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What Style of Hearing Aid Should I Wear?

a hearing loss patient is picking out new hearing aids

Hearing aids are the most reliable and widely used solution when it comes to the treatment of hearing loss. With the help of your audiologist, a professional who can bring real expertise in the field of hearing aids, you can choose the hearing aid best suited to your level of hearing loss, your lifestyle and all of your needs.

At Physicians Hearing Center, we have helped people of all ages and needs choose the right devices to meet their needs. With both comprehensive hearing tests and finding out the right information about a client, we can narrow the options down considerably for you. 

Getting to know styles of hearing aids

You may be aware of some of the different varieties that hearing aids can come in, how they change in size, fit, price and different features. While some devices suit an individual better than others, it helps us narrow down the choices to understand the different styles first. Your level of hearing loss may dictate which type best suits your needs, though each style also offers a wide variety, which we can help you select from.

Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids

The largest hearing aids on the market, BTE devices can help with all severities of hearing loss and for users of all ages. The device itself rests behind the outer ear, hooking over the top of it with a tube that connects it to a custom earpiece that is designed to rest in the canal. Given the size and placement, it’s often considered the least discreet option. However, the size also means they tend to have more accessible manual controls, which can make it a better fit for particularly young or old users, as well as those with any issues affecting manual dexterity. They tend to offer the best noise amplification ranges, too.

In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids

ITE devices typically come in two varieties: full shell devices that fill the outer ear and half-shell devices that fill the bottom half. These devices typically work best for people with mild to severe hearing loss and while they might still have some manual controls, they don’t have as much room for them as BTE hearing aids. They have a slightly larger size and longer battery life than ITC hearing aids but may not be as suited to people with manual dexterity issues.

In the Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids

The smallest of the three styles, these devices have to be small to rest in the opening of the ear canal. As such, they typically do not have much in the ay of manual controls, but they are more discreet. While the technology is fast improving, ITC devices tend to not have as much amplification power as the other devices, meaning they’re mostly used for mild to moderate hearing loss.

Your choice of features matters, too

Regardless of the style, there are many different kinds of hearing aids, which can be differentiated in part by the features they offer. Your audiologist can help you select the right device for you based partly on these features:

  • Noise reduction: All hearing aids can be programmed to reduce some noise frequencies to make others more audible. However, special technology to target certain sounds, such as wind reduction features, are also available. 
  • Directional microphones: These microphones can be pointed forward to make sure that extra amplification is given to sources of noise that are directly in front of you. This can help you better listen during conversations, for instance.
  • Telecoils: Many devices can connect to telecoil loops, in telephones, banks, theaters and the like, with induction loop systems that transmit sounds directly to the device rather than from the environment.
  • Wireless connectivity: Bluetooth connectivity is becoming a more common feature, allowing you to use your smartphone, smart TV, laptop and other digital devices with your hearing aid.

Partner up with your local audiologist

Understanding the different options when it comes to your hearing aids, including the styles that come in, is all well and good. However, to make sure that you’re choosing the very best hearing aids suited to your needs, it’s a good idea to partner up with an audiologist who understands hearing loss and the range of devices on the market and can help you find the solution that you need. To learn more about how we can help and get started on the journey to a better quality of life through the right hearing aids, get in touch with Physicians Hearing Center by calling 334-673-7399.