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Understanding Hearing Aid Options
For most people, being told that they are suffering from hearing loss is the start of a learning process. While this news may be surprising or even upsetting, it can be managed, and the most common method for this management is a hearing aid.
The confusing world of hearing aids
However, the world of hearing aids is rather confusing to those encountering it for the first time. It’s a world full of terminology you have never heard before and abbreviations you’re unfamiliar with. This can leave some people feeling isolated and unsure of how to make the correct purchase for their needs.
To try and address this problem, we’ve put together a basic starter guide to key hearing aid options. Below, we’ll explain the fundamentals you need to know about the most common hearing aid options. This way, you can feel confident about finding a device that will suit you and your lifestyle.
Understanding different styles of hearing aids
Hearing aids come in a variety of different styles, all of which have individual pros and cons that you’ll want to consider. Here’s a brief introduction to each of the styles, and who they may be suitable for.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE). BTE hearing aids are arguably the most common and most recognized of hearing aids. While one of the most visible devices, BTE hearing aids are a good choice for most levels of hearing loss and remain one of the most popular choices .
- In-the-ear (ITE). ITE hearing aids are slightly more discreet than BTE options, as they are molded so they sit across the entrance to the ear. Most ITE hearing aids are custom-created for the user to ensure a comfortable fit and are suitable for most levels of hearing loss.
- In-the-canal (ITC). ITC hearing aids are similar to ITE options. The portion of the device that is visible in the ear canal is, however, smaller than with ITE options. As a result, this choice is very discreet, though it may not be suitable for more severe levels of hearing loss.
- Completely-in-canal (CIC). One of the most discreet options currently available, CIC devices are unlikely to be noticed by other people. However, this choice is only suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Understanding the different functions of hearing aids
For the uninitiated, it’s easy to assume that all hearing aids are primarily identical: they amplify sound, and that’s about it. However, this belief isn’t quite accurate. While hearing aids do amplify sound as a primary function, the way they achieve this and the additional functions they offer varies. Additional functionality options include:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- The ability to change the programs or adjust settings remotely
- Noise reduction
- Tinnitus dampening
- Feedback suppression
When selecting your hearing aid, it’s well worth considering these functions, as they can make a real difference to your life with a new hearing aid. Your audiologist should be happy to help walk you through the different functions available and see what might work best for you.
While the world of hearing aids may seem complex at first glance, the above is useful information that should help you get acquainted. And remember: if you are confused at any point during the process of selecting your hearing aid, talk to your audiologist. They will be more than happy to provide the guidance you require.