Which Hearing Aid is Right for Me?
Hearing loss is a widespread problem, affecting more than 5% of the global population. Fortunately, there are several ways it can be treated or managed. A good example of this is hearing aids. They provide a great solution to people who have been living with hearing loss or those who have been newly diagnosed. However, the process of finding the best hearing aid is more complicated than it sounds because hearing aids are not prescribed on a one-size-fits-all basis. Instead, the right hearing aid depends on your type of hearing loss and one’s needs and preferences. The good news is that there is something to suit every hearing loss patient.
How Do Hearing Aids Work?
All hearing aids are similar in that they consist of the same four essential parts. These include a microphone, an amplifier, a loudspeaker or receiver, and a battery. The microphone is responsible for collecting the sounds. The amplifier converts the sounds into digital signals and boosts the signals’ power to suit your hearing needs. The signals are then passed on to the receiver, where they are converted back to the sounds you will hear. Most hearing aids also consist of a battery door that allows you to change the batteries, a volume control option, and a telecoil switch that enables users to use their phones while wearing hearing aids. Modern hearing aids also have programming options, like a program button or a computer chip that allows switching between different hearing settings.
Getting the Right Hearing Aid
Need and preference determine how people shop for everything, including hearing aids. Other factors that you should consider when looking to get the best hearing aid for yourself are discussed below. Nature of Hearing Loss – Hearing loss varies in type, severity, and configuration. Thus, it is essential to have a comprehensive hearing test done to shed light on the kind of hearing aids that are a good fit for you. Shape and Size of Ear Canals – Your ear’s physical characteristics determine how different types of hearing aids fit. For instance, if your ears are too small to hold a hearing aid, you may need one to place behind your ear. Cosmetic Concerns – Many people are concerned with how their hearing aids fit their appearance. Luckily, there is a wide variety of styles and colours to choose from. Lifestyle Concerns – Hearing aids should help you live your best life. Therefore, select from the variety of hearing aid technology levels that offer the features you need most in the environments your frequent. Dexterity and Vision Issues – People with dexterity issues, like arthritis, can benefit from large hearing aids or smaller aids with remote control options.
Budget – The prices of hearing aids vary depending on features, technology advancements, and between manufacturing brands. The price does not necessarily reflect on quality.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are different types of hearing aids that vary in size and power.
1. In-the-Canal Hearing Aids
These are made to fit inside your ear canal and help adults with mild and moderate hearing loss. They can be further classified as
- Completely-In-Canal (CIC) – The tiniest hearing aid that is virtually invisible. It fits perfectly in the ear canal.
- In-The-Canal (ITC) – Slightly larger than the CIC and fits only partly in the ear canal.
2. In-the-Ear Hearing Aids
ITE hearing aids are small custom-made hearing aids that match the shape of your ear and fit perfectly into the ear canal opening. Although more visible than other styles, they have two microphones that assure better hearing. Additionally, they are easy to use, have larger batteries, and a volume control feature.
3. Behind-The-Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
As the name suggests, BTE hearing aids are placed over the ear loop to hide behind the ear. They are available in different colours and styles, giving patients various options to choose from. Additionally, it works for people with all kinds of hearing loss. These are considered the most powerful and reliable kinds of hearing aids and come in a variety of sizes.
4. Canal-Receiver-Technology (CRT) or Receiver-In-Canal (RIC)
It is a tiny and light hearing aid that rests behind the ear. It is combined with a thin wire or tube and a speaker or receiver sitting inside the ear, thus, delivering the best sound clarity.
Quality Hearing Aids and Brands
With so many hearing aids in the market, you must conclude your search for the right hearing aid by choosing the right brand. The right brand takes care of your needs and gives you the confidence you need to get the most out of your hearing aids. A few of the most reputable brands include.
Contact the Bravo Hearing Team, Your Hearing Loss Specialist
The Bravo Hearing Centre team is made up of hearing instrument specialists who help manage your hearing health. We perform hearing tests and help patients select the right devices from the latest hearing aid models. We carry hearing aids from many leading manufacturers to help you on your journey towards better hearing.