Losing your ability to hear is not something anyone wants to face. However, being fitted with a device to make it better might be the best decision you could make. Hearing aids are among the top choices that audiologists provide for much-needed amplification. There are several types from which to select.
Mobile Phone Enabled
Companies understand that people who use their hearing aids still need to be able to use cellular phones. That is why they have a model that is made for mobile phone use. This aid connects to your phone or any other mobile device via an application. It easily streams music, calls, and commands from your device into your ear – no need to hold the phone or use earphones. The technology allows you to hear comfortably while eliminating buzzing and whistling most users complain about. This model is available as either a receiver-in-canal or behind-the-ear version.
Of course, hearing aids come in small, in-the-canal models for those who want something discreet. You can choose from a custom in-the-canal (ITC) version, which is still visible but not obvious, or a completely-in-canal (CIC) version. With the CIC, a small removal handle is visible. Otherwise, it is virtually undetectable by those around you. The CIC is designed for someone with minimal hearing loss. ITC models are designed for someone who has mild to mildly severe hearing loss and replaces technology that used to require a much larger device. A small portion shows in the outer ear, which is larger than the CIC version.
For those who want something that is less obvious than a canal type device, there is the invisible product (IIC). With IIC devices, the tiny aid fits into the canal, but there is very little showing in the outer ear. This device is considered invisible in most patients and is designed for those with mild to moderately severe loss.
Hearing aids also come in two behind-the-ear styles. One, which is simply known as BTE, has a tube that runs into the ear canal to deliver sound. While this design is typically large, the company has been working on reducing the overall size. They also offer another version in which a speaker is placed in the canal. Instead of tubing, the speaker is connected to a tiny wire. It is smaller and less visible but works in a similar way. Both are rated for people with mild to severe hearing loss.
Of course, only a professional audiologist can determine which of the many hearing aids is the best option for you. You should speak with your doctor at your appointment and get his insight as to which product will best meet your needs. It is important to remember that each device is custom fit to your ear, so there may be a few weeks between determining which device you need and the time you receive it. Always make sure to maintain your aid as directed to keep it in the best working condition.