Choosing the right type of hearing aid is a vital thing for hearing impaired persons. If the right type of hearing aid is not chosen, it may result in serious and even irreversible consequences for the user. You cannot wear any hearing aid on your own. Until and unless you are an experienced person in the profession of Audiologist, you should never even try to choose your hearing device yourself. It is strictly recommended that you should always consult a skilled and professional Audiologist before taking any decision.
The person suffering from hearing loss must make it a point to visit an experienced Audiologist as soon as possible, so that you get to know the exact type and degree of hearing loss. Different types of hearing aids serve different functions depending on the hearing of the patient. There are three broad types of hearing loss, namely, Conductive, Sensorineural and Mixed. However, these devices are used mainly to treat one of the major types of hearing loss, namely sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused due to disorders in the inner ear. Various types of hearing aids are prescribed based on the degree of hearing loss, which range from mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe to profound.
According to your hearing type, your Audiologist will help you choose the right hearing aid for you. Choosing the right types of hearing aids is as necessary as timely treatment. In either case, it may result in Auditory Deprivation, where the brain completely fails to perceive sound signals. This may further risk the chances of Dementia, a condition in which a person suffers from mental ailments like forgetfulness, mental instabilities, hallucinations and the like.
There are various types of hearing aids that serve different purposes according to the specific needs of the hearing impaired person. Today, there are so many manufacturers to choose from, each of them serving fascinating features and services, making people completely forget about their hearing impairment. However, different types of hearing aids have different particularities catering to the specific needs of the hearing impaired person. They vary in the features they offer, the technology used, the design and style of the device, the specific lifestyle of the user, and the price range they come in.
Based on the design of the device, types of hearing aids vary from behind-the-ear (BTE), mini-BTE, in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-the-canal (CIC), invisible-in-canal (IIC). As their names suggest, they come in convenient sizes that fit in the ear, and even inside the ear canal completely. Most hearing aid brands keep this flexibility in mind while bundling different types of hearing aids with different features, based on the requirements of hearing impaired people worldwide. Let’s have a brief glance at the individual features of the above devices.
The BTE or behind-the-ear type is widely used by people of all age groups, as it is usually compatible with any type of hearing loss. Also, it is capable of a greater amplification than other types of hearing aids. It has easy-to-use buttons that allows the user to flexibly regulate the device. The mini-BTE, on the other hand, are among those types of hearing aids that are barely visible, without compromising on the quality. This type also has a streamlined body and is usually preferred by persons having sloping hearing loss. The ITE or in-the-ear type is less visible than the above types as it fills the outer ear completely, and it is ideal for moderately severe hearing loss. The ITC or in-the-canal types of hearing aids are worn in the lower side of the outer ear and usually come with a longer battery life. The CIC or completely-in-the-canal devices lie hidden within the ear canal and amplify the natural hearing ability of the ear. These are suitable for moderate hearing loss. The IIC or invisible-in-canal types of hearing aids are very miniscule ones that sit deep inside the ear canal ana are equipped with powerful features.
Based on the technology used, there are of two types of hearing aids, namely, the Analog, which are microchip programmed and they amplify each and every sound, and the Digital, which convert sound waves to digital signals. However, digital hearing aids are more technologically advanced than the analog ones, and some types of hearing aids also offer many more features.
Based on the differences in features, most hearing devices are equipped with the directional microphone, the direct audio input, the T-coil or telephone switch, and the feedback suppression.
There are also certain types of hearing aids that come in unique features catering to the specific lifestyle of the user which vary from the simple, the social, the outdoor and the vibrant ones. These are again divided into various other types that serve the specific requirements and choices of the patients. Also, there is a special kind of listening device built into the stethoscopes of hearing impaired medical practitioners.
Now, that you know that there are such a great varietal types of hearing aids, the question arises, “Which is the right one for me?” There are certain parameters to keep in mind while choosing your hearing aid, of course on discussing with your Audiologist. Some such parameters are value for money, sound quality, performance, reliability, ease of fit and ease of use, customer support service, connectivity like bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies, durability, battery life, rechargeability, battery backup, and aesthetics. Different types of hearing aids are known for some specific features, so there are many options to choose from. However, you should always look for one that provides a really good overall service, and having good reviews, both from customers and Audiologists worldwide.
It should be always kept in mind that no hearing aid can replace the natural God-gifted ear, they can only help you in hearing better, which you were not able to before opting for a hearing aid. However, most of the types of hearing aids have the ability to amplify the original sound as natural as possible. Some advanced ones are so flexible and user-friendly that the user might completely forget that he is wearing one. The outcome produced by different types of hearing aids can be represented by three main dimensions, namely, the usage of the device, aided speech recognition and the benefits or advantages of the device. So, go ahead and explore which type suits you the best.