Need a Hearing Aid? Know Your Options
If you think you need a hearing aid, you probably have a few concerns, namely, how it will look, and whether or not you think it will be of any benefit. All hearing aids have the same parts. The difference is the style and how they fit in the ear. Generally, the smaller the hearing aid, the more money it costs and the less powerful it is. Here is a brief overview of your options.
When trying to decide, it is best to talk to your audiologist who can offer you guidance in selecting the most appropriate option. There should be a trial period for hearing aids that allow you to test the device and see if you like it.
Completely in the Canal
If your hearing loss is mild to moderate, and you want a hearing aid that is hard to notice, these are the best bet. They are molded to fit in the ear, and are less likely to pick up wind noise. Because they are small, they don’t contain additional features, such as volume control or directional microphones.
In the Canal
These hearing aids go partly into the canal but not completely. Again, they are best for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. They may be fitted with additional features, but they can be hard to adjust because of the small size of the hearing aid. If your ears are smaller, they may not be a good fit.
Half-shells are similar to in-the-canal aids, and are specially molded to fit in the lower area of the bowl-shaped part of the outer ear. These hearing aids fit most ears and are easier to handle because they are a little bigger, making it easier to adjust various features that may be included. These hearing aids will fit most ears.
Full-Shell (In the Ear)
Full-shell hearing aids fill most of the bowl-shaped apart of your outer ear, and are appropriate for any stage of hearing loss, from mild to severe. Because it is totally on the outside part of the ear, it is obviously more noticeable and more likely to pick up wind noise. Insertion is easier, and it uses larger batteries which last longer.
Behind the Ear
These hearing aids hook over the top of your ear, and rest behind it. It picks up sounds, amplifies them and these amplified sound travels to an ear mold that is placed inside your ear canal. It can be used for hearing loss of any severity. It is the biggest and most noticeable, but some newer models are smaller and more streamlined. It provides the most amplification of any of the types of hearing aids.
This type of hearing aid fits behind the ear, and works through sound traveling from the hearing aid through a tube or wire to a speaker in the canal. They are best for people suffering from mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss, whose low-frequency hearing is normal or almost normal.
These hearing aids are less visible, but because of their size, manual adjustments are not possible.