For over 90% of patients with hearing loss, hearing aids are the best and only treatment option. Hearing aids allow you to enjoy day to day life without missing out on the noises around you. As industry technology continues to advance, patients can now enjoy a wide range of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a device with the latest features and options, or simply want something basic yet functional, the team at Applied Hearing Solutions has a wide range of hearing aid styles to recommend from based on your wants and needs.
Hearing Aid Styles
Today, there are more hearing aid styles available than ever before. This wide range of options falls into two types of styles: Behind-the-ear (BTE) and In-the-ear (ITE). Below is an overview of these styles. In the end, the best hearing aid for you will address your unique hearing ability, lifestyle, and budget
Behind-the-ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
BTE hearing aids sit behind or on top of the outer ear with a tube that connects to an ear tip or mold inside of the ear canal. BTE’s offer the widest range of features, colors, sizes, battery types, and degrees of power. Today, they’re offered in small, discreet designs that are often unnoticeable when worn. There are a variety of BTE styles available including:
● Mini BTE:
Mini BTEs are the smallest of the BTEs and equipped with a soft tip at the end of the tubing to enable airflow and sound to enter the ear canal along with the amplified sounds, creating a more natural experience.
● Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) or Receiver-in-canal (RIC):
RITE hearing aids are designed with the speaker built into the ear tip instead of the main body of the hearing aid. They are often similar in size to the Mini BTEs and are also relatively unnoticeable when worn. Mini RITE’s are also available.
● BTE with Earmold:
BTEs with Earmolds are designed with a custom earmold at the tip of the discrete tubing directing sound into the ear canal. These have a longer shape that follows the contour of the outer ear and enables them to house more features and power.
In-the-ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
ITE hearing aids are worn in the ear instead of resting behind it, and are custom-fit based on an impression of the ear. There are a variety of ITE styles available including:
● Invisible in-the-canal (IIC):
IIC instruments are the smallest custom hearing aids available. They sit deep within the canal and are nearly invisible to the naked eye.
● Completely in-the-canal (CIC):
CIC instruments fit into the ear canal, but not as deeply as the IIC models. Slightly larger than the IIC, they are still relatively hard to see.
● In-the-canal (ITC) or Half Shell:
ITC instruments sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl. Since they are slightly larger than the CIC, they are able to hold additional features, including a larger battery, directional microphones, and volume controls.
● In-the-ear (ITE) or Full Shell:
ITE instruments fill the entire outer ear bowl. Their larger size allows for more features and functions, including a larger battery, directional microphones, volume controls, and larger receivers for more severe hearing losses.
Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth Hearing Aids, Smartphone Apps, and More
Today’s hearing aids offer more than just amplified sounds – they feature advanced digital options that allow you to connect via Bluetooth to your favorite electronic devices. Some hearing aids are designed specifically for your iPhone® while others feature adaptability for televisions, radios, and more. Now, hearing aids can offer even more benefit to your daily life!
Part of what makes this wireless connectivity so incredible is the ease of use that comes along with your advanced hearing aid. In most cases, you can install an app onto your smartphone that allows you to adjust the volume or change the settings of your hearing aid. You can create a customized hearing experience depending on the environment you’re in, all with the discreet and simple action of touching the screen of your phone. Some hearing devices can even work to pick up the sounds around you and automatically adjust your settings based on your specific hearing needs.
Wireless features also work to improve your hearing ability and the ease in which you can communicate with others. Many hearing aids can link to your phone via Bluetooth technology to provide clear and crisp conversations. By streaming directly to your aids, you remove the possibility of feedback or asking people to repeat themselves. Other audio activities like enjoying podcasts, audiobooks, listening to music, and more can also stream directly to your devices, allowing you to enjoy your favorite hobbies once again. Try using your hearing aids as a high-definition headset as well for an unparalleled listening experience.
You’ll be pleased to know that these wireless features are very user-friendly and can enhance your daily life with minimal effort on your part. Let us know if Bluetooth technology is of interest to you and we will be sure to answer any additional questions you may have.
Which Hearing Aid is Right for You?
The thought of purchasing hearing aids for the first time can be daunting, as a range of options on the market might make it seem like any selection is a good one. However, not all hearing losses are equal and neither are the devices designed to treat them. You can count on Applied Hearing Solutions to provide you with all of the information you need about your particular hearing loss so that you can make an educated decision about your hearing aids.
Remember, a comprehensive hearing evaluation is essential to provide detailed information about your hearing loss and the best way to treat it. Once you have decided to pursue treatment for your hearing loss, Dr. Olson will use great care and attention to detail when fitting and programming your hearing aids. By following industry best practices with extreme attention to detail, Dr. Olson will work with you to maximize your hearing performance with your new hearing aids.