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(306) 745-2118    |   chelsea@myhouseofhearing.ca

HEARING AIDS

Here at My House of Hearing, your hearing health is our passion and one of the things we get most passionate about is the huge variety and quality of modern hearing aids. This page is simply an overview of the different types of hearing aid you may require for your personal hearing health needs. Please speak with your audiologist to learn about specific models and brands of new hearing aids. The technology is always improving and we like to have the absolute best on the market! 

Hearing Aids: How to Choose the Right One

Many types of hearing aids exist. So which is best for you? Find out what to consider when choosing a hearing aid.

 

Perhaps you’ve thought about getting a hearing aid, but you’re worried about how it will look or whether it will really help. It may help ease your concerns to know more about:

  • The hearing aid options available to you
  • What to look for when buying a hearing aid
  • How to get used to a hearing aid

Hearing aids can’t restore normal hearing. They can improve your hearing by amplifying sounds that you’ve had trouble hearing.

 

How hearing aids work

All hearing aids use the same basic parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and make them louder. Most hearing aids are digital, and all are powered with a traditional hearing aid battery or a rechargeable battery.

Small microphones collect sounds from the environment. A computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code. It analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers, sometimes called receivers.

Hearing aids use these parts to help pick up and amplify sound from your environment and channel it into your ear: microphone (detects the sound), amplifier (makes the sound stronger), speaker (sends the sound into your ear so that you can hear it), battery (provides power to the electronic parts). Some hearing aids have a volume control (increases or decreases the volume of the sound) or a program button.

Hearing aid styles

Hearing aids vary a great deal in price, size, special features and the way they’re placed in your ear.

The following are common hearing aid styles, beginning with the smallest, least visible in the ear. Hearing aid designers keep making smaller hearing aids to meet the demand for a hearing aid that is not very noticeable. But the smaller aids may not have the power to give you the improved hearing you may expect.

Completely in the canal (CIC)
Invisible in the canal (IIC)
In-the-ear (ITE)
Behind-the-ear (BTE)
In the canal (ITC)
Receiver in the ear (RITE)

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is the smallest and least visible type
  • Is less likely to pick up wind noise
  • Uses very small batteries, which have shorter life and can be difficult to handle
  • Often doesn't include extra features, such as volume control or a directional microphone
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

IIC and CIC styles are the smallest and most discreet hearing aids available. "Invisible in the canal" IIC styles are as described—virtually invisible. A wearer places them very deeply in the ears, and they must be removed by tugging on a small pull-out string. "Completely in the canal" CIC are very similar, but don't sit quite so deeply within the ears.

These styles are typically fit for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Because of their small size, they don’t usually come with any manual controls, like volume wheels or program buttons.

Advantages:

  • very discreet
  • good sound quality because of how they fit within the ear

Disadvantages:

  • susceptible to ear wax and moisture damage
  • small size can be a problem for dexterity
  • small size also can be a problem for connectivity to wireless devices, like smartphones

An in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is custom made in two styles — one that fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear (full shell) and one that fills only the lower part (half shell). Both are helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss and are available with directional microphones (two microphones for better hearing in noise).

An in-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Includes features that don't fit on smaller style hearing aids, such as a volume control
  • May be easier to handle
  • Uses a larger battery for longer battery life, with several options for rechargeable batteries
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker
  • May pick up more wind noise than do smaller devices
  • Is more visible in the ear than smaller devices

A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an ear mold that fits in your ear canal. This type is appropriate for people of all ages and those with almost any type of hearing loss.

A behind-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Traditionally has been the largest type of hearing aid, though some newer mini designs are streamlined and barely visible
  • Has directional microphones
  • Is capable of more amplification than are other styles
  • May pick up more wind noise than do other styles
  • May be available with a rechargeable battery

BTE aids sit behind or on top of the outer ear with tubing that routes the sound down into the ear canal via a custom-fit earmold or a dome style that doesn’t block the entire ear canal opening. BTE styles are available in different colors to match hair or skin tone, as well as flashier designs for personalized flair.

ITC hearing aids sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, making them comfortable and easy to use. Because they’re slightly larger than IIC and CIC styles, they tend to have a slightly longer battery life and can fit a wider range of hearing losses. Their size also allows them to host additional features such as directional microphones for better understanding in noisy environments and manual controls, like a volume wheel, if desired.

Advantages:

  • discreet
  • longer battery life and more features than IIC and CIC styles

Disadvantages:

  • susceptible to ear wax and moisture damage
  • more occlusion, can make wearers feel plugged up
  • small size can be a problem for connectivity to wireless devices

This style is typically known as either as “receiver in the ear” (RITE) or “receiver in canal” (RIC), depending on the manufacturer. But they essentially mean the same thing—an open-fit hearing aid style that has the speaker built into an insertable ear dome, instead of the main body of the hearing aid. In other words, the speaker of the hearing aid rests in the ear canal, but the microphone and processor sit in a tiny case behind the ear. They are connected by a thin wire. This style of hearing aid tends to have above-average sound quality and is made by all major hearing aid manufacturers.

If it gets damaged, the speaker portion of the hearing aid that fits in the ear can often be replaced at the hearing aid center, instead of having to be shipped off to the manufacturer for repair.

Advantages:

  • generally the only style that comes with a rechargeable battery option
  • most likely to come with wireless connectivity to devices like phones
  • most likely to have advanced technology such as artificial intelligence
  • the speaker can be replaced separately
  • telecoil options are common

Disadvantages:

  • smaller RITE sizes (known as mini-RITEs) can be a problem for dexterity
  • speaker, which is inside the ear, is susceptible to moisture and ear wax damage
  • the microphone and sound processor that sit behind the ear is visible

Hearing Aids come in all shapes and sizes, and there are newer models being released all the time. Let’s work together to find the perfect fit for your ears, your hearing needs, and your fashion sense! Book an appointment with Chelsea today and stop missing out on conversations, events, details, and life!

Have a look at a small sample of the hearing aids we have on offer, but remember there are many more to choose from in store that are highly specific to your needs, your tastes, and your budget – so get that appointment booked in as soon as possible!

Oticon More™

miniBTE R

Oticon More™ miniBTE R is a small and rechargeable hearing aid that fits most people’s ears. It can stream audio directly from iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, and selected Android™ devices. This is because Oticon More is a Made for iPhone hearing aid with Bluetooth®, and is compatible with the new Android protocol for Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA). The miniBTE R also features a telecoil and a single push-button, and is powered by a lithium-ion battery.

Oticon More™

miniBTE T

Oticon More™ miniBTE T is a small hearing aid with disposable batteries, and fits most people’s ears. It comes with an LED light and a single push-button for easy handling. It can stream audio directly from iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, and selected Android™ devices. This is because Oticon More is a Made for iPhone hearing aid with Bluetooth®, and is compatible with the new Android protocol for Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA). The miniBTE T also features a telecoil.

Oticon More™

miniRITE R

Oticon More miniRITE R is a discreet rechargeable style that gives you access to all relevant sounds. Oticon More supports the brain in making sense of sound and it is easy to operate with a double push button for volume and programme control. It features Bluetooth wireless technology for seamless connectivity with your favourite devices.

Oticon More™

miniRITE T

Oticon More miniRITE T is a discreet hearing aid style with disposable batteries. It gives you access to all relevant sounds and supports the brain in making sense of sound. Oticon More is easy to operate with a double push-button for volume and programme control, and an LED light to show the hearing aid’s status. It features Bluetooth® wireless technology for seamless connections with your favourite devices.