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Which Hearing Aids are Right for Me?
In the last decade, hearing aids have undergone a revolution, like other small electronic devices. These days, hearing aids are equipped with sophisticated, technologically advanced features to improve your hearing. While hearing aids will not restore your hearing completely, they are powerful enough to provide you with access to a large spectrum of sound and to keep you connected to the people and things you love. With so many options, where does one begin?
Here at Hearing Aid Associates, we are committed to providing you with the best hearing aid for your needs. We’ve put together a short guide to choosing the right hearing aid.
Hearing Aid Basics
Though hearing aids come in many styles with many different features, they all share fundamental components.
Hearing aids are used to amplify sounds that you may not otherwise hear, depending on your hearing abilities. All hearing aids consist of the following components: microphone, microchip, amplifier, battery, and receiver.
Microphones pick up sounds in your environment. The processing microchip translates these sounds into clear digital signals, which are amplified and received by your ear. A battery powers the entire device. Depending on the hearing aid style, these parts will fit differently on your ear.
Hearing Aid Styles
Hearing aids come in many shapes and sizes, differing in the features they offer and how they are worn. Depending on your degree of hearing loss and your preferences, we are certain there is one that is just right for you.
Completely-in-canal (CIC) and In-the-canal (ITC)
CIC and ITC hearing aids are made of a customized mold and are worn inside your ear canal (CIC) or partially in your ear canal (ITC). These two styles are discreet and not visible. Unlike hearing aids worn outside the ear, it is less likely to pick up wind noise. They are convenient for people who wear glasses. However, they may not be easily accessible for people who experience dexterity issues due to conditions such as arthritis. Because they are so small, it may be difficult to adjust the volume or change the batteries. CIC and ITC hearing aids generally treat mild to moderate hearing loss.
ITE hearing aids come in two styles: full shell and half shell. ITE hearing aids sit on the surface of your ear, and treat a range of hearing loss from mild to severe. Unlike smaller hearing aids, ITE hearing aid controls are easier to access, and they typically come with more features. Though they are visible, they do offer a longer battery life.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) and Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
Both BTE and RIC hearing aids have components that hook over the ear and sits behind the ear. In the case of BTE hearing aids, a small, nearly invisible tube connects to an earmold that sits inside the ear canal. Similarly, RIC hearing aids have a small wire that connects to the receiver that sits inside your ear canal. Both BTE and RIC hearing aids treat almost every degree of hearing loss, and are recommended for all ages (especially children, as they can be easily adjusted as children grow).
What Are Your Priorities?
Hearing aids are customizable to meet your specific hearing needs and should seamlessly fit into your life. As you are determining what you want out of your hearing aid, consider your lifestyle and your priorities. Are you active and spend a lot of time outdoors? Do you spend a lot of time around the house? Will your hearing aids be compatible with your line of work? Do you require water resistance? Do you prefer rechargeable batteries?
Most hearing aids offer features such as noise reduction, directional microphones, rechargeable batteries, telecoils (to connect to induction loops), wireless connectivity (to connect to your smartphones, allowing you to stream phone calls, music, and other media), environmental noise control, wind reduction, feedback cancellation, and water resistance.
At Hearing Aid Associates, we are excited to work with you to find the best fit. Visit us today to learn more about your hearing aid options.
Hear all that life has to offer. Visit Hearing Aids Associates at one of our locations for a consultation.