Types of Hearing Aids: What They Are and How to Choose One – ONEBRIDGE

Hearing loss could significantly affect your life, including your relationships, employment, and emotional health. They can significantly improve hearing when used properly and with assistance during adjustment. The gadgets, however, cannot bring back normal hearing. By boosting noises you've had difficulties hearing, they can help you hear better.

A hearing aid is a battery-operated electronic device to improve hearing. The aids amplify some sounds and are small enough to put in or behind your ear. They might enable you to hear more clearly in calm and noisy environments.

Hearing aids come in a variety of styles. What is best for you, then?

Different types of hearing aids

Different kinds of hearing devices are available to suit various preferences and need to accommodate diverse needs.

Analog hearing aids 

They only amplify a sound wave. The aids equalize all sound amplification, which might make discrimination challenges. For quiet or loud conditions, analog hearing aids may have multiple settings.

As digital technology develops, analog hearing aids are getting less prevalent.

Digital hearing aids

They enhance the sound waves after converting them into computer-like numerical codes. The code contains details about a sound's volume or frequency and direction. Thus, whether you are at a restaurant, quiet room, or stadium, you may more easily modify the sound to suit your needs.

Many will automatically adapt. Although this hearing aid is much more expensive than the analog ones, the outcomes are considerably better. In addition, they are more powerful and smaller.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) 

With the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, a thin cable runs from the hard plastic casing, which houses the electronics, to a plastic earmold that fits within the outer ear. In the earmold are the microphone and speaker. The earmold speaker in the ear receives sound that travels from the microphone to the electronics and back.

Individuals of all ages with minor or severe hearing loss can use BTE hearing aids. However, some people might find them to be too bulky.

"On-the-ear" or "mini" BTE devices

A brand-new BTE device, known as a small BTE (or "on-the-ear") device,  is smaller but still fits behind or on the ear. The aid is connected to the ear canal using an extremely tiny, nearly undetectable tube.

Mini BTEs can employ a conventional earmold or an earpiece that is comfortable to insert ("open fit"). In addition to reducing occlusion or "blocked up" feelings in the ear canal, mini BTEs can improve comfort, lessen feedback, and help many users with aesthetic issues.

In-the-canal (ITC)

A thin plastic shell called In-the-Canal (ITC) is placed inside your canal. They are renowned for being cozy and simple to use. Additionally, they are designed to accommodate your ear's shape and size. However, several people find them more difficult to utilize because of their small size.

ITCs are effective for mild to moderate hearing loss but are not advised for severe hearing loss. The ITC hearing aid is a variant that sits deeply in the canal.

This design, also known as completely-in-the-canal (CIC), is compact, hardly noticeable, and offers no input while using the phone.

A CIC, however, costs more and could make your voice seem too loud, known as the occlusion effect). For those with mild to severe hearing loss, this fashion is better.

How to Choose Hearing Aids

Trial periods

Enquire about the test period if you're trying out hearing aids for the first time or a different style. Most companies provide a minimum of a 30-day trial period. However, some can have non-refundable charges, so find out before leaving the shop.

Ask for a recommendation for a trustworthy audiologist.

Check with your doctor for a recommendation if you don't already know a reliable audiologist. An audiologist will examine your hearing, advise you on the best hearing aid, and make necessary adjustments to the gadget. Two hearing plugs will work best if you have hearing problems in both ears.

Smartphone capability

It's advisable to use wireless technology if you already have a smartphone. With a push of a button, you may stream music, phone calls, audiobooks, or podcasts from the phone, tablet, TV, or computer directly into your hearing aid, thanks to Bluetooth technology, which is now included in most hearing aid models.

One warning, however: Because Bluetooth is a known power hog, your batteries or charge will deplete considerably more quickly.

However, very soon, all significant hearing aid producers will use a new format called Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) — some already do — which should lessen this issue.


The warranty's term and its scope are important considerations as well. Before making a purchase, check the small print and ask questions. If there is a choice, you might also wish to think about prolonging the warranty.

Be wary of commercials that make false assertions.

Many businesses advertise on the internet and television that they sell high-quality hearing aids. While most have a good reputation, others don't. Before buying a hearing device online, consult a physician or an audiologist. They can assist you in figuring out whether the brand and business are reliable.

For more information on hearing devices, consult Consumer Advocates or Consumer Reports.

Adjustments and repairs

Make sure to inquire about modifications and fixes. Can the hearing aid's retailer offer free or inexpensive repairs or adjustments, and for how long? A hearing aid that includes continuing care may cost more, but the reassurance is frequently justifiable.


Take away

Regular use and proper care of the hearing aids will increase your chances of success. An audiologist can also inform you of the latest hearing aids and technology innovations. The expert can assist you in making adjustments to suit your needs.

The objective is for you to find the aid that you are at ease wearing eventually, improving your sense of hearing and communication. There are numerous digital and analog hearing aid versions available. The biggest variances depend on how close to the ear you place the hearing aid.

The optimal fit depends on various elements, including a user's budget, aesthetic preferences, and degree of hearing loss. You can consult a doctor for recommendations and guidance on the appropriate kind of hearing aid for your need.

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