Various Types of Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are far different from what they were many years ago. They have come a long way from the proverbial ear trumpet. Patients have a variety of choices these days from completely invisible hearing aids to over the ear and receiver in the ear devices. The different options are exciting as well as overwhelming, that’s why we are here to help you navigate all that information out there.
Buying a new hearing aid completely depends on the requirements of a patient’s lifestyle needs. The best method for selecting the appropriate hearing aid is to speak to a licensed hearing professional. Call now to book your complimentary hearing evaluation.
Hearing aids today are primarily digital. This digitalization has allowed hearing aid manufacturers to make them smaller and more powerful than ever. Their style, function, and feel have been changed drastically as manufacturers can put more computer components into smaller spaces. Many people like the sleek and nearly invisible look of these high fidelity and natural sounding hearing aids of today.
Call now to try a pair of hearing aids and experience superior sound quality today.
Features of Hearing Aids
Most hearing aids come equipped with dual microphones. Having two microphones greatly enhances the hearing aids ability to differentiate between sounds you want to hear and sounds you don’t, this is especially good in noisy situations. This is achieved with embedded cutting-edge features that help the hearing aid judge the source of unwanted noise and then reduce it.
Open technology reduces that “talking in a barrel” effect by keeping the ear canal unobstructed
Feedback cancellation prevents the hearing aid from making annoying whistling sounds.
Hands-free technology automatically adjusts your hearing aids to your listening environment, when speaking on the phone, while in a crowd, while playing on a windy golf course or when soaking up the sun while sailing on a boat.
Your digital hearing aid can be programmed with a computer to fulfil your personal requirements.
Wireless technology helps your hearing aid connect to your cell phone, connect to a television and home phone in stereo, all seamlessly and directly through your hearing aids!
Traditional analog hearing aids have amplifiers that feature manual volume controls and manual fine-tuning. These particular hearing aids are beneficial for listening in soft, relatively quiet environments or one-on-one conversation, or listening to a television show are important because these sounds are usually amplified in exactly the same way.
The popularity of Wireless Hearing Aids
The hearing aid is paired with a handheld device like a Smartphone and connects you directly and wirelessly to the sounds one want to hear like your favorite TV show or game. The breakthrough of this technology picks up the sound you want to hear while dampening other distracting noises. No need to crank up the volume on the television, no more arguments with people or screaming into your cell phone and no more missing out on the things you enjoy most. Just imagine enjoying your life watching television in your house with proper sound levels. Wireless hearing aid technology can cut through the noise clutter and just tune into the TV. But as every person is different, one must select the hearing aids that are specifically fit, programmed and selected to individual requirements. Call now and we can help!
The Most Appropriate Hearing Aids for You
Who wants hearing aids that make them look like they have a medical appliance connected to their head? We meet so many patients on a regular basis and everyone wants sleek and invisible hearing aids.
Let’s look at some different form factors.
Behind the Ear (BTE) Hearing Aids
This type of hearing aid is perfect for people of all age-groups with any degree of hearing loss.
BTE hearing aids are the most common of hearing aids, mostly because they are specially developed to give your ears an incredible enhancement of power. The hard plastic casing, which can be made in many different colors, fits directly behind the top of your ear in a place where it easily blends with the color of your hair.
The earmold can be custom made to the shape and contours of your ear canal making the fit very snug and comfortable. They can be ordered in a variety of colours including clear, pink and tan to decrease visibility and blend in. This BTE has a wide variety of programming features and options which may be customized to meet your specific hearing needs.
In the Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
Often prescribed for individuals with dexterity or disability challenges, the ITE can meet the hearing needs of individuals with mild to severe hearing losses.
ITE hearing aids are custom moulded to match the contours of your outer ear, and are designed to provide excellent amplification. The hard plastic casing forms to the exact shape of your ear making a nice and snug fit, preventing the hearing aid from slipping off or falling out. The (ITE) hearing aid may be ordered in a variety of colours to match your skin tone including pink, beige, cocoa and brown.
Select features may be added to this hearing aid to make it hassle free including a telecoil, ear to ear communication and automatic programming.
Receiver in the Ear (RIC) Hearing Aids
Usually prescribed for individuals with mild to severe hearing losses. Our RIC hearing aids are perfect for the active adult. With directional microphone technology, these hearing aids make conversations easier to understand and crowded environments are more tolerable. These hearing aids detect and amplify the target speech signal and decrease the irritating background noise.
Often worn by busy professionals and socially active individuals who frequent business meetings, parties and other social events and want discrete options for better hearing. The small hard plastic casing is often hidden behind the ear or underneath your hair.
These hearing aids feature an ultra-thin wire which picks up sound and carries it directly into a tiny speaker which fits invisibly into the ear canal. The RIC hearing aid can is available with many programming features like telecoil, volume or programming controls automatic programming and alert signals. It is available with accessories that can activate the bluetooth compatibility easily connecting your RIC hearing aids to your phone, your iPad or even your car.
In The Canal (ITC) Hearing Aids
ITC hearing aids are very small almost invisible custom hearing aids. These tiny devices are designed to fit snug in your ear canal and the hard plastic casing is small, ranging between 1-3 cm long.
The Invisible in the Canal (IIC) hearing aids are even smaller. Designed to fit deep in the ear canal closer to the eardrum. IICs come with standard features and may have wireless capability. These two styles of hearing aids are great for mild to moderately severe hearing losses.
Special Hearing Aid Features
Most of our devices have special programming features including noise and wind management programs, automatic adjustment programs, ear to ear communication programs including wireless bluetooth controls, directional microphones and music and telephone programs. These features help make communication much easier.
There are a number of assistive listening devices in the market to assist people with their individual hearing requirements. They can be categorized as:
- Assistive listening devices (ALDs) can be paired with hearing aids or cochlear implants to improve the quality and intensify the sounds you want to hear, especially in the presence of a lot of background noise.
- Alerting devices can be attached to an alarm, a telephone or a doorbell and will produce a prominent sound or bright strobing light to alert someone with hearing loss..
Assistive listening devices work with the help of a microphone. They pick up an audio source that is close to it and then transmits it to over a Frequency Modulator (FM), Infra Red (IR) transmitter, Induction Loop (IL) or some other transmission device.
FM systems are very popular in classroom settings where they transmit amplified sounds using radio signals. for example: A teacher would wear a tiny microphone paired with a transmitter, and the students would listen through a receiver which is adjusted to a particular frequency or channel.
Infrared systems broadcasts sound using infrared light. The infrared system’s signal is not able to penetrate through walls like induction loop or FM systems. So these are beneficial in environments like courtrooms, where private discussions are held, or in buildings where opposing signals are a problem, like classrooms or cinema halls. But infrared systems do not work well in environments with multiple light sources, for example outdoors or powerfully lit rooms.
Personal amplifiers serve well in places where the other systems are not available or while watching TV, driving or being outdoors. These devices are of the size of a mobile phone and these devices amplify sound and can minimize background noise. Some come equipped with directional microphones that can be pointed towards a speaker or sound source for better listening amplification that is picked up by a headset or earbuds worn by the listener.