Hearing Solutions

There are a large number of hearing aids from which to choose. Luckily, you don’t have to make a decision on your own. Your Hearing Health Care Provider can narrow down your choices and can guide you in the right direction based on your audiological needs and your budget. The two main decisions that you will need to make in regards to your hearing aid(s) are style (size) and level of technology.

STYLE

The style of hearing aid refers to how it appears in your ear. There are several different styles of hearing aids:

  • Behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE) have two parts: The hearing aid fits behind your ear and is attached to a custom-made earmold, which directs the sound to your ear.

  • Custom hearing aids refer to hearing aids that have only one part that fits in your ear. There are several different sizes of custom hearing aids:

    • In-the-ear (full-shell ITE) hearing aids fill up the entire ‘bowl’ of your ear.

    • Half-shell (HS) hearing aids fill up approximately half of the ‘bowl’ of your ear.

  • In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids fill up the canal of your ear.

  • Mini-canal (MC) hearing aids also fill up the canal of your ear, but are more recessed into your ear.

  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids fit very deeply into your ear canal and are the least visible of the hearing aids. A pull-string is added to the hearing aid to allow you to pull it out more easily.

The style of hearing aid that is recommended will depend on degree, configuration and the nature of your hearing loss, among other factors. You and your Hearing Health Care Provider will discuss these factors to determine the most appropriate and effective hearing aids for your hearing needs and lifestyle. 

TECHNOLOGY

Technology of a hearing aid refers to the type of processing it uses and the number of features that it has. There are three levels of technology: Basic, Mid-range and Advanced. Basic and mid-range technology can come in digital or analog hearing aids. Advanced technology hearing aids are digital; however, the reverse is not true. Not all digital hearing aids are advanced! Generally speaking, the more technologically advanced the hearing aid is, the better it is at reducing background noise, the more ‘automatic’ it is, and the more features that it has. If you lead a very active life, and you have difficulty hearing in background noise, more technologically advanced hearing aids may be more appropriate for you. If, on the other hand, you lead a fairly quiet life and need hearing aids only to hear your spouse at home, a basic hearing aid may be sufficient. The more technologically advanced the hearing aid is, the more expensive it is.