Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hearing Aid
- Lifestyle – What are your activities? How has your life been most affected by your hearing loss? These two questions will help you and your audiologist focus on your key hearing needs and set priorities based on these needs.
- Style – There are four basic styles of hearing aids.
Behind the Ear (BTE) – This style of hearing aid is the image most people bring to mind when they think of hearing aids. This type of hearing aid rests behind the ear. It is attached to the ear by a thin piece of tubing and a clear mold custom shaped to your ear. The type of aid can be more durable than other types and can assist more types of hearing loss than any other instrument.
In the Ear (ITE) – This style of aid is made out of an acrylic shell which is custom designed to the shape of your ear. The shell fits within the outer portion of the ear. Those with limited manual dexterity may find this style of aid preferrable due to the size and easy access to controls. This style of aid is suitable for mild to severe hearing loss.
In the Canal (ITC) -This style of aid is small than the In-the-Ear version. This shell is custom designed to fit the contours of your ear canal. There is only a small portion of the aid visible in the outer ear, so many users find this style more discreet. This style of aid is suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
Completely in the Canal (CIC) -These custom designed aids are barely visible because they fit so deep in the ear canal. A tiny, clear, plastic ball on a plastic line is the only thing visible in the ear – an only if you look very closely. This plastic ball and line help with the placement and removal of the aid in the ear canal. This style of hearing aid is popular because of its smallness but the shape of some people’s ear canals may make this style unsuitable for them. This style of aid can be used for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.