Almost all hearing aids today are using digital technology. This technology gives hearing aids the ability to sift through complex listening environments to amplify speech and reduce background noise. This gives the individual the best chance of hearing what is going on around them. Hearing aids are set for your individual hearing loss and designed to make sounds audible, maintain a normal sense of loudness and ensure that loud sounds are not uncomfortable. While no hearing aids can return hearing back to normal, the increases in technology that have been seen over the years are resulting in better success for our hearing aid patients than ever before.
Hearing aids are available in a wide range of technology and sizes. No single hearing aid is a good fit for every individual and every hearing loss. At Audiology Consultants, we work with multiple hearing aid brands and varying levels of technology which allows us to fit the individual needs of each patient. The level of technology is what affects the performance and cost of your hearing aids. After evaluating your hearing and communication needs, one of our experienced audiologists will assist you in hearing aid comparison and ultimately the selection of a hearing aid that is best suited for your hearing needs and lifestyle. Our audiologists are up to date on the latest innovations in hearing aids and accessories and are prepared to help you on the journey to better hearing!
What will my hearing aids look like?
Hearing aids are available in many different styles. This is the packaging of your hearing aid and, for the most part, does not affect the cost or how your hearing aid performs. Some degrees or configurations of hearing loss are better suited to certain hearing aid styles. Our audiologists work with you to recommend a style that is not only appropriate for your hearing loss but addresses your individual preferences or concerns, such as cosmetics or dexterity.
In the Ear hearing aids come in a range of sizes. The hearing aids are custom made from an impression made of your ear so they fit comfortably and securely. These aids are made from a material that closely matches skin tone.
Invisible In-The-Canal (IIC)
This is the smallest custom hearing aid and fits deeply in the ear as to be nearly unseen when in the ear. This aid is designed to fit mild to moderate hearing loss.
This small custom aid is designed to fit completely in the canal and will fit mild to moderate hearing loss. It does not fit as deeply in the ear as the IIC and is able to fit a wider population.
This style extends out of the ear canal into the lower bowl of the ear. Its slightly larger size has the advantage of a larger battery than the IIC or CIC while still maintaining cosmetic appeal. Due to its size, the aid may allow for features such as a program button, volume control, directional microphones and wireless technology. This style can accommodate mild to moderate hearing loss.
Full Shell or In-the-Ear (ITE)
This style is designed to fill the entire bowl portion of the ear. Because of its larger size, it is often able to accommodate multiple features/controls such as a program button, volume control, directional microphones and wireless technology. The battery is usually larger than in the other custom sizes allowing for longer battery life and easier handling. This larger style is able to be louder than smaller aids and can fit mild to severe hearing loss.
Behind the Ear hearing aids consist of a hearing aid that sits behind the ear. A tube or wire leads from the hearing aid into the ear or earmold. These aids are available in a variety of colors and designs ranging from skin tone and hair color to zebra striped! Because of their versatility, the behind the ear styles are extremely popular.
Mini BTE with slim tube and tip
This miniature behind the ear hearing aid sits behind the ear and delivers the sound to the ear via a thin plastic tube with soft flexible plastic tip that fits in the ear canal. This style of aid is very cosmetically appealing and has the advantage of not completely plugging up the ear canal. Because of its open nature, this “open fit” hearing aid delivers a normal and natural sound that is usually easily accepted by the hearing aid wearer. This type of aid is designed for individuals with mild to moderate-severe high frequency hearing loss.
Receiver in the ear (RITE)
This is a miniature behind the ear hearing aid that sits behind the ear with a thin wire that leads to a receiver (or speaker) that fits in the ear canal. Like the slim tube fits, this style of aid is very cosmetically appealing and has the advantage of not completely plugging up the ear canal. Because of its open nature, this “open fit” hearing aid delivers a normal and natural sound that is usually easily accepted by the hearing aid wearer. This type of aid is designed for individuals with mild to moderate-severe high frequency hearing loss.
BTE with earmold
This traditional behind the ear hearing aid sits behind the ear with a thicker tube leading to a custom made earmold in the ear. This aid fits the largest range of hearing loss, from mild to profound.