How to choose a Hearing Aid
Some things to consider when looking at hearing aids include:
How and where you spend most of your time will greatly affect your hearing aid choice. We’ll want to understand more about your activities when we discuss your options.
Types and Styles
Hearing aids are available in several different styles including:
ITE (In the Ear):
The ITE hearing aids are typically made from an impression made at your audiologist’s office, are custom-fit to your ear and usually available in a range of skin tones to match your own.
ITE Hearing Aid Styles:
- IIC (Invisible in the Canal) and CIC (Completely in the Canal): These styles are the smallest available, fit deep within the ear canal, and are typically fit for people with mild to moderate hearing loss, who have excellent finger dexterity (to replace the batteries on this tiny instrument).
- ITC (In the Canal): This hearing aid style sets in the bottom of the outer ear bowl. It has longer battery life due to the larger size, and can fit a wider range of hearing losses than the IIC or CIC hearing aids. Volume wheels and directional microphones are also some available features.
- Low Profile: These hearing aids are available in a range of designs, from half-shells that fill the about half of the outer ear bowl to models that nearly fill the bowl. Their size allows for added features, like directional microphones and manual controls, which make them a good choice for clients with dexterity issues, as well as those with severe or profound hearing loss.
BTE (Behind the Ear):
The BTE hearing aids perch atop or behind the outer ear and feature a tube that delivers sound down into the opening of the ear canal. These are also custom fit via a cast taken in our office, and are available in a variety of flesh tones or trendy, patterned designs.
BTE Hearing Aid Styles:
- RITE (Receiver in the Ear) or RIC (Receiver in the Canal): These hearing aid styles feature a speaker built into the ear tip, rather than the main body of the device. The hearing aid’s speaker sets in the ear canal while the microphone and processor rest in a small case behind the outer ear. This style is typically recommended for those who have high frequency hearing loss.
- BTE with Earmold: These hearing aids are appropriate for all types of hearing loss, from mild to profound, and the custom-fit earmold can be ordered in a range of colors and styles. The longer shape fits the contour of the area behind the ear, and is able to offer more features and controls, with increased power. It is a good option for people with dexterity issues or those who are homebound; these styles are less prone to damage and the size makes them easier to repair. This is also a great choice for children, because it can be reprogrammed as necessary and the earmold can be changed out as the child grows.
Hear. Better. Now.
We encourage you to stop in and visit with us to become more familiar with current hearing aid technology, type and style options. Contact Sioux Falls Audiology for more information on how to choose a hearing aid or to make an appointment for a hearing test.