3 Hearing Aid Styles to Consider
When you’re given the option to fit a hearing aid to help you fight your hearing loss, your audiologist is going to help you choose the right kind of device for you. Here, we’re going to look at three of the main varieties of device. There will be lots of different models even within these categories, each with different features, but learning the main differences could help you be a little more informed when it comes time to decide what hearing aid you want.
In the canal
This is one of the two most common varieties of in the ear (or ITE) hearing aids. These hearing aids rest in the lower part of the outer ear bowl. They are the largest variety of in the ear devices, but they can help more people as they are effective for a larger range of hearing loss levels. What’s more, they also tend to have a longer battery life. Their larger size tends to mean that they also have more manual features on the device itself, like directional microphones and a volume wheel. They are more visible than the other in the ear devices, however.
Invisible in the canal and completely in the canal
These are two of the smallest varieties of hearing aid devices available at the moment and, since they share many characteristics in common, we will lump these ITE devices together for the moment. For instance, most devices in both categories tend to only be fit for mild to moderate hearing loss, meaning that if yours is more severe, this may not be a fitting category. They also lack manual controls and are susceptible to earwax and moisture in the ear canal because of their positioning. They are recommended mostly to those with the manual dexterity to be able to take them out and clean them on a regular basis. However, they are both very popular for aesthetic reasons. As the smallest devices, they can be nearly, if not completely, invisible.
Behind the ear
The first style of hearing aid developed, and the largest devices on the market, though they are still getting a lot smaller. These are devices resting behind the ear with most of the components in the case, though you can get devices with receivers that fit in the ear canal. They have the largest range, able to help everyone from those with mild to severe and even profound hearing loss. As they have the largest battery size, they are the easiest to configure and often contain more features than ITE hearing aids. That said, though they are being built smaller and smaller, they are the most visible kind of hearing aid on the market.
Bear in mind that certain choices may be excluded from your own options depending on the level of hearing loss you live with or because you do or do not fit certain criteria. If your audiologist recommends not choosing a particular hearing aid, be aware that it’s because they doubt that device will be very effective for you.