Types of Hearing Aid Styles
Photo by Jonas Bergsten
Hearing aid technology has come a long way. Relentlessly continuous innovations by manufacturers means better, more effective hearing devices. If you purchased hearing aids three to five years ago, you’re probably wearing old technology.
Newer hearing aids offer better true to life sound quality with advanced features no one thought would ever be possible 20 years ago.
Hearing aids now come equipped with Bluetooth, which allows users to have calls, and music from their smartphones or Television stream directly through their hearing devices. Most hearing aids on the market today are digital. There are also waterproof, rechargeable and completely invisible hearing aid models.
Some hearing aids can also be worn to help manage tinnitus.
Hearing devices range from basic to advanced. More sophisticated technology equals more available features for your hearing aids.
Features and benefits of hearing aids include:
- Automatic sound processing
- Speech and background noise management
- Multiple listening programs
- Directional microphone
- Feedback management
- Environmental sensing
Based on your level of hearing loss, lifestyle and budget, you will be prescribed a hearing aid and style that your hearing healthcare practitioner feels best suits your needs.
Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) hearing aid
CIC hearing aids fit deep inside your ear canal, making them almost invisible and discreet. Phonak’s Lyric hearing aid is a completely Invisible-in-the-canal model that can be worn for several months at a time or up to 120 days. CICs are suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing losses.
In-the-Canal (ITC) hearing aid
These hearing aids fit almost entirely in the ear canal. They are also a discreet hearing aid option. ITCs are suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing losses.
In-the-Ear (ITE) hearing aid
The In-the-Ear hearing aid style is a custom fitted device. ITEs fit securely in your outer ear and are suitable for mild to severe hearing losses.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aid
BTEs fit comfortably behind your ear. Amplified sounds are passed through a tube to a custom fitted ear mould. They are generally bigger, so they have bigger amplifiers and can accommodate larger batteries for longer power. Behind-the-Ear hearing aids are suitable for mild to profound hearing losses.
Open Fit hearing aid
Open fit hearing aids fit behind you ear like BTEs. They are connected to a narrow, almost invisible tube, which is connected to a bud that fits discreetly in your ear canal. Open Fit hearing aids are less noticeable than traditional BTE hearing devices. They have become the most popular style of hearing aids.