It can be difficult to come to terms with needing a hearing aid, and it can be even more difficult to figure out which kind is the best for you. There are many different styles available, but not every one will suit your needs and abilities. The best way to determine which hearing aid is best is through a consultation with one of our Tuscaloosa audiologists, but here’s a guide to get you started on researching your options.
Receiver- in-the-Canal (RIC)
This type of hearing aid is usually custom-made to fit completely or mostly within the ear canal, meaning it’s low-profile or even entirely unseen. These can be used for mild to moderate cases of hearing loss and require a degree of dexterity, especially if it needs to be removed nightly or adjusted. However, these offer the greatest cosmetic advantage, if that’s what you favor when looking at your options.
While this type is still relatively low-profile, it’s designed to fit within the shell of the ear and offers easier access for adjustment. This type can be beneficial to most degrees of hearing loss, from mild to severe, due to the larger capacity for technology. If you’re looking for a good balance of cosmetic function and ease-of-access, this type is common and proven to be effective.
This type usually contains a small plastic piece that contains the hearing technology and rests behind the ear for added comfort. This part connects to the receiver inside the ear canal, making it easy to adjust. This type can have different iterations, including a ‘mini’ type that is more comfortable and less visible. Although best for moderate to severe hearing loss, these are also commonly used on children who will continue to grow and will need to easily change out the various parts.
Hearing Aid Technology
All hearing aids available at this time utilize digital technology. Digital hearing aids have improved sound comfort and quality. There are several levels of technology available to the patient. It is recommended the patient choose the level of technology that most appropriately fits their lifestyle. Our audiologists will assist the patient in making this decision. Digital technology allows for hearing aids to be programmed based on the patient’s hearing loss and can be adjusted as hearing loss progresses or depending on the patient’s listening environment. Current technology allows for additional features such as rechargeable batteries, background noise suppression, and Bluetooth capabilities.
There can be many different things to consider when choosing your hearing aid, but these are some of the categories to be aware of when speaking with an audiologist about your options. Contact Alabama ENT to schedule a screening and begin finding the right hearing aid for you.