Best hearing aid models and types
If you have been told you need a hearing aid or are considering getting one for the first time, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the range of different types available. The right hearing aid for you will depend on a number of factors, including how severe your hearing loss is, how concerned you are about the look of the aid, and your everyday lifestyle.
ITE AND BTE
There are several different aids on the market, but there are two main types. These are known as the In The Ear (ITE) and Behind The Ear (BTE).
ITE aids fit inside the ear canal and are custom-made by using an impression mold that is made by a hearing professional. The color of the aid will be matched to your skin tone to make sure it is as discreet as possible. Some ITE aids are worn deep into the ear canal, while others are worn closer to the surface of the ear.
BTE aids are fitted either behind or on top of the ear and have tubing that feeds down the ear canal. These are also available to match skin tone, and there are aids available in bold designs if the wearer wishes to have a more personalized aid.
Both ITE and BTE aids require power, either via batteries that will need replacing, such as the Rayovac Pro range of batteries, which includes these Premium Hearing Aid Batteries, or via rechargeable batteries which are becoming much more readily available.
IIC and CIC Aids
The Invisible In the Canal (IIC) and the Completely in the Canal (CIC) style of hearing aid are the most discreet aids available. The IIC fits deep within the ear canal and needs to be removed via a small string, while the CIC aids are only just visible. These styles of aids are best suited for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
They do come with a few disadvantages, however. For example, they can get damaged by moisture and ear wax, and some wearers have reported connection issues when using wireless devices, such as a smartphone. Anyone who wears these types of hearing aids should consider investing in some aid care accessories, such as drying capsules. The Innerscope Hearing Aid Drying Capsules help to remove sweat and moisture from hearing aids and other listening devices quickly and effectively. The Innerscope Hearing Aid Cleaning Spray dissolves ear wax, which can affect the performance of the aids, while helping to prevent damage. Alternatively, the Innerscope Cleaning Wipes are simple and easy to use and ideal for traveling.
In the Canal (ITC) hearing aids fit neatly in the outer ear, and because they are slightly bigger than the IIC and CIC, the battery lasts longer and they offer additional features, including a volume wheel.
Low-profile hearing aids are similar to ITC aids, but they come in both half size and full size. The latter fill the whole outer ear and are popular with people who have dexterity issues as they are easier to handle.
Behind the Ear hearing aids are known as Receive In The Ear (RITE) or Receive In Canal (RIC). These types of aids have a speaker that is inserted in the ear, separate from the aid itself, with the aid sitting on top of the ear. The two are connected by a small discreet wire, and these aids are extremely popular due to their sound quality. There are many different brands available. They also tend to come with rechargeable batteries and can be repaired at a hearing clinic instead of having to be sent away. Behind the Ear aids are also available with ear molds, which can work with both mild and severe hearing loss. These are often recommended for children as they can be adjusted easily, plus the ear mold can be replaced as the child grows older.
Wearing a hearing aid for the first time may take a little getting used to, and lubricants such as Innerscope Natural Lubricant Agent are made with sweet almond oil and help fitting the aid be a smoother, easier and more comfortable process. It is available in a 15ml bottle and has a brush attached to the cap for easy application.
People all over the world benefit from hearing aids, and which aid to choose will depend on what is best for the individual in terms of comfort and how effective they are. Anyone who is unsure which type of aid to go for should speak to an audiologist to discuss the options so they can feel confident in their decision.