If you are thinking about buying a hearing aid, it can be very overwhelming. There are so many options and things that you do not know. To help ease your mind, this article is aimed towards teaching you:

Please remember that buying a hearing aid does not fix your hearing. A Hearing Aid is designed to increase the volume of sounds that you have trouble hearing.

How Hearing Aids Work

Most hearing aids use the same parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and amplify them. A microphone transmits sound to a computer chip in the hearing aid. After that, the computer chip turns the sounds into numbers. Lastly, the numbers are converted into the sounds in your ear.

Most hearing aids are digital, and all are powered by a hearing aid battery.

Hearing Aid Types

Hearing aids come in various shapes and sizes for a range of prices. Each hearing aid has its own benefits. While the larger ones are very noticeable, they are stronger than their smaller counterparts.

COMPLETELY-IN-CANAL (Mini CIC)

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

A CIC hearing aid is:

  • Small/ Barely Visible
  • Less likely to pick up the wind
  • Tiny batteries
  • Does not have any extra feature
  • Is susceptible to area clogging speakers

 In The Canal (ITC)

An ITC hearing aid is usually custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. This style can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults. Features of an ITC hearing aid are:

  • Less visible than larger aids
  • More features than Mini CIC
  • Is susceptible to area clogging speaker

In the ear (ITE)

An ITE hearing aid can be found in two styles — one that fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear (full shell) and one that fills only the lower part (half shell). These are helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss.

An ITE hearing aid:

  • More features
  • Easier to handle
  • Larger battery
  • Susceptible to earwax clogging speaker
  • More wind noise
  • More Visible

Behind the ear (BTE)

A (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to an ear mold that fits in your ear canal. This type fits in all hearing loss and ages. Features of the BTE hearing aid are as follows:

  • Usually the largest type
  • More Amplification
  • More Wind Noise

Receiver in Canal (RIC) or Receiver in the Ear (RITE)

These styles are similar to (BTE) hearing aids. The difference is a tiny wire connects the pieces instead of a tube. These types of hearing aids:

  • Have a less visible behind-the-ear portion
  • Susceptible to earwax clogging speaker

Open Fit

An open-fit hearing aid is a variation of the (BTE) hearing aid with a thin tube. This keeps the ear canal very open and allows lower frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally, and higher frequency sounds to be amplified through the hearing aid. Features of an open-fit hearing aid include:

  • Less visible
  • Doesn’t plug the ear
  • Harder to handle` and adjust