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Hearing aids – the different types available

Hearing aids are devices that are made to help amplify sounds for people with hearing problems. They come in different designs but have a number of common electronic components. Each must a have microphone for picking sound, a circuitry to amplify the sound, a receiver, and a battery. The differences are in terms of the amplification technology used, design and special features. The type of hearing aid to choosing is dependent on the nature of your impairment and personal preference. Discussed hereafter are the main types of hearing aids available, take a look and see which you might prefer, once you have decided then speak to one of our expert staff in store and we can help you choose the ideal hearing aid.

1. ITE (in-the-ear) and the ITC (in-the-canal)aids
This device is made to completely sit inside the ear. It features the most recent digital technology. Its casing is made of mould that enables it to fit in the ear. In comparison to ITCs, the ITEs are more visible, except they both don’t have any parts behind the ear. Their advantage is in the ease of control and handling. They, however, require being repaired more frequently. ITE and ITC are used for severe or some mild hearing loss.
behind the ear hearing aid
2. BTE (behind-the-ear) aids with earmold
It is made up of two parts that are linked by a microtube or a tube. The main part of BTE sits behind the ear and the other part is inserted into the ear. This second part can either be a tip, a cone or an earmold. It is preferred by many due to its reliability and versatility. Again, it is suited for the most hearing problems. Some people find it not suitable because it is so visible and may cause some plug-up pain in the ear. This pain can, however, be relieved by vents in the mould.

3. RITE (receiver-in-the-ear) digital aids
These are made to fit behind the outer parts of the ear. It’s only the receiver that is made to be placed inside the ear canal. It lacks the earmold, is small and is very comfortable. It gives a very natural quality of sound. The disadvantage is; wax and sweat easily affect it and this can lower the quality of sound. Whether your hearing problem is mild or severe, you can use it.

4. BTE (behind-the-ear) open-fit 
It is also small and has a soft earpiece in place of the mould. This ensures that you are comfortable and is also not very visible. The quality of sound from BTE open-fit is natural. It is used for both mild and moderate hearing losses. The only issue with this aid is that it becomes loose if you don’t insert it correctly.
behind the ear hearing aid
5. CIC (completely-in-the-canal) aids
These are also referred to as invisible hearing aids. They can be used to solve moderate and mild hearing problems. Of all the hearing aids, it is the smallest in size. It’s fitted further into the ear canal that the ITC/ITE. However, it has more downsides than all the other types of aids. It may malfunction as a result of wax and sweat, causes a plugged-up feeling and the level of visibility depends on how your ear is shaped. It’s not the best type for those who have problems using small buttons and switches.

These are the most common types of hearing aids. The less common types include:
• Bone conduction hearing aids
• Hearing aid with tinnitus marker
• BiCROS and CROS hearing aids
• Body-worn hearing aids
• Customized spectacle hearing aids and
• Implantable devices

As we’ve seen, there are many types of hearing aids in the market. If you are looking for one, you can look at the list and find the one that best suits your needs, more importantly, you can get some advice from our expert staff in store. You must never forget to give priority to the level of hearing loss you have.