If everybody in Dallas were exactly alike, one type of hearing aid would suffice. But we are all unique, which means there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all hearing solution. When it comes time to select a pair of hearing aids, you’ll have a wide variety to choose from.
Hearing Aid Types
Choosing a hearing aid can feel overwhelming. The main factors to consider are your type and degree of hearing loss; lifestyle needs; cosmetic preferences and budget. Your Dallas audiologist is happy to help you narrow down your choices.
Are all hearing aids the same?
Despite a great deal of variation in looks and size, all hearing aids operate on the same principle—they amplify sounds so you can hear better and communicate more effectively. They all contain the same basic components: a microphone, amplifier, receiver and battery. The differences are mainly cosmetic in nature.
How many styles are there?
Hearing aids are available in six basic styles. You’ll find minor differences in each manufacturer’s product lineup, but any variation in design is subtle. There are pros and cons with each type of hearing aid; your audiologist will provide recommendations based on your specific needs.
The basic hearing aid types are:
RITE hearing aids contain a miniature housing that includes all the electronics except for the receiver, which is worn in the concha of the ear and connected to the housing with a thin tube. This type is small, discreet and powerful. It’s an excellent choice for patients with mild to moderately severe hearing loss.
BTE hearing aids are the most popular type due to their ease of use and ability to treat a wide range of hearing losses. Simple controls make them especially useful for children and the elderly. The housing, which contains the electronics, matches the contour of the ear and rests directly behind it. It is connected to the receiver in the ear canal via a thin tube. The BTE is larger and more visible than other hearing aids, but is ideal for those with dexterity issues and features an impressive battery life.
Open Fit hearing aids are essentially smaller versions of the BTE and lack a receiver. Because the ear canal is left unobstructed, there is less blockage. It is smaller and more discreet than a BTE and is a great choice for patients experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss, especially in the higher frequencies.
As the name implies, ITC hearing aids are worn in the ear canal, with only a small portion visible to the naked eye. They are custom made from impressions of the patient’s ear canals and feature a one-piece design. ITC hearing aids are good options for people who have mild to moderate hearing loss.
CIC hearing aids are the smallest type available. They are worn deep in the ear canal with only a tiny portion of the face visible. CIC hearing aids take advantage of the ear’s natural ability to collect sound. The one-piece design is custom molded to fit the individual’s ear canals. These hearing aids are excellent for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss who value discretion and don’t want to draw attention to their hearing impairment.
ITE hearing aids are worn in the lower bowl-shaped portion of the outer ear. They are larger than those made for the ear canals, but are lightweight, compact, easy to manage and have a longer battery life. Patients with severe to profound hearing loss will benefit most from ITE hearing aids.