The Secrets Behind Discreet Hearing Aids
Many people have perceptions of hearing aids technology that dates back to the 60s and 70s. Today's hearing aids, however, are more powerful, smaller, and are available in a wide array of attractive designs. In almost all cases, this is a welcomed surprise.
Choosing the best hearing aid for your needs starts with selecting a trustworthy audiologist. Similar to a medical doctor, the right provider can be the difference between a terrible experience and a successful fitting.
When considering hearing aids, it's important the device matches your lifestyle preferences as well as any dexterity concerns. Continue reading to learn more about some of the most discreet hearing aids available on the market.
In-the-Ear (ITE) Discreet Hearing Aids
As the most common type of discreet hearing aid, in-the-ear styles are almost always custom-fit. These aids are designed based on the impression of your ear, which must be taken by a hearing professional during your consultation. ITE aids are typically offered in different colors and skin tones to look as natural as possible.
Invisible in-the-Canal (IIC) or Completely In-the-Canal (CIC) Hearing Aids
In the world of discreet hearing aids, CIC and IIC aids are the tiniest available. Invisible in-the-canal and completely in-the-canal hearing aids offer a high level of cosmetic appeal because they transform into virtually invisible hearing aids when worn.
These designs fit deeply in your ear canal, which produces natural sound and localization characteristics. CIC and IIC hearing aids are typically best for individuals with moderate to mild hearing loss.
Because of their small size, they typically do not include any manual controls, such as program buttons or volume controls. At the same time, the deep location in the ear canal exposes these hearing aids to potential damage from moisture and earwax.
Invisible in-the-canal and completely in-the-canal hearing aids are best for people who have excellent dexterity because these units have the tiniest battery size and may be difficult to remove.
In-the-Canal Hearing Aids
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are slightly larger than other CIC and IIC styles. These aids sit in the lower portion of the outer ear bowl, which makes them simple to use and comfortable. Since ITC aids are slightly larger, they have a longer battery life and can accommodate a wider range of hearing loss.
In-the-canal hearing aids offer many additional features, such as manual controls. ITC aids may also include directional microphones, which will help to filter out background noise.
Low Profile Hearing Aids
Low profile hearing aids can range from half shell designs that almost fill the entire outer ear bowl to designs that only fill half of the outer ear. Low profile hearing aids are large enough to accommodate additional features, such as a volume wheel.
These hearing can also include directional microphones and a push-button for changing programs. Because low profile hearing aids are larger and easier to handle than other smaller units, they're often more effective for people who have issues with dexterity.
Behind-the-Ear Common Hearing Aids
The second style of hearing aid is behind-the-ear (BTE). These aids can either sit on top of the outer ear or behind it with a small tubing that sends sound into the ear canal through a customized earmold.
Instead of an earmold, you can also choose an ear tip that doesn't obstruct your ear opening. BTE hearing aids are available in a wide selection of styles, colors, and tones.
Mini Behind-the-Ear with Slim Tube and Tip
Mini BTE aids are designed to hide the device behind your outer ear. These units include a super-thin tube that discreetly routes sounds into your ear. The tubing is connected to a soft tip located inside your ear canal.
Mini BTE hearing aids do not block your ear. Instead, it offers an open feeling as sound and airflow enters your ear naturally around the tip. The sound is amplified when it passes through the tip. This design is called "open fitting" and is a good solution for individuals with mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss.
Receiver-in-the-Canal (RIC) or Receiver-in-the-Ear (RICE)
Instead of having the speaker built into the main body of the hearing aid, mini RIC or mini RITE hearing aids have a speaker in the ear tip. The speaker is connected by a tiny wire to the small case behind your ear, which contains the processor and microphone..
BTE earmold hearing aids are able to accommodate any severity of hearing loss. With a longer shape that contours to the shape of your ear, these aids offer more features, controls, and power than any other style.
BTE earmold hearing aids are less susceptible to wax damage or moisture. You can choose from a wide variety of styles and colors. This design is the preferred choice for kids because it can be reprogrammed as the child grows.
Contact North Shore Hearing for a Hearing Appointment
The first step in choosing a hearing aid is to meet with a licensed audiologist at North Shore Hearing. Our experts will guide you through the process, explain all of your options, and help you choose the best hearing aid for your needs.