If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss and your hearing instrument specialist (HIS) recommended hearing aids as the best treatment, you may be unsure of what happens next. Will the HIS simply tell you which ones are the best on the market and you’ll be on your way? Or will you simply tell your HIS which device you like and then make the investment? Luckily, your HIS will go over all the important information regarding which device is best for your specific needs.
Settling on one hearing aid over another can feel pretty difficult, as each has so much to offer! It’s highly unlikely that you have the time on your hands to read through the description and benefits of every single hearing aid out there, so the key to success is settling on major determining factors to whittle down your options and then browsing your options from there. One major factor that sets many aids apart from one another is hearing aid style. Here are just a few common styles that you might want to choose from to get your journey towards improving auditory health started on the right foot.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
Perhaps the most common form of hearing aid is the BTE variety. They are a popular choice among children and adults because they are easy to handle and sit on the outside of the ear, offering a more open feel. They are the type of hearing aids that people will generally see and automatically be able to identify as a hearing aid. They rest behind the wearer’s ear and are pretty visible – though, many devices will be issued in a nude tone similar to that of your skin for a little more discretion. These types of hearing aids tend to transmit sound to you in one of three ways.
- Some options will have an earmold that fits inside your ear and sound will be transmitted through a piece of clear and flexible tubing connected to this.
- If you have an “open-ear fitting” BTE aid, you will have a small soft tip (referred to as a dome) that sits inside your ear canal. The sound will be transmitted to this through a very thin, clear, and flexible tube. This type of fitting tends to provide you with more natural sound, as it blocks your ear canal less than an ear mold.
Remember that not all devices are suitable for everyone. This is why it’s important to talk with your hearing instrument specialist about the hearing aid most suitable to your different hearing loss, lifestyle and budget needs.
In-the-ear (ITE) devices
Another common hearing aid style is the ITE device that sits in the outer bowl of your ear. Rather than resting behind your ear, these aids sit in the ear but are not quite as deeply fitted as in-the-canal varieties. Of course, we all have different sized ears, so they come in different sizes to accommodate individual needs, including half and full shell models. Seeing as these aids are housed in the ear, they are better suited to individuals who can use smaller controls. They might not be suitable for individuals with severe hearing loss or individuals who have unusually small ear canals.
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids
As the name suggests, ITC hearing aids fit even further in your ear than in the ear, sitting in the canal. Unless someone looks closely at your ear, they’re unlikely to notice that you’re even wearing a hearing aid. These devices offer the most privacy out of the options, but it can be difficult to handle due to their small size.
Choosing the right option for you
Having a little more insight into the different styles of hearing aids may have already given you a better idea of what type of device you should be looking for. But if you are still struggling to make a decision, you might want to reach out to a hearing instrument specialist. This individual will be able to talk to you during a consultation and apply their specialist knowledge to your individual circumstances and preferences to come to a professionally informed conclusion regarding what’s best for you!
Of course, this is all a lot of information to take in. So, if you’re still feeling a little lost or would like to find out more, feel free to contact the Beck Hearing Aid Center at (888) 618-3778 They will be able to answer any questions that you may have regarding different hearing aid styles.