Buying your first pair of hearing aids can be daunting. Maybe you’re worried about how they will look or how much they will actually help you. There are many types of hearing aids out there on the market today which can just add to the confusion. Some have tons of options and settings, while others keep things simple. Each different type of hearing aid can provide you with different features. Choosing the perfect one for you is essential since it will affect your ability to hear.
Which hearing aid type is right for you?
The type of hearing aid that’s right for you will depend on your level of hearing loss, your lifestyle, and preferences, and cosmetic concerns. Hearing aids differ by their position in or on the ear, how they work, and special features. There are three main types of devices:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE)
- In-the-canal (ITC)
- In-the-ear (ITE)
Behind-the-ear hearing aids hook over the tops of your ears and rest just behind the ear, hence the name. A tube then routes the sound down the hearing canal via a custom earmould fitted for your ear. This type of hearing aid is best for people of all ages and degrees of hearing loss. They also come in different colours to match hair or skin tone and you can also opt for flashier designs to fit your style.
In-the-canal hearing aids are the smallest type available. They are composed of a lightweight plastic shell that is placed within the ear canal and they can be removed by tugging on a small pull-out string. They are great for those who want a more discreet look and who have mild to moderate hearing loss. However, their small size might make them harder to use and they are not recommended for profound hearing loss.
ITE hearing aids are also worn in the ear canal and are usually custom fit to your ear. They are slightly larger than ITC aids but can be easier to handle as their parts are contained in a small shell placed behind the ear. They have the advantage of using a telecoil to receive sound through the circuitry of the hearing aid instead of through a microphone, which gives you higher sound quality. ITE aids are best for those with mild to profound hearing loss.
New and Advanced Hearing Aid Technology in 2021
Wireless Bluetooth Streaming
Bluetooth-compatible hearing aids allow you to connect to mobile phones and other devices which use Bluetooth.
High-end hearing devices come with artificial intelligence (AI) which allows your device to store specific settings for different environments and will change accordingly.
Smartphone connectivity makes it easier for you to adjust settings and change programs with your hearing device.
Rechargeable batteries are becoming the norm with hearing devices, so you don’t need to keep swapping out small batteries every few days.
Tinnitus Masking Features
Sophisticated hearing aids come with tinnitus masking features that emit noises to cancel out the tinnitus or ringing in your ears.
Frequency modulation (FM) compatibility is a wireless feature that allows hearing aids to connect with FM systems which improves the signal to noise ratio.
Smaller, Sleeker Designs
As technology advances, hearing devices become smaller and more compact in design without having to sacrifice function for form.
How to Choose the Right Hearing Aid
To choose the right hearing aid for you, start by comparing the available styles. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, and you can discuss the details with your audiologist. Consulting with your audiologist during your hearing exam before purchasing your hearing aids is also very helpful as they can recommend the ideal hearing device for your needs.
Another factor to think about is your lifestyle preferences. Are you very active or do you prefer to relax at home? Different hearing aids contain different features that can help give you advantages with your lifestyle.
Here are some hearing aid benefits you can get for your hearing aids to enhance hearing in certain situations:
- Noise reduction
- Rechargeable batteries
- Wireless batteries
- Directional microphones
You can choose a variation of any of these features to best suit your own needs.
Picking the Right Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are useful devices that can make life easier when it comes to enhancing your hearing and speech perception. All hearing aids can be programmed to fit your specific hearing needs and choosing one according to what you need is essential. The right hearing aid will help improve your hearing so you can carry on, once again, living life to the full.