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Types of Hearing Aids

How will it look? What will it feel like? Will it be difficult to maintain? Will it really help?

It’s normal to have a lot of questions about hearing aids, but after getting the answers you need, purchasing and adapting to wearing one will be much less intimidating. The information below, as well as our Lifestyle Survey, will help you through this process.

The following styles are the most prominent, but your audiologist likely has even more to offer:

Completely-In-The-Canal
Completely-in-the-canal hearing aids are molded to fit inside your ear canal and can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

Advantages:

  • Virtually unnoticeable
  • Less likely to pick up wind noise due to location
  • Easy to use with the telephone

Disadvantages:

  • Smaller batteries don't last as long
  • Does not include additional features, for example volume control or directional microphones
  • May not fit well in smaller ears
  • Generally not suitable for severe hearing loss

In-The-Canal
An in-the-canal hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal, but not as deeply as the completely-in-the-canal aid. This hearing aid can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

Advantages:

  • Low visibility
  • Easy to use with the telephone

Disadvantages:

  • Includes features, but small size can make them difficult to adjust
  • May not fit well in smaller ears

Half-Shell
A smaller version of the in-the-canal hearing aid, the half-shell is custom molded and fills the lower portion of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear. This style is appropriate for mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

Advantages:

  • Bigger, so easy to handle
  • Includes additional features, such as directional microphones and volume control
  • Fits most ears

Disadvantages:

  • Noticeable
    • In-The-Ear (full-shell)
      An in-the-ear, or full-shell hearing aid is custom made and fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear. This style is helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss.

      Advantages:

      • Contains helpful features that are easy to adjust
      • Easy to insert into the ear
      • Uses larger batteries which typically last longer
      • Easy to handle and suitable for a wide range of hearing losses
      • Slightly larger than many options, but still quite small

      Disadvantages:

      • Are more visible to others
      • May pick up wind noise

      Behind-The-Ear
      Behind-the-ear hearing aids hook over the top of your ear and rest behind the ear. The hearing aid picks up sound, amplifies it and carries the amplified sound to an ear mold that fits inside your ear canal. This type of aid is appropriate for almost all types of hearing loss and for people of all ages.

      Advantages:

      • Newer versions are small, streamlined, and barely visible
      • Are capable of more amplification than are other hearing aid styles
      • Compatible with most assistive listening devices
      • Suitable for mild to profound hearing loss
      • Uses larger batteries which typically last longer

      Disadvantages:

      • Larger and more visible than most styles

      Open Fit
      These are very small behind-the-ear-style devices. Sound travels from the instrument through a small tube or wire to a tiny dome or speaker in the ear canal. These aids leave the ear canal open, so they are best for mild to moderate high-frequency losses where low-frequency hearing is still normal or near normal.

      Advantages:

      • Less visible
      • Doesn't plug the ear like the in-the-canal hearing aids

      Disadvantages:

      • Smaller batteries don't last as long
      • Does not include additional features, for example volume control or directional microphones.

      Body Hearing Aid
      Hearing aids that are housed in a special case that can be carried in a pocket providing the most power for the most severe hearing losses.

      Advantages:

      • Ideal for people with severe to profound hearing loss
      • Large controls make it easy to adjust
      • Most affordable type

      Disadvantages:

      • Have an old-fashioned look
      • Must be handled whenever worn

      Disposable Hearing Aids
      Similar to disposable contact lenses, these digital hearing aids are temporary. When its non-replaceable battery runs out, the entire device must be removed and replaced with a new one by a professional.

      Advantages:

      • Use power sparingly
      • No battery replacements
      • No adjustments or cleanings

      Disadvantages:

      • Wearer must be committed to replacing them regularly

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      225 Wilmington - West Chester Pike, Suite 300 Chadds Ford, PA 19317888.575.2511

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