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What are the different types of hearing aids?

To help you decide which type of hearing aid is the best for your needs, here are four types of hearing aids and their benefits and cons. 

hearing aid in-ear
Image: Unsplash

Almost 50 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. If you’ve noticed that your hearing is getting worse, you might benefit from a hearing aid.

Hearing aids are amazing devices to help seniors living at home alone. They can significantly improve the quality of life, and they are suitable for most older adults. 

You may need a specific type of hearing aid based on your unique needs. Although they won’t restore your hearing fully, they can help to improve your ability to hear and enable you to live a high quality of life.

Different types of hearing aids

hand passing a hear aid to another
Image: Unsplash

As scary as it can be to start losing your hearing, plenty of hearing aids are available to make things easier.

These small electronic devices help to magnify sound vibrations as they enter the ear, enabling you to hear more clearly.

To help you decide which type of hearing aid is the best for your needs, here are four types of hearing aids and their benefits and cons. 

In the canal (ITC)

In the canal (ITC) hearing aids mold perfectly into the shape of the ear canal to improve hearing in older adults. They are less visible than other types of hearing aids and are more customizable.

However, ITC hearing aids are smaller and more difficult to adjust or remove. They’re also susceptible to getting clogged with earwax.

They’re suitable for those with moderate to severe hearing loss but are ineffective for profound hearing loss.

In the ear (ITE)

older man wearing a hearing aid side view
Image: Unsplash

In the ear (ITE) hearing aids can take two forms. The first fills most of the outer ear, and the second fill just the lower part of the ear.

Both forms are great for individuals with mild to severe hearing loss, and they can be attached to a directional microphone to further magnify sound waves.

The microphone makes it easier to speak to others in person or over the phone.

The downsides of ITE hearing aids are that they’re not suitable for those with profound hearing loss, and you might have issues with feedback due to the microphone attachment.

Behind the ear (BTE)

Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids hook over the top of the ear. A clear tube connects the outer portion of the hearing aid to the inner earpiece that sits in the ear canal.

BTE hearing aids are appropriate for most people and are easy to use, clean, and adjust. They have long battery life and are unlikely to experience feedback issues.

However, BTE hearing aids are bulky and more visible than other options.

Receiver in canal (RIC)

A receiver in canal (RIC) hearing aid has a small receiver that sits inside the ear canal. It’s a great option if you have mild to moderate hearing loss and provide a clear and natural sound.

The main issue with a RIC hearing aid is that the receiver is prone to wax or moisture build-up because it is placed inside the ear canal. This type of hearing aid isn’t suitable if you have profound hearing loss.

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