Hearing aids are available in many different styles and sizes. They all work in the same general way, with the same parts transmitting sound from around you into your ear. The difference comes in how powerful the hearing device is and how much you are willing to pay for it. Generally speaking, smaller aids cost more and are less noticeable; they are also less powerful and can require more frequent battery changes.
There are five common styles of hearing aids. Each looks a little different and offers slightly different features. It's important to look at all the options and choose the aid that will work best for you.
Completely inside of the canal aids fit right inside the ear canal. Some benefits of this type of device include the hearing aid being less noticeable to others, a small size that makes using the telephone easier, and its ability to block out most wind noise. Some drawbacks are that the device uses small batteries that don't last long. Also, these hearing aids often don't contain extra features like volume control. This device is best used by adults with moderate or mild loss of hearing.
Inside of the canal aids will also fit inside the ear canal, but they do not fit in as deeply as the CIC models do. This device is also less visible inside of the ear and easy to use with the telephone. Because it is larger than the completely inside of the canal hearing aid, it can include features, such as volume control, that are not available on the completely in the canal models. However, the small size of the device can make these features difficult to adjust. They are best used by adults with moderate to mild loss of hearing and may not fit well in small ears.
Half-shell aids fit inside the bottom region of the bowl-shaped area of the outer ear.
This model is larger than the models that fit inside the canal. Thanks to its larger size, it is not as difficult to handle. This type of hearing device is best for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Inside of the ear or Full-Shell hearing aids also fit inside the bowl-shaped part of the outside ear. This particular unit is easier to insert inside the ear, uses larger batteries that last longer, and has a volume control that is easier to adjust than on the models that fit inside the ear canal. However, these instruments are much more visible to others and because it is not inside the ear it is likely to pick up quite a bit of wind noise. This style works well for those with mild to severe loss of hearing.
Behind the ear units will fit much like the name suggests-over the top of the ear, resting behind the ear. These are generally the largest and most visible type of hearing aid. Because of its large size, it can amplify sound more than most other models. It works well for any level of hearing loss and is also a good choice for users of any age.
Different companies offer different options within all of these styles. No one hearing aid is right for every person, and the type of device that will work best for you may change over time. This list is meant only as a guide. You should always speak with your audiologist to make the decision on which hearing aid is really best for you.
Cape & Islands Hearing Centers has served the Orleans, Massachusetts area and its surrounding communities for several years. We offer a full range of diagnostic and preventative hearing healthcare professional services, including hearing aid screening, evaluations, hearing aids sales and rehabilitative and preventative counseling. We are dedicated to keeping abreast of the latest improvements in technological advancements in the hearing industry and are committed to offering the most current options to our patients. For up-to-date hearing aid information visit Cape & Islands Hearing Centers.