Not all hearing loss cases are the same. While some temporary situations may require quiet recovery time to help your ears heal, most permanent hearing loss cases need to rely on programmed hearing aids for everyday communication. When someone experiences hearing loss, it may help ease your worries to find out more about the different hearing aids available to you. Booking an appointment with a hearing instrument specialist can help you to understand not only how hearing devices can support your communication needs but also how to navigate the new situation safely. Indeed, hearing aid can’t restore your hearing. But they can amplify sounds to help you maintain your lifestyle and activities with minimal disruption.
Because there is no such thing as 100% recovery of normal hearing via hearing instruments, future wearers must understand how to select the best hearing aid option for their needs and preferences.
1. Behind-the-ear (BTE) devices are suitable for almost all types of hearing loss
There are many types of hearing aids available. BTE devices are a preferred solution because they are suitable for users of all ages. They support a vast range of hearing loss situations, ranging from mild-to-severe loss. A hearing instrument specialist (HIS) will recommend BTE hearing aids to people who have concerns about wearing an earpiece inside their ear. The BTE aid hooks over the top of the ear to rest, partially hidden behind the ear. Typically, the earpiece is likely to be visible to some extent, even though you might find streamlined models. Additionally, its position can pick up external noises such as wind noise. However, it offers a broader range of amplification than pieces that sit directly next to the eardrum.
2. In-the-canal (ITC) devices are virtually invisible
By opposition, ITC devices fit directly in the ear canal. This position makes it the least visible device, compared to devices like BTE models. However, the amplification level is limited due to the close location to the eardrum. As a result, ITC devices are best suited to adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. They are also more vulnerable to earwax clogging around the speaker area and require, therefore, additional maintenance care. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that some models may include features that don’t fit entirely in the canal, making the device more visible than expected and more difficult to adjust manually. Other styles, such as completely-in-canal hearing aids, are almost invisible.
3. In-the-ear (ITE) devices can help people with moderately severe hearing loss
Earmold impressions are typically necessary for ITE devices. The ITE hearing aid is custom molded to fit either in the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear or in the lower part of the outer ear. The amplification range support mild to severe hearing loss cases. Your HIS may recommend an ITE hearing aid for people who require devices with longer battery life. The model is bigger than many hearing aids, which means that the battery fitted inside is also larger. Additionally, while it may be more visible than ITC devices, it is easier to handle and includes features that can’t be added to less visible devices. However, ITE styles are vulnerable to earwax clogging.
4. High-tech features transform your use of hearing aids
The hearing aid technology has evolved dramatically over the past few years to provide user-friendly features. More and more hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries, which makes your maintenance routine smoother. Additionally, using smartphone-inspired technology, modern hearing aids also are Bluetooth-compatible with many of your everyday devices, from phones to music players. With the help of your HIS, you can learn how to connect your hearing aids to your television or your phone to send the sound directly to the receiver. You can also find hearing aids that use a remote control to adjust features on the go.
5. Understanding what you need to hear best
Like with most things, understanding the list of additional features can help you find hearing aids that suit your preferences and communication requirements. Discussing your needs with your HIS can influence your decisions in matters of noise reduction, environmental noise control, synchronization between two devices and even directional microphones. Indeed, each situation is unique. Consequently, the most suitable hearing aid solution for you needs to match your individual needs.
In conclusion, your hearing test will identify the amplification volume you require to carry on with your day-to-day tasks. However, it will not give you a direct answer as to which hearing aids are likely to offer the most appropriate support in your lifestyle. Understanding what to expect from ITC, ITE and BTE hearing aids can make a great deal of difference. Additionally, discussing necessary features with your HIS will help to identify the best instruments.