From Traditional to Invisible: The Different Types of Hearing Aids
The world of hearing aid devices has become more interesting over time. While all hearing aids use the same basic process to help you hear better – carrying sounds into your ear and amplifying them – the development of microtechnology has allowed them to evolve into new and discreet styles.
There are three main types of hearing aids today: behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and in-the-canal (ITC). The biggest difference between them is how they are placed in or on the ear, which is clear from the names.
You might think that smaller is always better, but each type of hearing aid has its pros and cons. So, choosing your product with a hearing aid specialist can be particularly helpful, as they’ll account for factors like your hearing loss and lifestyle.
Go Behind-the-Ear With the Iconic Powerhouse
When you think of a hearing aid, most of the time, the image that pops into your head is one of the behind-the-ear (BTE) models. Although these days they are usually sleek and discreet, this type of hearing aid hooks over the outside of your ear, connecting to an earpiece that sits in the ear.
Known for having the best sound amplification, BTE models are the largest hearing aid style on the market. They’re a great choice for a range of people, including those with profound hearing loss. However, BTEs may not be the best choice for those who spend a lot of time outdoors, as they may pick up too much wind noise.
Whether you go bold and chunky or slim and subtle, modern BTE hearing aid size and shape make it ideal for those with dexterity challenges. This aid is usually available with a rechargeable battery, too. So, instead of constantly replacing the battery, you can simply recharge it overnight. For some, it may be worthwhile to have an extra battery so that one can always be charging while the other is in use.
Inside Out: The World of In-the-Ear Hearing Aids
With the development of technology, hearing aids have gotten smaller. Smaller than BTE, in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fit comfortably in the cavity in the middle of the ear. ITE aids are available in “full shell,” which fills the inner ear area. They are also available in “half shell,” which only takes up the bottom half of the inner ear.
Like BTE hearing aids, many ITE hearing aids have directional microphones, which make it easier to hear in a noisy environment. However, it is possible for earwax to clog the speaker, so make sure to keep them clean.
ITE hearing aids are not recommended for children, whose ears are still developing. However, it is a good style for many with moderate to severe hearing loss who are looking for a more discreet option. While not as powerful as the BTE style, many of these hearing aids still include features like volume control. Some even have rechargeable batteries.
Stealth Hearing: The Discreet Power of ITC Solutions
The in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is almost completely invisible from the outside, sitting right inside the ear canal. It must be custom-fitted to your ear canal shape. While these can be worn like regular hearing aids, taken out each day, they can also be worn for months at a time, at the direction of a hearing aid specialist or audiologist. It may be more difficult to adjust without the assistance of a professional due to its size, even those that come with remote controls.
These hearing aids are not recommended for people who struggle with tasks requiring fine motor control, as they will have to pick up, insert, and remove a very small item. Like the ITE variety, these ITC aids are generally not for children. Apart from their still-growing ears, the small size may be easier for them to lose or damage. This type is also vulnerable to earwax clogging. It’s recommended for those with mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
Choose Your Hearing Ally With Help from the Experts
There are many factors that go into the selection of hearing aid devices. The size and shape of your ears can even play a role in determining which style is right for you. You might be looking for additional features, like noise reduction or relief sounds for tinnitus. Many modern hearing aids have telecoils and wireless connectivity or Bluetooth, which not only assist with phone calls – but can also connect to hearing aid accessories that provide a better audio experience when watching television or other smart devices.
For affordable expert-configured hearing devices, look no further than Hearwell Services. We have assessed all the hearing aids on the market today and curated a selection – the best of the best – for you. Our team of hearing specialists will help you identify the right hearing aid device for your specific hearing and lifestyle needs. We’ll help you set it up and fit it perfectly so you can have many years of comfortable hearing.
Get in touch to book a consultation with us today.