Understanding Hearing Aid Styles

Understanding Hearing Aid Styles

Even when you suspect you have hearing loss, it can be a bit difficult to face the reality. However, today’s hearing aid styles offer many options and you’re bound to find the right one for you. Hearing aids are classified by how they sit in your ear. Receivers can be invisible in the canal, inside the ear canal, in the ear, or behind the ear. The style you choose depends upon many things, including the degree of your hearing loss, how you will be using the hearing aids, and the best features for you.

Discreet hearing aids

Two types of hearing aids are so small they’re difficult to detect. They are the invisible-in-the-canal and completely-in-canal hearing aids. These are the smallest hearing aids and just as the names suggest, they sit inside the ear canal. A special tool is used to insert and remove these hearing aids. While they appeal cosmetically, invisible in the canal hearing aids have some limitations due to their size. Used for mild to moderate hearing loss, these aids do not have manual volume controls and battery changes can be tricky.

In-your-ear hearing aids

The next sizes of hearing aids fit in the canal with a small portion in your outer ear or in the ear with a larger part in your outer ear. The style might be labeled half-shell or full-shell depending upon size. These hearing aids are more visible and also allow users more manual control over volume and other buttons. Battery changes are easier than smaller hearing aids. Both can be used for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Behind-the-ear devices

Some hearing aids sit behind the ear. There are several styles. The smallest is called receiver in the ear, with a soft tipped receiver that sits in the ear canal while the other components are behind the ear. They are connected by a small tube and come in mini or regular styles. Because of their size, dexterity can be an issue and some are susceptible to moisture. This style can be used for mild to moderate hearing loss.

A second behind the ear style comes with an earmold that fits in the ear canal. This hearing aid can be used for hearing loss that is mild to profound. These may require fewer repairs because the components all sit outside the ear, with less exposure to earwax and moisture. They come in a variety of colors and shapes.

Deciding upon a particular style of hearing aid may seem a little overwhelming, given all the available choices. Depending on your hearing loss and cosmetic desires, there are a good number of options. Your audiologist will make suggestions and help you decide based upon your hearing needs and any arthritis or other physical limitations. Because there are many hearing aid styles, you will definitely find the best units for your hearing loss and your budget.