The market for hearing aids is large and expanding all the time as manufacturers create new and innovative technologies to help people with hearing loss. As a result, it’s often hard to know which style of hearing aid to choose or what features you need. Certain styles are better equipped to treat mild or moderate hearing loss, while others may be designed to address severe or profound hearing loss. Additionally, certain features can be used to improve your listening experience.
Hearing instrument specialists can help make the task of choosing the right hearing aid for you much easier, but here are the basics of what you need to know.
Styles of hearing aids
Hearing aids not only come with a host of different technologies but also in a range of what the industry calls “styles” or form-factors.
In the canal (ITC)
ITC hearing aids are the smallest option to hit the market and sit within the ear canal, providing a minimalist, invisible way of amplifying sounds. ITC hearing aids are ideal for people who want to keep their hearing aids out of sight for personal reasons or who are worried about their devices being damaged during sport and other daily activities.
ITC hearing aids are smaller than many other devices, packing a lot of technology into a small space. Because of this, they tend to be some of the most advanced hearing aids on the market. These are recommended for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and can be difficult to handle if you have dexterity issues.
In the ear (ITE)
ITE hearing aids differ from canal varieties because they sit in the outer ear bowl, making some of the device more visible. Their slightly larger size makes them ideal for people who want additional functionality, including telecoils, directional microphones and Bluetooth connectivity.
ITE hearing aids are suitable for individuals with mild-to-moderately severe hearing loss and come with skin-colored earmolds, allowing them to blend in remarkably well.
Behind the ear (BTE)
BTE hearing aids are the classic hearing aid design, featuring a piece that rests in the ear, and a compartment that houses the processor behind the ear. These devices are ideal for anyone with mild-to-profound hearing loss and are easier to handle because of their larger size. This makes changing batteries, cleaning and maintaining the device a much simpler process.
BTE hearing aids can be equipped with numerous features, making them easy to tailor to most individuals’ needs.
Hearing aid features
Hearing aids are not a one-size-fits-all solution, which is why finding the best device for you entails considering the different features you can equip them with. From directional microphones to noise cancelation, there are several options that may be beneficial to you. Your hearing instrument specialist will be able to go over the best features and the ones your specific hearing aid can be equipped with.
One of the most popular features in modern hearing aids is Bluetooth connectivity. This option makes it easy to connect to other technologies in your day-to-day life, including your phone, television, speakers and radio. With Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids, you can make volume adjustments that impact only your devices and not the technology other people in your life may be enjoying, such as the television.
Directional hearing control
If you’re somebody who struggles with directional hearing, consider buying a hearing aid with built-in zoom control – a feature that allows you to home in on particular sounds in your environment. Zoom control is great in situations where you might not be able to directly turn and face the source of the sound that you want to hear.
Do you have hearing loss in both ears? If so, consider choosing hearing aids that list binaural synchronization as a feature. Binaural synchronization helps pairs of hearing aids more faithfully recreate natural sounds, depending on where they are coming from in the environment.
Active people who love the outdoors often struggle to find hearing aids that meet their needs. Wind noise can be a real issue, especially when walking and doing sports. But now manufacturers have begun to include wind-canceling technology on select models, offering those who want to enjoy the outdoors and hear at the same time a new, no-compromise solution.
If you have any particular hearing issues and need to choose a hearing aid, speak to a hearing instrument specialist at Beck Hearing Aid Center. Give us a call today at (888) 618-3778 to discuss which styles and features would be most beneficial to you.