More than 5% of the world’s population, or 430 million people, are estimated to have impaired hearing. One can suffer from either mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss. People with hearing loss may have more difficulty understanding everyday speech, especially in noisy environments.
If you suffer from hearing loss, a hearing aid can help so that the sound is amplified and you perceive what is being said around you better. There are different types of hearing aids to suit you when it comes to needs, lifestyle, budget, and dexterity.
If you’re someone who’s living with hearing loss, you know how much of an effort it takes to communicate with other people and how frustrating it can get. To help reduce stress and frustration, in this post we discuss how to cope with hearing loss by wearing hearing aids and we look at the different devices that can help to improve your life in numerous ways.
Different Types of Hearing Aids
The most common types of hearing aids are behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, in-the-ear (ITE), and canal hearing aids, but also completely-in-the-canal, smart hearing aids, and CROS devices. BTE is the most common type of hearing aid that leads the sound into the ear through a cord. Which type of hearing aid is best for you depends on the degree of hearing loss, budget, and lifestyle.
Today, top-quality brand products like Unitron hearing aids will make sure to provide you with wide-ranging options and allow you to choose the best ones for your particular type of hearing loss. The most important thing is to choose hearing aids with fine adjustments settings so that the device adapts smoothly to new sounds.
As we mentioned, behind-the-ear (BTE) devices are the most common type of hearing aids and are suitable for most hearing impairments. The sound is transmitted from the device through a thin plastic tube to the insert, also known as the “plug”, which is located in the ear canal. A great advantage of behind-the-ear devices is that they can have more functions than smaller hearing aids in the ear.
For instance, a directional microphone, volume control, and telecoil are almost always available. In addition, many behind-the-ear devices have an external electrical input for connecting accessories directly to the hearing aid, namely FM receivers. The behind-the-ear device is also the type of hearing aid that is most resistant, as it’s not exposed to wax or very much moisture behind the outer ear.
In-the-ear hearing aids are best suited for mild to moderate hearing loss, but some models work for the severely hearing impaired too. ITE devices are located directly in the ear canal and all technology is gathered in an individually molded shell.
The audiologist first makes an impression of the ear, then the impression is sent to the manufacturer who builds the electronics into the shell. The distance between the earphone and the eardrum is small, which gives better sound quality.
The microphone is also placed in the ear itself, so the sound is recorded more naturally than with behind-the-ear devices. In-the-ear devices do not fit everyone. Some have too-narrow ear canals, which makes it difficult to get the device to sit well.
Because the device clogs the ear canal and reduces the “aeration” of the ear, it can cause problems in people whose ear canal is easily irritated. It also places high demands on care, such as changing the wax filter regularly. This type of hearing aid is also popular with people with glasses, as it gets less crowded behind the ear.
CROS devices are an option for single-sided deafness. CROS devices look like regular behind-the-ear devices and the sound is transmitted from a microphone in the “bad ear” to a device worn on the “good ear”. The actual audio transmission usually takes place via wireless transmission between the devices, but can also take place with the help of a thin cable, which runs between the microphone and the hearing aid.
For single-sided deaf people, bone-anchored hearing aids can also be an option. With CROS devices, single-sided deaf people are primarily allowed to perceive sounds on the deaf side and thus the opportunity for better speech perception.
Today’s modern technology and hearing aid manufacturers can offer excellent solutions no matter the level of hearing impairment. The type of hearing aids that suits you depends not only on your hearing loss but also on the shape of your ear, your life situation, and more.
Consult with an audiologist to assess your hearing and recommend the best hearing option. In this way, you’ll be able to communicate and participate fully in daily activities.