Hearing aids are electronic devices worn by people with mild to profound Hearing Loss (Conductive, Mixed and Sensorineural). They use a microphone to detect sounds that are then modulated (altered) and amplified to comfortable levels to help wearers hear better. It’s important to note hearing aids do not restore hearing back to normal. Instead, they provide the wearer with better access to sounds and an improved ability to understand speech.
Making the decision to have hearing aids are only a small part of the hearing loss management journey to have better hearing. Your purchase should be part of an overall therapy program with a qualified hearing health professional, such as an audiologist, who can work with you to help your brain to make sense of the new information being sent by the devices.
Types Of Hearing Aids
There are different styles (types) of hearing aid designs that can be used for the different kinds of hearing loss.
Hearing aids differ by:
technology used to achieve amplification (i.e., analog vs. digital)
Some hearing aids also have earmolds or earpieces to direct the flow of sound into the ear and enhance sound quality. The selection of hearing aids is based on the type and severity of hearing loss, listening needs, and lifestyle.
The diagram here shows the most common hearing aids styles.
Due to technological advances, hearing aids have become more sophisticated. Currently, the latest range have features that allow them to work with other devices and technologies such as smartphones, hearing loops and other technologies like Bluetooth.
TRADITIONAL BEHIND THE EAR HEARING AID
A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an earmold that fits in your ear canal. This type is appropriate for people of all ages and those with almost any type of hearing loss.
HALF SHELL AND CANAL
Canal hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal
COMPLETELY IN THE CANAL
A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit inside your ear canal. it Is the smallest and least visible type
RECEIVER IN THE CANAL
The receiver-in-canal aids (RIC) are similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid with the speaker or receiver in the canal or in the ear
The Micro CIC model is the industry’s smallest ever custom hearing aid that gives full confidence by being virtually invisible.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Hearing Aids
Watch the video below from the University of Queensland’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences to learn more about how hearing aids work and what you can do to make these devices help you hear.