You finally get up the nerve to visit the hearing aid workplace and make your ears tested. They break the information that you require a hearing aid. Your brain is swimming with visions of having to put on that enormous thing in your ear. How could this have occurred? Why me?! And then they start telling you about each of the different types you may get. All that terminology just goes right on your mind. Don’t they know you! How on earth can you choose if you don’t even understand what they’re talking about!
There are hundreds of different hearing aids. It can be a rather complex world of technological conditions. Sometimes, those of us that work with hearing aids all of the time can forget exactly how foreign they could sound for you. To make things worse, the manufacturers like to call things different names, so that they seem like something different. No wonder there is so much confusion!
I am going to attempt and unravel some of this mystery for you. When you get down to it, there are really only a few terms you want to understand.
- In the Ear (ITE) They fill the bowl of your ear and may have the most power and features out there.
- Half Shell (HS) They can have a great deal of power and attributes, use a bigger battery, but are somewhat more attractive.
- In the Canal (ITC) The next smallest dimension is the habit ITC. Harder to see than the larger hearing aids, but not able to have as much power or as many capabilities.
- Mini Canal (MC) Smaller than the ITC hearing aid, the habit miniature canal uses a smaller battery and contains even less power accessible. Features can also be limited.
- Completely in the Canal (CIC) The CIC is the tiniest habit from the ear hearing aid and popular because of the cosmetic appeal and simplicity of use. There are normally no manual controls on a CIC, phone usage is often better because they are less inclined to whistle. Lack of power is that the main reason people can’t use this fashion, though a little ear canal can save you from having the ability to wear one too.
- Behind the Ear (BTE) This hearing instrument sits on your ear and can be connected to your ear with a tube with an earmold.
- Open Ear (OE) and Receiver at Canal (RIC) This hearing aid is a rather new type of BTE made accessible in the past few years and is much smaller than a traditional BTE. They’re meant primarily for high-frequency hearing loss. It is attached to your ear with a really thin tube or wire with a small earbud on the tip. They are called Open Ear because they leave the ear canal not as obstructed as other styles of hearing aid.
- Directional Microphones – They’re the very best attribute you can have in your hearing aid for hearing in noisy places, like restaurants. (They reduce sounds from behind so that it doesn’t interfere with the noise in front of you) Directional microphones can be automatic; they automatically turn on if the noise level in the space gets too loud. Some are also elastic, so that they may follow sounds, or even reduce the number of different sounds at the same time.
- Noise Reduction – Noise reduction does not really reduce sound, it reduces amplification in the frequencies where there is noise and no speech. If there’s a fan running in the background, the hearing aid won’t amplify it as much since it will speak. When the hearing aid finds both speech and sound at a frequency, you still get. More advanced hearing instruments operate noise better by breaking the frequencies up into smaller bits.
- Memories – There are two types of memories on a hearing aid, automatic and manual. Many hearing aids have a push button that allows you to get different settings (memories) for different situations like quiet places, noisy areas, and music or telephone. The hearing aid beeps once you push the button to allow you to know which memory you’re using. Advanced hearing aids can have automatic memories. Some hearing aids can even have a mixture of both.
- Feedback Cancellation – Most hearing aid wearers experience feedback when they place their hand above their ear or utilize the telephone.
- Bands / Stations – Bands are what we use to correct the quantity in a hearing aid. More bands mean more control once we plan the hearing tool for your hearing loss.
Channels are utilized to correct the part of the hearing aid that keeps the sound from becoming too loud. Channels may also refer to the hearing aid noise reduction system. For noise reduction, more stations are unquestionably better since the hearing aid can split up the sound into smaller pieces and isolate noise from language.
These are the main things you need to understand about your hearing aid. If you really want the best one for you, I recommend you focus on telling your professional what benefits you need from your hearing device. Let them understand what motivates you to provide them a much better idea of how they will be able to help you. Their goal is to help you listen better, and when that happens, everyone wins.
At SoundBenefits, our Audiologists have hand-selected hearing aids which have all the popular features that you expect from innovative devices. You are going to find the same premium technology readily available in high-end clinics, without the markup. You can take an online hearing test right here, visit soundbenefits.com for more information.