Been facing hearing difficulty ? Think it is time to get a hearing aid? It may be a good idea to investigate the problem by visiting an otolaryngologist (a physician specializing in ear, nose, and throat disorders).
If they conclude you need hearing aids, you will be referred to an audiologist, a hearing health professional, to help identify and assess the degree and type of hearing loss and the type of hearing aid you need.
Here are the three types of hearing aids that you may get depending on your needs:
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of hard plastic cases that are worn behind the ear, connected to an earmold that fits inside the outer ear. The main hearing aid machine sits in the case behind the ear. The sound gets captured there and travels through the earmold, into the ear. The behind-the-ear hearing aid is more suited for people of all ages who suffer from mild to serious hearing loss.
Recent technological developments have helped design a new open-fit BTE hearing aid. This compact device fits behind the ear completely and only has a narrow tube going into the ear canal, making it more comfortable. This new design is perfect for patients who face a lot of earwax buildup. Some people may prefer this over the traditional behind-the-ear aid since it does not make voices and sounds seem “plugged up.”
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are designed to fit inside the outer ear completely and can be used by people suffering from mild to severe hearing loss. The electronic device sits in a hard plastic case, keeping it safe and protected. Certain in-the-ear aids may come with added features such as a telecoil. This small magnetic coil allows the users to receive sound via the circuitry of the hearing aid instead of the microphone. This makes it easier to hear telephonic conversations. It also helps people hear better in public facilities like churches, airports, or schools that have special sound systems called induction loop systems. These are usually worn by younger children.
Canal aids come in two styles- the in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid that fits the exact shape and size of the person’s ear canal and the completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aid that gets hidden in the ear canal. Both of these canal hearing aids can be used for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.