Approximately 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from the use of hearing aids. If you have decided to begin treating your hearing loss with these small but technologically advanced devices, you may have a lot of questions about your options.
Hearing aid selection is influenced by multiple factors, including:
- Degree of hearing loss
- Preferences about appearance
The type of hearing aid you choose will depend on how each of these factors affects you. Let’s examine a couple of different types of hearing aids and how these factors may affect your choice.
Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aids
Behind-the-ear hearing aids are a popular style option because they accommodate a greater degree of hearing loss. The devices sit on or behind the outer ear and have tubing that brings sound into the ear canal.
Benefits of behind-the-ear styles include:
- Lower chance of feedback. Because the devices sit further from the ear canal than in-the-ear options, they are less likely to cause feedback.
- Comfort. Because behind-the-ear styles do not sit directly in the ear canal, many users find them more comfortable and easier to acclimate to.
- Easier to clean. Behind-the-ear styles are larger and may be easier for people to clean, especially if they struggle with fine motor skills.
One concern people often have with behind-the-ear styles is their appearance. While behind-the-ear styles are more visible than their in-the-ear counterparts, they come in multiple different colors, which can help them blend in.
In-The-Ear Hearing Aids
In-the-ear hearing aids are broken up into three categories:
- Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC). Virtually invisible from the outside, IIC styles are placed deep in the ear canal and can only be removed by pulling on the connected string. IIC styles are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.
- Completely-in-the-canal (CIC). Similar to IIC models, CIC styles are nearly invisible from the outside but do not sit as deeply in the canal as their IIC counterparts. CIC models are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.
- In-the-canal (ITC). ITC devices sit just inside the canal and are discreet but visible from the outer ear. ITC models are suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss but may include directional microphones and manual controls not available in IIC and CIC styles.
In-the-ear styles are a great option for those with mild to moderate hearing loss or those who prefer a more discreet appearance.
How Will Your Lifestyle Impact Your Decision?
Depending on your choice of style, there are additional features that you may consider based on your lifestyle. For instance, if you enjoy a lot of outdoor exercise, hearing aids with a water-resistant coating may be the right choice. If you enjoy noisy dinners at Walton’s, devices with directional microphones and ambient noise suppression might be the way to go.
For more information on beginning your hearing aid journey, contact Hearing Healthcare Center today to make an appointment with one of our qualified specialists.