Hearing Aid Guide
Currently, the market is flooded with a plethora of choices when it comes to hearing aids.
This is exciting because it means there is something for everyone, however, it can also be overwhelming. We are here to help you navigate the many choices in options available today. Refer to this helpful hearing aid guide to understand some of the basics of hearing aids. When reading through, please remember that it is important for us to work together to ensure a successful fitting We are here to answer all of your questions and help you come to the best decision.
Hearing Aid Manufacturers
We are proud to partner with some of the top hearing aid manufacturers on the planet. We provide our patients with hearing aids from the following top-tier brands: Oticon, Starkey, ReSound and Phonak.
Hearing Aid Styles
Styles of hearing aids refer to how the aids sit into or onto your ear. Most manufacturers create hearing aid “series” or “families”. This simply means that the manufacturer has included the same features and technology into a few different hearing aid styles. It is important to note that not all hearing aid styles are suitable for all degrees and types of hearing loss.
Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
Behind-the-ear or BTE hearing aids are the most “traditionally shaped” hearing aids. BTE aids house most of their technology in an apparatus that sits behind one’s outer ear. A plastic tubing runs from this apparatus to a microphone that sits just within your ear canal. BTE hearing aids are typically suitable for all degrees of hearing loss (mild to severe/profound).
Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
Receiver-in-canal or RIC hearing aids are very similar to BTE styles in look and shape. The main difference is that instead of a plastic tubing, a thin wire connects the piece that sits behind the ear to the microphone in the ear canal. Some RIC hearing aids are suitable for all degrees of hearing loss, however, most are best suited to those with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
In-The-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
In-the-ear or ITE hearing aids are custom molded to fit within the bowl of the ear. A small portion of the aid will sit tucked within the ear canal. These hearing aids are typically suitable for all degrees of hearing loss (mild to severe/profound).
In-The-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
In-the-canal or ITC hearing aids are also custom molded to fit the unique shape of your ear. The main difference is that these hearing aids fit within the ear canal, rather than in the bowl of the ear, thus making them a bit more discreet than their ITE counterparts. ITC hearing aids are typically most suited to those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Completely-in-Canal (CIC) and Invisible-in-Canal (IIC) Hearing Aids
These two types of hearing aids are placed together because they are so similar. Both completely-in-canal (CIC) and invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids fit completely within the ear canal. These devices are the smallest and most discreet option available. They are custom molded and are typically inserted and removed with a tiny, transparent handle. These hearing aids are best suited for this with mild or moderately-severe hearing loss.
Hearing Aid Technology
Today’s hearing aids are sleek and discreet, however, this does not mean they are lacking in terms of technology! While each hearing aid is unique, one can expect their modern hearing aids to include most of the following technology:
Speech Recognition Technology
Understanding speech and holding conversations is one of the most important things we do as humans. Because of this, most manufacturers have developed their own speech recognition technology. This technology is able to instantly recognize speech and decipher it from background or distracting noises. The hearing aids will then amplify the speech and lower the volume on the background noise to help you hold conversations with ease.
Feedback Reduction Technology
Although grandpa’s hearing aids may have produced screeching feedback noises, this has largely been eliminated in today’s hearing aids. Most manufacturers have implemented powerful features that reduce feedback and the annoying screeching that comes with it.
In today’s world, we are very connected, and if you’re into this, your hearing aids should be no different. Most hearing aids of today are able to connect with your smartphone, TV, or car via Bluetooth or wireless capabilities.