Did you know that approximately 15% of American adults have reported having some kind of hearing trouble?
While hearing loss is more prevalent among older people, it’s not limited to them. Anyone can experience hearing loss, whether they develop it over time or are born with it.
Hearing aids are a great way to cope with hearing loss and improve your quality of life. If you’ve already considered them as an option, you might be wondering what types are available to you.
We’re here to help you out. Keep reading below for a guide on the different types of hearing aids.
The Two Main Types of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids can be broken up into two main categories: in-ear hearing aids and behind-the-ear hearing aids. Visibility is not the only thing that differs between these two types of hearing aids. Your specific needs will determine which is the better fit for you.
In-Ear Hearing Aids
In-ear hearing aids often appear more discreet than behind-the-ear hearing aids. These varieties of hearing aids usually are more customized than behind-the-ear hearing aids.
Impressions of the ear are generally taken at your consultation to ensure the perfect fit. It’s important that it’s well-fitted, as it’ll make the transition easier as you’re getting used to hearing aids.
Between the two primary varieties of in-ear hearing aids, ITC aids are the larger. They sit closer to the outer ear, and they generally have volume controls on the piece and better battery life because of their larger size. ITC hearing aids are better suited for a range of hearing-loss types than other in-ear hearing aids.
IIC hearing aids are the most discreet type of in-ear hearing aid. They fit very snuggly in the ear and are removed by pulling on a string attached to them. Because of this, they are less ideal for people with dexterity issues.
IIC hearing aids provide great quality of sound because they fit so deeply into the ear canal, however they don’t have manual volume controls. They are best for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids
Behind-the-ear hearing aids generally are a bit larger and less discreet than their in-ear counterparts. Because of their larger size, they have more volume and programming options than even the ITC in-ear hearing aids.
BTE hearing aids generally come with a custom-fit earmold. The aid itself sits in a dome-like piece behind the ear and connects to the earmold via tubing.
This is a very common style of hearing aid. Additionally, because it’s the most powerful type of hearing aid, it’s great for anything from mild to profound hearing loss.
RIC hearing aids are smaller than BTE hearing aids because they lack an earmold. They are also more discreet, which might be important for someone reluctant to wear them. The body of the hearing aid sits behind the ear, while a small plastic micro-tube acts as the speaker and loops around into the ear canal.
Because the micro-tube doesn’t fill the entire ear canal, they are generally a bit more comfortable for wearers. RIC aids are ideal for people with mild to moderate hearing loss who don’t have dexterity challenges.
An Option for Everyone
Getting hearing aids can be quite the process. From choosing the best option to finding an affordable brand to getting it fitted, it can feel like the process is never-ending.
However, if you’re familiar with the different types of hearing aids, you can remove some of the anxiety before you even arrive at your consultation. Hearing aids are an investment that will significantly improve your quality of life, no matter which variety you decide is best for you!
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