Just like there are many types and degrees of hearing loss, there are many styles of hearing aids available in an array of colors and sizes from a variety of manufacturers. Figuring out which hearing aid is right for your exact hearing needs takes the skill and training of an audiologist.
Below we review how audiologists determine the right hearing aid for you.
The first step in getting the best treatment for your hearing loss is to get a comprehensive hearing test.
Hearing tests measure how loud sounds have to be in order for you to hear them across the speech frequencies. The results of your hearing test are plotted on an audiogram, which is a visual representation of your hearing loss.
Both ears will be tested; you may have different hearing abilities in each.
Hearing Aid Styles
After reviewing your audiogram with you, your audiologist will talk to you about what style would best suit your hearing loss. Different styles are suitable for different types and degrees of hearing loss:
- Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) and invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids are the smallest, most discreet types, and are best suited for mild to moderate hearing loss.
- In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are also suitable for mild to moderate hearing loss, and while slightly larger and less discreet, they can hold more features and battery power.
- In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are available in a half-shell or full-bowl shell and are best for people with dexterity issues. They are also able to treat more severe hearing loss.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are powerful enough to suit mild to severe hearing loss. They are commonly recommended for children because the earmold can be switched out as they grow.
- Open-fit hearing aids are specially designed for people who have good low frequency hearing and hearing loss in the higher frequencies.
Hearing Aid Features
Audiologists will also talk to you about your lifestyle to determine what features you could benefit from. A person who enjoys attending shows at Tacoma Musical Playhouse will need more advanced features than someone who prefers quiet evenings at home.
Some of today’s hearing aids boast features such as:
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Background noise reduction.
- Directional microphones.
- Automatic programming.
With all these styles and features of hearing aids, you don’t want to make the decision on your own. To consult with a trained audiologist, call Evergreen Speech & Hearing today!