If you have hearing loss and you’re trying to decide what hearing aid is right for you, then it’s time to get to know your hearing aids, learn about the different types of hearing devices, and discover how they can work for you. Hearing aids have come a long way in the last few years, and a tiny device can make a world of difference. And they just keep getting better!
Types of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids of today are like high-tech mini computers, with a bunch of parts that all work together to simulate natural binaural hearing and give you the best possible sound. There are several types of hearing aids to choose from, and it all depends on your individual hearing needs which device will be the best for you.
Behind-the-Ear: One of the most common hearing aids, and the one you might think of first, is the behind-the-ear (BTE) model. This hearing aid sits behind the ear, with a small clear tube connecting the hearing aid to a small earmold that sits just inside your ear canal. This style is easy to use, and is popular among hearing aid users of all ages. It’s also the most powerful of the hearing aid styles, so is the first choice for those with severe hearing loss.
In-the-Ear: ITE hearing devices sit in the outer ear. They are custom made to fit perfectly inside your outer ear, and can handle the most advanced features since it’s still big enough to house a powerful battery.
In-the-Canal: An in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is custom molded to fit your ear, and is even less visible than an ITE device, since the outer ear is left empty. It’s very small, but still has the features you love, and can be easily inserted and removed.
Completely-in-the-Canal: The CIC model is the smallest hearing aid on the market, and is so tiny it’s nearly invisible. It sits far inside your ear canal, providing the ultimate in discretion. No one will notice your hearing aid, but everyone will notice you’re hearing better.
Digital Hearing Aids
Most of today’s hearing aids are digital hearing aids, since these devices provide the most sophisticated technology that can be programed in many ways. Digital hearing aids transform sounds into code, manipulate it in many ways, then amplify it and send it to the brain. With digital hearing aids, programs and settings can be finely tuned to match your exact level of hearing loss and give you the best possible hearing. If you’re struggling to hear some frequencies, but not others, your settings will account for this. They can also cut back on feedback, reduce background noise, and help you focus on the sounds you want to hear. Not only that, but digital hearing aids are endlessly analyzing the listening environment and automatically switching between setting and programs, for whatever situation you find yourself in. Now that’s smart technology!
How do Hearing Aids Work?
So how does a hearing aid actually work? Hearing aids have several parts that all work together to help you hear. A small microphone picks up on all the sounds happening around you, and sends these sounds to the computer chip so it can run the programs and settings that are calibrated to match your exact level of hearing loss and hearing needs. Along with the computer chip is the amplifier, and this is the part you’re probably thinking of when you think about hearing aids. The amplifier makes the calibrated sounds louder, so you can hear the sounds you were missing, but not be overwhelmed by the sounds you can already hear just fine. Finally, these electrical signals are converted back into sounds, and sent towards your eardrum and on to the brain.
Worried you might not pick the right hearing aid? Don’t panic. At My Hearing Centers we’re here to help. The best hearing aid for you is the one that will work with your individual hearing loss to give you the most help in every situation you find yourself in, from a quiet coffee at home to dinner downtown with friends. At My Hearing Centers, our trained professionals will work with you to determine your level of hearing loss, ask questions about your lifestyle, and help you make an informed decision about the device that’s right for you.