Everything You Need to Know to Buy Hearing Aids

February 9, 2017 - By 
Hearing Aids

Listen closely–if you’re older than age 45, there’s a good chance you suffer from some sort of hearing loss (actually, a one in five chance, to be exact).

Buying hearing aids can be a tricky task. But we’re here to help.

Keep reading to figure out everything you need to know before choosing the type of hearing aid for you.

The 5 Types Of Hearing Aids: Pros & Cons

The right type of hearing aid for you depends on several factors. When looking into hearing aids, consider the severity of your hearing loss, your lifestyle, and your manual dexterity.

Hearing aids are categorized by where on the ear they are worn. Additionally, they can be classified by the number of pieces: behind-the-ear hearing aids are two pieces, while an in-the-ear hearing aid is one piece.

Quick Tip: Keep in mind that smaller aids offer fewer features and might be more difficult to manipulate.

1. Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid

For this kind of hearing aid, the receiver located is inside of the ear canal.

It’s attached to the ear using a custom-made ear mold, which will fit snugly in the ear. Or, a “dome style” or non-custom canal piece may be used.

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Barely visible
  • Prevents a feeling of being plugged-up
  • Easy to insert
  • Compatible with phones

Cons:

  • Wax and moister may limit the life of the receiver
  • Doe not allow for significant amplification in low frequencies
  • Limited in terms of the potential to add amplification

2. Standard Tube or Thin Tube Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid

Also called reciever in the aid (RITA).

Pros:

  • Provides considerable low-and high-frequency amplification
  • Good for people with moderately severe to severe hearing loss who require considerable amplification across many frequencies
  • Controls are easy to manipulate (on larger models)
  • Telecoil mode is easily selected and used (on larger models)
  • Ear mold can easily be cleaned
  • Accommodates larger batteries

Cons:

  • Custom mold tends to be visible
  • Vulnerable to sweat and wax buildup
  • A plugged-up feeling from ear mold can occur unless vented

3. Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aid

Pros:

  • Does not need a telecoil
  • Has low visibility
  • Easy to insert and remove
  • Insensitive to wind noise

Cons:

  • Too small to include a directional microphone
  • A plugged-up feeling can occur unless vented
  • Vulnerable to wax and moisture
  • Can be difficult to control (because the receiver is in the ear canal)
  • Can only accommodate a small battery (therefore, battery life is relatively short)
  • Batteries can be more difficult to insert and remove

4. In-the-Canal Hearing Aid

Pros:

  • Barely visible
  • Easy to insert
  • Can build up volume to increase ease of use
  • Larger units can include directional microphones

Cons:

  • Telecoil selector switch makes manipulation more difficult
  • Too small to include a directional microphone
  • A plugged-up feeling can occur unless vented
  • Vulnerable to wax and moisture
  • Can be difficult to control (because the receiver is in the ear canal)
  • Can only accommodate a small battery (therefore, battery life is relatively short)
  • Batteries can be more difficult to insert and remove

5. In-the-Ear Hearing Aid

Pros:

  • More room for features such as telecoil, directional microphone, and volume control
  • Less of a plugged-up feeling when vented
  • Relatively easy to insert

Cons:

  • More visible
  • Vulnerable to wax build-up and moisture

 

After checking out our complete guide to hearing aids, which type are you most interested in or likely to purchase? Tell us your first choice and why in the comments below!

Posted In:  Health Uncategorized