, choosing the right device depends on what the patient desires. If the hearing is seriously deficient, the hearing aid will generally be larger and more powerful. If the hearing is not that weak, the aid will be smaller in size. Another major factor to consider when selecting a hearing aid is the level of comfort you desire and this is where variance in shapes and sizes help. Thus, there are certainly a lot of different options to choose from when it comes to picking out the right pair of hearing aids.
Here’s a look at some of the different types of hearing aids available:
1. Digital or Analog Hearing Aids
As mentioned earlier, due to the advancement in technology, there has been a shift from traditional hearing aids to more advanced ones (aids that are completely digital). Moreover, there is a huge difference between both of these types of hearing aids. While they look quite similar in their design, analogs aids simply amplify or enhance the sound while digital aids use a tiny built-in computer to process sound.
With digital aids, the inbuilt computer gives you the option of choosing between different sound levels based on different environments. For instance, if you are going out somewhere you feel there will be a lot of noise, you can simply program your aid accordingly. Additionally, some digital hearing aids also change this setting automatically, making the process all the easier. However, the downside of digital hearing aids is that they are likely to be more expensive. For those who cannot afford to spend a lot of money, going for analog aids seems like the best solution.
2. Behind the Ear (BTE) or Inside the Ear (ITE)
BTE hearing aids come with an earmold that fits inside the ear while the rest of the aid rests smoothly behind the ear. These days, the majority of BTE models have two microphones, which make for easy switching between an all-round sound and a more particular setting focusing on precisely the sound you want to hear. Moreover, there are some BTE hearing aids that come with an open ear fitting as well (a soft earpiece at the edge of the tubing instead of an earmold). The advantage of such an aid is that it is less noticeable than a traditional earmold. On the downside, though, this type of aid is only suitable if your hearing loss is mild or moderate.
Additionally, there are also several varieties of ITE hearing aids that fit right inside the ear so people around you do not know cannot tell whether or not you're wearing a hearing aid. While there are a number of styles of ITE hearing aids, these are generally designed for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Still not sure what hearing aid type is the right fit for you? Check with your hearing care provider to find out what device is most suitable for your hearing loss.