Choosing a Hearing Aid
Hearing loss is a widespread condition affecting approximately 20 percent of the American population.
For many patients, the style of their hearing aid is just as important as the technology. After all, the best features in the world won’t matter if the instrument isn’t comfortable, is too visible or doesn’t match up with their lifestyle. We’ll work closely with you to assure that you are fitted with a device that is perfectly suited for your needs.
All hearing aids are designed for the same purpose: to amplify sounds so that those with hearing loss can hear more clearly. While their function may be the same, their design varies widely. Hearing aids are available in a range of sizes and styles, and many include optional features like wireless connectivity to enhance the user experience. Choosing a hearing aid is an important decision, one that your audiologist can help you with depending on your cosmetic preference, degree of hearing loss, lifestyle needs and other factors.
Hearing aid styles include:
Receiver-in-the-Ear/Open Fit or Over-the-Ear
This style of hearing device is the most popular today due to its inconspicuous nature, comfort and excellent sound quality. For the RITE device, the receiver is built into a soft open dome and placed inside the ear canal with thin electrical wires replacing the acoustic tube of conventional BTEs.
In-The-Ear (ITE), In-The-Canal (ITC) and Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC) hearing devices fit in the bowl of the outer ear (concha) and are custom-fit for the individual. Usually visible when facing another person, ITEs can accommodate larger sound amplifiers and off er more features. Their size makes them easier to handle and allows the use of a longer lasting battery. ITC devices are also custom-made and fill the bottom half of the external ear and CIC hearing device are nearly invisible.
In general, BTEs are more powerful than smaller hearing devices due to the stronger amplifier and larger battery. In BTE devices the electronics sit behind the ear and the sound is directed through a tube into the ear canal. BTEs are also offered in a miniature size.