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What Style of Hearing Aid I Should Wear?

a hearing loss patient selecting brand new hearing aids

Are you currently having trouble with your hearing? When you realize that you are turning the volume up on devices and asking people to repeat themselves, it's time to book an appointment with an audiologist to get your hearing checked. Once you have had your ears thoroughly examined, your audiologist will be able to tell you whether you need hearing aids.

It can be overwhelming to hear that you need them, especially if you have been healthy for a long time. Some people find it hard to accept that they need hearing aids, but it can help to learn about the various styles of hearing aids so that you can be aware that you don't have to have visible ones if you don't want to.

That's the thing – your hearing aid choices are huge. Hearing aids come in four primary styles and most people think of the behind the ear (BTE), when they consider getting them. Those are not the only option, and it may help you to choose the style of hearing aids that will boost your confidence overall. There are three other types of hearing aids besides the BTE options, and these include:

  • Completely in the canal (CIC)
  • In the canal (ITC)
  • In the ear (ITE)

People often choose their hearing aid style based on vanity, but the decision as to which hearing aids are best for you depends on a lot of factors. Speaking to your audiologist is the first call here, as they will be able to help you to choose which hearing aids are right for you based on the following things:

Physical factors

The shape of your ear – both inside and outside – matters when it comes to hearing aids. Some of the physical factors that determine the hearing aids you could wear include the following:

  • Shape: If the outside of your ears are deformed, you may not be able to wear hearing aids that sit behind the ears. Your audiologist will be able to point out whether BTE hearing aids are right for you.
  • Depth: The concha in your ear – or the depression near the ear canal – may not be deep enough for you to have certain ITE models of hearing aids.
  • Canal: The ear canal shape and size differs for everyone. Some people have ear canals that are narrow or shaped differently, and in these cases hearing aids that are either ITC or CIC may not sit properly in the ear.
  • Dexterity: Are you able to remove your own hearing aid to clean it and change the battery? If your hearing aids are in the ear, you may find it difficult to remove compared to those behind the ear options. Your ability to remove your own hearing aid really does matter!
  • Wax: There are some people out there who can't wear hearing aids in the ear or in the canal because large amounts of earwax can lead to moist ear canals that can't hold the hearing aid. There's also no adequate ventilation with the ITE or ITC hearing aids, so it won't be appropriate.
  • Ear care: Some people who need to drain their ears or have other medical problems in their ears may not be able to safely wear any hearing aids that block the ear canal completely. You need ventilation round the hearing aids inside the ears, so in these cases, BTE hearing aids will be better. They have large vents on the outside to allow air to pass through and the earmolds will hang onto the ears easily, too.

Hearing factors

As well as the physical factors for hearing aids, you must consider the style of hearing aid compared to your actual ability to hear. An appointment with your audiologist will be great here, as you can go through all the things that matter for your own hearing abilities. Here are some of the hearing factors that matter:

  • Audiogram: The shape that your hearing test takes will determine the type of hearing aids that will work for you. Those with certain hearing loss levels won't be able to have certain frequencies in their ears. Hearing loss can affect whether you choose a hearing aid system that doesn't block the ear canal.
  • Hearing loss: How severe is your hearing loss? Ask your audiologist! Profound hearing losses are better supported with behind-the-ear hearing aids.
  • Features: If you require directional microphones or multiple microphones – or even the use of a telecoil – you need to ask your audiologist which hearing aids would work for you in this case.
  • Feedback: Behind-the-ear hearing aids offer better advantages over ITC or ITE options when it comes to feedback over the microphone.

Contact us today

To go over the pros and cons of hearing aid styles with your audiologist, book your appointment today with Beck Hearing Aid Centre on 519-438-0492.


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