Important: How to choose the right hearing aids
Many types of hearing aids exist. So which one is best for you? chosgohearing help you to Learn what to consider when choosing a hearing aid.
Maybe you've considered buying a hearing aid, but you're worried about how it will look or whether it will really help. Learning more may help ease your concerns about.
- The hearing aid options available to you
- What to look for when buying a hearing aid
- How to get used to hearing aids
Hearing aids do not restore normal hearing. They can improve your hearing by amplifying sounds that you cannot hear.
How hearing aids work
All hearing aids use the same basic components to transmit sound from the environment to your ears and to make it louder. Most hearing aids are digital and all are powered by conventional hearing aid batteries or rechargeable batteries.
A small microphone collects sound from the environment. A computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into a digital code. It analyzes and adjusts the sound to your hearing loss, your listening needs, and the sound level around you. The amplified signal is then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through a speaker (sometimes called a receiver).
Hearing Aid Styles
Hearing aids vary widely in price, size, special features, and the way they fit in your ear.
Here are common hearing aid styles, starting with the smallest and least visible in the ear. Hearing aid designers continue to make smaller hearing aids to meet the demand for less visible hearing aids. However, smaller hearing aids may not provide the hearing improvement you expect.
Completely in the ear canal (CIC) or mini CIC
A hearing aid that is completely in the ear canal is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
Completely in-canal hearing aids.
- Is the smallest and least visible type
- Less likely to pick up wind noise
- Use very small batteries, which are short-lived and difficult to handle
- Usually do not include additional features such as volume control or directional microphones
- Tend to clog the speaker with earwax
In the ear canal
In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids are custom-molded to partially fit the ear canal. This style can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.
In-the-canal hearing aids.
- Less visible in the ear than larger styles
- Includes aids that do not fit entirely in the root canal but may be difficult to adjust due to their small size
- Tend to clog speakers with earwax
In the ear
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are available in two custom styles - one that fills most of the bowl-shaped area of the outer ear (full shell) and one that fills only the lower half (half shell). Both are helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss, and both are equipped with directional microphones (two microphones allow for better hearing in noise).
In-ear hearing aids.
- Includes features that are not suitable for smaller hearing aids, such as volume control
- May be easier to handle
- Use larger batteries for longer battery life, with a variety of options for rechargeable batteries
- Tend to clog speakers with ear wax
- May absorb more wind noise than smaller devices
- More visible in the ear than smaller devices
Behind the ear
Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids hang from the top of your ear and are placed behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an earmold that fits into your ear canal. This type is available for people of all ages and for people with almost all types of hearing loss.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids.
- Traditionally has been the largest type of hearing aid, although some of the newer mini designs are streamlined and nearly invisible
- Have directional microphones
- Amplify more than other styles
- May absorb more wind noise than other styles
- May come with rechargeable batteries
Receiver in the ear canal or receiver in the ear
Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) styles are similar to behind-the-ear hearing aids in that the speaker or receiver is located in the ear canal. A thin wire, rather than a tube, connects the components behind the ear to the speaker or receiver.
Ear canal hearing aid.
- Usually have a less visible part behind the ear
- Have a directional microphone
- Have a manual control option
- Available with rechargeable batteries
- Tends to block the speaker with ear wax
An open-fit hearing aid is a variation of a behind-the-ear hearing aid with a thin tube or a canal or in-the-ear hearing aid with an open dome in the ear canal. This style keeps the ear canal very open, allowing low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally and amplifying high-frequency sounds through the hearing aid. This makes the style ideal for people with good low-frequency hearing and mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss.
Open Hearing Aids.
- Often seen
- Do not plug your ears like in-ear hearing aid styles, which often makes you sound better on your own
- May be more difficult to insert into the ear due to non-custom domes
Some optional features of hearing aids can improve your ability to hear in specific situations.
- Noise reduction：All hearing aids have some degree of noise reduction. The amount of noise reduction will vary. Some also offer wind noise reduction.
- Directional microphones： These are aligned on the hearing aid to better pick up sound from in front of you while reducing sound from behind or next to you. Some hearing aids are able to focus in one direction. Directional microphones can improve your ability to hear when you are in an environment with a lot of background noise.
- Rechargeable batteries：Some hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries. By eliminating the need to replace batteries regularly, you can perform maintenance more easily.
