Guide to Hearing Aids
By Top-Rated Charlotte Audiologist, Dr. Gosu
Looking to learn more about hearing aids? You’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about the most common types of hearing aids available on the market today, and contact our Charlotte, NC hearing center at (704) 912-4422 to learn how you can get yours today.
What are hearing aids?
Hearing aids are small electronic devices that are worn in or behind an individual’s ear to help him or hear. To put it simply, all hearing aids consist of a microphone, amplifier, and speaker to pick up audio signals, amplify them, and broadcast them into the listener’s ears.
At Hearing Solution Center all of our hearing aids are 100% digital and programmable, and are programed to the specific patient’s hearing needs by Dr. Gosu. Below, we’ve put together a short guide to the different types and styles of hearing aids available today.
Hearing aids consist of four essential components: a microphone, an amplifier, a speaker, and a power supply. These four components are found in all hearing aids, regardless of style or size.
The following is a basic explanation of how a hearing aid works:
- Sound is collected and converted into an electrical signal by the microphone.
- The sound signal is made louder by the amplifier.
- The amplified sound is then sent to your ears by the speaker.
What Are The Different Types of Hearing Aids?
There are many different types of hearing aids, and that can be bewildering at times. Some of the most common types and the benefits they bring are listed below to help you decide which type is suitable for you.
Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids
These hearing aids are similar to behind-the-ear hearing aids, but instead of a tube, they contain a short wire that connects the case and the receiver. They offer a similar amplification and battery life level as a BTE hearing aid, but they are considerably more discreet.
In-the-Canal (ITC) or Completely-in-Canal (CIC)
These hearing aids are among the smallest on the market. All of the operating components fit into the ear canal wholly or partially. This makes them one of the most discreet types, ideal for those who don't want to call attention to their hearing loss. They also give a more organic listening experience because their microphones are placed in the ear canal.
Invisible-in-canal hearing aids are great for people who prefer a very discreet hearing aid. When inserted, this wearing style is not visible and includes no wires or tubes on the external part of the ear. They are lightweight and comfortable, and provide a more natural listening experience due to the proximity to the ear drum. This style is not appropriate for all types of hearing loss, and may be challenging to insert/change batteries for people with dexterity issues.
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
The majority of the components of a BTE hearing aid are housed in a small plastic case that sits behind the ear, with a clear tube connecting the case to the earmold or earpiece. BTE hearing aids are popular among those who require higher-power hearing aids since they are easy to clean and manage, making them a good choice for those who have issues handling small devices.
In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
There are two forms of ITE hearing aid: One is made to cover the entire bottom half of the ear, while the other only partly covers the bottom half of the ear. Because this is a full-size hearing aid compared to in-the-canal options, you'll notice extra features like volume control and greater amplification for individuals with more severe hearing loss.
What are the best hearing aids?
Starkey has announced their new Evolv AI hearing aid, representing a significant advancement in hearing aid technology.
Oticon was responsible for the first Internet of Things hearing aids with the Opn series, and it continues to innovate today with the Oticon More.
The Moment hearing aid is the newest hearing aid from Widex and is also the world's smallest rechargeable hearing aid.
With hearing loss, we begin to lose our connection to others, which can be incredibly isolating. That's why Phonak Lumity was explicitly designed to make speech clearer and easier to understand.
Omnia is Resound's most advanced hearing aid yet, providing more natural speech understanding.
Types of Batteries
There are two types of hearing aid batteries.
Rechargeable batteries are available in several higher-end hearing aid models. These hearing aids are charged at night using a charging stand. Lithium-ion is the most recent rechargeable technology, allowing consumers to get a whole day's worth of power from just one overnight charge.
Non-rechargeable hearing aids are the most common. Depending on the hearing aid and use scenario, non-rechargeable hearing aid batteries can last 3 to 7 days, and smaller batteries have a shorter battery life than larger batteries.
Hearing Aids at Hearing Solution Center in Charlotte
If you have questions about hearing aids or how to obtain yours, our hearing professionals at Hearing Solution Center are here to help. Though hearing aids are not covered by Medicare, we offer several financing options to fit any budget. To get started, give us a call today at our Charlotte, NC center at (704) 912-4422.