Choosing the best hearing aid can be life-changing for those with hearing loss. However, with so many hearing aid product types with the latest advancements available on the market, picking the one that best meets your needs can take time and effort. But one this is for sure: you want something that is comfortable, effective, and doesn’t break the bank.
Not sure where to start? In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to the different hearing aid product types and provide tips on how to select the best one for you, ensuring you find the perfect hearing aid to suit your lifestyle.
Types of Hearing Aids
For better hearing, here are some common types of hearing aids designed to meet different needs:
1. In-The-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
ITE hearing aids are custom-made to fit entirely within the ear canal. They suit people with mild to severe hearing loss and offer easy installation, removal, and management. However, their small size limits their ability to incorporate advanced features, may provide a different level of sound quality, and may need frequent cleaning.
2. Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
BTE hearing aids contain electronic components in a small case behind the ear, connected to the ear canal through a tube. They can assist persons with mild to profound hearing loss and offer ease of use regarding cleaning and charge/recharge capabilities. They are also ideal for children as the design allows them to change the ear mold as the child’s ear grows accordingly.
3. Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
These are similar to BTE hearing aids, with the receiver inside the ear canal. They offer exceptional sound quality and are mostly recommended for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. As the receiver is positioned within the ear, it eliminates sound distortion that sometimes occurs when amplified in the ear canal.
4. Completely-In-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
CIC hearing aids are custom-made to fit entirely within the ear canal, making them almost invisible when in use. Suitable for people with mild to moderate levels of hearing loss, they reduce wind noise and feedback. However, their small size limits their battery life, and they may be prone to earwax buildup, which affects sound quality.
5. In-The-Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
ITC hearing aids suit people with moderate to mild hearing loss; they are less discreet than CIC hearing aids. Their larger size allows them to incorporate multiple features such as directional microphones, volume control, and more robust batteries.
6. Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) Hearing Aids
IIC hearing aids are made to fit deep within the ear canal, making them almost invisible. They are ideal for mild to moderate hearing loss, offer excellent sound quality, and are the most discreet hearing aids. However, their small size affects battery life, making them unsuitable for more extended periods of use.
Tips on Choosing the Right Hearing Aid Product
The following are tips to help you choose the perfect hearing aid:
- Get Your Hearing Tested. Before selecting a hearing aid, it’s crucial to have your hearing evaluated by a professional. Your audiologist will assess your hearing and recommend the type of hearing aid device that best suits your needs. See this healthcare practice located in St. John’s for more information.
- Consider Your Lifestyle. Think about your lifestyle and daily activities as you choose a hearing aid. Do you regularly engage in activities that expose you to noise? Do you lead an active life requiring more rugged construction for your hearing aid? These factors will help you choose a hearing aid that suits your needs.
- Choose the Right Style. Different hearing aid styles exist, including in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, receiver-in-canal, completely-in-canal, invisible-in-canal, and in-the-canal. Each style has its pros and cons. Consider your level of hearing loss and your desired level of discretion before making a final decision.
- Look for Advanced Features. Consider advanced features such as noise reduction, directionality, and Bluetooth connectivity as you shop for a hearing aid. These features can enhance your hearing experience and improve your quality of life.
- Consider the Cost. Hearing aids can be costly, so you must choose something that fits your budget without sacrificing quality and performance. Check if your health insurance covers hearing aids; if not, explore available financial options.
- Try Before You Buy. Try on different hearing aid styles and brands before making a purchase. Most companies provide a trial period allowing you to assess the hearing aid in various environments before committing.
- Seek the Help of a Professional. Hearing specialists are trained to help you select the best hearing aid. They can guide and answer any questions you may have to ensure you pick the perfect hearing solution.