When you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, you will find yourself at the beginning of a journey. You will now begin to venture into the world of finding the right hearing aid for you. Unfortunately, this process is often tougher than it sounds.
Hearing aids can be difficult to comprehend, and especially if you have no former experience of this kind of device. With little practical experience, you are going to be asked to consider a range of features, designs, and styles for your own use. Ascertaining which of these will suit you best can be difficult. This brief guide to the three most common styles of hearing aid should at least give you a decent head start…
In-the-ear hearing aids
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are more discreet than the BTE options. They also tend to be more comfortable, as they are custom-fit to suit the shape of the wearers’ ear. Essentially, they are designed to cover the “ear hole” almost completely. They are suitable for most forms of hearing loss and known for being simple to adjust, and relatively easy to use.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids
As the name suggests, behind-the-ear (commonly abbreviated to “BTE”) hearing aids are worn behind the ear. They are the most well-used style, but they are also the most obvious to onlookers. However, if you are not overly concerned by aesthetics, BTE hearing aids are a great choice. Thanks to their simple design, ease of use, and good sound quality they won’t let you down. Furthermore, BTE styles are suitable for all forms of hearing loss, from very mild to severe.
In-the-canal hearing aids
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids involve the hearing aid being placed directly inside the ear canal. As you would expect, this is one of the most discreet forms of hearing aids, as very little of the hearing aid would be visible to an onlooker. However, there is a compromise with this discretion. ITC hearing aids are only suitable for hearing loss that is categorised as “mildly severe” and below. If you have more severe hearing loss, then you will likely be better served by one of the options above.
Invisible in-the-canal hearing aids
Finally, invisible in-the-canal hearing aids (IIC) are a great choice if you are concerned about the visibility of your hearing aid. As the term “invisible” suggests, IIC hearing aids are nigh-on impossible to detect even if an onlooker knows to look for a hearing aid. They’re a great choice if discretion is important to you. However, as with ITC hearing aids, the discretion comes at a cost— IIC hearing aids are only suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss.
As well as your own research, it’s worth remembering that you can always rely on your audiologist for unbiased and professional advice regarding which hearing aids may be right for you. And remember: there’s no rush to make a decision. Take the time you need to ensure you consider all of the options and select the one that is right for you and your lifestyle.