“A Quick and Handy Guide to Hearing Aids” is a collaborative post and includes affiliate links. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional and follow all laws for your location.
If you’ve experienced hearing loss or diminished hearing, you’ve likely already had a hearing test done and received a diagnosis from an audiologist. They may have suggested that you look into a hearing aid.
Photo Credit: Tirachard Kumtanom
Hearing aids and devices are used by many across the globe to help restore their diminished hearing, and can work for people with mild, moderate and severe hearing loss. They come in a variety of different styles and types, all of which meet different needs. It’s a good idea to go over all of these with your audiologist to determine which type of hearing aid is right for you.
Below, we’ve laid out a bit of information about each type and how hearing aids work.
All hearing aids work with three main components: a microphone, a receiver and processor. The microphone picks up the sound, sends it to the processor, which then processes the sound and sends it to the receiver, which allows you to hear the sound. The receiver can be inside or outside the ear, and is transmitted in different ways depending on which type you use.
There are several types of hearing aids but there are three “main” types:
OTE (or BTE)
Sometimes also known as BTE (behind the ear), OTE, or “outside the ear” hearing aids are worn outside the ear, attached to the back of the ear. These are often used by children but many adults prefer them as well. These submit sound through a piece of tubing attached to the device. They are good for all types of hearing loss and are easy to install and maintain.
ITE, or “in the ear” hearing aids are worn just inside the ear. They generally are still visible, but can be covered up with your hair. All the working parts of the device are much the same as the outer hearing aids but fit just inside the ear comfortably.
ITC, or “in the canal” hearing aids are worn inside the ear canal. These are generally very small and fit deep inside the ear canal, making them almost invisible. Many people prefer these as they are virtually undetectable.
While there are other types of hearing aids than these, including aids for those with hearing loss in only one ear, those with special conditions and so on, these are the three main types that most people choose from. You may wish to try out different ones with your audiologist to find the one with the best fit that meets your needs.
There is a bit of an adjustment period when being fitted with a hearing aid – you’ll need to allow yourself a few weeks to become accustomed to wearing one, finding the right volume to set it on, and learning how to properly clean and maintain the device/change the batteries. But generally this is a fairly easy adjustment period, and you’ll get the hang of it fast.
Hearing aids are a great way to partially restore the hearing. While there is some stigma attached, most hearing aid users swear by their devices and would not go without them. If you think a hearing aid is right for you, speak to your doctor today.
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