Understanding the options for hearing aids

Our world is filled with sounds which make clear hearing a gift, enhancing every aspect of life. For the millions experiencing hearing loss, finding out the best options to augment your hearing can be daunting, and downright confusing. However, advancements in the in-built technology — not to mention decades of design improvement — have made hearing aids an option for anyone whose hearing has diminished over the years.

The types of hearing aids available are diverse. From discreet behind-the-ear devices to discreet in-ear hearing aids, let’s explore the varieties and benefits, as well as limitations, technological advancements, and how to find the best one for your needs.

Main hearing aid styles

Before looking at the technical aspects of hearing aids, it’s important to have an understanding of the main styles you’ll find. Here’s an overview of the main varieties you’re likely to come across when comparing hearing aid options.

Behind-the-ear hearing aids

Behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE) are among the most common styles. They’ve been around a long time and are favoured for their versatility and effectiveness. Sitting comfortably behind the ear, they are suitable for various degrees of hearing loss.

BTE hearing aids are also available with features such as directional microphones and feedback suppression, creating a clearer, more natural listening experience.

BTE hearing aids have some limitations, however. Due to their external placement, they may be more susceptible to wind, traffic, and crowd noise in outdoor settings. Additionally, individuals with active lifestyles may find the fit less secure during more vigorous activities.

In-ear hearing aids

In-ear hearing aids, often shortened to ITE, include different types of hearing aids, such as in-the-canal (ITC), and invisible-in-canal (IIC). These devices are usually custom-moulded to fit comfortably within the individual user’s ear, providing ultimate comfort and natural sound amplification, as well as remaining virtually invisible to others.

ITE aids undoubtedly have their benefits, but they do have some limitations as well. Their small size can make handling and maintenance challenging for some users, and individuals with dexterity issues may find them difficult to insert, remove, or keep track of. On top of this, due to their placement deep within the ear canal, they may be more prone to wax buildup, necessitating regular cleaning and maintenance of the device.

Additional features and technology options

Much like our phones, cars — and even fridges — modern hearing aids offer a range of advanced technical features.

For example, Bluetooth connectivity allows for seamless integration with your smartphone, enabling users to stream music and phone calls directly to their hearing aids.

In addition to this, digital processing technology ensures clear sound quality while actively minimising background noise and optimising speech comprehension in noisy settings. Hearing loop technology is a good example of this — it provides a wireless magnetic signal that the hearing aid picks up when using the ‘Telecoil’ setting. This boosts accessibility by connecting hearing aids to loop systems in public spaces, delivering clear audio.

Finding the best hearing aid for you: where to start

Now you know a little more about the types of hearing aids available, you may be wondering what’s next. Read on for our steps to finding the ideal hearing aid option for your needs.

Arrange a hearing test

Before you can work out the best hearing aid for you, it’s essential to understand your hearing loss level. A hearing test will help guide you towards the ideal device for your requirements.

Discuss your options with a trained audiologist

After your hearing evaluation, take advantage of the expertise of your audiologist to discuss the various hearing aid types. Don’t be afraid to ask about the different styles, features, and technologies to ensure you receive personalised recommendations that match your lifestyle and provide clearer hearing for years to come.

Take care of your hearing aids

Once you’ve selected the best solution for your hearing needs, proper maintenance is key to ensuring their longevity and performance. For BTE hearing aids, regularly cleaning the earmold and tubing is the most common maintenance required alongside replacing the battery.

Similarly, for ITE devices, removing earwax and moisture buildup regularly using a soft brush or cloth can maintain optimal sound quality and functionality. There’s no need to worry about the idea of taking care of your new device because each device will come with a care manual and your audiologist can provide the best care advice to you.

Understanding your options and finding the best device for your needs

With the abundance of hearing aid options out there, narrowing down your choices may initially seem daunting. If you’re seeking a top-quality hearing aid from a reputable supplier, consider using platforms like SpotDif to take the uncertainty out of your decision. Compare hearing aid providers near you and enjoy the benefits of clear, comfortable hearing.

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4262 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.