Enjoy better hearing no matter what your age may be
Hearing aids will not restore your normal hearing. With practice, however, a hearing aid for profound hearing loss or moderate hearing loss will increase your awareness of sounds and their sources. You will want to wear your hearing aid regularly, so select one that is convenient and easy for you to use.
Other features to consider when you rate hearing aids include parts or services covered by the warranty, estimated schedule and costs for maintenance and repair, options and upgrade opportunities, and the hearing aid company’s reputation for quality and customer service.
Hearing Aid Styles
The size, placement on or inside the ear, and the degree to which a hearing aid amplifies sound are all used to determine the best solution to your hearing problem. Let’s look at each style, and then we’ll talk about how they work.
RECEIVER-IN-THE-EAR (RITE) or
An exciting newer style of hearing aid, the RITE or RIC has their electronics, battery and microphone inside a casing worn behind the ear. An ultra thin, sculpted wire carries the amplified sound to a speaker that fits in the ear canal. Receiver-in-the-Ear technology works well for hearing losses ranging from mild to severe. Because the superior quality of sound and the openness of the ear, this style of hearing aid has opened the doors to amplification to many people who have not been previously successful with amplification
BEHIND-THE-EAR HEARING AIDS
Behind-the-Ear (BTE) hearing aids consist of a hard plastic case worn behind the ear and connected to a plastic ear mold that fits inside the outer ear. The electronic parts are held in the case behind the ear. Sound travels from the hearing aid through the ear mold and into the ear. BTE aids are used by people of all ages for mild to profound hearing loss.
Another type of BTE aid is an open-fit hearing aid. Small, open-fit aids fit behind the ear completely, with only a narrow tube inserted into the ear canal, enabling the canal to remain open. For this reason, open-fit hearing aids may be a good choice for people who experience a buildup of earwax, since this type of aid is less likely to be damaged by such substances. In addition, some people may prefer the open-fit hearing aid because their perception of their voice does not sound plugged up. With the development of the RITE style hearing aid, then use of open-fit hearing aid is not as popular.
CUSTOM HEARING AIDS
In-the-ear (ITE), Canal, Completely in the Canal (CIC) and Invisible in the Canal (IIC) are a group of hearing aids that are made at the factory. An impression of the ear is made and sent to the factory to customize the aids just for the individual. Each aid is built to include such features and specialized shells, venting, connectivity and telecoils to meet each person’s special needs. These features are discussed in other sections of the web page.
At American Hearing Center, we understand that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to assisted listening devices. Our hearing care professionals are ready with hearing devices for mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, and even severe hearing loss…and one of them will be perfect for you.
HOW HEARING AIDS WORK
Hearing aids work differently depending on the electronics used. The two main types of electronics recommended by hearing care professionals for their patients are:
- Digital aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, similar to the binary code of a computer, before amplifying them. Because the code also includes information about a sound’s pitch or loudness, the aid can be specially programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others. Digital circuitry gives a hearing care professional more flexibility in adjusting the aid to a user’s needs and to certain listening environments. These aids also can be programmed to focus on sounds coming from a specific direction. Digital circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids.
- Analog/programmable circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids. Analog aids are an older style hearing aid and are rarely made any more. They are less expensive than digital aids.
THE BEST HEARING AIDS FOR YOU & PERSONALIZED SUPPORT TO ENSURE YOUR SATISFACTION
The hearing aids that will work best for you depends on the situations you are struggling to understand in, as well as the kind and severity of your hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss in both of your ears, two hearing aids are generally recommended because two aids provide a more natural signal to the brain.
Hearing in both ears also will help you understand speech and locate where the sound is coming from.
Your hearing care professional will make the best recommendation for you and select a hearing aid or other assistive listening device that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Price is also a key consideration because hearing aids range from hundreds to several thousands of dollars. Similar to other equipment purchases, style and features affect cost.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK BEFORE BUYING
A HEARING AID?
Now that you know about the different types of hearing aids, you may have some other questions. Let’s see if the experienced hearing care professionals at American Hearing Center can’t answer them now…
Before you buy a hearing aid, ask your hearing care professional these important questions:
- What features would be most useful to me?
- What is the total cost of the hearing aid? Do the benefits of newer technologies outweigh the higher costs?
- What fees are nonrefundable if the aids are returned after the trial period?
- How long is the warranty? Can it be extended? Does the warranty cover future maintenance and repairs?
- Can the hearing care professional make adjustments and provide servicing and minor repairs? Will loaner aids be provided when repairs are needed?
- What instruction does the hearing care professional provide?
At American Hearing Center, we understand that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to assisted listening devices. Our hearing care professionals are ready with hearing devices for mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, and even severe hearing loss…and one of them will be perfect for you