If you have recently learned that your hearing has declined or that you have a disorder that reduces your hearing, hearing aids may be in your near future. Hearing aids are not all created the same. Here is a quick rundown of the five most common hearing aids and how they work.
This guide will help give you an idea of what to expect when you are fitted with hearing aids and it will also give you a little background knowledge on the different styles available to you. Learn more, so that you can have an informed conversation with your doctor about the best option for you.
BTE, or behind the ear, aids are made out of very small plastic cases. The largest part of the case is hidden behind your ear. Clear tubing is used to connect the case to the ear mold that actually goes into your ear canal.
BTE hearing aids are generally worn by children because they are easy to adjust as children grow.
This type of BTE hearing aids is designed for adults. Like BTE hearing aids designed for children, the plastic case that contains the speaker is small and is placed behind the ear. It is connected to the ear with a tube and is held in place with a very small molded tip that is typically made out of soft silicone. The tip almost looks like the end of a pair of small headphones.
This option is generally chosen for aesthetic reasons.
Outside of your ear, receiver-in-canal, or RIC, hearing aids look very similar to adult BTE aids. However, the way they are worn is entirely different. The plastic case that contains the speakers for your hearing aid is actually placed inside of your ear canal. Another difference is that thin wires are used to connect to the molded tip instead of clear tubing.
This style of hearing aid containers everything in one little package that fits inside of your ear. This hearing aid style is often chosen by adults because the hearing aids are very easy to handle and place.
The aid will be visible to others as the majority of the aid fits into the outside part of your ear that you can see. When people think about hearing aids, this is often the type they picture.
Finally, if you want to go as small as possible, there are in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids. There are also completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids. Both of these styles of hearing aids are very tiny; they are as small as you can go in the hearing aid market. They either fit entirely inside of your ear canal or partly inside of it.
The five types of hearing aids discussed above are the most common removable hearing aid options. Use this guide to further your discussion with your doctor about what kind of hearing aids are right for you. For more information, consider contacting a professional like those at the Scarborough hearing aid store.