Hearing Aid Styles
The information that follows is general in nature. The R&D of hearing aids is so dynamic, that there are often new developments.
Most hearing aids in the same range and technology level can be accommodated in all the styles
RECEIVER IN THE CANAL (RIC) are worn behind the ear but the electronic part is external and fits into the ear canal, making it smaller
Invisible in the Canal (IIC) This is custom made to fit deeply in the ear canal and is barely visible
Completely in the Canal (CIC) These are custom made to fit completely in the Canal
In the Ear (ITE) these are custom made and fill the outer ear
More Factors to consider when buying a hearing aid
Hearing is a very individual sense. Each person hears differently and will gain uniquely according to their own prescription. In order to get the best out of your hearing aids, it is important to understand that wearing hearing aids is a process and may not be immediate. It will require effort on your part but the end result will be worth it.
It takes about 2 months before you will really begin to notice change and about six months for the auditory nerve to “re-auditorise”- In some ways similar to building up muscle.
Being able to discuss your needs with your audiologist until you feel you are getting the best possible result is par for the course.
There are objective features are important to consider:
1) Level of technology required.
Generally speaking, there are 3-4 levels of technology
When considering the technology of the hearing device, the “best” one for you is the one that meets your requirements.
This refers to the frequency range and number of channels.
The more channels the hearing device has the better the Audiologist will be able to fine-tune the hearing aids to enable the best hearing and speech clarity for your particular hearing loss.
3) Background noise.
This refers to how well the hearing aid is able to dampen background noise so that you will be able to hear speech and locate the speaker.
4) Ease of use.
The technology of high end hearing aids will automatically will adjust to different sound environments and be able to identify where you are e.g. speaking in the car; in a restaurant; at a lecture; at a family gathering. It has the capacity to put you in the best mode for your particular environment.
5) Comfort in sound.
You ideally would want your hearing aid to get rid of annoying sound for your comfort and ease of listening e.g. wind; background noise.
In order to remain connected to all your blue tooth devices e.g. You tube, internet, mobile phones, iPad, music centre, connectivity is a feature that is wonderful. Bear in mind that the more you use these features, the more battery power you will use. So on this score rechargeability becomes an important consideration.
You will need to calculate the advantages of the above features, premium technology vs cost.
The premium technology is expensive. But consider the cost over the average life span of a hearing aid (4.4 years) and split the cost up over that amount of time.
Is it worth it?
If you want the above features, you won’t be disappointed.