- Induction coils： Telecoil makes it easier to hear when talking on Telecoil-compatible phones. Telecoil reduces sound from your environment and picks up sound from hearing aid-compatible phones. Telecoils also receive signals from public induction loop systems in some churches and theaters, allowing you to better hear the speaker, play or movie.
- Wireless connectivity： Hearing aids can increasingly be connected wirelessly to certain Bluetooth-compatible devices, such as cell phones, music players, computers and televisions. You may need to use an intermediary device to answer calls or other signals and send them to your hearing aids.
- Remote controls：Some hearing aids come with a remote control, so you can adjust features without touching the hearing aid. Some hearing aids connect wirelessly to your phone and have a phone app that allows the phone to be used as a remote control.
- Direct audio input：This feature allows you to plug in audio from your TV, computer or music device via a power cord.
- Variable programming： Some hearing aids can store a variety of pre-programmed settings to meet a variety of listening needs and environments.
- Synchronization： For individuals with two hearing aids, it is possible to program the two hearing aids to work together so that adjustments (volume control or program changes) made to the hearing aid in one ear will also be made to the other hearing aid, allowing for simpler control.
Before you buy
When looking for a hearing aid, explore your options to find out which hearing aid is best for you. Also.
- Get an exam. See your doctor to rule out correctable causes of hearing loss, such as ear wax or infection. Have your hearing tested by an audiologist (hearing specialist).
- Seek referrals to a reputable audiologist. If you don't know a good audiologist, ask your doctor for a referral. An audiologist will evaluate your hearing, help you choose the most appropriate hearing aid and adjust the device to meet your needs. If you have hearing loss in both ears, you will get the best results with two hearing aids.
- Ask about a trial period. You can usually get a hearing aid for a trial period. It may take a while for you to get used to the device and determine if it is right for you. Have the dispenser document in writing the cost of the trial, whether that amount is included in the final cost of the hearing aid, and how much you can be refunded if you return the hearing aid during the trial period.
- Consider future needs. Ask if the hearing aid you choose can increase in power so that it will still be useful if your hearing loss worsens. Hearing aids won't work indefinitely, but they should last about five years.
- Check the warranty. Make sure the hearing aid includes a warranty that covers parts and labor for a specified period of time. Some dispensers may include office visits or professional services under the warranty.
- Beware of misleading claims. Hearing aids cannot restore normal hearing or eliminate all background noise. Beware of advertisements or dispensers that claim otherwise.
- Plan costs. The cost of hearing aids varies widely - from about $1,500 to several thousand dollars each. Professional fees, remote controls, hearing aid accessories and other hearing aid options may require additional charges. Discuss your needs and expectations with your audiologist.
Some private insurance policies cover some or all of the cost of hearing aids - check your policy to be sure. Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids for adults. In many states, private insurance companies must purchase hearing aids for children. In most states, Medicaid covers hearing aids. If you are a veteran, you can get hearing aids for free through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Getting used to your hearing aid
Getting used to hearing aids takes time. As you get used to amplification, you may notice a gradual improvement in your hearing skills. Even your own voice may sound different when you wear a hearing aid.
When using a hearing aid for the first time, keep the following points in mind.
- Hearing aids will not restore your hearing to normal. Hearing aids do not restore normal hearing. They can improve your hearing by amplifying soft sounds.
- Allow time to get used to your hearing aids. It takes time to get used to your new hearing aids. But the more you use them, the faster you will get used to the amplified sound.
- Practice using your hearing aids in different environments. Your amplified hearing will sound different in different places.
- Seek support and try to maintain a positive attitude. A willingness to practice and the support of family and friends will help you succeed with your new hearing aid. You may also consider joining a support group for people with hearing loss or who are unfamiliar with hearing aids.
- Go back for follow-up. The specialist may include the cost of one or more follow-up visits in their fee. It's best to use this to make any adjustments and to make sure your new hearing aids are working as well as they can for you.
chosgohearing remind：Wearing your hearing aids regularly and taking good care of them will help you be successful with them. In addition, an audiologist can tell you about your new hearing aids and the devices available. He or she can also help you make changes to meet your needs. Our goal is to find hearing aids that make you feel comfortable and enhance your hearing and communication in a timely manner.