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Hearing Aid Information from Neighborhood Hearing Centers
When it is time to select a hearing system, you’ll quickly realize how many options you have in terms of brands, styles, technology levels, etc. Here we provide an overview of the best hearing aid brands on the market, along with an explanation of common wearing styles and other frequently asked questions. We invite you to contact our local practice with any questions you may have, or to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced hearing care professionals.
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Hearing Aid Brands
Hearing Aid Styles
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are made of two main parts. The electronic components of the hearing aid are housed in a plastic piece that rests behind the ear, while a thin, clear plastic tube, through which sound travels, rests in the canal. BTE hearing aids are excellent for people with dexterity issues, as they are easy to control. They may prove disadvantageous for people who wear glasses, as they rest on the ear. BTE hearing aids treat a wide range of degrees of hearing loss, from mild to profound and are valued for their discreet design.
Receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids look like BTE hearing aids, with the microphone and amplifier behind the ear. The difference is that the receiver (the piece that receives sound information) rests in the canal, rather than behind the ear. Rather than a thin plastic tube, RIC hearing aids have thin electric wires in the tube. RIC hearing aids are easy to control, while like BTE hearing aids, they may be inconvenient for people who wear glasses, but are valued for their discreet design.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids come in many different forms. The most common ones are full shell or half shell hearing aids, which sit on the open face of the ear. These hearing aids are more visible than BTE and RIC hearing aids, and they are more difficult to control because of their size. However, ITE hearing aids are convenient for people who wear glasses, and they treat mild to profound hearing loss.
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are a form of ITE hearing aids. These are quite small and are inserted within the ear canal (partially or completely – see below). ITC hearing aids are very discreet and are usually not visible. At the same time, they are equipped with directional microphones and volume control. One downside is a tendency to produce feedback, if not fitted correctly. ITC hearing aids are recommended for people who wear glasses. They are also convenient for telephone calls.
Completely-in-canal (CIC) and invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids fit deeper in the ear canal than ITC hearing aids. They are, for all intents and purposes, invisible. Usually, their placement means there is no feedback noise. CIC and IIC hearing aids treat a range of hearing loss, usually from mild to severe hearing loss, depending on the brand. They are valued for their discreet design. On the other hand, they may be difficult to maneuver when replacing batteries, which have a shorter life than the above styles.
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