Assistive listening devices are like binoculars for the ears.
With today’s technology all hearing devices are now digital. Digital processing benefits to the user mean cleaner, clearer sound enabling better communication skills.
Hearing devices vary in style (size) and level of technology. A recommendation for hearing amplification must take into account degree of hearing loss, lifestyle, sound quality, price and cosmetic appearance.
Binaural (two) amplification offers substantial improvement under both quiet and noisy conditions, along with a better sense of direction for locating the sound source. Yourself and your Hearing Aid Practitioner should determine the need for one hearing device or two.
Bluetooth technology is becoming a feature of more and more hearing devices. Bluetooth is a short range, wireless, digital communication standard devices with Bluetooth technology can carry either audio or data information from one device to another such as computers, telephones (cell), entertainment systems. The most popular application right now is with the cell phone. It allows the hearing device wearer to be hands free while driving, able to hear the conversation directly into the hearing devices from the cellphone.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are six styles of hearing aids:
- Open Fit (OTE) – Open fit hearing devices are small devices placed behind the ear with a slim tube attached to the device and inserted into the ear canal. They are non-occluding. This style is suitable for people with a high frequency or mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
- Behind the Ear (BTE) – Behind the Ear hearing devices are often slightly larger than the open fit models. They sit behind the ear and are attached to a custom earmold. This style is suitable for people with mild to profound hearing loss.
- In the Ear (ITE) – In the Ear hearing devices sits in the concha bowl of your ear and is custom made to fit each individual’s ear. ITE’s are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss. They are easy to manipulate and often come with push buttons and volume controls to allow for program and volume control changes.
- In the Canal (ITC) – In the Canal hearing devices are small than the ITE devices, filling only the bottom half of the external ear. They are suitable for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
- Completely in the Canal (CIC) – Completely in the Canal devices are hidden in the ear canal. This style is suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. They often do not have volume controls.
- Invisible in the canal (IIC) – The only 100% custom, invisible, digital, and fully programmable hearing aid. This style is suitable for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.