Types of Hearing Aids
How Hearing Aids Work
If hair cells in the inner ear die, unfortunately there is no way to bring these back to life. Hearing aids can however, enhance your ability to hear significantly, by altering sound so that it is louder and easier to hear and comprehend.
Hearing aids are designed with a microphone that picks up the sound, an amplifier to improve the loudness of the sound, and a receiver that transmits the sound into the ear canal. In modern digital aids, microphones will transfer sound to a computer chip, which alters the volume and amplifies the sound frequencies required to assist with your hearing.
The ideal hearing aid for you will vary and will be determined based on several considerations, such as the form and severity of your hearing loss, the lifestyle you live, and your manual dexterity. It’s important to note that a hearing aid that one individual may prefer, may not work for another person, even if both have close to the same audiograms; charts that indicate the severity of hearing loss for low-, middle-, and high-pitched sounds.
The majority of hearing aids will never entirely remove background noise, allowing you to hear only one individual or all people talking, but it will improve your hearing as a whole dramatically.
Types of Hearing Aids
Every digital hearing aid is designed with at least one microphone to pick up sound, a computer chip that amplifies and processes sound, a speaker that transmits the signal to your ear and a battery to operate. These pieces are in essence the “makeup” of the hearing aid, and they are factored into many styles of hearing aids. Once you meet and speak to a hearing care expert at Peel Audiology & Hearing Aid Services, they will consider several components and help guide you toward an ideal hearing aid style for your unique needs.
Hearing aids can be categorized into two basic groups: in-the-ear (ITE) styles and behind-the-ear (BTE) styles. Each group also offers several different size hearing styles.
When You Pick Up Your Hearing Aid
It’s important that you request that your audiologist perform a real-ear test, also referred to as a real-ear measure, which includes placing a thin probe in your outer ear while you wear your hearing aid to determine whether your hearing aid is responding properly to your level of hearing loss.
At Peel Audiology & Hearing Aid Services, your audiologist will verify that the aid feels comfortable. You should also be told exactly how to use, clean, and care for your hearing aid. This includes where to keep it safely stored, where to buy batteries for the specific size, and how to prevent squealing or any other unpleasant feedback you may experience. She should also cover the specific details regarding keeping the hearing aid dry at all times, and that it must be removed prior to radiological or other diagnostic testing.
Please remember to freely notify our team of any discomfort or trouble you may be experiencing with your hearing aid. It’s a good idea to practice speaking on the phone while you’re at our office so we can ensure it is functioning as it should be. Any necessary adjustments will be made before you leave, and a scheduled follow-up will be determined to check in with you, confirming that you’re happy with it. If after the fitting you are noticing discomfort, we’ll make the necessary changes for your total satisfaction. Always check that your hearing aid is compatible with your phones; both regular and mobile.
Using Your New Hearing Aid at Home
It is best to carry on with practicing everyday activities using your new hearing aid and remember that it does take some getting used to while wearing a hearing aid. Some sounds may seem far too loud initially, but this is because your brain hasn’t accustomed itself yet, and isn’t used to processing sounds. If you have concerns or questions as to whether your hearing aid is functioning properly, please bring it in to our hearing clinic, and we’ll make any necessary adjustments. If your voice sounds unusual, be sure to schedule an appointment with an expert at Peel Audiology & Hearing Aid Services
Open fit hearing aids are small devices placed behind the ear with a slim tube attached to the device and inserted down the ear canal. They are non-occluding (they do not block your ear). This style is good for people with a high frequency hearing loss or mild to moderate hearing loss. They help you hear better when background noise is present.
BTEs sit comfortably behind your ear while amplified sound passes down a tube to a customized earmold that fits securely into your ear. Because they are larger, BTEs can accommodate bigger batteries for longer life and larger amplifiers for maximum amplification. BTEs are suitable for mild to profound hearing losses.
RITEs sit comfortably behind your ear, while a thin wire is guided into the ear canal. The receiver, or speaker sits at the end of this wire and delivers sound to the eardrum. They are normally non-occluding (they do not block your ear) but these aids can be adapted for mild to severe hearing losses, and can be worn with or without a custom earpiece.
ITEs are custom-made to fit securely in your outer ear, ensuring optimum performance and maximum comfort. ITEs are suitable for mild to severe hearing losses.
ITCs are custom-made to fit almost entirely inside your ear canal, making them difficult to notice. ITCs are suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses.
CICs fit deep inside your ear canal so that they’re practically invisible. Benefits include cosmetic appeal, reduced feedback and excellent sound quality. CICs and IICs are suitable for mild to moderately-severe hearing losses.