With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, hearing aids are becoming smaller and less conspicuous than ever. They are increasingly being tailored to individuals’ needs, which means they can now be purchased in a variety of styles and sizes. For a more detailed guide on the types of hearing aid you could buy in the digital age, read on.
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
These hearing aids are likely to be most popular among younger users, largely due to the fact they are made according to the wearer’s ear shape so they sit within the ear perfectly and remain out of sight.
In order for the fit to be just right, a mould is taken of the person’s ear and this will decide how big or small the shell that contains the aid must be. Other factors that will influence this include the size of the ear canal, how severe the hearing loss is and the individual’s dexterity, among others.
You can purchase extra-small versions of these hearing aids called invisible in-the-canal aids, which sit well into the ear canal. These gadgets are great if you’re after a hearing aid that’s as inconspicuous as possible – but because they are custom-made, they may come with a higher price tag than some other models.
Before you go shopping for hearing aids, it’s important to determine what your needs are and how high your budget is, and these factors will help you make the right decision.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
As you might expect, BTE hearing aids are positioned outside the ear and are more visible than their ITE counterparts. You could be forgiven for thinking this makes them the less desirable option, but you’d be wrong.
They are actually more practical than ITE aids for some groups of people, such as elderly citizens and young children, as they are easier to take in and out and are safer as well. With kids in particular, whose ears grow as they get older, an ITE hearing aid could feel uncomfortable after some time due to its snug fit.
With BTE hearing aids, the amplified sound is transmitted down a slim tube into the ear canal, and this tube sits in the canal either using a custom-made mould or a smaller tip or dome.
Which hearing aid is right for you?
It can be difficult weighing up which hearing aid you’re most likely to benefit from.
ITE hearing aids are lighter and offer a seamless experience, making them better for people who likely to talk on the phone a lot and want a gadget that isn’t particularly noticeable. They are also less inclined to pick up wind noise.
However, they do use smaller batteries than BTE models, which usually don’t last as long as bigger varieties. What’s more, they’re usually without additional features, such as volume control, which could prove problematic for some people.
It all depends on how you feel about the visibility of your hearing aid and how much you are willing to pay for a device that is tailor-made to meet your needs. Click here to find out more information about the varieties of aids you could buy.