Hearing aids help people with all types of reduced hearing and impairments. They also have similar parts and accessories: a microphone, an amplifier, a miniature loudspeaker and batteries. A knowledgeable hearing aid provider, like those listed on the DexKnows hearing aid site, can help explain the differences. Here are some choices you will have to make.
There are five common types of hearing aids:
Each type has its benefits and weaknesses.
A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is small and discreet, fitting deep within the ear canal. The Mayo Clinic says that these types of aids are less likely to pick up wind noise and are usually easy to use with the telephone.
Disadvantages include that the smaller batteries don’t last as long. Also, the smaller aids may lack extra features such as volume control.
In-the-canal hearing aids are also discrete. While they can handle a broad range of hearing needs, the Food and Drug Administration cautions that they may be difficult for some people to handle and adjust because of their small size. They may also not be the best choice for smaller ears.
Hearing aid providers fit the in-the-ear hearing aid to fill much of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear. These aids are affordable and easy to use, with features such as volume control that you can adjust. These aids are also easier to put into your ear. A potential downside, if you care, is that such aids more visible than the in-the-canal type.
You hook behind-the-ear hearing aids over the top of your ear, letting them rest behind the ear. These aids connect to an ear mold that sits inside your ear canal.
This type of hearing aid amplifies sound more than others. It can be built to accommodate different ear mold types, which the FDA says makes it a choice often picked for young children. It is also easy to clean and handle. While it is the largest and most visible type, manufacturers are starting to make smaller versions.
An open-fit hearing aid sits behind the ear but is usually smaller than a behind-the-ear hearing aid. A tiny tube connects the aid to the ear canal.
While less visible, its small size means small batteries and less adjustments are possible.
Digital hearing aids turn sound waves into digital signals and adjust the sounds to better fit your needs and hearing loss. Analog hearing aids amplify all sounds but may come with a microchip to choose the settings for different environments, including a quiet library or a noisy concert. It is more likely that you will get a digital hearing aid nowadays because the Mayo Clinic says that most manufacturers aren’t producing analog hearing aids.
A hearing aid provider can discuss the choices with you and repair your hearing aid if needed. Find a quality provider by searching through the DexKnows hearing aid listings.
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